There are a number of aspects involved in mental health care.

We discussed psychiatric evaluation in our last article. You can see that here. That should always be the first step in developing any treatment plan.

Once that’s done, there are usually two effective tools for treatment – psychotherapy and medication. And when medication is part of the plan, it is vital that any dispensing of medicine is monitored. That is where medication management is involved.

Medication management is a crucial part of treatment at HopeSpring Health. If we prescribe medication, it is important that it is being taken correctly and not abused.

This is a serious concern. It is estimated that as many as 50 percent of patients nationally take their medications incorrectly, and nearly one third do not even fill prescriptions dispensed by their doctors. Emergency rooms are filled with patients who are there because they failed to take their medications correctly.

So, with medication being one of the factors involved in good mental health treatment and improving a patient’s quality of life, medication management is a necessary part of the treatment plan.

At its simplest form, medication management may mean keeping one of those pill boxes labeled by the day of the week and a.m. and p.m. All the patient has to do is follow the directions. On the right day of the week, take the medication called for in the morning or evening. Another step may be knowing if the medicine should be taken with a meal or not at mealtime.

But there’s much more to it than that.

When we add a medication to your treatment plan, we need to look at dosage. Depending on the situation and the patient, a larger or smaller dosage may be required. The only way to learn that is to start taking the medication and see how you respond. After an initial dosage, we can make adjustments as needed.

It is equally important for us to know what other prescriptions you may be taking, in order to avoid complications from mixing the wrong medicines. If we are not aware of what other prescriptions or supplements you are taking, we may create a bigger problem by having you take two different medications that may not complement each other.

There are other good reasons for medication management beyond the immediate mental and physical health of the patient.

Long term, the right medicines can be extremely beneficial, especially with an older population dealing with a variety of issues. As people age, it may become far better to use medication to deal with medical issues when practical, rather than having to undergo a surgical procedure.

Taking the right medicines correctly may also reduce stress for all involved – the patient and any family members who may be helping them.

Finally, while prescriptions obviously have a cost associated with them, it may be minimal compared to the expenses involved with a hospital stay or emergency room visit.

Because of all this when HopeSpring Health includes medication in your treatment plan, we will always incorporate medication management as part of your care.