Physical dependence on a drug suggests that sudden stopping of the drug may result in negative consequences. Addiction to pain killers is an escalating problem today, especially the abuse of opioid pain killers. There are many side effects and adverse reactions that can occur with the use of opioids as pain killers.
Addiction is both a biological and psychological condition. When you’re addicted physically to a 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 drugs or pain killers. Patients can innocently start taking pain killers after a moderate injury or because of a severe injury in an automobile accident, fall or for post surgical pain.
More than 10% of high school seniors have started taking Vicodin for reasons other than reducing pain. Many other drugs can interact with the opioids and cause a variety of symptoms; this can be fatal. Many chronic pain patients may be under-treated as a result of doctors who are trying to gain control over pain killer addiction, they report.
An opioid-dependent pain patient has improved function with the use of the drug while an opioid-addicted patient does not have improvement. Less common 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. Often people who are addicted to pain killers are plagued with various symptoms to different degrees; many times they don’t associate the symptoms with the drug.
Chronic pain affects one out of three or four adults; millions of people suffer from severe disabling pain. 2.2 million people aged 12 and up first abused painkillers within the past year; this is more than the number of people who started using marijuana and has overtaken the use of cocaine. If you think you are addicted and want to get off pain killers or other drugs, it’s best to get detoxified as fast as you can and then go through some type of rehabilitation; it’s important to have others to lean on and learn from and offer support to you.
Taking the time to spend in a treatment center, detoxing, is of the utmost priority. You must leave the routine responsibilities of your life for a week or two or suffer the inevitable outcome and bad health effects of prolonged drug addiction. You must make a change in your lifestyle in order to prevent you from taking pain killers and or other drugs again.
Some insurance companies will pay for one or two weeks; some may pay for rehabilitation too. If you don’t have insurance, check with your local mental health agencies to see what is available that’s free. Find out from your local health professionals where the closest and best pain killer addiction treatment centers are.
Today’s pain killer treatment options are drawn from long-time experience and clinical research from studying and treating other types of drugs and even heroin addiction. It’s important to remember that when people first start taking pain killers for an acute or chronic pain condition, they don’t intend to become addicted. Researchers are steadfastly working on different ways to optimize pain relief while reducing the risk of drug abuse, including reformulating certain drugs.