Prescription drugs have a big role in healthcare. They are an important tool for any physician. Prescription medicine makes it possible for people to manage symptoms of menopause, recover from PTSD, treat pain and kill bacteria. But there can be too much of a good thing.
Some patients who are prescribed pain medications for surgery fill the prescriptions, but never even use them. Many use far fewer pain meds than they've been prescribed. The pills may tempt other members of the family who use recreationally. Or the patient may be tempted to sell them because of their street value. Several states are developing limits to opioids to combat these issues A three-day limit for each prescription has been seen as a possible solution in several states.
Overprescription can also harm the environment
The drugs people take can end up in the water supply after they've been excreted, or if people flush them. They can affect the development of fish populations. They also contaminate the water supply for humans. It's important to dispose of them appropriately. Each April, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a chance for people to dispose of their unused drugs safely.
This practice is a problem at all levels of medical practice
It's not just physicians in private practice. Ronny Jackson, one-time nominee to run the VA, has been criticized for engaging in this practice. Nicknamed "the Candyman," he has been accused of dispensing drugs casually and not following protocol. He allegedly helped patients find work-arounds for prescription laws. For example, he instructed staff to write prescriptions to one another instead of to the actual patient.
If you struggle with substance abuse, it's important to be aware of doctors who engage in these unethical practices. Helping you skirt the law is not actually helping you in the long run. If you want help to stop using drugs, you need to reach out. The treatment team at The Haven includes medical professionals who monitor withdrawal symptoms for all patients. There's also group and individual therapy.