To most people, painkillers are harmless substances. While it may be true that certain painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen are safe when people use them appropriately, other painkillers have the potential to be addictive and deadly. Learn more about how a painkiller addiction can develop, why it develops and what you can do to overcome an addiction.
Painkiller Use to Painkiller Abuse
The biggest question many people have is how an addiction to painkillers develops in the first place. In a lot of cases, a painkiller addiction doesn’t happen with intent. In fact, many people who eventually develop an addiction to painkillers just want to follow medical advice and feel better.
When people are in a car accident, dealing with a lingering sports injury or are in recovery from surgery, they might receive prescription painkillers. Using painkillers isn’t necessarily a problem, but it can become one in the future.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that prescription painkillers can begin to work too well. The body appreciates that using painkillers means less pain and more mobility. Some people even experience an uptick in mood thanks to greater comfort when on painkillers.
Over time, however, people might start to want larger doses of the painkillers. In addition, they might want to increase the frequency of the dose. If doctors stop prescribing the medication, then they might have to look elsewhere to maintain the way they feel. This can lead to prescription drug abuse in many forms.
Recognizing an Addiction to Painkillers
One of the hardest parts about treating an addiction to painkillers is that many people don’t recognize the problem in the first place. Often, this is because of the idea that prescription drugs are safe. In reality, prescription drugs are powerful substances that can be just as addictive as street drugs like heroin or cocaine. In fact, some opioid prescription painkillers are chemically similar to heroin and might even be stronger.
One sign of an addiction to a painkiller is an increase in tolerance. This means that users want or need to take more of the painkiller than before to achieve the same feeling. Over time, the body adjusts to prescription drugs. The same amount won’t be sufficient, so the body will crave larger and larger amounts just to feel the same effects.
The exact signs of a painkiller addiction vary from one person to the next. An addiction to prescription painkillers can impact your health, your outward appearance, your personality, your career and your financial situation. Those who begin to notice negative consequences, but continue to use the prescription drugs anyway, likely have an addiction.
Underlying Issues That Contribute to Addiction
You can’t develop an addiction to painkillers until you start taking them. However, it would be a mistake to assume that a painkiller addiction is all about the physical symptoms. There are several underlying issues that can make individuals more or less likely to struggle with an addiction. These can include mental health disorders, a history of trauma, a genetic predisposition to addiction or certain personality types.
Fighting Back Against Painkiller Addiction at Denver Recovery
To effectively overcome a painkiller addiction, people need professional support and medical treatment. At Denver Recovery, rehab programs include a wide range of treatment methods that are specific to the client. Some of these methods include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Life skills and relapse prevention training
- Outdoor therapy
- Holistic therapy
- Family therapy
If you or your loved one is ready to fight back against painkiller addiction, rehab programs at Denver Recovery, Colorado, can help. Take back control over your life and your health by calling (844) 602-3175.