Superior Health Center -April 2020


APRIL 2020

About Overuse and Misuse of Prescription Medications WHAT OUR PATIENTS SHOULD KNOW

the medication functions as intended, it will not give you the full relief you need. When someone relies on pain medication too heavily, it not only will start to feel like their lives depend on it, but they also run the risk of serious addiction. Becoming addicted to prescription pain medication can lead to severe health risks, including other drug use, dependence, and death. Opioids, for example, have become a serious health concern within the U.S.Within 2017 alone, 191 million opioid prescriptions were given to people across the country despite the medication’s high addiction rate. More than ever before, it’s essential that we as health service providers improve the treatments we use to treat pain, and that starts with patient education. One example we give our patients to help them understand the difference between fixing the problem and hiding the problem is to think of a car. If you’re driving around and the check engine light comes on, do you open the dash and stick duct tape over the warning? Or do you take the whole car into your mechanic to find what the root of the problem is? In the same way, you should not ignore or dull the messages your body sends to your brain to warn you that something is wrong.

However, pain medication is only one part of the issue.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2015–2016, about 45.8% of Americans used prescription drugs within a 30-day study.This study found that prescription drug use increased with age. Of the participants, 18% of children under 12 used prescription drugs, which rose to 85% in adults over 60.The most popular medications used included antidepressants, central nervous system stimulants, bronchodilators, and lipid-lowering drugs. While many of these drugs have helped people, they also increase the risk of developing chronic pain or neuropathy, especially in older adults. MedlinePlus states, “Neuropathy [...] is a loss of sensation or movement in part of the body due to nerve damage from taking certain medicine or combination of medicines.” Many of the medicines our patients should be aware of include hydralazine, cisplatin, disulfiram, phenytoin, dapsone, and nitrofurantoin. Our team at Superior Health Centers understands the risks involved with prescription drugs.The treatments we provide are alternative answers to prescribed medication, which can help you live medication-free.

National Prescription DrugTake Back Day is on April 25 this year, giving our team here at Superior Health Centers an opportunity to inform our patients of the dangers of prescription drugs, from taking pain medication to using multiple prescriptions at once.We hope to spread awareness of the increased risk of continued prescription drug use and offer an alternative means of treatment. One of the largest problems we see far too often is when patients, attempting to relieve their pain, turn to a doctor who will prescribe them pain medication.While taking prescribed pain medication will likely make you feel better, that is the exact reason these drugs are dangerous.A prescription pill may seem like the answer you’re looking for, but it is neither a permanent nor effective solution for pain. Instead of receiving treatment for the health issues that are causing pain, these medications merely slow, block, or dull the signals of pain in the body. Even when



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