Pain Killer Addiction
If you or someone you care about is caught in the throes of pain killer addiction, what recourse do you have? What are your pain killer addiction treatment options? What makes one pain killer addiction treatment plan different from the next? And how can you find a pain killer addiction treatment facility that will work for you?
There are no simple answers to those questions. Again, sometimes the most dangerous enemies are the ones you never see coming, and pain killer addiction is nothing if not a challenging foe. That said, though, pain killer addiction can very certainly be overcome, with the help of expert care from qualified professionals.
The key to finding a pain killer addiction treatment program that’s right for you lies first and foremost in education: You’ve got to know exactly what kind of a challenge you’re facing in pain killer addiction itself, and you’ve got to know exactly what choices you have in selecting a pain killer addiction treatment program.
With that in mind, the following text lays out the most pertinent information for individuals in the process of seeking a pain killer addiction cure. No, there are no simple answers, but due diligence and careful study can make your pain killer addiction treatment experience a productive and fulfilling one. At The Watershed, we know how it works, and we know how to help you on the long road from pain killer addiction to sobriety. We can only hope you’ll let us keep you company on the way. For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit http://thewatershed.com.
Who is at risk for pain killer addiction?
To put it as simply and as starkly as possible: Everyone is at risk for pain killer addiction.
Many Americans make the mistake of believing that drug abuse is a thing that happens to “somebody else.” Such thinking is largely the product of the stigma attached to drug addiction in the popular imagination; because drug addicts are widely perceived as deviant and even somehow defective, it’s easy to construe drug addiction as a problem that does not and cannot affect “ordinary” people.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Drug addiction recognizes no social limits, and knows no social boundaries. Drug abusers belong to every race and class and age group of American society; drug abusers are black and white, rich and poor, young and old. Drug addiction is such a severe problem precisely because no one is immune to it, and precisely because no one has the power to escape from it once they’ve succumbed to its pull.
Such is especially the case for pain killer addiction, which very often works in subtle, insidious ways. Indeed, America is full of accidental pain killer addicts, people whose prescription drug abuse developed slowly, gradually, without their even knowing it was happening. Pain killer addiction is a threat to everyone because people rarely see it coming; it grows in imperceptible increments, and by the time the victim recognizes the problem it’s already too late to do anything about it.
The bottom line, then, is that anyone could be a pain killer addict. Doctors and lawyers, politicians and athletes: No one is beyond the reach of pain killer addiction; no one is above pain killer abuse. What that means, in practical terms, is that you shouldn’t make the mistake of believing that you or someone you love “couldn’t” be addicted to painkillers. You very certainly could be addicted, and not recognizing the problem will only make it much worse.
What makes pain killers addictive?
Most pain killers are derived from a class of chemicals called opioids. Drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone (the active agent in the popular prescription drug OxyContin) work by stimulating natural opioid centers in the human brain. These opioid centers are linked to analgesic pleasure pathways, and can induce feelings of soothing, painless calm when activated.
When pain killers are taken in prescribed doses, then that soothing, painless calm is the end of the story. Unfortunately, though, drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone have a far different effect on the body when taken in large dosages. Excessive ingestion of prescription opioids is known to induce an intensely euphoric high in users, one comparable to that associated with heroin use. (Indeed, heroin is itself an opioid.) That high is usually followed by an anxious, unpleasant low, which nurtures pain killer addiction by driving pain killer users into habitual cycles of abuse.
Pain killer addicts, in other words, use because first because using feels so good and second because not using feels so awful. Even more troubling, chronic pain killer abuse is known to warp the body’s natural opioid processing system, effectively leaving a pain killer addict beholden to drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone as his only source of opioid stimulation. Under such conditions, a pain killer addict uses because he literally he has to; the crux of pain killer addiction lies in the capacity of pain killers to make themselves necessary to the body’s “normal” function through repetitive use and abuse.
For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit http://thewatershed.com.
How is pain killer addiction different from other types of drug addiction?
The short answer is that it’s not: Pain killer addiction is no different from other types of drug addiction. As noted above, prescription drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone belong to the same family of substances as heroin; they have a comparable effect on the body, and are comparably compelling for anyone addicted to them.
It’s important to note here that pain killer addiction, like other types of drug addiction, is at its core a clinical disease. Again, pain killer addicts aren’t deviant, or defective; they’re sick, the same way patients with liver disease are sick.
Pain killer addiction is not a result of faulty morality or personal shortcomings. Pain killer addicts don’t choose to be pain killer addicts. And pain killer addicts can’t simply choose to get over their addictions, in the same way that patients with liver disease can’t simply choose to heal their livers. The truth is quite the opposite, actually: Pain killer addicts and victims of liver disease both need qualified medical care if they’re going to get better. Anything else could only ever amount to so much wishful thinking.
What are the effects of pain killer addiction?
Pain killer addiction by itself is bad enough. Habitual abuse of drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone turns pain killer addicts into mere whispers of the people they used to be. Pain killer addiction endangers lives and livelihoods; it drives families apart and leaves pain killer addicts incapable of caring about anything other than their self-destructive pain killer habits.
But that’s not even the worst of it. Pain killer addiction is linked to a wide range of deleterious side effects, all of them fraught with devastating implications for pain killer addicts and the people who care about them. Chronic abuse of drugs like morphine, codeine, and oxycodone has been linked to irritability, insomnia, physical weakness, tremors, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal irregularity, and steep declines in sexual desire. Pain killer and prescription drug addiction is also known to cause respiratory dysfunction, and pain killer abuse among pregnant woman has shown to substantially increase the risk of pre- and postnatal complications.
More seriously still, pain killer addiction bears with it the very real danger of overdose and death. Because sustained opioid abuse is known to dull the body’s natural opioid response mechanisms, chronic pain killer addicts find themselves having to ingest larger and larger pain killer dosages in order to achieve the desired high. The corollary, of course, is that chronic pain killer addicts are thus acutely susceptible to overdose, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse has found that prescription drug abusers account for a startlingly high percentage of annual drug-related emergency room visits in the United States.
Put simply: Pain killer addiction is not a thing to be taken lightly. Chronic pain killer abuse ravages the body and cripples the mind. And, tragically, chronic pain killer abuse can kill you. If you or someone you love is a victim of pain killer addiction, you can’t afford not to act. For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit http://thewatershed.com.
So I need help for pain killer abuse. What are my options for pain killer addiction treatment?
It’s one thing to say you need help for pain killer abuse; it’s quite another to actually go out and get it. In broad terms, pain killer addiction treatment is similar to any other kind of drug addiction treatment. Every drug rehab program, whether it’s geared towards illicit or prescription drugs, is designed to confront addiction as it actually exists: as a disease with physiological and psychological roots.
To that end, pain killer addiction treatment, like all forms of drug treatment, aims to rehabilitate patients both in body and in mind. Only pain killer addiction treatment plans that target both causes of the disease can be effective conduits for a patient on the road to long-term functional sobriety.
The first stage of any pain killer addiction treatment program is a physical one. Pain killer addiction treatment breaks the chemical reliance associated with opioid abuse by helping patients manage the traumatic symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Special drug detox facilities, often incorporated within larger drug treatment centers, allow professional doctors and technicians to closely monitor recovering pain killer addicts, and to ease their way through the early stages of the healing process with a specially-tailored program of medication and physical care.
But pain killer addiction treatment doesn’t end with detox. Remember, pain killer addiction is both a physiological and emotional disease, and effective pain killer treatment programs are those that cater to both the physical and mental health of their patients. In concrete terms, successful pain killer addiction treatment programs are those that help patients rediscover the agency and self-esteem that addiction strips away. In individual and group therapy session, recovering pain killer addicts develop the emotional skills and cognitive thought processes essential to long-term sober living, ultimately working towards a state of mind and spirit in which they’ll be able to confront the emotional rigors of real-world sobriety.
It bears noting, though, that pain killer addiction treatment doesn’t end after a patient’s first month at a drug treatment center. Pain killer addiction recovery, in fact, is a lifetime undertaking, and so it is that recovering pain killer addicts are best served by a pain killer treatment center that takes a long view of the healing process. Extended care facilities, halfway houses, and aftercare support groups are all vital to the lasting success of pain killer addiction treatment, and should factor prominently in any pain killer addiction treatment program. With so much as stake, you can’t afford anything less than the absolute best.
Again, at The Watershed, we know it works, and we know what you’re going through. If you or someone you care about is suffering from pain killer addiction, your only choice is to seek pain killer addiction treatment now, before it’s too late. We’re here to help, but we can’t do anything until you take the first step. So please, don’t wait: Take that step now, while you still have the chance.
It might just be the most important thing you’ll ever do. For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit http://thewatershed.com.