When you’re addicted physically to any drug, like pain killers or alcohol, etc., it’s because you’ve suppressed or shut down your body’s production of endorphins, which are natural opiate pain killers; when this happens you start craving the drug that you replaced the endorphins with whether it’s alcohol, any of a number of other drugs or pain killers. Many other drugs can interact with opioids and cause a variety of symptoms; this can be fatal. Addiction to pain killers is a rapidly escalating problem today, especially the abuse of opioid pain killers.
Less commonly known side effects and adverse reactions of pain killers are: confusion, hallucinations, delirium, hives, itching, hypothermia, bradycardia (slow heart rate), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), raised intracranial pressure, ureteric or biliary spasm, muscle rigidity and flushing to name a few. Patients can innocently start taking pain killers, for example, after a moderate injury or because of a severe injury in an automobile accident, fall or for post surgical pain. And more than ten percent of high school seniors have started taking Vicodin for reasons other than reducing pain to complicate matters.
Opioids should never be taken when drinking alcohol (some people still don’t realize it’s also a drug) or when alcohol may still be present in the system. There are a number of effective treatment options to treat pain killer addiction to prescription opioids and to help manage the severe withdrawal symptoms that can sometimes accompany sudden stopping of pain killers or other drugs. Treatment options for pain killer addiction include: medications, like methadone and LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol), and behavioral counseling; usually, the patient is medically detoxified before any treatment approach or counseling is begun.
Often people addicted to pain killers are plagued with different symptoms to different degrees; many times they don’t associate the symptoms they’re having with the drug. Opioids, used as the doctor has prescribed, are supposedly not dangerous according to some well-established medical groups; but if that’s the case, why are so many people addicted to them? There is a difference: An opioid-dependent pain patient has improved function with the use of the drug while an opioid-addicted patient does not have improvement.
There are many side effects and adverse reactions that can occur with the use of opioids used as pain killers. More than 415,000 people received treatment for pain killer abuse or addiction last year. Chronic pain affects one out of three or so adults and millions of people suffer from severe disabling pain.
Many insurance plans cover inpatient detoxification, check your plan if you have insurance. It’s important to go through rehab following your detox stay; make it a big part of your plan of action. Taking the time to spend in a treatment center, detoxing, is of the utmost priority. Get started now.
If you don’t have insurance, check with your local mental health agencies to see what is available that’s free. There are many free programs to help people with pain killer addictions. Find out from your local health professionals and agencies where the closest and best pain killer addiction treatment centers are. It’s important to get help and not to try getting off pain killers on your own.
Again if you think you have an addiction to pain killers think about getting detoxed as soon as possible; you can do it, thousands have done it before you and live wonderful lives. The effort by doctors and other health professionals to reduce pain medication abuse is causing serious problems for patients who legitimately need the drugs. What should people, and patients with chronic pain problems or conditions, do to avoid the possibility of addiction is an ongoing burning question, if there is no other recourse for their pain.