Misuse or abuse: The use of illicit, prescription or over-the-counter drugs in a manner other than as directed.

Did you know West Virginia has the highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States?

There are stories in the news almost every day about a drug overdose or a doctor prescribing too much of a certain drug. It is true that prescription drugs can do wonders when used correctly, but misuse can have dire consequences. Because drug abuse is becoming an epidemic, there is always a way to help prevent it from spreading.

  • Educate: People should be informed and well versed on the usage and types of prescription drugs that are on the market. If you feel uncomfortable about using a certain type of drug that has been prescribed to you by a certified doctor, do not be afraid to learn more about it or ask for a different prescription.
  • Storage: How do you store your medication? Make sure you have an understanding of how you should store your prescription drugs and when to dispose of unused medication.
  • Alternative Treatments: If a different form of treatment is available, would you use it instead of a prescription drug? Find out the facts and information about alternative treatment methods.
  • Trained Physicians: When finding a new doctor, do your research and make sure they are certified. You can check on the American Board of Medical Specialties’ website or call 1-866-ASK-ABMS to see if your doctor is board certified.

Knowing the facts and keeping informed are two of the many ways to stop this increasing epidemic. Drug overdoses are not always the person’s fault, more so when there are enablers. If you or someone you know is having trouble with prescription drug abuse, contact one of the many helplines available.

If you are the victim of being prescribed the incorrect medication, you may be entitled to compensation for your personal injuries. This often includes medical expenses, hospital expenses, rehabilitation, pain and suffering. Contact a personal injury lawyer if you think you have a case.