What You Should Know About Painkiller Addiction
Painkillers are analgesics or groups of drugs intended to reduce or ease pain. When it comes to painkillers, addiction is especially dangerous since many are prescribed these medication by a doctor. Addiction begins differently for each individual. It can begin with a prescription from a doctor intended to reduce or manage pain. Once that individual beings to be dependent on the drug or a tolerance builds, that is where abuse can begin and progress into addiction.
Between 26.4 million and 36 million people are estimated to abuse opioids worldwide. The most painkiller use and the greatest increases in abuse occur among young adults ages 18 to 25. Addiction to painkillers can happen quickly. Some reports state that addiction to opioids can occur in just a few days. Doctors who limit the supply of opioids prescribed to three days or less may help their patients to avoid the dangers of dependence and addiction.
Everyone from teens having wisdom tooth surgery to adults suffering from chronic pain can be prescribed painkillers by their physician. These medications, when taken as prescribed, can improve an individual’s quality of life for someone suffering from chronic pain. It’s when individuals begin to take painkillers in ways other than prescribed that addiction can occur. Taking painkillers beyond their intended scope can lead to addiction.
An individual can even continue to use painkillers once their pain has resolved, for fear that it will return again once the drug is stopped. The drug will then become a necessary part of daily life for the individual. Painkiller addiction can also develop as a result of psychological trauma. An individual with a history of depression, anxiety, or abuse may use painkillers as a way of coping. Exposure to the abuse of painkillers and pressure from friends, family, or peer groups can also lead to addiction.
Underlying factors related to biological, psychological, and social factors can contribute to painkiller abuse. It is possible for a person to be more likely to develop an addiction to painkillers based on a genetic predisposition or family history of substance abuse.
Addiction to painkillers can also be a co-occurring disorder with the abuse of other substances, including mood disorders, eating disorders, or alcohol. It is likely that because painkiller addiction is influenced by several factors, abusers may struggle with another form of addiction.
If you are concerned that you’ve crossed the line with your painkiller medications there are signs, including:
- Thinking about your medication a lot.
- Taking different amounts than prescribed by your doctor.
- You begin doctor shopping.
- You get painkillers from sources other than your doctor.
- You’ve been using painkillers for an extended amount of time.
- You become angry if someone talks to you about it.
How can you know if someone you love is addicted to painkillers? Below is a list of signs and symptoms of withdrawal to look out for.
- Increased respirations
- Drug cravings
- Tremors or shaking
- Enlarged pupils
- Loss of appetite
Treatment of Painkiller Addiction
Addiction to painkillers is treated with medically assisted detox at an inpatient addiction treatment facility followed by continued treatment at an intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment facility. An intensive outpatient facility provides those in recovery from painkiller addiction with specialized continued therapies plus training in the treatment of co-occurring disorders.
To get help with painkiller addiction for yourself or a loved one, please contact the addiction experts at A New Start, Inc. today at 1.844.TALK.ANS.