Most Commonly Abused Painkillers
As the name suggests, painkillers are medicines used to reduce or relieve pain. There are two main types of painkillers: over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, and Motrin, and stronger painkillers prescribed by doctors, which are more commonly abused. Although highly effective, prescription painkillers can have a high potential for abuse and serious side effects. Opioids, the strongest form of painkillers, are typically prescribed for people in severe pain and should only be used under a doctors supervision. Unfortunately, people also use opioids and other painkillers for recreational purposes.
Some of the most common painkillers include:
- Oxycontin, a form of oxycodone
- Percocet, which combines oxycodone and acetaminophen
- Vicodin, which contains hydrocodone and acetaminophen
Why Oxycodone Is Addictive
Belonging to the group of pain medicines called Narcotic Analgesics, oxycodone works directly on the Central Nervous System. Oxy works in the body by producing feelings of pleasure and relief. These pleasurable feelings are directly linked to patients using more of the substance.
Learn About Oxycodone And Substance Abuse
As an opioid, oxycodone alleviates pain while also eliciting a sense of mild euphoria. When used as directed under the supervision of a qualified prescribing physician, oxycodone can have a significantly beneficial impact. However, its pleasurable effects can lead individuals to abuse this drug, either for extended periods of self-medication beyond their doctors orders, or for purely recreational purposes.
Regardless why a person begins to abuse oxycodone, this behavior can lead to several negative outcomes, including the development of an addiction. Known clinically as opioid use disorder, an addiction to oxycodone will place a person in ongoing danger for both immediate and long-term damage.
Oxycodone interacts with the areas of the central nervous system that control heart rate and respiration, which means that an overdose can be fatal. Also, when a person becomes addicted to oxycodone, attempting to stop or significantly reduce the abuse of this opioid can trigger the onset of several painful physical and psychological symptoms. The intense distress of withdrawal can quickly push a person back into oxycodone abuse and can complicate future efforts to escape this dangerous compulsion.
Read Also: How To Know If You Are Addicted To Food
Availability Of Oxycontin And Oxycodone
OxyContin addiction statistics have shown that oxycodone abuse and addiction is more prevalent due to its higher availability. Due to the fact Oxycodone is available as a generic drug, your insurance company is more likely cover patients for it.
Oxycodone costs less and it is used for the more common types of pain. OxyContin really is a drug meant for serious illness where pain is not going to subside and only worsen.
Drug Tolerance Vs Addiction
Chronic pain patients often confuse tolerance with addiction. They become fearful when the dosage of a narcotic has to be increased, but it’s normal for the body to build up tolerance over time, says Simmonds, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society. “Patients don’t get a high, and they don’t get addicted.”
Simmonds, who is in private practice in Harrisburg, Pa., tells WebMD, “The tragedy is that any day of the week a patient will be in my office in real pain, and a family member will say, ‘Don’t take morphine.’ Patients will suffer needlessly because they think they’ll get addicted. We have to take time to educate them.”
Kathryn Serkes, director of policy and public affairs for the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons in Tucson, Ariz., agrees. She says the standard of pain management care is more aggressive today than what it was just five years ago. She disagrees with some critics who would use OxyContin only as a last resort. “The phrase ‘addicted to painkillers’ is used fast and loose.”
Also Check: How To Control Video Game Addiction
Why Are Some People More Susceptible To Opioid Addiction
Nobody is quite sure why one person becomes addicted to opioids and not another. Typically, opioids produce pain relief, which is good after surgery. However, for some people opioids create a pleasurable effect. For example, caffeine is a reinforcing drug people like the effects.
That is true for about 80 percent of the adult population in U.S. But, some people avoid it because it makes them jittery or anxious. Early in the process of opioid use, people may take it because of the pleasurable effect, and some people actually dont like the effect of an opioid and may go on to avoid them. If you take an opioid and your pain is gone, and you find yourself saying, I feel really good, it may be a warning sign that you are vulnerable to misusing these medications.
Over time that good effect diminishes for people who like how an opioid makes them feel, and many people take more opioids because they hope to get that good feeling, and they also dont want to go through withdrawal.
Drug Dependence Vs Drug Addiction
Sometimes, these two terms are often used interchangeably when talking about substance abuse. They are not the same though. It is essential to understand the difference to better understand withdrawals, treatment programs, and sustained recovery.
It is important to understand that someone can be addicted to drugs or alcohol without demonstrating a physical dependence to that substance.
Also Check: Can You Have An Addictive Personality
Can Opioids Be Taken Responsibly
Opioids are an effective painkiller and should be used appropriately, and to do so, the patient needs to take a level or responsibility for their medical care. If you are going to have a medical procedure, you should have a conversation with your physician about pain control.
Ask questions like:
- You are prescribing me this many tablets. Do I really need these?
- What is your strategy for pain control?
- What options do I have other than an opioid to help control my pain?
Why Do People Abuse Painkillers
In part because of their esteemed ability to relieve pain, abuse of painkillers is on the rise in the United States. Every day, an estimated 128 Americans die from opioid overdose. Just last year, more than 1.3 million people in America developed an addiction to prescription pain relievers. Another 1.6 million Americans had an opioid use disorder. Painkillers, which were once thought of as miracle drugs have now become part of a nationwide opioid epidemic. As federal lawmakers, state legislators, medical professionals, and law enforcement personnel work together to combat the issue, family members, close friends, and concerned coworkers may wonder why prescription painkiller abuse continues to rise.
You May Like: How To Break Marijuana Addiction
How Is Naltrexone Used To Treat Addiction
This medicine is very different and doesnt activate the opioid receptor the way that buprenorphine and methadone do, but instead blocks the euphoric/sedative effects of opioids. Your system must be completely free of all opioids before beginning naltrexone. It can be taken orally or as a once-a-month injection.
Follow Johns Hopkins Medicine
How Often Will I Take It
How often you take it depends on the type of oxycodone that you’ve been prescribed:
- capsules usually 4 to 6 times a day
- slow-release tablets usually 1 to 2 times a day
- liquid usually 4 to 6 times a day
You can take oxycodone at any time of day, but try to take it at the same time every day and space your doses evenly. For example, if you take oxycodone twice a day and have your first dose at 8am, take your second dose at 8pm.
You May Like: How To Stop Nasal Spray Addiction
What Opioid Pain Medicines Are Prescribed For Children And Teens
Opioid pain medicines prescribed for children and teens include:
- hydrocodone with acetaminophen liquid and pills
- oxycodone with acetaminophen liquid and pills
- hydromorphone liquid and pills
- morphine liquid and pills
- oxycodone liquid and pills
- others Ask your health care provider if your child is prescribed an opioid pain medicine that is not on this list.
Is It Just Me Or Does Oxycontin Not Even Last 8 Hours
In the years that followed, attacks on the 12-hour claim largely dropped from the agenda of Purdues critics. The federal investigation was over. Class-action attorneys moved on to other drugs.
For many patients, the problem never went away.
OxyContin does a great job of keeping me out of a wheelchair and moving…for 8 hours. Then I start going into withdrawal, one patient wrote on an online message board in 2004.
Is it just me, or does oxycontin not even last 8 hours, another asked in 2008.
â¨I thought I had to be nuts, one woman from Florida wrote in 2013 after learning that others also found the drug wore off early. I am really falling apart from the anxiety.
Earlier this year, a man posting to a chat board for pain patients said he got six to eight hours of relief from OxyContin, but hadn’t been able to convince his doctor to prescribe it more frequently.
“I find it misleading how a product can be marketed as lasting 12 hours when it doesn’t,” he wrote of his experience.
Egilman, an expert in warning labels, had worked on hundreds of product liability cases ranging from asbestos to microwave popcorn. He had developed a reputation as a plaintiffs advocate driven to expose corporate wrongdoing.
In other words, he said, the Q12 dosing schedule is an addiction producing machine.
Neither Purdue nor the agency ever responded to Egilmans presentation.
You May Like: Why Do Drug Addicts Lie About Everything
Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction In Canada: Numbers And Statistics
According to the CCSA, about 10% of people who use opioid medication like oxycodone stated that they went beyond the prescribed use method. From using an increased dosage to modifying the drug before indulging, addicts abuse oxycodone in different ways.
Its hard to draw the fine line for opioids. When dependency starts, most patients stop getting the prescription drug legally and turn to street sellers. They also hide the dependency from their doctors and family.
Why Choose Cbh For Painkiller Addiction Treatment
At California Behavioral Health, we offer word-class treatment facilities to our patients. Our experts and staff create a friendly and supportive environment that is necessary for effective painkiller addiction treatment. We even have an opioid rehab center for cases that prove exceptionally difficult and require special attention and care, such as oxycodone addiction and Percocet addiction.
Our treatment focuses on self-empowerment, which helps patients rediscover themselves and gives them a new purpose in life. It is geared towards self-growth, which can help them in all areas of life. We are always willing to answer any questions you may have regarding our services, so feel free to reach out to us.
Also Check: How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Opiods
When Oxycodone Addiction Startswithdoctors Prescription
Surprisingly, a large percentage of those who become addicted to Oxycodone begin using the drug with all the right intentions. Many of these individuals are prescribed Oxycodone as a means of dealing with the high levels of pain they are experiencing as a result of injury, illness or recovery from surgery.
These individuals begin using the drug as directed but soon find themselves addicted to its euphoric, opiate effects. Then, when the prescription expires, many will tell their doctor they are still in considerable pain in order to receive additional refills. When this fails to work, they may engage in doctor shopping the practice of going to multiple physicians and feign injury or illness in order to receive prescription painkillers. When this happens, addiction is present. And it is imperative to seek help from a drug rehab center in their area.
Why Do People Get Addicted To Heroin
You may have heard that heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the world. To understand what makes heroin so addictive and how it affects the brain and body, we must first understand what it is and why people use it. The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines heroin as a very addictive drug made from morphine, a psychoactive substance taken from resin of the seed pod of the opium poppy plant. Heroin is included in the opioid drug class which is composed of addictive prescription pain relievers like codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. It makes sense that heroin and these drugs are in the same class of drugs because of their shared potential for addiction and how they affect the users brain and body. There is something unique about heroin that makes it, unfortunately, the endgame for drug use in most cases.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Addicted To Kratom
Myth #: Its As Easy To Overdose On Suboxone As It Is To Overdose With Other Opiates
Reality: It is extremely difficult to overdose on Suboxone alone. It is much more difficult to overdose on Suboxone compared to other opiates, because Suboxone is only a partial opiate receptor agonist, so there is a built-in “ceiling” effect. This means there is a limit to how much the opioid receptors can be activated by Suboxone, so there isnt as great a risk of slowed breathing compared with potent opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, or morphine. When people do overdose on Suboxone, it is almost always because they are mixing it with sedatives such as benzodiazepines, medicines that also slow breathing.
Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction
Overcoming an addiction to Oxycodone is an important, often difficult journey. Memories of Oxycodone use can urge a recovering addict to restart use.
Featured Centers Offering Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine . “Opiate withdrawal.” Retrieved on June 17, 2015 from:
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine . “Oxycodone.” Retrieved on June 17, 2015 from:
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Addictive Drug In Tobacco
What Is Suboxone And How Does It Work
Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used to treat opioid addiction. Using medications for opioid use disorder is known as MOUD. Use of MOUD has been shown to lower the risk of fatal overdoses by approximately 50%. It also reduces the risk of nonfatal overdoses which are traumatic and medically dangerous.
Suboxone works by tightly binding to the same receptors in the brain as other opiates, such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. By doing so, it blunts intoxication with these other drugs, it prevents cravings, and it allows many people to transition back from a life of addiction to a life of normalcy and safety.
A key goal of many advocates is to make access to Suboxone much more widely available, so that people who are addicted to opiates can readily access it. Good places to start are in the emergency department and in the primary care doctors office. More doctors need to become “waivered” to prescribe this medication, which requires some training and a special license.
The vast majority of physicians, addiction experts, and advocates agree: Suboxone saves lives. The U.S. Government has recently been lightening up on the requirements needed for doctors and nurses to “get waivered” in an urgent attempt to increase the availability of Suboxone prescribers, as the number of opioid deaths keeps rising.
Common myths about using Suboxone to treat addiction
Why Do People Use Heroin
Because we know how addictive heroin is after just one use, its hard to understand why someone would start using it unless they were previously using prescription medicines. NIDA warns that both heroin and opioid pill use can lead to addiction and overdose.
Another reason individuals use heroin and become addicted to it is that they like the feeling of combining it with another drug. In general, heroin is mixed with water and injected with a needle. It can be sniffed, smoked, or snorted. Some users may combine heroin with other drugs, whether that be alcohol or cocaine. When heroin is mixed with cocaine, its called a speedball because it is mixing a stimulant with an opioid , masking the effects of the heroin, and elevating the risk of overdose.
People use and become addicted to heroin for a variety of reasons, which can be similar or dissimilar. They can become addicted to heroin because of biological reasons and how the drugs mechanisms affect the brain and body. People are drawn to drug use because of both circumstantial and personal reasons. Their genetics play a role, and peer pressure does as well in some situations, but the reason a person uses a drug in the first place is their personal decision.
At Boardwalk Recovery Center, we help people understand why they are drawn to drugs. We use a holistic approach to care and assist our clients and their families in understanding why they became addicted to heroin.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Addicted To Marijuana
This Article Looks At The Following:
- Why do some people get addicted, while others seem to have full immunity?
- Why do some people appear to be more addicted than others?
If you havent already read it, take a peek at our article covering the origins of opioids and narcotic addiction titled, Narcotic Addiction Where it all Started. As it turns out the poppy plant has been a very popular part of both Eastern and Western cultures for thousands of years.
Be it friends or family, we all know people who are addicted to opioids, and many more who arent addicted. According to hhs.gov, an estimated 10,000,000 Americans abuse prescription pain killers, and nearly 800,000 people use heroin. However, those numbers may be low, since tracking the use of illicit is difficult to monitor.
That also means that over 321,000,000 people in the United States are not abusing opioids. Considering those stats, it would seem a very small segment of the population gets addicted, but most people do not. Why is this?