Painkiller addiction is a life altering experience that can lead to deadly consequences. Opioid painkillers are a type of common prescription medications used to treat a wide variety of pain-related medical problems. Unfortunately, the risk for painkiller dependence and addiction is very high. Many painkiller addicts start out by using their prescribed medication in a safe and legitimate manner. Users feel a sense of pleasant euphoria and calm that becomes something they crave. Tolerance for these medications builds rapidly, so users end up taking higher doses to feel any effects. The powerful feel-good effects produced by these pills combined with increased tolerance is what leads to a dangerous addiction.
Statistics About Painkiller Abuse and Addiction
There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about painkiller addiction and treatment. To understand the addiction and ways to overcome it, it is best to know the truth about painkillers, their effects, and the recovery process.
- Hydrocodone based medications are the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. Common painkillers that include hydrocodone include Vicodin and Lortab. Easy access and liberal prescriptions increase the potential for abuse.
- Physical dependence on opioid painkillers can develop in as little as 14 days.
- There is a misconception that painkillers are safer than street drugs, but this is not true. Painkillers have caused more deaths than both heroin and cocaine combined.
Painkiller Addiction and Subsequent Withdrawal
Many people have difficulties overcoming painkiller addiction due to physical dependence and withdrawal. Physical effects of withdrawal include nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, fatigue, digestive issues, cramping and headaches. The mental effects of withdrawal are equally negative and include anxiety, depression, confusion and irritability. These symptoms can be incredibly difficult to handle alone. Self-treatment and self-detox can be medically dangerous, too. This makes it unlikely for users to successfully recover with proper assistance.
Seeking Inpatient Treatment
Inpatient treatment for painkiller addiction is a proven way to successfully detox and begin the recovery process. Inpatient centers allow users to detox in a safe environment under proper supervision. After the detox process has ended, recovering addicts are guided through the recovery process. Individual assistance and group support are common parts of inpatient treatment. An addict is much more likely to recover when choosing this method of help. Inpatient treatment allows many people to successfully become sober in a healthy, secure and productive environment.