When the words “drug abuse”, are heard, automatically one thinks of the shivering, sweating “junkie”. The fact is that that is only one type of drug abuse. The other is prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drugs, as we know, as those that must be prescribed by a doctor. They cannot be bought over the counter; the pharmacist must fill the prescription and give the drugs to the patient.
Prescription drugs are usually prescribed for a set amount of time, in a specific dosage. They are normally intended for short-term use.
Abuse happens when someone begins to feel that they must have the drug in order to function. This often happens with narcotic pain relievers.
Once a person is addicted to prescription drugs (and, yes, it is an addiction, just like an addiction to alcohol or street drugs), he or she may go to any lengths to get the drug, especially if they can no longer have the prescription refilled, or the doctor refuses to write another prescription.
When this happens, family members must be extremely careful to keep prescription drugs, especially those that are being abused, away from the abuser. If the drug is being properly prescribed for another family member, then precautions must be taken to ensure that that person’s prescription is kept secured so that it will be available only to the one who is supposed to be taking it.
When a drug for which there is a risk of abuse is prescribed, family members should watch to make sure that the person who is taking the drug is not becoming addicted, or taking more than the prescribed amount. It may be necessary for someone else to step in and tell the doctor if they feel this is the case. Hurt feelings will disappear quicker than drug problems will.