Painkiller Addiction Information You Need to Know

Painkiller addiction is getting worse in the United States.

painkillers addiction information

In fact, many people take narcotic painkillers without a second thought. Their only hope in taking them - at least at first - is to minimize their pain. What they don't realize is that prescription pain medications can become highly addictive.

When doctors prescribe painkillers, these drugs are meant to be used short-term only. They are in no way intended to be considered a go-to treatment for chronic pain. Still, every day, there are people who take pain pills, and they've been doing so for years. Some of these individuals may have formed addictions to these drugs without realizing it.

At the same time, there are those who take painkillers every day purely for the pleasure of getting high.

Both situations are highly dangerous. However, because these pain medications are prescribed by a doctor, they're considered to be safer. In many ways, this assumption makes them some of the most dangerous drugs in the United States.

Perhaps you've been taking pain pills yourself. You've always thought they were much safer for you than other drugs. You never even worried about becoming addicted to painkillers. Unfortunately, so many people are sharing the same experience. It's not too late for you to recover from a painkiller addiction.

If you are a prescription pain medication addict, it's critical for you to learn as much as you can. You need to know:

  • What the different types of addictive pain medications are
  • How common pain reliever abuse and dependence are in the United States
  • The signs and symptoms of painkiller use and abuse
  • The difference between painkiller abuse and addiction
  • How to tell if a loved one has been abusing pain medications
  • Whether or not you are at risk for developing a painkiller addiction
  • The dangers of continuing to abuse prescription pain pills
  • Where to get the painkiller addiction recovery you need to stop

You're in the right place to learn everything you need to know.

Painkillers Addiction Information

What are the Different Types of Addictive Painkillers?

The complaint of pain is one of the most common reasons why people go to the doctor. They suffer from migraines, back pain, and chronic pain syndromes. Some types of pain can be completely debilitating. They can mess with individuals' quality of life, making it impossible to perform even basic, everyday tasks. It's no wonder why narcotic pain relievers are so commonplace today.

The problem is that there are many painkillers that doctors regularly prescribe that are addictive. These pain drugs all have labels on them that warn consumers of their addictive potential. Still, because they came from the doctor, they are regarded as perfectly safe.

The following is a list of some of the most commonly prescribed addictive painkillers on the market today:

  • Fentanyl (Sublimaze, Actiq, Duragesic, Subsys)
  • Stadol (Butorphanol Tartrate)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxy, Oxycodone Hydrochloride)
  • Demerol (Meperidine)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Zohydro ER, Hysingla ER)
  • MS Contin (Morphine)
  • Percocet (Acetaminophen and Oxycodone, Endocet, Primlev, Roxicet, Xartemis XR)
  • Lorcet (Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone, Hycet, Lortab, Norco, Xodol, Zamicet)
  • Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride)
  • Zydone (Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen, Anexsia, Hycet, Maxidone, Vicodin HP)

Do any of these pain drugs look familiar to you? One or more of them may be in your medicine cabinet right now. In fact, one or more of them may be your go-to painkiller for everyday use. They are highly addictive, and it's important for you to know how dangerous they can be.

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Narcotic Pain Reliever Abuse Facts and Statistics

Opioid drugs are the most commonly used painkillers in the United States. They are also the most addictive. Opiate painkillers are responsible for more addictions than most people realize. In fact, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

  • Prescription opiates were responsible for 20,101 overdose deaths in 2015.
  • Between 1999 and 2008, prescription painkiller overdose death rates dramatically increased.
  • The death rate in 2008 was nearly four times the death rate in 1999.
  • In 2009, the painkiller addiction treatment rate was six times what it was in 1999.
  • In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for opioid drugs.
  • Four out of five heroin users begin their drug use by using prescription painkillers.
  • In 2015, 276,000 teenagers reported nonmedical use of pain relievers.
  • 122,000 of them claimed to be painkiller addicts.
  • People will often share their painkillers with others because they are unaware of their addictive potential.
  • The prescribing rates for painkillers among teens and young adults almost doubled between 1994 and 2007.

If these statistics shock you, they should. It is surprising how the rate of painkiller use has gone up in recent years. Today, it is more prevalent than ever. Fortunately, doctors are being more careful about advising their patients about the addictive potential of narcotics. Still, the number of pain pill addicts in the U.S. continues to climb.

What are the Signs of Painkiller Use?

Even when pain pills are being used appropriately, they can still cause significant impairment. If you're using painkillers yourself, you may have exhibited many of the following signs. If you're worried about a loved one's pain reliever use, you probably have noticed these as well.

Some of the more common signs of painkiller use include:

  • Appearing to be very tired and drowsy
  • Itchiness all over the skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constricted pupils
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Bouts of constipation
  • Significant mood swings
  • Slower movements than normal

In the grand scheme of things, these side effects of painkillers may seem to be relatively benign. Most people can handle them when they take pain pills only for a short period of time. However, as pain reliever use continues, these symptoms will increase in their severity. Additional signs will also begin to come forward.

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What is the Painkiller Addiction Definition, and What Sets it Apart from Painkiller Abuse?

“It is hard to understand addiction unless you have experienced it.” - Ken Hensley

What is a painkiller addiction? It's important to understand the definition of pain reliever addiction before you can understand the addiction itself.

When someone is addicted to painkillers, that individual is drawn to take them. He or she feels compelled to use them. There may or may not be a high that results from it. However, the person knows that without painkillers, he or she won't feel normal. If a dose of pain medicine is missed, it's possible to experience withdrawal when you're an addict. Many people do.

There is a difference between painkiller addiction and pain pill abuse. The two terms are sometimes used to mean the same thing. When someone is abusing painkillers, they may be doing one of the following:

  • Taking too much of a particular drug at one time
  • Mixing pain relievers with alcohol to enhance its effects
  • Crushing a pain medication in order to get high faster
  • Taking painkillers too closely together
  • Using pain pills that weren't prescribed for them

The difference between painkiller abuse and addiction is that with abuse, there is no compulsion to use. These individuals may look at it as a recreational activity. They may also be seeking to increase the drug's pain relieving capabilities. If the drug is stopped, there are no withdrawal symptoms.

Painkiller addiction always starts with painkiller abuse. Depending on how much of the drug is used, or how often, dependence can occur at any time. Different drugs can also lead to addiction much faster than others.

Is Your Loved One a Pill Addict? How to Tell if Someone is High on Pills

If you have a loved one whom you suspect is addicted to pain pills, you want to look for signs. If you're fairly new to addiction, and you haven't experienced it much, you won't know what to look for. There are some physical signs that can give you an indication. These include:

  • Experiencing frequent mood swings
  • Seeming to be in a state of euphoria
  • Slurring their speech
  • Flushed, red or itchy skin
  • Appearing sedated, but still trying to talk
  • Having trouble with breathing
  • A sudden onset of seizures

If you're very concerned about pain reliever addiction, you can also look for some behavioral signs. These include:

  • Lying about using pain pills
  • Becoming socially isolated from others
  • Stealing money to get more pain medications
  • Going to many doctors to get prescriptions
  • Constantly thinking about taking pills

You may have additional questions about your loved one's possible pain pill dependence. If you do, taking a family member addiction quiz can really be very helpful for you. This will give you even more insight into the problem.

Who is at Risk of Addiction to Narcotic Pain Relievers?

There are people who are at a greater risk of painkiller addictions than others. Certain risk factors definitely play a role in determining addiction. These risk factors include:

  • Having a past or present addiction to another type of substance
  • Genetic factors that include family addiction histories
  • Being younger - teens and people in their 20s are especially susceptible
  • Having a pre-existing psychiatric condition
  • Being exposed to environmental factors that influence painkiller use and abuse
  • Having easier access to prescription drugs for abuse purposes
  • Not knowing enough about the dangers of prescription painkillers

Even though these risk factors are very real, this does not mean you are destined for addiction. Many people have more than one of the above risk factors, and they still avoid it altogether. However, if you are a painkiller addict, one or more of the above could indicate why.

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The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers Explained

Most people take prescription pain pills without thinking twice about the consequences. These opiate medications can be very dangerous; and even more so once an addiction forms. It's important to know how painkillers can affect your body.

The risk of overdose is very real with prescription pain pills. This is indicated by the number of overdose deaths there are every year. People may increase their dosages on their own in an attempt to relieve their pain. They do this because they begin building up a tolerance to the drug. After a while, the same dosage doesn't work well for them any longer. Too much of an increase can lead to overdose, which can lead to death.

Taking painkillers for a long period of time can also lead to other problems.

These drugs can have a profound effect on the organs in the body. The liver, lungs, intestines and heart can all be impacted. When prescription pain pills are taken by pregnant women, there is a risk of birth defects as well. There have even been reports of some narcotic pain pills leading to mental illness.

Obviously, these drugs are dangerous. If you're a painkiller addict, it's important for you to know what can happen with continued use.

You're Addicted to Pain Pills. Now What?

Either by reading this information, or by taking a prescription medication addiction quiz, you know you're addicted. The question you have is, what can do you about it?

Painkiller addiction treatment is the best option for you. The right prescription drug rehab can provide you with the help you need to recover. It is so important for you to get to the root cause of your addiction. Unless you do that, you're likely to relapse. Relapsing can easily lead to an overdose or a dangerous addiction cycle. It's best to avoid it altogether.

There are many different options for prescription painkiller treatment centers. You need to find the right one for you and your situation. You may find that you need:

All of these are excellent options that are available to you.

How Addiction Recovery for Painkiller Addicts Can Help You

During your painkiller addiction recovery, you'll participate in several forms of treatment. These are all geared toward helping you reach your goal of leaving your addiction behind for good. You'll experience:

  • Detoxification: This may involve weaning you off the painkillers you're currently taking. This process allows your body to minimize any withdrawal symptoms.
  • Individual counseling: Individual therapy is so important. When you talk with your therapist, you'll be in a one on one setting. Together the two of you will discuss what could have led to your addiction. There may be a number of different contributing factors.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy sessions may be on different topics, or they could be part of a 12 Step program. Either way, you'll find this type of treatment to be very rewarding for you. It helps to talk to and hear from others who are facing addictions.
  • Family therapy: Chances are pretty good that your family has been profoundly affected by your pain pill addiction. Family therapy will help you to strengthen those important relationships.
  • Additional forms of treatment: You'll find that you receive your own treatment plan, so it's targeted to your unique needs. You may experience Yoga, meditation therapy or art therapy. There are different methods that work for individual people.

Are You Suffering from Pain Pill Dependence? Painkiller Treatment is Here for You

You may have never realized that you were suffering from painkiller dependence. All this time, you were taking pain medications because you thought you needed them. It's possible that you were even taking them to get high because you thought it was safer than other drugs. Either way, you know now that you have a painkiller addiction. It's important for you to get the help you need for recovery.

As you can see by the statistics, you're certainly not alone. Many people become addicted to narcotic painkillers for the same reason you did.

If quite some time has passed, you may feel as though it's impossible for you to stop using. Please know that it's not. Every year, many people successfully recover from their addictions to pain pills. There's no reason why you can't do it too.

Here at Northpoint Recovery, we have a vast amount of experience with painkiller addiction. Treatment is available to help you be successful in your recovery. We understand that helping you recover is more than just treating your addiction symptoms. We want to dig deeper. We want to uncover the root cause of your painkiller addiction. That is the only way you will be able to experience true healing. Our success rates are very high, and we're eager to talk with you about how we can help you.

Are you suffering from a painkiller addiction? Is it time for you to get some help? If you're ready, or if you would like more information about treatment options, please contact us.

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