For various reasons, painkiller medications are necessary. Many people rely on painkillers after a surgery or following a severe injury. While they can have legitimate medical benefits, they can also be dangerous and potentially addictive. Explore the causes of a painkiller addiction, how to identify it, and how to get the necessary treatment for lasting sobriety.
How Do People Become Addicted to Painkillers?
It doesn’t matter why you take them, painkillers are addictive. Whether your doctor prescribes them or you purchase them illegally, these drugs change the way your brain functions. However, abusing painkillers by taking large doses or mixing them with alcohol expedites addiction development.
When taking painkillers, the pain receptors in the brain recognize them first. Essentially, these medications turn your cognitive pain switch off, leading to a relaxed, comfortable state. Over time, it takes more and more medication to turn off the pain receptor switch. Without the drugs, you might feel like you’re in more pain than ever before.
This occurs because your brain develops tolerance. Among people who use opioid painkillers, this is especially true. You’ll crave increasing amounts of the drug, thus establishing a dangerous pattern of future use.
Additionally, there are some factors that increase the likelihood of painkiller addiction development. For example, those with a mental illness, a history of trauma, or the inability to manage stress are more susceptible. Genetics also play a role in whether an individual exhibits addictive behavior.
Identifying an Addiction to Painkillers
It’s challenging to determine whether someone has a painkiller addiction. If a physician prescribes painkillers, many people don’t know whether using these drugs is safe. It also helps to look for changes in appearance or behavior, evidence of doctor shopping, and withdrawal symptoms.
Doctor shopping is when one person visits multiple doctors, pain management clinics, or pharmacies to obtain more painkillers. If you feel the need to lie about pain, painkiller consumption, or how you use your medication, you likely have an addiction.
It’s also important to remember that most painkillers aren’t long-term solutions to other problems. Relying on them for extended periods of time causes people to change hygiene habits, sleep patterns, and even their personality. If you see these changes develop over time, you might have an addiction.
Timeline and Process for Recovery
Overall, prescription drug addictions don’t develop overnight, and they’re incurable. The process of recovery starts with an intake evaluation, which determines the specific treatment you’ll go through.
Following detox, patients choose from diverse programs for their individual needs. For some, this might be residential rehab. There is also a 90-day program extended care program for people with severe addictions. Additionally, intensive outpatient programs are an effective option for patients with optimal support at home.
Overcoming Painkiller Addiction at San Antonio Recovery Center
San Antonio Recovery Centers offer various treatment methods to conquer prescription drug abuse and addiction. Just a handful of the available options include:
A painkiller addiction is incredibly challenging to overcome, but the right support makes it possible. At San Antonio Recovery Center in Texas, you can end addiction once and for all. Take back your life today by calling 866-957-7885.