Five Tips for Safe Prescription Drug Use

Five Tips for Safe Prescription Drug UseJust because the drug comes from a doctor does not make it safe. Pain medicine and heroin both feature compounds derived from opium poppy, while prescription amphetamines share similarities with cocaine and other stimulants. Accidental addictions are common, and certain sedatives and anti-anxiety medications can be lethal if the user quits too abruptly. Other dangers include the following:

  • Overdose from too high a dose or combining with similar medications
  • Accidental poisoning of babies and children who ingest adult prescriptions
  • Drug-related accidents that occur after underestimating a drug’s side effects
  • A dangerous drug interaction from taking multiple prescription medicines at once


Remember, the dangers are not just to the user. One must consider the risks to children, addicted friends and the loved ones in your life in Chicago.

Prescription Drug Precautions for Chicago Residents

There are numerous safety precautions that should followed when using a prescription drug, but here are five particularly important tips:

  1. Proper Storage – The 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report found that children aged five and under outnumbered adults 20 to 1 in accidental-poisoning emergencies. Always store prescription drugs in a safe and secure place, even if you do not have children.
  2. Inform Doctor of Other Medications – When starting a new prescription drug, tell your local Chicago area doctor every medication you take, including diet pills, over-the-counter products, herbal supplements and even aspirin. The number of possible drug interactions is staggeringly high.
  3. Avoid Alcohol – As per the aforementioned DAWN report, over 25% of all emergency-room visits in 2009 involved a combination of alcohol and drugs together. A person might think taking a little drink won’t hurt, but it can.
  4. Assume It Is the Drug – If you start to experience any new symptoms, behaviors or changes, assume the drug caused them and inform your doctor. Prescription medications come with a long list of potential side effects, many of which are dangerous.
  5. Watch for Problem Signs – Addiction and physical drug dependence can occur even if the person takes the medication in the manner prescribed. It is also important to know the overdose signs for your drug and to call 911 immediately if these signs appear.

Addiction symptoms include personality changes, drug-seeking behaviors and physical discomfort when the drug is not taken regularly. Should an addiction develop, getting proper help immediately is the best safety tip of all.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment for Chicago Residents

Certain drugs have risks even during detox, which is why a professional drug rehabilitation program is the safest and most effective way to break an addiction. Proper addiction treatment includes the following:

  • Medically supervised drug detoxification with a tapered withdrawal for certain drug dependencies
  • Integrated treatment for co-occurring mood disorders and mental health issues
  • Behavioral therapies to improve lifestyle choices and help resist drug-use triggers
  • Holistic options for pain, anxiety, insomnia and other issues the drug was originally meant to treat
  • Group therapy to discuss the addiction and receive peer support
  • Ongoing aftercare counseling and encouragement

When an addiction develops, it increases the risk of all the other dangers, including accidental poisoning, interactions and overdose. For this reason, it is vitally important to seek professional help as soon as you notice symptoms of addiction affecting your life in Chicago.

Substance Abuse Help for Chicago Residents

Did your prescription drug use develop into an addiction? Are you afraid you are abusing prescription drugs and can’t stop on your own? Call our toll-free helpline 24 hours a day to get the assistance you need. Our addiction counselors can discuss warning signs, explain treatment and recommend drug rehabilitation options. We can even check health insurance policies for coverage. Call today and let us help.