Doctors prescribe painkillers to patients as a way to manage pain from an injury, surgery, or trauma. Painkillers are highly addictive opioids. The opioids are Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Demerol. These opioids are for short-term use; however, opioids are also used for long-term illnesses such as cancer. The opioid epidemic has been declared a national health emergency due to the staggering rise in opioid use, overdoses, and deaths.
When you are prescribed a painkiller, it is crucial to follow the dose exactly as written by your doctor or other medical professional. Painkillers cause a sense of intense euphoria from the release of dopamine in your brain. As more medication is taken, more tolerance builds up to achieve the euphoric effects. If you take the painkiller for a long time, you can develop a physical dependence on the drug. The physical dependency puts you at high risk of developing an opioid addiction.
Many people who use heroin begin their addiction with painkillers. Long-term use of painkillers leads to tolerance, dependence, and overdose or death. Here are 5 ways to prevent an addiction to painkillers:
Follow the doctor’s orders.
If you are taking medication for pain, take the medication as directed by your doctor. When you take more painkillers, more often than prescribed, you put yourself at risk of developing a dependency or addiction. Take the painkillers exactly as your doctor tells you.
Talk to your doctor about alternatives to opioids. Less addictive medications can alleviate pain. Check with your doctor for other options that can minimize discomfort.
Ask yourself if you still need painkillers.
If your pain is more manageable and you are experiencing less pain, ask yourself if you need to continue using painkillers. If you continue to use them, but no longer need them, you could be at risk of addiction.
Limit the opioid use.
Do not take more painkillers than needed or increase the duration of use. If you feel better, talk to your physician about discontinuing the medication and withdrawal management.
Think about other risks.
Discuss other factors with your physician that may contribute to your risk of developing an addiction. Talk about your experiences with addiction to drugs or alcohol, or mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
People are unnecessarily dying due to opioid addiction. The number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths are staggering. The increase in opioid abuse has been declared a national opioid crisis. Opioid addiction can be prevented if you know the risk factors, act responsibly, and maintain communication with your physician.
If your prescription painkiller abuse has become a problem, don’t let the problem worsen. The best move to make for recovery from drug abuse is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call 833-801-5483 today for information on our partial care programs.