Addiction is the overdependence of drugs and alcohol to the extent of living a destructive lifestyle; the user's life is completely controlled by the substance no matter the consequences. When suffering from chronic pain, doctors may prescribe pills that are stronger than over-the-counter painkillers. These include opioids, which work by binding themselves to the opioid receptors in the body to suppress the feeling of pain.
There are many opiate painkillers on the market only available with a prescription, and doctors should monitor their usage. When you are on painkillers for a long time, you should not abruptly or change the dosage. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Medical professionals can help you get off drugs safely through a drug detox program, like the doctors who work with our clients at Pax House.
Are Addiction & Dependence the Same Thing?
Many people get confused with the terms addiction and overdependence. Is there a difference? Dependence is when you need to increase the dosage because the body has built tolerance for the prescribed drug. This means that you need to take more of the medication to get the desired results.
Addiction is when the drugs control your entire life. You cannot function without using them. The drugs affect you emotionally, socially and even destroy your ability to comprehend and concentrate on your responsibilities. Addiction is as a result of uncontrolled cravings for the opioids which lead to a destructive lifestyle.
It is important to note that not all people who are dependent on a painkiller are addicts. The signs of becoming dependent on a drug include not getting the usual results from the conventional dosage. You are forced to increase the dosage to calm the pain. For addicts, the craving has nothing to do with the pain. They are always looking forward to the next time they will take the drug. When they fail to, they crumble down emotionally and physically. This goes to the extent of not caring about their work, family and the responsibilities they have. An addict’s life is controlled and revolves around the drugs. They will go to any length to get a prescription even faking pain or stealing to afford a dose.
What To Do If You're Addicted
If you or a loved one is addicted to painkillers, there is hope for recovery. Accept the situation then look for solutions. These include
Detoxification is the First Step
Because the body is already used to the drugs and they are still in the system, a detox is necessary. This is the process of cleaning out the body of all the harmful effects of the painkiller. Depending on the extent of addiction, you can choose to do this in a facility or as an outpatient under the watchful eye of a doctor.
A Drug Rehab Program Can Help
A rehabilitation facility is a center where addicts get all the help they need to get over the disease. There are different programs and setups that professionals at the rehab center can administer to help you detox and gain control of your life again. You can book in as an inpatient at the rehab where you stay for a specified period from two weeks onwards depending on the intensity of the addiction. Being an inpatient can help you get over the addiction faster because you are surrounded, 24 hours a day, by professionals who will help you get clean.
Also, even if you will have the urge to use the drugs, you will not be able to get them, or if you do, they will be administered at a controlled rate to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. Another advantage of being in a rehab facility is that in case of an emergency or serious withdrawal symptoms, the doctors will be able to offer you the necessary assistance fast.
This is a treatment program that one receives without having to stay in a rehabilitation facility. The outpatient care is recommended for people who have gone through an intense inpatient program but still need to continue the treatment or those who have mild addiction symptoms. The care involves scheduled visits to an addiction doctor, therapy, and counseling.
Support Groups and 12 Step Programs
When you realize that you are not the only one struggling with addictions, it becomes easier to accept yourself and work hard to get over the vise. Support groups constitute of recovering addicts and those going through treatments. This is where you can share your experiences, struggles, and breakthroughs without fear or shame. The bonds you form give you the strength to go through the treatment program and even encourage other addicts to do the same. The support groups are not only for the addicts but also for the family members.
How to Deal with Chronic Pain Once You're in Recovery
When a recovering addict may experience chronic pain, the thought of using painkillers may be dreadful. You should not self-medicate any pain. Consult your doctor and reveal your past addiction if he is not aware. He might prescribe non-opioids painkillers or other methods of dealing with the pain. He will also monitor your prescribed drug intake to ensure you do not get addicted again.
When you realize you are getting addicted to painkillers, let your doctor know. Do not abruptly stop them or try to get over them on your own. If you are already out of control, let your loved ones know this and ask for help. There is always a way out no matter how helpless you might feel.
Get Help Today & Quit Abusing Painkillers
If you or a loved one is addicted to prescription painkillers and are ready to get help, reach out to Pax House today at or contact us here. Don't wait until its too late. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 today. Don't be another statistic, get help for addiction today.