Prescription drug abuse is a serious issue these days, one that can have both legal and physical effects. Some people who abuse prescription drugs started out as legal users who were prescribed medication to treat a legitimate medical issue. Because this problem is pervasive, it’s up to medical professionals, pharmacists, and even patients to be proactive about reducing the risk of prescription drugs. Very Well Mind offers the following information.

Medical providers are encouraged to screen patients for possible drug abuse before prescribing medication. Most people who are provided pain killers take them as instructed and don’t have any further issues. However, those who are more susceptible to drug abuse tend to have certain characteristics, such as struggling with addiction previously or having mental health issues. When medical staff believes there is a substance abuse problem, they should take steps to get the patient help to deal with any addiction issues.

Pharmacists are also integral in preventing prescription drug abuse. If a forged or otherwise altered prescription is provided, a pharmacist should verify it before filling the order. Pharmacists should also provide information to patients when handing out their medication. Knowing about drug interactions is especially important, particularly when it comes to the effects of alcohol on the drug.

When given a prescription, patients must follow their doctor’s orders to the letter. This entails taking medicine in the doses provided, and not doubling up or even skipping doses. More importantly, a person should never take medication prescribed to someone else. Even if it’s the same medication as was prescribed to you in the past. it’s still not safe to take unless provided by your doctor.