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Prescription Drug Abuse Threatens Availability of Pain Medication
Date:4/8/2008

ionalpainfoundation.org/) is ramping up efforts to raise public awareness to curtail prescription drug abuse and thus ensure the continuing availability of pain medication. The message: Prescription drug abuse is preventable. Prescription drug holders and the medical community have a responsibility to help curb irresponsible drug use. Steps consumers can take include:
-- Never take a prescription pain medication unless it is prescribed to

you.

-- Lock up prescription pain medications to keep them out of other

people's hands.

-- Do not share prescription pain medications with others.

-- Do not take higher or more frequent doses than prescribed.

-- Do not take pain medication with alcohol, which can cause adverse side

effects.

-- Do not combine sedatives or anti-anxiety drugs with pain medication.

This can increase toxicity.

-- Do not use narcotic medications as sleeping pills; this can suppress

breathing during sleep.

Doctors and other members of the medical community can be especially effective in preventing prescription drug abuse. About 180 million Americans age 18 or older consult their healthcare provider at least once a year. These visits are valuable opportunities to educate patients and screen for drug and alcohol abuse.

"It's up to each of us to make sure that irresponsible use of prescribed pain medications does not make it harder for legitimate pain patients to have access to drugs that can greatly improve their quality of life," says Ray.


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SOURCE National Pain Foundation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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