The Mommies Network recently spoke with Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Dr. Carmen Catizone, about the dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse. Dr. Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a licensed pharmacist. He currently serves as a Governor of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Board of Directors and Chair of the PTCB Certification Council. Dr. Catizone is regularly called to serve as an expert witness for the US Government in the areas of pharmacy practice and regulation on both the state and national level issues.
TMN: The hospital gave me pain pills after birth. Why shouldn't I keep them around for headaches or backaches?
Dr. Catizone: Your health can change quickly and your doctor and your pharmacist need to assess your most current personal health information when prescribing and dispensing prescription medications for you. It can be dangerous to attempt to self-diagnose and self-prescribe medications. Symptoms such as headaches and backaches can be indicative of other health issues.
In addition, as with all prescription medications, prescription pain pills should be taken as directed to treat the condition for which they were prescribed. When you bypass your health care providers, you may not get the appropriate treatment and you may not have access to needed medication counseling. Also prescription pain pills that are controlled substances are designated as such because of a potential for addiction or abuse. They are safe to take under the supervision of a doctor, but can be dangerous to take without the advice of your health care providers.
TMN: I can't seem to concentrate. What's the harm in taking my friend's son's ADHD meds?
Dr. Catizone: It can be dangerous to attempt to self-diagnose and self-prescribe medications. In this case, lack of concentration could be related to other health issues; your situation should be assessed by an appropriate health care provider, such as your physician. A condition such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can only be properly diagnosed by a qualified health care provider, and other symptoms and patient history would be considered. Further, specialized tests may be used to make a diagnosis.
ADHD medications such as Adderall® and Ritalin® have a high potential for abuse and must be taken under the supervision of a doctor. Further, taking ADHD medications that are not prescribed for you can cause elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, other cardiovascular complications, or even sudden death.
Join us tomorrow as we wrap up our interview with Dr. Catizone.
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