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Here’s How You Can Minimize the Risk Of Falling Into Opiod Addiction

Things happen in life rather unexpectedly. You could have some injuries, surgery, or in enough pain for your doctor to prescribe an opiate medication. Opioid pain relievers, when used as prescription medicine, are generally safe and are somewhat useful. However, it is easy to develop an opioid addiction as the medication gives a euphoric effect along with relieving pain. Limiting the medicine’s intake following the doctor’s prescription can still lead to drug dependency. When you combine your opioid intake with other medications, the risk only further increases. We all know that addiction is a severe psychological problem. It can even cause serious mental health concerns and lead to physiological dependence. Here’s how you can minimize the risks of opioid addiction if you have it in your medical prescription.

Consider Alternatives

The first suggestion to someone who thinks they are not strong enough to resist addition is avoidance. Ask your doctor for opioid alternatives. Numerous pain killers are available in the drug store; each of them works differently and achieves different results. For this reason, it is necessary to discuss alternatives with your doctor. Never indulge in self-medication. Ask your doctor for non-opioid options and ensure that these do not interfere with any other meds you are taking.

Take It Only for as Long as You Need To

Research shows that the longer you use opioids, the higher your risk of addiction. Thus, it is a matter of using these opioid pain relievers only when necessary. Use it only as long as it is essential and not beyond that. The statistics are staggering – being on a one-day opioid prescription can have you looking at 6% chances of you being on opioids for a year or longer! The chances of developing dependency increase dramatically and rapidly with more extended prescription periods. For example, a five-day prescription hikes up the possibilities to 10%.

Avoid If You Have a History of Addiction

Your doctor may be unaware that you have a history of addiction when he prescribes you opioid pain relievers (well, we hope he is ignorant, and not just sadistic!). Discuss your history with your doctor and inform him of the specifics of your addiction, and he will use his professional knowledge to determine the best way forward. Do not walk away unhappy with your prescription, though – work with your doctor! If you feel that you really cannot handle taking an opioid simply because of your emotional or mental state, you should request a non-opioid.

Disposal of Unfinished Medication

Most stores have a drug take-back programs in place. You can ask your local pharmacies or your doctor if there is one near you. Another option is to dispose of unused medicines down the drain. This will make sure that the drugs do not fall into the wrong hands. If you are binning the medication, make sure that you do not leave the trash near animals.

Also, before dumping the medicines in the trash, you should mix the pills with an unappealing substance. For instance, mixing the medication with waste like cat litter, rotten foods, or anything else that will prevent you from digging them out of the trash. This comes handy in case you have an addiction and fear overusing the medications.  Having leftover opioids in your medicine cabinet is not a good idea. Moreso, if you believe you might misuse or overuse them.

Understanding Overdose

As a side note, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of an overdose of opioid medication. If someone has an opioids overdose, the signs to look out for are cold or damp, feeling skin, a slowed breathing rate, vomiting, or producing a gurgling noise. You can also look for blue fingernails or lips and tremors.

Opioid overdose appears most commonly with the symptom of adversely affected respiration. Overdose can also occur by accident. For instance, if you take a double dosage, or if you mix your dosage with the consumption of benzodiazepines (Ativan, Valium, Xanax, Klonopin), or alcohol.

If you are already misusing your opioid prescription, you need to act fast and seek the necessary help. Do this before your dependency spirals into aa addiction. Addiction is a severe problem, and messing with your mental health has dire consequences.

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