If you sustain a serious injury or have a health condition that requires you to take a powerful painkiller, you have to use it carefully. While no one sets out to become addicted to medication, it can happen all too easily without the proper precautions. Here are a few tips to avoid becoming dependant on prescription medication.
Read the Directions
One of the best things you can do is talk to your doctor and pharmacist about how to properly take your medication. Failing to follow directions can make you think the medication isn’t working, which can tempt you to take more than the proper dosage, which can increase your risk. Keep in constant communication with your pharmacist and doctor if you ever feel you’re suffering side effects from your medication, or if you feel it’s not effective.
Ask About Alternative Treatment
Maybe addiction runs in your family and you don’t want to run the risk of ending up in a South Florida rehab facility. Or, perhaps you just don’t like painkillers. Ask your doctor if there are alternative treatments that are just as effective as medication, but don’t have a habit-forming risk.
Tell Your Doctor About Any Other Medications or Supplements You’re Taking
Tell your doctor whether you’re taking any other medications before you start taking a painkiller, even if you just take a supplement or sleep aid. You don’t know how the painkiller may react with a seemingly innocent daily vitamin. Also, be sure to check whether you can drink alcohol while on medication.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Having a healthy mindset and a healthy body can go a long way in improving your symptoms, boosting your mood, and addressing your pain. While your injury or medical condition may keep you from engaging in exercise, you can at least eat as healthy as possible. See what you can do about addressing your pain and your symptoms on your own without medication. Another reason to live a healthy lifestyle is so you can potentially minimize your medication dosage as your body heals.
Recognize the Signs of Dependency
A person could be in the beginning stages of becoming dependant on a painkiller and not even know it. For that reason, it’s best to recognize the signs well before they develop. For instance, you may find you’ve become tolerant to your normal dosage, meaning that you feel you need to take a higher dosage to experience the same relief that you used to before. Another symptom is suffering from withdrawal when you either stop taking your medication or lower your dosage. Some patients run out of refills on their prescription and seek out more medication through harmful, dangerous, or illegal means.
If you experience any of these signs of dependency, it’s best that you have an open and honest discussion with your physicist and pharmacist. While you may be embarrassed, you have to realize that your health is on the line here. Medical professionals can get you in touch with experts who can help you get ahead of a disaster before your condition worsens.
Powerful painkillers can harm just as much as they heal. Keep these tips in mind as you seek to improve your health to avoid developing an avoidable dependency.