Prescription drugs are easy to find and replace. Just get a prescription, fill it and you’ve got pain relief, sedation, or help concentrating (from opioids, depressants or stimulants respectively). However, the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs has been on the rise since the 90’s. Teens, college students, young adults and even the elderly are subject to an increased trend to take prescription drugs for non-prescription use. Perhaps if you are reading this, you are using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. If you are ready to seek help for prescription drug addiction, call 1-800-662-HELP.
Although I believe prescription drugs can be misused, I do realize that people will continue to order prescription drugs from online sources. In the spirit of doing this safely, and to avoid even bigger health problems, I offer the following suggestions to help you distinguish good pharmacy websites from questionable no prescription pharmacy websites.
10 ways protect yourself when looking for drugs online
1. Do a background check of the pharmacy with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) or the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice (VIPP) website.
2. Look for privacy and security policies that are easy to find and easy to understand. Make sure that the site will not sell your personal information unless you agree.
3. Make sure the site provides contact information.
4. Make sure the site has a pharmacist available for questions.
5. Make sure the site allows you to talk to a person if you have problems or questions.
6. Don’t buy from sites that sell products that are not approved by the FDA.
7. Don’t provide personal information (social security number, credit card, medical history, etc.) unless you are sure the site will protect it.
8. Buy only from licensed online pharmacies located in the United States.
9. Avoid sites that offers prices that are dramatically lower than the competition. These sites might sell you products that contain the wrong active ingredient, too much / too little of the active ingredient, or dangerous ingredients.
10. Remember that selling prescription drugs without a prescription is against the law. Pharmacy sites that do sell drugs without a prescription are not regulated by the U.S.
Feel free to add to this list. Or let me know what you think of it. As always, I will publish any reasonable comment, question or feedback. Here’s a quick little equation to work out or comment on. How will internet access to legal or illegally distributed prescription drugs affect use?
Prescription drugs = pain meds, sedatives and stimulants
Internet = access to pharmaceutical providers
Internet + sales of prescription drugs = ???