Self-medication can be defined as the use of medicines or drugs by an individual to treat self without the recommendation by any medical expert.
It is said in the local parlance that, “Whatever has advantage also has disadvantage.” Although, self-medication is dangerous, there are other benefits linked to appropriate self-medication, among them is the increased access to medication and relief for the patient.
Better use of physicians and pharmacists’ skills and reduced burden on government or health facilities due to treatment of minor health conditions.
However, self-medication is far from being a completely safe practice, in particular in the case of non-responsible self-medication. Potential risks of self-medication practices include: incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking medical advice when needed, infrequent but severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, incorrect manner of administration, incorrect dosage, incorrect choice of therapy, masking of a severe disease and risk of dependence and abuse.
Self-medication can also lead to misdiagnosis and incorrect choice of treatment which can lead to reactions and expansion of such sickness.
Self-medication can lead to drug addiction, allergy, habituation, worsening of ailment, incorrect diagnosis and dosage, or even disability and pre-mature death.
For instance, some people have also indulged in self-medication are today addicted to some drugs that are reactional in their bodies. Common amongst them is the abuse of the use of tramadol which many have been addicted to and causing serious problems in the country today.
People tend to take pills as they are consuming candies or sweets. Medicines such as pain relief drugs, cough syrups, laxatives, antibiotics, anti-allergy medicines, vitamins and even antacids are consumed carelessly by some people.
Unfortunately, there is very little or almost no awareness about the disadvantages of self-medication. Sadly, we still go ahead and take doses randomly and don’t even check the composition of the medicine and are clueless about the side-effects of these on our body.
Taking drugs at any time might solve the health challenge but the implication is the side effects such drugs might have the person in future. Even some of the ones that are prescribed have side effects let alone the ones not prescribed.
However, there is need for government to take this as a serious matter because if they do not, more people will go into and get addicted in the process. It might not be easy for security agencies to go after such persons but tackling it from the root ca just be the best way to go.
Investigation carried out shows that some countries including the ones in Africa don’t sell drugs to people without prescription from a medical expert or hospitals.
The same should be adopted in Nigeria otherwise, it might be difficult for government to tackle the generational yet unborn concerning the issue on drug addiction and abuse.