Throughout the US, people are becoming more addicted to prescription painkillers than ever. The sad part is that these are controlled substances and are being abused by people of all ages. Younger addicts use prescription painkillers for recreational purposes rather than using them for their actual purpose of relieving pain. Painkillers come in different brands, generic and non-generic; they are also in different strengths. The stronger the pill, the more relief; however, the stronger the addiction becomes also.
Multiple Uses for Prescription Painkillers
Painkillers are easily prescribed for multiple reasons. Every day people get into car accidents, fall, or find themselves accidentally hurt in some other manner. These people are prone to fall into the addiction of painkillers. They go to the doctor or hospital and they are prescribed painkillers. The pills temporarily relieve the pain; however, after a while the tolerance of the medication comes into play. People then need a higher dose to relieve their pain.
Warning Signs of Painkiller Addiction
Some of the warning signs for painkiller addiction are listed below:
- Changes in personality such as increased/decreased energy levels and mood swings
- Forgetfulness and carelessness
- Change in appearance such as weight loss/gain, flu-like withdrawal symptoms, glazed eyes, and sleep pattern changes
- Socially withdrawn from family and friends
- Becomes easily defensive and confrontational
People addicted to painkillers often find themselves worried about not having their fix. They will plan out their doses according to the amount of pills they have left. There are many statistics to prove that the younger generations are becoming easily addicted to painkillers.
A Few Statistics on Painkiller Abuse
Below are a list of common statistics of painkiller usage:
- The most commonly abused drugs are prescription painkillers.
- Approximately 1 out of 4 teenagers will abuse painkillers before they graduate high school.
- People between the ages of 18 and 34 show the highest rate of addiction to painkillers.
- The most common drug-related deaths are as a result of painkiller abuse.
- Women are more likely to abuse painkillers than men because it is more socially acceptable than illegal drugs.
- Women are more likely to abuse painkillers as a release of their problems.
- Men are more likely to use prescription painkillers as a way to feel good.
- Teens who abuse painkillers are more likely to show delinquent behavior and are more likely to become depressed.
- About 55% of abusers get their painkillers through family members and friends.
- People in relationships are more likely to abuse painkillers if their significant other is an abuser.
- Only 4% of abusers get their painkillers from a street source such as a drug dealer or stranger.
It is never easy giving up something that brings pleasure; however, if this pleasurable substance is addictive and dangerous to one’s body it shouldn’t be so easily obtained. Doctors should start reconsidering their prescriptions when writing them out. If these controlled substances were more controlled, these facts and statistics would change for the better, as would the lives of the abusers that have such easy access to their substance.