Individuals who are dependent on medication to control chronic medical and mental health conditions need to pay particular attention to maintaining a stable supply. This involves careful planning and consultation with doctors to ensure that all needs are covered in the event of any situation that will prevent access to refills. Let’s take a look at some areas of concern that should be addressed now so that problems do not emerge in the future.
Determine what medications are essential to health and well-being as opposed to non-essential options. Only you can decide which is which, and taking an honest look at your medical needs will help you to ascertain what medications you need and what prescriptions you can live without for extended periods of time. For example, you may need a medication that keeps your blood thin or regulates the heart. On the other hand, anti-anxiety, pain or sleep medication may not be an absolute necessity. Focus on accumulating supplies so that you have a couple of months of reserves on hand in case of an emergency.
Look at Expiration Dates
Most medications have a limited shelf-life, and it is important that you do not establish supplies that extend far into the future. You don’t want to consume expired medication as many of their chemical properties alter over time. Their effectiveness as well as interaction with biological systems in the body can be altered and may present a serious health risk. Develop a storage system that ensures that you will not run into taking expired medications unless you know for a fact that they will not cause harm.
Try to wean yourself off, or at least minimize the use of non-essential medications so that you will not suffer from withdrawal symptoms in the future. Some medications require a long and managed approach when reducing doses, and you don’t want to be dealing with this during an emergency. Remember that in a SHTF situation, you may not be able to get new supplies and you want to be prepared for that eventuality long before this becomes an issue.
Make sure that you are storing medications according to manufacturer specifications and doctor recommendations. This will help to prolong their shelf-life while also maximizing quality. This usually requires keeping items in a cool and dry place unless they require refrigeration or immediate use. Label and date prescriptions so that you rotate supplies and use the older ones first in order to minimize waste.
Consider asking your doctor for antibiotics to be kept on hand. While there is a pervasive concern that excessive prescriptions for antibiotics will create resistance to bacteria, some doctors will be happy to write you a prescription for a backup supply. Infections can come at any time and lead to serious medical problems if they are not controlled, and taking antibiotics early on can go a long way with controlling their spread.
Take the time to organize your medications now and establish a long-term supply whenever possible. This will go a long way with respect to avoiding complications with health conditions while also facing stressful and uncertain situations. It is easy to take access to medication for granted because of their abundance. However, it will not take much to cause a disruption in supplies to create serious emergencies, and it is important to be prepared for that possibility.