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Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

The Nashua Telegraph reports that experts in New Hampshire met to discuss “the growing link between prescription drug abuse and suicide.” They can attribute this disturbing trend to budget cuts that have decreased funding for substance abuse programs and to the fact that more prescription drugs are readily available: “A massive increase in the availability of drugs – 83 million more opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, were prescribed in 2009 than in 2000…”

One of the simplest ways to ensure that prescription drugs are not available for someone to misuse them is to lock up any prescription drugs in your home. Rather than assume that no one you know  (family member or guest) would abuse prescription drugs, you should limit access to them. You can also be sure to dispose of any prescription drugs you don’t need and avoid buying over-the-counter drugs in bulk.

Sometimes the temptation to take more than the recommended dose of a prescription drug arises because you think a prescription medication is no longer working. If it seems that a prescription is no longer working as you feel it should, talk to your doctor.

And if you yourself feel tempted to take more of any prescription than you should for non-medical reasons, get help immediately. Rather than feel shame, seek assistance as soon as possible.

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