Painkiller Addiction Treatment Program Can Help
Painkillers, also called analgesics, are medications available via prescription or over-the-counter to help relieve pain. The most powerful painkillers are classified as opiates, such as methadone, oxycodone, codeine, hydrocodone, and morphine. Opiates must be used very carefully under constant medical supervision because they’re extremely addictive.
If painkillers are abused, it’s easy for the body to become physically dependent and painkiller addiction to develop. Painkiller abusers may have such intense cravings that they begin crushing the tablets to inhale or inject the substance. The NIH reports that 5.1 million Americans take painkillers for non-medical purposes. Misusing painkillers is a destructive habit that should be addressed with addiction treatment.
Risk Factors for Painkiller Addiction
Anyone of any age or gender can fall victim to the powerful hold of painkillers when doctors’ orders aren’t followed. That being said, there are risk factors that increase an individual’s likelihood to become addicted. Painkiller addiction is more common for people:
- Taking high daily painkiller doses
- Dealing with an untreated mental illness
- Having a history of alcohol or substance abuse
- Living in low-income urban or rural areas
- Obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors
- Facing depression, anxiety, or peer pressure
Unfortunately, easier access to painkillers has increased risk for everyone. It’s estimated that the number of prescriptions written nationally for painkillers has skyrocketed by 400 percent in the last 10 years. Over 259 million painkiller prescriptions were written in the U.S. in 2018.
Painkiller Addiction Warning Signs
Patients regularly taking opiates for chronic pain can have difficulty determining when their use crosses the line to addiction. The top indicator of painkiller addiction is physical dependence on the drug. Painkiller addicts will complain of flu-like withdrawal symptoms within eight hours of their last dose. Intense cravings typically make abusers start taking more than what their doctor prescribed.
Painkillers soon become addicts’ focus, so withdrawal from friends and family is common. Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed and social alienation are big red flags. Other noticeable warning signs of painkiller addiction include:
- Frequent mood swings
- Lying and deceitful behaviors
- Decline in work/school performance
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Changes in eating habits
- Forgetfulness or blackouts
- Confusion and disorientation
- Paranoia or heightened fear
Seeking Addiction Treatment for Painkillers
If you or a loved one is addicted to painkillers, seeking addiction treatment is the best first step to reclaiming control. Our South Florida rehab center offers outpatient evidence-based recovery programs to help patients overcome their addiction.
Let our clinicians at Aion Recovery Center personalize an addiction treatment plan with holistic, cognitive behavioral, family, and/or peer group therapy. Call us today at 888-811-2879 to verify your health insurance benefits.