Painkillers are powerful drugs that come from the opium poppy. There are hundreds of painkillers in varying strengths and formulas, many of which result in painkiller addiction. Some provide instant relief and are short-acting, while others are meant for long-term use. Still, all painkillers work in the same way in the brain, produce similar effects, and so all can result in a painkiller addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling, our painkiller rehab center can help you today. Call to get help now
Kinds of Opiate Painkillers
Opiate painkillers are drugs that contain morphine. Morphine occurs naturally in the opium poppy but can also be synthesized, or created artificially. For hundreds of years, people all over the world have relied on morphine to relieve pain, reduce cough, and stop diarrhea. Medical professionals consider morphine the “gold standard” of painkillers.
Another opiate painkiller is codeine, which was discovered in 1832. Today, codeine is the most commonly prescribed drug in the world. Other powerful opiates include Fentanyl and Dilaudid. Opiates come in tablet, suppository, liquid, patch, and injectable form.
Not all opium products are legal. Heroin, for example, also comes from the opium poppy and is more powerful and addictive than morphine. Heroin was first made available by the drug company Bayer when it sold the drug as an antidote for morphine addiction. It did not take long before the federal government declared heroin illegal.
All opiate painkillers are highly addictive. They produce tolerance and physical dependency and cause severe withdrawal symptoms requiring professional help at a painkiller rehab center to safely detox. The opiates of today are even more powerful than those created long ago. This makes painkiller addiction more prevalent today than in the past.
The Dangers of Opioids
Some drugs blend an opiate painkiller with an over-the-counter medicine like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These partial synthetic drugs are called opioids. Like opiates, opioids come in a variety of forms. Some common opioids are Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet.
While it might seem that opioids are less dangerous than opiates, this is not the case. Some people who die from an overdose of opioid drugs actually die from the liver toxicity made by the over-the-counter drug.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids represent the worst substance abuse epidemic ever faced in the U.S. Opioid ER visits rank second only to alcohol. This means more people visit a hospital emergency room after an opioid overdose than after a traffic accident.
Many who suffer a fatal opioid overdose do so after getting a pill from a family member or friend. Those who develop a painkiller addiction to opioids are less likely to overdose than those who try it once or take a Vicodin with a few beers every once in a while.
Common Narcotic Painkillers
Narcotic painkillers are opiates and opioids that are prescribed for common ailments like back pain or broken bones. Narcotic painkillers include:
- Fentanyl (Duragesic)
- Percocet (oxycodone)
The speed and power with which a painkiller works depend on the strength of the drug and how the drug is administered. Injecting the painkiller into a vein provides the strongest and fastest effect. It is also the fastest route to painkiller addiction. Sometimes people chop up a pill and snort the powder. In the case of heroin, the substance can also be smoked.
How Painkillers Work
Once a painkiller enters the body, it overrides how the brain manages the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a natural chemical produced by the brain to make the body feel good. Painkillers release huge amounts of dopamine all at once. This depletes the brain’s stores of dopamine but also provides a “rush.”
Abusing painkillers, again and again, causes big changes in the brain. It is these changes that result in physical dependency and addiction. Painkiller addiction trains the brain to believe that drugs are necessary to feel good. As use of the painkiller continues, the brain becomes tolerant of the drug’s effects. This forces the person to take more and more drugs to reach the same “high.” Eventually, the brain cannot manage the flow of dopamine without the painkiller.
This combination of dependence and tolerance is why painkiller addicts must take large quantities of pills simply to feel normal. If you or a loved one are suffering from addiction, our painkiller rehab center can help you today. Call to get help now
Identifying Painkiller Abuse and Painkiller Addiction
People who abuse painkillers demonstrate easily readable signs. Although all painkillers produce side effects, people who abuse painkillers suffer worse side effects. In fact, the more a person uses a painkiller, the harder it is to quit.
The signs of painkiller addiction include:
- Getting multiple prescriptions to avoid “running out”
- Taking more than the prescribed dose, or taking the drug more often than necessary
- Lying about how much drug use is going on
- Mood swings, where deep relaxation is followed by irritability or anxiety
- The onset of flu-like withdrawal symptoms when no drugs are available
- Nodding off at unusual times
- Worsening problems with relationships, at work, or with money
- Spending more time alone or with a new crowd
- Switching to a harder drug, such as heroin, because the painkiller has gotten too expensive or the prescription has run out
It is important to remember that a person who has been taking painkillers for a long time but who still feels the original pain symptoms may be drug-dependent but is not addicted.
Beating Prescription Drug Addiction
Painkiller addiction happens when the body relies on the narcotic so much that the person will continue taking the drug even after the original pain that created the need for a prescription has gone.
Unfortunately, painkiller addiction can mean that suddenly quitting the drug results in uncomfortable, even painful, symptoms. These symptoms can be so intense that the person will return to using the drug to avoid that feeling of withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms include:
- nausea and vomiting
- depression and anxiety
- irritability and mood swings
- profuse sweating and chills
If these symptoms sound familiar, it could mean that you or someone you love has a prescription painkiller addiction.
The good news is that with professional help at our painkiller rehab center, you or your loved one can recover and lead a sober, productive, pain-free life. At 12 Keys Rehab, we help people who are addicted to painkillers and other prescription drugs return to their healthy lifestyles, even if they have tried rehab before.
Getting Help at Our Painkiller Rehab Center
12 Keys Painkiller Rehab Center helps clients get sober every day. Whether your problem began with a legitimate prescription or you started abusing painkillers casually, 12 Keys Rehab can help. Call to get help now
Most medical experts agree that long-term individualized care in an inpatient setting offers the best treatment outcomes. The JourneyPure staff provides a comprehensive evaluation that takes into account all aspects of the painkiller addiction. We will design a recovery plan customized for your needs that draws from behavioral and psychiatric therapies, 12-Step care, and adventure therapy to remind you how fun sober living can be.
Don’t spend another minute trapped inside addiction. Call our painkiller rehab center today for more information and find your path to freedom.