What Are The Side Effects Of Painkiller Addiction
If a painkiller addiction continues to get worse, it can affect every area of a persons life. For instance, they may isolate themselves from friends, family, and coworkers. This has a devastating impact on job performance, social life, and relationships at home. A person who is obsessed with pain medication may spend every dollar they have trying to get more. This can hurt their financial situation and put a strain on their household.
Painkiller addiction can also lead to reckless behavior that can cause a person to get into legal trouble, including:
- Getting pulled over for DUI
- Being arrested for illegal drug possession
- Repossession of assets
- Being arrested for harm done to others
For some users, they have to lose virtually everything and hit rock bottom before they check into a treatment center.
What Are Some Addiction Signs
Addiction, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, is a chronic disease that changes the reward centers in the brain. While this can involve behaviors like gambling, shopping, or sex, addiction is most understood in terms of substance abuse that fundamentally changes how dopamine and other neurotransmitters associated with the reward system are managed in the brain. Behavioral characteristics of addiction involve an inability to control behaviors, cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and physical side effects, including damage to major organ systems.
Factors Impacting Withdrawal Duration
There are a number of factors that impact the exact duration of a withdrawal from pain pills. Some of these factors have to do with the overall health and age of the patient and how well they can handle and respond to stress and flu-like symptoms. However, other factors have to do with the scale, duration and intensity of the addiction. How long patients have been using pain pills, and in what dosages plays a big role in determining a timeline. Regardless of the factors impacting withdrawal, choosing a medically-managed detox program can help relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
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Drug Withdrawal Symptoms Timelines And Treatment
According to the Centers For Disease Control, in 2017 more than 11% of Americans ages 12 and over used illicit substances within the month before being surveyed.1
Many abused drugs are associated with the development of significant physiological dependenceespecially when consumed in large amounts and for a consistent period. When someone becomes dependent on a substance, they may be at risk of experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using their drug of choice.
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If you or someone in your life is using painkillers or attempting to detox from prescription drugs, call Atlanta Detox Center. Our Georgia-based detox and rehab facilities offer compassionate painkiller addiction treatment. With support from our team, you can destress, address addiction triggers, and begin to heal. Our medically assisted programs can get you on the road to recovery today. Learn more about our detox and recovery programs by calling us at or completing our online form today. Dont wait begin your new life today.
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Five Signs A Loved One Is Abusing Painkillers
Abusing painkillers is a big problem in the U.S. – about 12 million people said they used painkillers for non-medical reasons in the past year, according to recent CDC estimates.
A new study found rates of newborns born addicted to opiate drugs tripled over the past decade, driven by legal and illegal use of opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone, CBS News reported. The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, according to the study.
Opioid addiction is a chronic medical condition caused in part by brain changes that can result from regularly using drugs such as oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone and morphine. Opioid dependence is even considered a chronic brain disease by the American Society for Addiction Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse and left untreated, can be fatal.
The good news is that opioid dependence can be effectively treated – but part of the problem is recognizing the signs that someone you love is abusing the drugs in the first place.
With help from Dr. Carlos Tirado, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Austin and clinical director of chemical dependency services at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital, here are 5 signs someone you love might be abusing prescription painkillers and how to help:
Learn More About Painkiller Addiction
However, because these substances can also bring on intense feelings of euphoria and an inability to experience physical pain, many men and women misuse them and become trapped in the vicious cycle of painkiller abuse.
Similar to the addictive nature that heroin has, painkillers, which are classified as opioids, can be the source of a seemingly inescapable addiction. Once a persons body has become tolerant and dependent on these sort of drugs, defeating this form of chemical dependence without the help and guidance of trained professionals can be a futile experience that leaves a person embattled with an overwhelming compulsion and desire to abuse painkillers over and over again. However, if youre someone who is addicted to prescription painkillers, yet is seriously considering treatment at this juncture in your life, its pivotal to know that things can get better and that help is available. When you make the brave decision to start treatment, you are choosing your health and happiness over your drug of choice and youre making way for a bright and successful future. Therefore, dont mull over this important decision any longer. Call a treatment center, complete an assessment for services, and being living a painkiller-free life today.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Prescription Drug Abuse
When individuals are abusing prescription drugs, the signs and symptoms that they may exhibit will vary depending upon the specific type of medication that they are consuming. However, some common examples of behavioral, physical, cognitive, and psychosocial symptoms that may arise that could indicate that someone is struggling with a prescription drug abuse problem include:
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Going to multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Altered ability to perform occupationally
- Frequent absences from work
- No longer participating in activities that one once found enjoyable
- Loss of sound judgment
- Periods of emotional detachment or emotional numbness
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
What Are The Painkiller Addiction Signs
The symptoms of painkiller addiction vary depending on several factors such as the severity of the addiction, length of the condition, the number of painkillers used, and if they were used in combination with other substances. Some of the most common painkiller addiction signs include:
- Behavioral Symptoms: Visiting multiple doctors to obtain painkillers, stealing money or pills to maintain the addiction, downplaying the severity of the addiction, social isolation, and neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school.
- Physical Symptoms: Seizures, respiratory depression, increased risk of heart attack, flushed or itchy skin, slurred speech, sedation, nausea, and vomiting.
- Psychological Symptoms: Psychosis, severe mood swings, anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
In worst-case scenarios, an overdose can lead to respiratory depression, organ failure, stroke, coma, or fatality. Long-term effects can also include heart problems, digestive problems, or terminal illnesses.
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Complications And Side Effects Of Opiate Addiction
Prescription painkillers like OxyContin®, Percocet®, Opana®, Fentanyl, or Vicodin® are all dangerous to abuse. When used appropriately, they can serve effectively as a way to greatly reduce the pain a patient may be undergoing for a related illness. However, if abused, a full-blown painkiller addiction is usually not far behind.
Because these opioid-based medications work through affecting the receptors in the brain that influence comfort and reward, people who have been using prescription painkillers often find themselves using more than what was prescribed to them. Withdrawal from painkillers can also become intensely uncomfortableinsomnia, profuse sweating, pain, intense anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, and drug craving are not at all uncommon.
Windward Ways clinically supervised painkiller detox center and drug rehab can give you precisely the assistance you need to get off these prescription medications. Were standing by right now to customize a plan for you, the Windward Way. Just call .
Signs And Symptoms Of Pain Pill Addiction
Signs and symptoms of prescription painkiller abuse will vary among people based upon factors such as ones genetic makeup, the length of ones addiction, and frequency of the abuse. Common symptoms that are seen in many people who abuse prescription painkillers include:
- Drug-seeking behaviors
- Notable shifts in energy
- Ongoing usage after drug was meant to be discontinued
- Lying to loved ones about drug use
- Hiding stashes of painkillers around the house, in the car, and at work
- Withdrawing from once-enjoyed activities
- Inability to maintain responsibilities at home, work, or school
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Increased risks for heart attack and other cardiovascular complications
- Withdrawal symptoms if drug use is stopped
- Worsening mental and emotional health
- Mood swings
- Feeling defensive when asked about drug use
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Signs And Symptoms Of Fentanyl Abuse
Fentanyl is one of the strongest opiate drugs on the market. It is not a long-lasting drug so it is often used for surgery recovery and for breakthrough painmeaning that when a person is already taking an opiate but has temporary pain that breaks through the opiate barrier, they may be given fentanyl.
Time-release formulations for fentanyl provide strong pain relief over time. They come in two formsa lollipop and a patch. Fentanyl also comes as a small piece of film that can be dissolved under the tongue and a pill meant to be lodged inside the cheek. In hospital settings, fentanyl can be injected. For the individual abusing the drug outside a hospital, this is highly dangerous, as the difference between a therapeutic dose and a deadly dose is very small.
Physical And Psychological Signs And Symptoms
The term addiction is deeply entrenched in the public domain however, this term is no longer considered to be clinically accurate. Rather, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, uses the term substance use disorder, and even more specifically opioid use disorder . In order for a person to receive a diagnosis of an opioid use disorder, at least of a possible 11 symptoms must be present within the same 12-month period of time. The severity of a use disorder is spread across a continuum, from mild to moderate to severe. The more symptoms that are present, the more severe the grade. In a sense, then, what the lay public refers to as addiction is probably in the range of six or more symptoms.
The 11 symptoms cover physical, psychological, and behaviors factors. The following are paraphrased descriptions of each of the 11 symptoms of an opioid use disorder, as applied to oxycodone:
Side effects are essentially symptoms of use. Side effects do not necessarily reflect the addiction experience. When a person has an opioid use disorder, the higher amount of opioids consumed means that the side effects can be more extreme. For example, if a side effect for a prescribed user is nausea, a person who takes too much oxycodone may vomit. Still, it is helpful to understand the side effects reported for OxyContin as they provide an indication of what a person who abuses this drug might experience .
Side effects include but are not limited to:
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Learn About Prescription Drugs And Substance Abuse
Most people go to the doctor for legitimate medical reasons and are prescribed medication to manage a host of conditions. Most people take these medications as directed and stop when the course of medication is over. However, some individuals come to like the effects of certain types of prescription medications and continue using these drugs in a manner other than intended by the physician.
Prescription drug abuse is the usage of prescription medications in a way not intended by the prescribing physician for the effects produced by taking the drug. Prescription drug abuse includes acts such as using a loved ones prescription pain killers to relieve symptoms of a particularly brutal migraine. Others may crush up the prescription medications and snort them or dilute the powdered drug in water for injection to obtain a strong high or rush. The most common classes of prescription drugs that are abused include prescription painkillers, sedatives, anti-anxiety agents, and stimulants.
Anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives, including Xanax, Valium, and Ambien, are prescribed to individuals who are struggling with anxiety or sleep disorders. Individuals who abuse these drugs often report doing so in order to counteract the effects of stimulants such as cocaine or methamphetamine, or to increase intoxication by mixing them with other downers such as alcohol or opioid narcotics.
Addiction Is Also A Symptom Of Abuse
In most cases, addiction is accompanied by a deterioration in personal integrity. It takes many unethical or criminal acts to maintain an addiction over timeeither expenditure of large amounts of personal money or thefts, prescription fraud, doctor-shopping or other crimes, to get the drugs that are needed. A fentanyl addict normally has secrets from most or all of the people they encounter regularly. If the thefts are from a workplace, as often happens, they will be living a secret life while at work. Hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes are often the sites of fentanyl theft by desperate employees.
Different people become addicted at different rates. Some addicts try to prevent addiction by letting time pass between usages of strong opiates and others feel compelled to use the drug continuously once they start, which walks them straight into addiction. Those coming off heavy fentanyl abuse will often be weaned down to a lower level before going through withdrawal, as unsupported withdrawal from strong opiates can be brutal.
If you suspect someone you care about is abusing opioids that may include fentanyl, get them help right away. Waiting until tomorrow could be one day too late.
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Using Opioids For Nonmedical Reasons
Abusing opioids to get high is a possible sign of pain-pill addiction. Not everyone who gets high on pain pills is addicted, but people who misuse the drugs on a regular basis may not be capable of controlling their desire to get high.
Some people use drugs so often that theyre unable to get high. They become dependent on the drugs to feel normal and experience opioid withdrawal when they stop taking them. Using opioids to avoid withdrawal is a red flag for painkiller addiction.
Find The Right Time To Talk
First, approach them solo. Try to find a time that its going to be just you and your partner no children, no potential for guests at the door, and no plans on the agenda. In a calm, collected manner, let him or her know that you love and support them, and that their well-being means a lot to you. Be sure to watch the way youre presenting yourself so that you dont come off as condescending or superior its important that they dont feed judged and are comfortable talking. Dont look at the conversation as a confrontation or intervention: look at it as an opportunity to have a safe, honest conversation.
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Opioids Are Widely Prescribed Or Used Illicitly To Treat Pain Caused By Injuries Illnesses And Surgical Procedures
Some common examples of opioid painkillers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other pain medications containing codeine.
While opioids can be effective in alleviating pain, they can also be extremely addictive even when used as directed, and even when the person has no history of addiction or substance abuse. Any person from any walk of life can become addicted to opioid medication, whether legally or illegally obtained.
Opioids are addictive because they cause feelings of relaxation and euphoria, leading to physical and emotional dependence. However, it is not always easy to tell when a person is addicted to opioids, or where to draw the line between necessary and unnecessary use of medication.
If you are worried that you may be growing dependent on your pain medication, or if youre concerned about the way a loved one uses his or her prescription pain pills, you should learn how to recognize some red flags of addiction.
Exhibiting one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you are addicted to or misusing your pain medication. However, if you have observed any of the symptoms listed here, and you feel worried about the risk of addiction or know that you are already addicted, it is crucial to reach out for help as soon as possible.
The Dangers Of Opiates
Opiates come in several different forms and can be consumed a number of ways. Typically, these drugs are prescribed as oral capsules or tablets. While a majority of people legally obtain a prescription from their doctor, others may borrow or steal pills from family members or friends. However, using another persons medications is illegal and constitutes abuse.
A person struggling with Painkiller abuse may experiment with various intake methods in order to achieve the strongest high possible. For example, tablets can be crushed into a powder form, which is then snorted. Powders can also be dissolved in liquid and then injected into the veins.
Snorting or injecting Opioids produces an immediate rush that is far more intense than swallowing the pill form. However, a sudden surge of these substances in the body can lead to life-threatening complications, such as respiratory failure and overdose.
There are 2 main reasons why these medicines are so dangerous. The first is that they are very addictive. So, theres a high risk that if you take these you may end up addicted to Opiates and in fact, some recent studies suggest that 3 out of every 4 people who are currently using Heroin started with prescription Opiates. The second reason theyre dangerous is that theyre so powerful. They can suppress your breathing such that you die. So not only are they addictive, but they are also potentially deadly.
– Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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