Developing an addiction to painkillers can happen to anyone, and this type of addiction often sneaks up so unexpectedly that it can suddenly catch a person off guard. Painkiller addictions are typically opioid addictions, and they can begin when a person takes prescription painkillers at the advice of a doctor. Here are several things to understand about addictions to pain killers.
Many people get hooked legally
If you are hooked on painkillers, there is a good chance the addiction developed slowly and legally. For many people in this position, the addictions did not start off by a person seeking drugs off the street. Instead, a person goes to a doctor for pain relief. The doctor prescribes an opiate drug, such as oxycodone, and the person takes it as directed. Within a few weeks or months, the person starts taking more pills than prescribed, because the original dosage no longer offers pain relief. After doing this for a while, the person keeps taking more pills each time, simply to feel normal.
The ingredients are addictive
While doctors will warn people that the ingredients in many painkillers are addictive, there are a lot of people that can take them and never develop a problem. If a person has an addictive personality, he or she should stay away from addictive types of painkillers; however, many people do not realize just how addictive they are.
Painkillers that contain opiates slowly change a person's brain as he or she takes the drugs. At first, the pills provide some relief for pain and may even make the person feel a little euphoric. After a while, though, the brain begins to develop a reliance for the pills, because the brain stops producing certain chemicals. Therefore, a person will continue taking pills, and increasing the dosages of the pills, just to feel normal. This is how people get hooked on painkillers.
Some people will turn to street drugs
Because it is hard to get prescription painkillers and because they are expensive, people who are hooked on them may turn to street drugs for relief. They may turn to heroin, for example, as this drug offers the same feelings and relief, and people are often able to drugs such as heroin easier and for less money than trying to find prescription painkillers.
If you believe you are addicted to painkillers, you should consider getting professional help. It is not easy to break any type of drug addiction, and it often requires professional help, but it is the best thing you can do for your health, your life, and your family. Contact a center, like The Lakes Treatment Center, for more information.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!