Prescription Drug Abuse is on the Rise

prescription drug abuse, prescription pills, prescription drugs“Abuse of pain medications may start when a person takes them for an injury or medical condition that causes chronic pain. It can get out of control. Over time, people develop a tolerance level to opiates which often prompts them to increase their dosages,” says Cynthia Miles, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor, Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers

Prescription drugs are often perceived as safer than illicit drugs but, when abused, pose serious health risks including overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that more people die from prescription opioid overdose than all other drugs combined.

What Can You Do?

It is important to safeguard and keep track of prescription drugs. Following are steps you can immediately take to limit access to your prescription drugs:

  • Safeguard all drugs at home, including over-the-counter medicines. Conceal, monitor quantities and control access.
  • If you have children, set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider’s advice and dosages.
  • Be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines.
  • Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well.
  • Properly dispose of old or unused medicines

Read More about Prescription Drug Abuse >

Alternatives to Managing Pain

Gateway Alcohol & Drug Treatment’s H.O.P.E. program is a voluntary program designed to help people find alternatives to taking pain medications and/or narcotics. The program name acronym stands for Healthy Options to Treat Pain Effectively. Offered at the Gateway Treatment Center in Carbondale, Illinois, the H.O.P.E. program educates attendees on ways to take a more holistic approach to their health.

Provided in a group format, the program’s goals include helping people gain an understanding of their pain, and how to identify the ways in which it goes further than the physical sensations to include emotional pain and cognitive disorders. Once people can identify this, they can use this knowledge to begin to alter their thinking.

Participants learn how to use techniques designed to improve their emotional pain, which should in turn help to decrease the perception of physical pain. Daily grounding and coping skills are practiced, which are ideally, performed even when a person’s pain level is not high. By being consistent, a life change that is conducive to self-awareness and pain management is reinforced.

If you know someone who may be abusing presription drugs, don’t wait. Call Gateway at 877-971-4673.

Learn more about Substance Abuse Treatment Programs at Gateway Treatment Centers >

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