What a Pain! Signs of Painkiller Addiction
Prescription painkiller addiction affects many people. It’s not just the celebrities that battle with this addiction. Soccer moms and businessmen alike are struggling with prescription painkiller addiction. Many people struggle with their addiction behind closed doors. Dependency on these prescription drugs is usually not deliberate. Many people begin to take prescription pain medication for legitimate reasons. This addiction doesn’t happen overnight. Unfortunately, many people become addicted slowly. They don’t realize the red flags of their growing addiction until they are completely hooked.
Myths Fueling the Addiction
Many people don’t intentionally abuse prescription painkillers. They begin using these drugs for a medical need. However, there are faulty ideas that can lead to these people getting addicted. Some of these faulty ideas or myths are:
- My doctor prescribed these pills, so they must be OK. Just because a doctor prescribed these pills, doesn’t mean that you are safe from addiction. Many of the medications prescribed have a risk of dependency. It is important to keep your eyes open for signs of cravings, pill-seeking behavior or doctor shopping. These signs point toward dependency. It’s also important to take pills as prescribed to avoid an overdose. These pills can have fatal consequences if abused.
- I’m a strong-willed person. I won’t get addicted. Being addicted to substances is not a willpower issue. If you have addiction in your family, you have an increased risk of struggling with addiction as well.
- I need to get rid of my pain at all costs. Feeling pain can keep you from daily activities and can affect your life negatively. However, abusing prescription pain medication is not the solution. Simply taking a pill to reduce pain, does not fix the underlying problem. Talk to your doctor about your pain and other types of therapies that could help.
Spotting the Signs of Addiction
Recognizing the signs of prescription painkiller addiction is a good first step. It is just as important to know if your addiction is growing. If you know what to look for, you can address the growing problem before you are completely dependent.
- You’re using your painkillers for other reasons other than pain relief. Taking your painkillers because it makes you energized or helps you fall asleep, or relieves your stress and anxiety are red flags. Taking the pills to change your mood instead of relieving pain is getting you high. That is a slippery slope to addiction.
- You want an increase in your painkillers even though your doctor hasn’t recommended it. There are times that the pain you are feeling is intense and you may need to get an increase in dosage. However, taking the drug when you want the increase in dosage to alter your mood or mixing it with other drugs is a sign that you are crossing into addiction.
- You’re taking your painkillers even though you don’t have any pain.
- Your thoughts are consumed with getting more painkillers. If you’re not feeling any pain, there’s no need to continue taking your painkillers. Taking them “just in case” the pain comes back is not a legitimate reason to continue use.
- Other pain management therapies are no longer an option for you. Prescription painkillers are not the cure-all of pain management. There are other options. Not considering them can be a sign of addiction.
Even people with the best of intentions can fall into the trap of prescription drug addiction. Knowing the early signs of prescription painkiller addiction increase your chances of avoiding disaster. If you are addicted, receiving treatment as soon as possible at a drug rehab helps you break free from prescription drug addiction.