Antibiotics like Amoxil and Flagyl, as well as sexual performance enhancers like Blue Pill and Viagra, are the most commonly misused medications in Kenya. Prescription drug abuse refers to taking a medication in a way or dose that is not prescribed. Taking someone else's drugs, even if you have a legitimate medical complaint like pain, not finishing the entire prescribed course, taking a medication to feel euphoria, such as to get high, or taking a drug due to peer pressure, such as to improve sexual performance, are all examples of drug misuse. In Kenya, it is simple for anyone, whether a toddler or an adult, to purchase any drug from a drugstore. Several pharmacists do not ask for prescriptions and are unconcerned about the drug's user; this has resulted in increased access to prescription drugs, resulting in misuse and overuse.
What are the negative consequences of drug abuse?
Resistant to Drugs
When bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or diseases lose their ability to respond to medicines, infections become more difficult to treat, increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness, and death. The most common causes of medication resistance are drug abuse and antibiotic overuse. Resistance makes infections more difficult to treat because the available drugs can no longer fight the infection, forcing patients to undergo further treatments procedures such as surgery or lack treatment completely.
Increased Medical Expenses
Patients' medical costs rise as a result of medication resistance since they may need to spend more money on more expensive drugs or treatment options.
Hospitalization for an extended period
Due to increased severity of sickness, mutation, and a lack of a better treatment plan, drug resistance might result in disease progression, resulting in prolonged hospital admissions for patients.
Increase the number of deaths
Lack of treatment for communicable infections can lead to an increase in the spread of a disease among a broader population. Due to mutation and a lack of a better treatment strategy, drug misuse and overuse can lead to drug resistance, resulting in higher mortality.
What are the options for reducing the misuse of prescription drugs?
You can help safeguard our antibiotics by informing the public about the dangers of drug abuse and overuse.
1. Educate yourself
Prescription drug users, their guardians, and prescribers must all be educated on the effects of the drugs on their health. To ensure that pharmaceuticals are used as prescribed and any side effects are reported and dealt with appropriately, patients must be educated on the consequences of drug misuse and overuse. Combating prescription drug misuse and abuse in the community requires educating adolescents and their parents about the adverse effects and risks of drug misuse and abuse.
2. Medication storage and disposal that is safe
Medication storage and disposal properly and safely reduce the chances of easy access. Drugs should be kept out of reach of youngsters and in a secure location to prevent illegal access by family members or friends. If you use addictive medications, keep them out of reach of children and teenagers.
3. Monitoring of prescription drugs
Doctors are more likely to dole out prescription painkillers today than they were ten years ago, and pharmacists are less likely to have prescription drug registries. Prescription registries should be developed by pharmacists, and a mandatory check should be performed before the administration of pharmaceuticals to identify potential drug over-prescribing and misuse. The government needs to step up its fight against unlicensed pharmacies and build a robust auditing system to track all pharmaceutical drug distribution networks.