Most of people get sick once a while no matter how healthy they are. When the symptoms become severe or the patients feel uncomfortable, they may go to see a doctor. Usually the health-care providers write prescriptions because medicines are a very modern and effective method to treat the illness. It is estimated that physicians write prescription in more than two-thirds of doctor visits in America.

The proper use of medicine is very important. It is not as easy as people think. Medicine misuse is a common problem in America. The medicines include both prescription and nonprescription. That is why the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCP IE) calls this health issue "America's other drug problem." Medicine misuse can lead to various problems. It may delay the healing of illness.

In other cases, it may cause illness becomes chronic. For example, when medicine is used to treat infection, patients must continue to take medicine if the symptoms become better or disappear. Otherwise, the illness is not totally healed. The patient will have the infection again in the near future. To use medicine properly, patients should understand what the medicine is, what it is for, what the instruction is to take it. Whenever patients have questions or concerns, they must ask health professionals for help.

They must make sure clear answers are provided. Patients must ask what the side effect of the medicine is and whether it is severe. If patients take other medicines, they must mention it to the physicians or pharmacists to see if the conflict exists. In addition, patients must take the medicine by following the instructions. If medicine is used appropriately, it can cure the illness effectively and avoid various problems causing by the medicine misuse. Thus the "America's other drug problem" will no longer be an issue..