Back in the day from the 1950s to the mid 1990s individuals who experimented or used drugs were indulging in the common illegal ones or regular party drugs such as Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, alcohol and cigarettes. With the beginning of the 21st century though, emerging trends brought designer drugs into the mix making drug usage much more dangerous than ever. By the mid 2000s prescription pain medication took the world by storm becoming popular amongst teens, young adults and thousands of people everywhere making it the worst drug epidemic ever.
One of the main reasons for the increase in pain medication use other than it’s highly potent pain killing properties are it’s mind altering effects and notions among teens and young adults that they are safer than the traditional party drugs to get high. What they failed to recognize is that some of these painkillers such as Oxycodone are synthetically designed and exponentially stronger than the highest grade of heroin making them extremely addictive and deadly if they aren’t used properly without the prescription of a doctor. They usually realize this when it’s too late or someone they know overdoses. Unless prescribed by a physician for having moderate to severe pain or other legitimate reasons, recreational or irresponsible use of these pills and medication can lead to severe addiction, unintended overdoses, even death.
Are You Addicted or Physically Dependent?
If you’re addicted to painkillers or find yourself physically dependent, you may be in trouble and should beware. Are you addicted or physically dependent? Knowing the differences between the two is important in diagnosing and treating your addiction or dependency accordingly. It’s important to primarily learn or understand the difference between having an addiction or being physically dependent. Addiction can be described as having an uncontrollable urge to use a drug or substance that harms you and despite knowing the damage it causes, you continue to repeatedly use it. If you’re physically dependent this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re addicted. This could mean that your body has adapted to the medication, built up a tolerance for it needing higher doses to attain the same effects. In this case the user can experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the pain medication abruptly. Do some research and educate yourself with the distinction between the two. One good online source that references both is The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment.
If you’ve been prescribed pain medication by your physician, it’ll comfort you to know that the majority of users find pain relief from their medication without developing an addiction. With responsible dose management, addiction can be avoided and the pain medication will be safe and effective. But for the people whom aren’t experiencing pain and are using these drugs recreationally, they are the one’s susceptible to severe addiction and even death especially if mixed with alcohol or other illegal drugs.
It’s very difficult for people to ascertain if someone else is addicted to pain medication but ultimately the person themselves who is using truly knows if they have a problem. If you are the one taking prescription pain medication without having them prescribed from your doctor, then you might want to keep in mind the repercussions that could possibly ensue with your pill usage. Below you’ll find some of things that can happen to you.
3 Main Reasons to be Wary
Addiction: These drugs can be highly addictive and should be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t try to set your own doses, decrease or increase medication on your own and report experiences to your physician on whether or not the drug is helping with the pain. Let your doctor create a plan for you and manage the drugs and doses. They’ll know if you need higher doses or lower ones to wean you off the drug if need be. Overdosing is one of the risks in taking these medications along with its highly addictive properties. If you’re taking painkillers associated with pain and feel as if you are becoming addicted, talk to your doctor about it, they will know how to address your concern. If you’re using pain medication for non medical purposes and you think you’re addicted seek help from licensed substance abuse professionals that will help with your addiction and assist you in recovering from the drug. According to government data millions of teens and young adults are addicted to pain medication, so it’ll benefit you to educate yourself about the drug you’re taking even if your doctor prescribes it. It also never hurts to ask questions and be communicative with your physician to ensure you don’t end up as one of these statistics. If you know someone who is addicted to pain medication or abusing them get help for the person immediately before it’s too late.
Physical Dependence: The main objective to use pain medication should be to control pain so you’re able to perform daily activities, function well with family, friends and in society generally. If the medication isn’t sufficiently reducing pain your doctor might increase doses if your life’s daily activities are going normally. Otherwise increasing doses, though some people legitimately need it, is frowned upon because of the chances of becoming physically dependent to the drugs but most importantly because painkillers will not cure the pain only temporarily alleviate it. For those individuals that have been using pain medication for a long time chances are that you are physically dependent and will need your doctor to slowly wean you off of the drug if it’s causing problems in your life. If an individual finds themselves continually trying to alleviate pain using higher doses as time goes by only to realize that they can’t function normally throughout their days then they’ve become physically dependent and they should inform their doctor about it. When you become physically dependent your body adapts to a drug, sometimes requiring more of it to achieve certain effects or pain relief. The downside of pain management through medication is that your body and mind will actuate physical and mental ailments if the medication is not used or abruptly stopped causing severe withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal: If a person has been using pain medication for a long time and they need to get off the drug they can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Kicking the habit can be a horrible experience and the withdrawal symptoms very agonizing making relapses and continued use highly probable. Some of the withdrawal symptoms may include severe muscle and bone pain, involuntary muscle movements, pulmonary or respiratory issues, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, stomach issues as constipation, diarrhea and possible flu-like symptoms among many others. Users who have been taking high doses of pain medication for years can experience shallow breathing and respiratory arrest which can cause death when weaning off the drugs. A person addicted to painkillers will need to endure withdrawal symptoms to detox, get sober and eliminate pain medication use from their lives. If a person is having difficulty through their recovery they should seek help because these professionals will implement tactics to assist you through withdrawal symptoms and help you wean off the drugs. People who successfully follow through and abstain from pill use and are pain free usually reframe from ever taking painkillers again.
So as you’ve read people that aren’t legitimately in need of painkillers should think twice before using them as they are highly addictive, very dangerous and can possibly kill you. Individuals who legitimately take them should be careful as well. People addicted to painkillers should be cautious because of the adverse effects that comes with pain medication use and withdrawal. Addicts should seek help from trained professionals if they plan on quitting. Long time pain medication users will have difficulty detoxing and recovering from pain medication use and will easily relapse because of the difficult experiences they will undergo. Trained professionals can help stabilize, treat their medical condition and allow them to normally function in life again.