As physicians provide youth and adults with prescription drugs, they play an important role in preventing prescription drug abuse and explaining their patients about its dangers. Important steps that a physician must follow are:
- They should maintain thorough records of patients’ prescriptions.
- They should make sure that prescription pads are safeguarded to prevent theft.
- They should discuss with all patients the information regarding the medications they have prescribed, along with the dangers of prescription drug abuse. Such conversations are very important when patients are prescribed medications, which can cause physical and psychological dependence.
- They should examine for adolescent prescription drug abuse by asking about the individual’s substance abuse history and which medications he or she is using and why.
- They should use medication agreement forms that describe the correct amount of medication to take and methods to observe abuse.
- They should caution parents and grandparents of adolescents not to share their prescription medications with others, to keep all medications away in a hidden location in the home, and to properly dispose of old and/or unused medications.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans (approximately 191 million people) visit primary care physician once in every 2 years. So, these doctors are in a unique position that not only prescribes medications, but also identifies prescription drug abuse.
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