10 Facts About Painkillers You Need To Know
There was a time in American history when many deadly drugs were unregulated. When people died, the cause was attributed to an injury or illness, and not to the drug used in treatment. Morphine gained popularity during the Civil War and was used on the battlefield to treat soldier’s injuries and to relieve the pain during amputations. It was the new “wonder drug” of the era and could be purchased in many department stores. Housewives became addicted as they used it to relieve the stress they felt in maintaining a household. Times have not really changed that much, and we now face a new opioid crisis. There are 10 facts about Painkillers you should know.
10 Facts About Painkillers
If you, a friend, or family member are taking painkillers for an illness, accident, or following surgery, there are 10 facts about painkillers you should know.
- Opioid painkillers are most effective in short-term use situations, such as surgery, broken bones, and other injuries. Researchers suggest their effectiveness treating chronic pain is less than that of other medications.
- Painkillers are highly addictive, and physical tolerance and dependence can develop even when following a doctor’s specific instructions. Some individuals can develop a dependence in just two or three weeks of use.
- Continued use of painkillers to the point of dependence can result in physical and mental health problems, broken relationships, job loss, and the risk of overdose and death.
- When dependency occurs, the body requires the drug to function normally. If the user stops taking it at that point, he or she will experience withdrawal symptoms.
- The potential for a person to become addicted to painkillers is affected by psychological, developmental, and environmental factors and the individual’s genetic makeup.
- When taking painkillers, do not combine with alcohol or sedatives. Combining painkillers with both substances is especially dangerous and can result in respiratory depression leading to overdose and a visit to the emergency room. It can also result in death.
- People with sleep apnea need to let their doctor know because painkillers can exacerbate it or make it fatal. Also, doctors should be made aware if a respiratory flare-up occurs, such as asthma, bronchitis, a cold, or any condition that causes breathing difficulty so the doctor can lower the dose.
- Do not keep unused prescriptions. You may have built up to a high tolerance to the painkiller when it was prescribed for an injury. Don’t take one of those leftover pills later on for a pulled muscle or a headache as your body no longer has that same tolerance, and you could accidentally overdose.
- Withdrawal from painkillers is uncomfortable and can be dangerous if not done under medical supervision. Many people fail when trying to do it on their own because the withdrawal symptoms are hard to tolerate.
- Many people who become addicted to legally prescribed painkillers resort to buying street drugs when they can no longer get their prescription refilled. This is dangerous as the buyer may get something stronger than they can tolerate or something laced with another drug. Many times the people involved in these transactions end up in the emergency room or in jail.
Negative Effects Of Painkillers
Among the negative effects of painkillers are the damage caused to the organs of the body. They effect the lungs by limiting their ability to breath properly, which can lead to pneumonia or far more serious complications. The stomach and intestines also are affected by the use of painkillers. Constipation occurs when using a normal dose, and abusers must depend on laxatives to move their bowels and avoid damage to the anus or sphincter muscle. The liver, kidneys, muscles, and brain are also under attack from the overuse or abuse of painkillers.
Other Facts About Painkiller Addiction
Other facts about painkiller addiction include its connection to criminal activity. The smallest crimes are related to individuals stealing money or items to sell for cash in order to purchase drugs. He or she may steal from friends or family members at first or even from their place of work and fellow employees. When that source dries up they turn to more serious crimes to obtain drug money. The most deadly crimes are committed by the drug traffickers who commit rape, physical assault, and even murder against some of their buyers and suppliers.
Don’t become a statistic if you have built a tolerance to painkillers. There are people who can help you restore your life. The staff at WhiteSands Addiction Care Centers in Florida are professional in every way. Doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, and skilled addiction counselors have one goal, and that is to save people from the devastating effects of drugs. Call them to see how they can help you.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.