Although the most common goal of taking any kind of medication is to feel better, feeling good while on pain pills might be a sign or indication that you are about to cross over the line to addiction. Pain pills can be prescribed for several ailments and conditions, but they are never intended to treat long-term pain or chronic conditions because physical dependency and drug tolerance can occur, which often leads to drug abuse and addiction.
Most prescription pain pills that are taken over a long period cause tolerance and physical dependence. This means that as time progresses, your body needs the medication to feel normal and more of it to feel its effects. Filling this physical and psychological need can lead to dire consequences over time if an individual doesn’t reach out for help. Recent research on addiction has allowed drug rehabilitation and treatment centers to acquire a better understanding and knowledge of the disease, which allows more successful outcomes for managing addiction.
The most common type of prescribed pain medication is opioids. There are a variety of pain pills within this category which can include:
• Meperidine (Demerol)
Addiction is a treatable complex brain disease that hijacks the reward, motivation, and self-control centers of the brain. It causes the physical and psychological inability to stop harmful behaviors, including drug consumption, regardless of harmful and dangerous consequences. Other complexities can occur with addiction, which includes comorbid medical conditions and polydrug use. These complexities must be addressed when seeking drug treatment.
Signs of Addiction
Several behaviors can indicate the beginning of addiction. Some of these include:
• Dwelling on your medication, looking at the clock constantly waiting for the next dose, wondering where you’ll get more when you run out.
• Taking different amounts of medication than prescribed, taking more at one time, stretching it to make it last.
• Doctor shopping, getting the same medication from multiple doctors.
• Getting pain medication from different sources, this can lead to trouble with the law if medications are being acquired illegally.
• Using pain pills for a long time.
• Feeling angry if you’re confronted about medication use.
• Not feeling quite like yourself.
If these behaviors aren’t stopped, they can lead to destructive behaviors that can have dire consequences for the individual, their friends, and loved ones. When an individual is in full addiction, they will often exhibit irrational behaviors that can be very devastating and appalling.
This disease speaks loudly and doesn’t discriminate on who it affects. Some indications of addiction include:
• Injuries while using.
• Not thinking clearly.
• Anxiety, irritability, and depression.
• Problems with relationships.
• Loss of hope, feelings of emptiness.
• Spending money on pain killers or substances rather than the essentials like food, rent, and bills.
• Legal problems
Addiction can ultimately lead to overdose or death if the individual doesn’t receive the help they deserve. Some signs of an overdose can include unconsciousness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, constricted pupils, abnormal breathing, cool or clammy skin, extreme sleepiness or unable to wake-up, and intermittent loss of consciousness.
When an individual who is experiencing addiction to pain medications try to stop using them, they experience uncomfortable and painful symptoms that are known as withdrawal. Patients can start to experience withdrawal symptoms about 24 hours after use, and they can increase in intensity after the first day. These uncomfortable symptoms can include:
• Body aches
• Restlessness, anxiety, and irritability
• Increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat
• Dilated pupils, blurry vision
• Eyes tearing up, runny nose
• Inability to sleep, yawning often
• Stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
• Excessive sweating
These symptoms often make it impossible for an individual to stop using pain medications on their own, and it is important to seek specialized medical care to ensure a safe detox and recovery.
Treatment for pain pill addiction starts with an inpatient medical detox, which is followed by inpatient treatment. Supervised medical detox ensures a safe withdrawal process and has proven to promote a successful recovery. Inpatient treatment allows the patient and the medical professions to dive deep into underlying problems that may be playing a part in the individual’s addiction. It is important to have any comorbid medical conditions diagnosed at this time, along with confronting any polysubstance abuse issues that may be occurring. Addressing the patient as a whole has proven very beneficial in a successful recovery.
Some of the methods used in drug rehabilitation and treatment programs include cognitive behavioral therapy, individual counseling, group counseling, and 12-step programs. It is recommended to attend outpatient treatment after graduating from inpatient treatment to continue the healing process.
Pain pill and substance addiction is a treatable and manageable disease that can have many complexities. It is important to seek the guidance of medical professionals that can guide you on your journey to recovery with the safest and most holistic process possible. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-762-3739, we are waiting for your call.