How can prescription drug misuse be prevented?

From the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Patients. Patients can take steps to ensure that they use prescription medications appropriately by:

  • following the directions as explained on the label or by the pharmacist
  • being aware of potential interactions with other drugs as well as alcohol
  • never stopping or changing a dosing regimen without first discussing it with the doctor
  • never using another person’s prescription, and never giving their prescription medications to others
  • storing prescription stimulants, sedatives, and opioids safely

Additionally, patients should properly discard unused or expired medications by following U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines or visiting U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration collection sites.57 In addition to describing their medical problem, patients should always inform their health care professionals about all the prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary and herbal supplements they are taking before they obtain any other medications.

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Life of a Student Athlete: Tip of the Week

Tip: Misusing prescription drugs can be harmful to your health and impact your participation in sports

Only take medications that are prescribed to you and follow instructions from the doctor carefully. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs including sleeping pills, anti-anxiety drugs and cough and cold remedies can be harmful to your health if you don’t take the medication as directed. Do not take any medications that are prescribed to someone else, side effects can include nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite or even vision loss.

 

School Stress and Stimulant Abuse

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides key takeaways for parents on how to address school stress and anxiety as it relates to possible unprescribed medications:

  • Talk to your son or daughter about the dangers of drinking and using drugs, including abusing prescription drugs not prescribed to him or her.
  • Remind him or her that it’s okay to ask for help – whether for academics, stress or mental health.
  • Ensure your teen or young adult knows that they are valued for who they are, not what they achieve.
  • Prepare him or her with alternative coping skills such as breathing techniques, mindfulness and other tools to help him or her relax and redirect their thoughts when they are feeling anxious.

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