Because of the severity and the frequency of opioid addiction in today’s society, being prescribed opioids for a particular condition can be nerve-wracking. It is always very important to ensure that you are taking your medication safely, but with these drugs in particular, you should be very careful to take opiates in the safest way possible.
Do Not Stray from Your Prescription
The number one rule of taking opiates safely is to never stray from your prescription amount. Do not take more of the drug, take it more often, or take it in a different way than you were prescribed to do. This also means you must not inject it if you are meant to take it orally (or vice-versa) and that you must always take the medication in the way and in the dosage amount that you were prescribed.
If you begin to stray from your prescription, there is a chance that you could become addicted to the drug, as any kind of opiate use outside of a doctor’s prescription is abuse. Also, according to the National Library of Medicine, “Intoxication or overdose [on opiates] can lead to a loss of alertness or unconsciousness” as well as coma, brain damage, severe respiratory depression, and even death.
Do Not Drink When Taking Opiates
If you drink alcohol while taking opioid-based drugs, there is a strong possibility that the respiratory depression caused by both substances can become extremely severe, even deadly. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “dangerous slowing of the heart rate” can also occur. Both alcohol and opioids are depressants, and they strengthen the reaction of the other when used together. It is very important that you do not drink when taking opioids.
Do Not Let Someone Else Take Your Medication
Opioids can only be used safely under a doctor’s care, so it is important that you do not let friends, family members, or anyone else take your medication. It is also illegal to sell opioids to those who ask, as well as to buy them instead of obtaining them legally from a pharmacy with a doctor’s prescription. If you have young children at home, you must also make sure to store your medication in a place that they will not be able to find it.
Tolerance and Dependence are Normal
Many people become panicked when they realize that they are becoming tolerant to or dependent on the effects of their opiate medication. However, these reactions are normal, and it is likely for someone who has been taking the medication regularly for several weeks or months to experience these results. If you do become tolerant, dependent, or both, do not worry, but it is still important to discuss these issues with your physician.
Always Consult Your Doctor
When you are under a doctor’s prescription, it is always important to discuss the medication with your doctor, especially any time you are considering making a change to your use of the drug. Always talk to your physician about your feelings about the medication and make sure to never make any changes before doing so.
How Do I Take Opiates Safely?
If you want to learn more about the safe use of opiates and how to avoid abusing them, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? today.