Have you ever given a friend a painkiller to soothe a sore back? Maybe you gave them an anti-anxiety pill before a long flight? Even if it was not intentional, you might have inadvertently contributed to a serious substance abuse problem. This can increase your friend\u2019s chance for a deadly overdose. It is important to understand the risk of overdose on prescription drugs. Additionally, it is important to understand how family drug connections can play a role in addiction. The more we talk about important subjects like family and overdose risks, the more we can educate ourselves and others on the subject. The Deadly Dealer Next Door The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has studied the causes and effects of substance abuse on Americans for decades. The U.S. population\u2019s reliance on prescription drugs has resulted in the most serious addiction epidemic the country has ever faced. Legislators, law enforcement, and medical professionals originally assumed that people who struggle with addiction buy their supplies on the street. However, it turns out the worst problems result from those who get their drugs from \u201csafe\u201d places. "Safe" places can be extremely common places such as friends and doctors\u2019 offices. This can inadvertently turn into drug addiction. The CDC also found that people who abuse the most prescription drugs engage in an illegal practice called \u201cdoctor shopping." This is where people visit multiple physicians and pharmacies to get more than one prescription. They do this while avoiding detection from the pharmacies. However, these "doctor shoppers" are not at the highest risk of a fatal overdose. Those who are at the highest risk of overdose are those who get drugs for free from friends or family. Those who engage in chronic drug abuse have a higher tolerance and may be less likely to overdose fatally than those with a less severe substance addiction problem. Keep an eye on your friends and family and take note of any suspicious activity that you might see involving drugs. You should stop drug connections when you see them. How Prescription Painkillers Work People who take prescription painkillers develop a tolerance to them. After a while, it requires taking more and more of the drug for the drug to become effective. That is why people who take huge amounts of painkillers do not immediately overdose. The body loses its tolerance quickly, and those who return to using after a long period of abstinence are at a higher risk of overdose. A person who takes painkillers only sporadically is more likely to overdose because the body has not built up a tolerance against the drug and taking too much will stop breathing. This is especially true if that person combines the drug with another depressant, such as alcohol. Therefore, it is extremely important to monitor your use of prescription painkillers. If you are requiring more and more painkillers to help with chronic pain issues, talk to your doctor. They can help you treat the pain in other ways so that there is no chance for addiction in the future. It can be hard to notice the addiction as you get more and more accustomed to taking painkillers, so it is important to not rely on drugs for a long period of time as the body will lose its tolerance. How The Ranch PA Can Help Family And Overdose Risks The bottom line? Casual abuse can be just as deadly as addiction. If you notice that you or a loved one is struggling with casual abuse or prescription abuse, contact The Ranch PA at . We can help you on your path to recovery.