Addiction to Prescription Painkillers – Unintentional Addiction and How to Overcome It
It is a common misconception that addiction only happens to those with weak willpower and poor decision making. Through years of research uncovering the truth about addiction – that it’s a disease – it has been established that in fact addiction has very little to do with willpower, as is the case in all mental diseases. Through this belief, many people may abuse drugs such as prescription opioid pain relievers thinking that they are immune to becoming an addict. They may also not be fully aware of the dangers involved with an addiction to prescription painkillers, and becoming unintentionally addicted.
The CDC reports that over a hundred people have a fatal overdose every day from opioids. In order to avoid the dangers of an addiction to prescription painkillers, painkiller addiction symptoms will be discussed as well as what to do if you think that you or someone else might have fallen victim to an addiction.
Physical and Psychological Addictions
There are two types of addictions: a physical and mental addiction. The latter is one that most people are aware of in which a person uses drugs and alcohol as ways to cope as opposed to using healthy alternatives. A person can become mentally dependent on any drug regardless of whether that drug causes a physical dependence or cravings.
The other form of addiction is the one we are focusing on: a physical dependence. This type of addiction can happen unintentionally even in a person who has adequate copings skills and isn’t actively seeking drugs as a means of escape. Opioids are physically addictive, which means that over time, their body will go through changes that result in the person’s biology relying on the presence of the drug, and just like the need we feel for food or water, a person will feel that their body needs opioids.
Do I Have an Addiction?
One of the aspects of the current opioid crisis that has been established is that even if a person uses opioids according to a physician’s prescription, there is still a possibility for an addiction to prescription painkillers to form. Once an addiction takes hold, willpower alone is not usually enough to break the repetitive, escalating cycle.
There are several common painkiller addiction symptoms, and they are as follows:
- Is there a need to take higher doses to get the same effect, indicating a tolerance?
- Are others worried about your use of opioids?
- Is alcohol mixed with opioid use?
- Are you lying to your physician about your symptoms or seeking out other physicians for more prescriptions?
- Another indicator of an addiction to prescription painkillers is taking opioids not because you need it for pain, but because you feel you must.
- Taking opioids even though they weren’t prescribed.
- Excessive time is spent on worrying about getting more, the act of acquiring, using and recovering from opioids.
Prescription Painkiller Abuse Rehab
By taking an honest look at your use of opioids, it can become clear that there is a problem. Thankfully, opioid addiction has ample treatment methods available that can help you overcome an accidental physical dependence on the substance.
A prescription painkiller abuse rehab center can help you to overcome the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with dependence that are the driving force behind your need to keep using. Addiction education, relapse prevention and therapy can help to ensure that you do everything you can to stop a relapse from occurring in your future.
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.