Medicine is essential for disease management. It is created for the purpose of relieving us from symptoms: physical, mental, or psychological, and it has improved the quality of life for many even if just temporarily. However, if you are someone who relies on medicine for a quick fix but does not address your health and wellness issues at the root cause level, you have a higher chance of overmedication, which does more harm than good.
Overmedication occurs when you are taking more drugs or taking the same drug more than what your body needs. Based on the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Americans use 75% of the globe’s prescription drugs. It is not hard to see how our society has become so dependent on prescription drugs.
Overmedication is a waste of resources because some health issues are preventable and manageable without prescription drugs. They heal when we give the body time to heal and the care it needs. Most prescription drugs (some could argue all) do not address the cause of the symptom or disease. They treat the symptom, not the cause. And when the cause isn’t addressed, it’s a matter of time before other systems in your body start to lose function and new symptoms emerge. When new symptoms emerge, new medications are used to manage those symptoms and the cycle continues: symptoms, meds, more symptoms, more meds, etc.
Aside from that, overmedication may cause severe health problems:
- Addiction and substance abuse disorders – there can be symptoms of withdrawal when not taking medications.
- Mental health concerns – range from inability to focus, impairment of memory, confusion, foggy mind, and mood swings to psychosis, hallucinations, and delusion.
- Drug reactions – rashes and hot flashes.
- Adverse physical side effects – aches and pains, unexplained weight loss or gain, fatigue and exhaustion, loss of balance and motor skills, and increase risk of falling.
If you think you might be overmedicated, consider if you do any of the following:
- Taking too many drugs at once, not minding the time, quantity, and mode of administration.
- Taking medicines before diet and lifestyle changes were considered and tried.
- Taking medicines based on “suspicions of illness,” without consulting a doctor first.
- Taking medications without continuing to support your wellness through diet and lifestyle.
- You present with any of the above-mentioned severe health problems.
- You don’t regularly go over all of your medications and doses with your primary care practitioner and adjust accordingly.
Here are some ways to help you or someone you care about overcome prescription medication abuse:
- Make sure to update your health professionals on all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs, food supplements, prescription drugs, and recreational drugs.
- Keep a medication journal. Make a list of the drugs you take and include their dosage, timing of intake, and method of administration. Record any side effects you feel after taking each drug. Present this to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Request your doctor to reevaluate the drugs that you are taking. Don’t hesitate to ask if you’re taking the right dosage and other concerns such as side effects to watch out for.
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of drug dependency and addiction so you can prevent it from happening to you.
- Above all, you have to keep open and effective communication with your healthcare providers. It is important that they are aware of the medicines you are taking so that they can address your concerns properly.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
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Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!