How might someone living at home still be able to die from pain pill addiction complications?
Managing a serious medical condition at home is often simpler and more affordable than being treated at a medical facility or rehab center. However, a person’s medications must be carefully monitored by the patient or a visiting nurse, along with regular doctor’s office visits, to ensure proper dosing. This is especially important with pain pills, as there is a growing epidemic of pain pill addiction and abuse that is responsible for numerous complications, including overdose issues and even fatalities.
A patient with a pain killer prescription needs to be monitored by a doctor to prevent pain pill addiction problems. Most heavy duty painkillers are portioned out to a patient on a weekly or monthly basis. If the patient asks for more medicine before the next prescription is due, he or she will likely be denied or have to explain to the doctor why more medication is needed. In addition, the doctor should schedule checkups with the patient on a regular basis to monitor the painkiller’s effect on the symptoms as well as other areas of the patient’s body and health. Side effects must be noted. Serious complications should be avoided or treated if necessary. For example, pain pill addiction can be prevented by switching the patient to another medication. Drug interactions can be monitored to protect the patient against severe complications like allergic reactions, erratic heart rate, breathing difficulties, or mood changes. Patients who don’t keep their doctor’s visits may stop receiving painkiller prescriptions until the doctor can resume regular follow-up examinations. Doctors should clearly explain life-threatening symptoms that cannot be ignored so the patient can recognize them and get help when needed by visiting the doctor, an ER, or calling the paramedics.
Patients who are prescribed pain pills should be trustworthy to use the medication as prescribed. Those with a history of pain pill addiction or who are irresponsible in reporting problems related to the medication should be closely watched for side effects and given limited or controlled doses of medication to help prevent complications from arising. Patients should be willing to report changes in their bodily functions or thought processes while taking pain pills. They must be able to recognize a growing physical or psychological dependence on painkillers and be willing to tell the doctor so treatment can be adjusted to discourage pain pill addiction. Non-compliant patients may need to have their medication switched or transfer treatment to a pain management center. They need to indicate they understand the serious nature of their medication and the potential side effects that can lead to serious medical issues or even death from an overdose, reaction, or drug interaction.
Patients living at home who are taking pain pills on a regular basis can undergo pain pill addiction and should have a support system in place to help provide family support and assistance when needed. For example, a relative may note symptoms the patient might be unaware of, such as a stumbling gait, slurred speech, or extreme drowsiness. Signs like these may point to a potential drug overdose from pain pill addiction, or reaction that may lead to fatal consequences if left untreated. A family member should have the doctor’s name and contact information in case questions arise about the patient’s response to or use of painkiller medications.
As the number of prescription painkillers being used today continues to skyrocket, greater awareness is needed in monitoring the use of pain pills at home in order to avoid pain pill addiction. Doctor, patient, and supervisory family members need to know the danger signs to watch for and report them promptly to help the patient avoid serious consequences or death.