Painkillers and Abuse

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Painkillers and Abuse

Commonly Abused Painkillers
A person may never begin taking painkillers with the intent to become addicted, but the potential is always there. In recent years,prescription medication has become the second most commonly abused class of drugs in the world, and this is one dependency that no one should ever leave up to chance. Every individual should be able to identify some of the most addictive prescription painkillers, know when using these pills becomes an addiction, and what can be done to permanently treat a life-altering dependency to prescription medication.

Who Gets Addicted and Why?

One of the reasons that painkiller addictions are so devastating is the fact that many patients start off using them because of a doctor’s recommendation. Unfortunately, this medication is also easy to acquire illegally and is exceptionally popular for recreational use. There is no single deciding factor that will determine who gets addicted to painkillers and who can use them with apparently no issues. Some people have a family history of addictive behavior while others may be coping with a mental disorder or past trauma. This is one disease that must be quickly and professionally treated no matter the cause of the addiction.

Commonly Abused Painkillers

Painkillers are abused for a wide variety of reasons. For many people, taking a large dose of these drugs will lead to feelings of euphoria. Many describe these feelings like being drunk with an increased sense of well-being and confidence. Addicts will often find themselves using whatever painkillers that they can get, but there are a few that remain the most popular. This includes opium, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine. Some of the brand names for these types of drugs include:
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycontin
  • Dilaudid
  • Percocet
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet
  • Methadose

Signs of a Painkiller Addiction

The signs of a painkiller addiction resemble an addiction to almost any other drug or alcohol. The individual that is addicted will go out of their way to acquire the drug no matter how much it costs or what risks they are taking. Studies now show that an exceptionally large percentage of crimes are committed by those attempting to fund their addiction or under the influence of prescription drugs. The addict may become irritable or even violent when they do not have access to their drugs. They may also carry out unsafe activities such as unprotected sex, driving under the influence, or binging on the substance for long periods.

What Kind of Help Is Out There?

With over 6 million Americans regularly abusing prescription medication, it is an unfortunate fact that relapse rates are relatively high. This is why anyone that is addicted to these drugs or has a loved one that is struggling with an addiction should have a long-term plan for sobriety. If the addiction is severe or has taken place for an extended amount of time, then a detox period may be necessary. Detox will generally last for a minimum of a few days, but the withdrawal effects will almost always carry over into the second or third week. Patients often describe “flu” like symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, goosebumps, cold sweats, nausea, and vomiting.

It is vital for everyone to have a plan for transitioning into a long-term rehabilitation program. These may be comprised of of inpatient programs, outpatient services, or a mixture of these options. Inpatient programs are much more effective and will last for anywhere from 30 to 90 days. The individual will then be able to create a support group as they rebuild a life free from prescription painkiller abuse.