Accidental Deaths Occur Daily
Pain pill addiction and overdosing have become an epidemic in the United States. In many instances, serious injury or death occurs when mistakes are made by those who are taking their pain medication prescribed to them for the right reasons, and not abusing drugs in any way. Some of these mistakes are, unfortunately, causing accidental deaths that could be avoided.
I came across an article on WebMD recently that touched on some pain medication mistakes that people commonly make. The list was compiled by pharmacist Kristen A. Binaso (spokeswoman for the America Pharmacists Association), and pain specialist Eric R. Haynes, MD (founder of Comprehensive Pain Management Partners in Trinity, Florida).
Avoid These Mistakes to Stay Safe
In an attempt to spread the awareness of these preventable mistakes that are killing people, I am recapping the mistakes and spreading the news. Please continue to share this news with friends and loved ones to help save lives. Here are nine mistakes to avoid:
- The belief that if one pill feels good, two must be better. Only take the recommended or prescribed dosage of medication given by your doctor, or you could suffer serious adverse effects, or even death. Another common mistake is taking another type of pain pill in an attempt to rid pain. Certain combinations can be deadly.
- Duplication overdosing. People who take over-the-counter drugs or prescription drugs without reading the label are putting themselves at risk for injury. If another drug is taken, and you don’t realize you are doubling the dosage of an ingredient by taking this other drug, an overdose could occur.
- Drinking while taking medications that warn against it. If the label on your prescription medication displays a “no alcohol” symbol (an image of a martini glass with a slash through it), you should avoid drinking beer, wine or liquor.
- Drug interactions. Before you take a pain pill, you need to be aware of any other medications, herbs or supplements you are taking. The wrong combination can be dangerous, and possibly even deadly. Talk to your pharmacist and make sure your doctor knows all medications you are taking before another is prescribed.
- Drugged driving. Avoid driving while taking pain medication. You are risking your life and the lives of others.
- Sharing prescription pain medications with family or friends. Unfortunately, this is quite common and can be very serious. The person you share with may have a problem or an allergic reaction to the drug you give them that you may not be aware of. This could be life threatening.
- Not talking to the pharmacist about your medication. Ask your pharmacist if there are any symptoms you should look out for while taking your medication. Reading the labels on pill bottles can be confusing and your pharmacist can clear up any questions you may have.
- Keeping expired drugs around. Were you aware that once pills pass their expiration date, they begin to break down? Taking outdated medication is a common mistake that lands many people in the emergency room. You could have a negative reaction to a breakdown product that can be very dangerous. Throw out unused, expired drugs.
- Breaking unbreakable pills. When pills are dismantled the incorrect way, the pill may not work, or it may harm you. If a pill doesn’t have a score mark across it, don’t cut it!
Communicate with Health Professionals
It is my hope that you maintain open lines of communication with your doctor and your pharmacist so that you can take the precautions necessary for taking medication safely. Do your research, be aware of the dangers, and avoid these nine mistakes that can mean the difference between life and death.