Medication Safety and Prescription Painkiller Abuse

By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist
May 25, 2017

June is National Safety Month— an important time to learn more about medication safety and prescription painkiller abuse. Prescription drug abuse, caused mainly by the misuse of opioid painkillers, is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States and a significant concern. Among women, there are about 18 deaths every day from a prescription painkiller overdose.

In many cases, people may start using one of these prescription drugs legitimately, such as after an injury or surgery, and then their status progresses to addiction after they began abusing the drug. Prescription painkillers are dangerous, because the difference between the amount needed to feel their effects and the amount needed to kill a person is small and unpredictable.

 Warning Signs

A person abusing prescription opioids, such as Percocet or OxyContin, may be drowsy, confused, nauseated, and have constricted pupils. Other distinct behavioral changes include withdrawal from family and friends, disinterest in regular hobbies, or neglect of personal hygiene.

How to Get Help

At ACCESS, we believe that addiction is a disease. Our Buprenorphine (Suboxone) treatment services give patients a safe and effective way to treat opiate addiction. These services, which are provided by your primary care provider and care team, take a comprehensive approach to treatment and aim to benefit the whole person. The ACCESS Buprenorphine treatment services include behavioral health services and counseling, medical treatment services, group session services and linkage to social services enabling patients an effective way to treat opiate addiction.

Services are offered at ACCESS Blue Island Family Health Center, ACCESS Brandon Family Health Center, ACCESS Ashland Family Health Center, ACCESS Madison Family Health Center, ACCESS Westside Family Health Center, ACCESS Humboldt Park Family Health Center, ACCESS Genesis Center for Health and Empowerment and ACCESS Austin Family Health Center.

If you or someone you know struggles with prescription painkiller abuse, seek help today. Contact ACCESS to schedule an appointment at a location near you and our team of health care professionals is ready to help you learn more and take control of your health.

 

Sources:

http://www.nsc.org/RxDrugOverdoseDocuments/opioid-painkillers-how-they-work-and-why-they-are-risky.pdf

https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/Jun2Announce.aspx

https://www.cdc.gov/medicationsafety/basics.html

http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-prescription-drug-use.html