Understanding the Cycle of Prescription Painkillers and Addiction
Chronic pain causes many people to suffer throughout their lives. Whether your pain starts after an accident, injury or health problem, painkiller medication makes your life easier.
However, painkillers simply substitute one problem for another, addiction for chronic pain. Even worse, the painkillers stop working like they once did. These opioid medications change how your brain and body work. Therefore, you must use these drugs frequently or you risk symptoms of withdrawal.
The three major forms of opioid painkillers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, and meperidine. For example, you find oxycodone in medications like OxyContin, Percodan, and Percocet. Hydrocodone gives Vicodin and Lorcet their power. Demerol, Dilaudid, and Darvon contain meperidine.
When drug makers manufacture prescription painkillers, they design them for time-release. This gives the person using the medication dosing over a period of time, instead of too much all at once. Moreover, time release also decreases the likelihood of painkiller abuse.
However, people abusing these medications don’t always take them in their original forms, such as tablets, liquids, or capsules. They may crush the tablets and snort or inject them.
How Opioid Painkillers Change Your Body and Brain
Opioids work on your opioid receptors in your brain, spinal cord, and intestines. They block pain signals while causing the brain to release large amounts of pleasure chemicals called dopamine. Moreover, instead of allowing your brain to continue producing its own chemicals normally, the medications take over this role. Soon, your brain stops producing normal amounts of dopamine or other neurotransmitters.
At the same time, your body builds a higher tolerance to the drug. Therefore, you need more and more of your opioids to feel the same effects. The increased drug requirement also brings a greater risk of overdose.
Painkillers also cause depressant side effects for your central nervous system. For example, your breathing slows, speech slurs, and the body reacts slowly.
After addiction sets in, you feel withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit using. These symptoms include agitation, restlessness, depression, nausea, and vomiting. Furthermore, they also include muscle aches, joint pain, bone pain, irritability, and emotional instability.
Prescription Painkillers Treatment in Hazleton, PA
Near Hazleton, PA, Silver Pines Treatment Center provides the addiction treatment programs you need for your painkiller addiction. Whether you suffer oxycontin addiction or use a different opioid, your new life begins with the right help. Treatment at Silver Pines Treatment Center includes:
- Detox and rehab
- Individual, group and family therapy
- Behavioral therapies, CBT and DBT
- Trauma therapy and psychotherapy
- Holistic methods, such as yoga, nutrition, fitness and outdoor activities
- Alumni programs
The road away from prescription painkillers is long and tough. However, with individualized treatment planning and a broad range of therapies, education, and support, you can leave your opioid addiction behind you.
Call Silver Pines Treatment Center today at 267.719.8689 for more information about available programs. Our treatment modalities are a clear path to lasting recovery.