37% of people claim that the U.S. is losing ground in the war on prescription drug abuse.


The United States spends over 560 Billion Dollars for the purpose of pain relief.


Nearly 500,000 people each year abuse prescription medications for the first time.

Painkillers

What are Painkillers

PPainkillers are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. There are different types of painkillers, but the most effective ones are a part of the opioid pain reliever family of drugs and require a prescription to obtain. These painkillers are derived from opium and are extremely addictive both physically and psychologically. Many painkillers, opioids specifically work by affect the cerebral opioid receptor system. Their tendency to cause addiction is thought to be due to their effect on the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. Other prescription painkillers work in a variety of ways, often with an effect on a combination of neurotransmitters including serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and others. Some opioid pain killers contain another substance, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, which are non-addictive painkillers. All prescription painkillers are addictive and have great potential for abuse, addiction and overdose. A doctor must prescribe these drugs and there are strict instructions regarding the quantity and frequency of use.

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Painkiller Rehab Treatment Programs

Painkiller Abuse Detox

Detox from painkillers can be uncomfortable. Opiate based substances can cause intensely painful withdrawal symptoms. Painkillers like Tramadol cause a plethora of symptoms as well, namely a combination of opiate and antidepressant withdrawal symptoms. It is best to detox from prescription painkillers while in a detox center. The medical professionals in detox will help ease the symptoms of withdrawal with medication, while the expert staff closely monitors you around the clock. There are many reasons for entering a detox facility, the most compelling of which is that withdrawal symptoms can cause intense discomfort and even death if not properly managed. Within a detox facility you can relax and know that you are in good hands.
Outpatient Painkiller Rehab

Painkiller Abuse Rehab

Many people become addicted to prescription painkillers after prolonged use to manage the symptoms of a chronic pain problem. Life without prescription painkillers can seem like a daunting task. In order to combat the symptoms of chronic pain suffers, many rehab facilities offer pain management programs specifically designed for people who deal with pain on a daily basis. Many people become addicted to prescription painkillers after taking them for a relatively short amount of time as well. An addiction to prescription painkillers is often a symptom of an underlying issue. Professionals in addiction rehab centers help people to identify these underlying problems and handle stress in a healthier way. Through therapy and support many people are able to triumph over their addiction.

Dangers of Painkiller Abuse

Addiction to prescription painkillers has become increasingly more common in recent years. Prescription painkiller addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of age and all other demographic factors. People often start taking prescription painkillers for physical pain, however, upon realizing their euphoric effect, continue taking the drug after they are necessary for the original condition. People who experience extreme emotional and psychological pain often turn to something like prescription painkillers to get relief. The use of drugs to ease emotional distress is extremely dangerous and can easily lead to addiction.

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Effects of Painkillers

The outward signs and symptoms of prescription painkiller addiction is varied and numerous. Noticeable symptoms may include symptoms of use or withdrawal, including insomnia, sweating, slurred speech, weakness, low energy, mood changes and irritability. Any display of withdrawal symptoms indicates a problem, however if the person has been taking the drug for a while he or she will most likely be physically dependent. At this point the user may be displaying these behaviors to just feel normal. Other signs of a problem with prescription painkillers includes visiting different doctors for more prescriptions as the person will need an increasing amount and would naturally run out too quickly of prescription.

Lying about how many and how often the drug is being taken is another clear sign of a problem as the person is clearly trying to conceal the truth. If he or she were taking the drug as prescribed there would be no need to conceal how much is being taken. If the user has been abusing medication for a long time, the absence of the substance in their system for more than 72 hours will cause horrible withdrawals that could force them to lie, steal, and make decisions they wouldn’t normally make.

Short-Term Effects

Short-term abuse of prescription painkillers results in many potential side effects. These include brain fog or clouded thinking, lethargy, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, mood changes and swings, anxiety, depression, inability to urinate, constipation, decreased heart rate and suppressed respiratory system, euphoria, nausea, vomiting, lack of interest, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and flushing. Use of prescription painkillers for any amount of time can lead to tolerance, dependence and addiction.

Long-Term Effects

Long-term abuse of prescription painkillers can lead to devastating injury and death. Long term the drug is associated with mild and severe symptoms. Mild symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, digestive tract issues and all symptoms associated with short term effects. More severe symptoms may include muscle spasms, increased risk of heart attack, permanent damage to brain and internal organs, tolerance, dependence and addiction. Progressed addiction where the person uses intravenously causes an increased risk of sudden death, contracting deadly diseases, and blood born infections.

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FAQ

Can I Get Addicted to Painkillers?

Yes. All prescription painkillers are addictive. Many are opiate based, which means that they are highly addictive and physical dependence can occur in less than a week. Others also affect dopamine and others neural chemicals in such a way as to make them highly addictive.

Can I Overdose on Painkillers?

Yes. Any opiate based substance can cause an overdose, even death.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Taking Painkillers?

No. Alcohol is a drug and should not be mixed with prescription painkillers.

Can I Drive While Taking Painkillers?

Prescription painkillers are sedating and can cause side effects like slowed reaction times and confusion. It is not a good idea to drive while under the influence of painkillers

How Long Does it Take to Withdrawal off Painkillers?

Everyone is different and the amount of time it takes to detox off painkillers depends on several factors, such as amount used, duration of use, type of painkiller, genetics, physical factors, and others. It could be a matter of days or one month to complete the withdrawal process.

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Infographics

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Painkiller withdrawal detox

Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal from painkillers can be dangerous and unpleasant. The withdrawal symptoms vary depending on which specific painkiller a person is detoxing from. The severity of the withdrawal will depend on a number of factors, including the duration of use, amount used, physical factors, genetics, and other factors. Painkiller withdrawal symptoms most likely include cravings, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, restlessness, chills, fever, bone pain, muscle pain, increased pain, suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

dangers of Painkillers

Dangers of Painkiller Overdose

Any painkiller has the potential to result in overdose and death. Opiate painkillers are fairly easy to overdose on as they can cause confusion in some people. People take one dose and forget, repeat the dose, which causes greater confusion and disorientation, and continue repeatedly taking the drug until they lose consciousness. Some common symptoms of prescription painkillers are chest pain, shortness of breath, changes in breathing rapid, slow, deep, or shallow, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, confusion, coma and death.

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Best Treatment Centers

inpatient Painkiller rehab

Inpatient Painkiller Rehab

Inpatient treatment offers the best programs for addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment offers the most comprehensive programs available. Prescription painkiller addiction is often a sign of another underlying issue. In order to fully identify and address this underlying issues, these intensive treatment programs provide each individual with a variety of therapeutic methods, including individual, group and family therapy. With intensive therapy everyone learns why they used and how to better handle situations in the future. Inpatient treatment means a stay in a residential facility for typically 30, 60 or 90 days. Some programs are much longer or shorter than this and it is crucial to find the one that is the best fit for your needs. The longer a person spends in an inpatient treatment center, typically the higher the success rate.

outpatient Painkiller rehab

Outpatient Painkiller Rehab

Many people follow a stay inpatient with an outpatient program. Some people start addiction treatment with outpatient, however this should only be attempted if the person has already successfully detoxed and stabilized. Outpatient includes many of the same therapies as inpatient, however on a less intensive and part-time basis. Individual and group therapy groups help people to get to the root cause of the addiction and learn better ways of coping. Outpatient programs allow the person to continue with school or work while attending the program groups. Programs participants continue to live at home while travelling to the treatment center several times a week.

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Painkiller treatment aftercareAftercare

People become addicted to prescription painkillers for many different reasons. Years of using often requires a longer period of support and structured living than many inpatient programs allow. The best approach is to start with inpatient treatment, followed by outpatient treatment combined with an extended stay in a sober living facility. This is not always possible, however the longer you can stay surrounded by sober people who support and guide you the better. Learning to live without the use of drugs or alcohol requires a good deal of adjustment. The more you do to ensure long term success of your sobriety, the better.

painkiller dangersCommon Dangers of Painkillers

Many people begin using because of a legitimate pain problem. It does not take long to become physically addicted to prescription painkillers. A person can become physically dependent in less than a week of regular use. Often a person starts using prescription painkillers without realizing how addictive they are. Often people who start taking them as prescribed realized that they help alleviate emotional and psychological pain as well as physical. This can go from occasional abuse of painkillers to a daily routine very quickly. People become addicted faster and more frequently than many realize. Because these drugs are prescribed by a doctor, far too many people think that they are harmless because they are medicine.

Survivors of Substance Abuse

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painkiller intervention
Intervention

Many friends and family members of someone who is using start to feel that the situation is hopeless. Sleepless nights spent worrying about your loved one’s wellbeing can take its toll. An intervention is the best way to turn the situation around. An intervention is simply a conversation where the person is confronted about his or her behavior. The substance abuse is brought to the person’s attention in a loving and non-judgmental way. It is vitally important to keep the conversation compassionate as it can backfire if the person feels the need to defend his or her actions and using. A defensive position can drive a person further into denial, which perpetuates using. Denial is a strong ally of addiction and often causes the person to truly not see that the drug use is a problem. In the case of prescription painkillers, the person often dismisses the notion of addiction with the idea that the drugs are simply medicine. The intervention can bring the problem to light and helps the person get started on a healthier path.

traveling for painkiller treatment
Travel for Treatment

Travelling for treatment is a great way to spend your first days in recovery. It is important to remove yourself from potentially negative influences during the period of time when you are the most vulnerable. During the detox and first days after detox tend to be some of the most difficult for people to say no if offered their drug of choice. Unfortunately, many people decide to go to treatment only to be enticed or bullied away from recovery. Enablers, old using buddies, and dealers may prove difficult to get away from if you stay in the same area for treatment. For this reason, experts recommend travelling for treatment, ensuring that you can focus on yourself and what you need to do to recover. An added benefit of travelling for treatment is that you can choose anywhere to go. Why not find a facility located in the mountains or on the beach and spend your time in treatment enjoying yourself?

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therapyTherapy

Addiction treatment centers provide expert care and support to each individual. People use drugs and alcohol to mask severe emotional and psychological pain. Until these underlying issues are identified and addressed, the person may not stay sober. Several different forms of therapy are utilized to get to the bottom of why a person used mood and mind altering substances, including individual, group and family therapy. Individual therapy is usually in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy, where the person learns to identify negative thought patterns and core beliefs and challenge and replace them with positive, self-affirming thought processes. Group therapy is a great ally of addiction treatment. Through group therapy each individual is able to give and receive feedback from the group, gaining a greater sense of closeness and directly combatting isolation and distrust caused by addiction. Family therapy helps heal the entire family and teaches all members coping techniques and addiction education for a brighter future together.

12 step recovery for painkillers12-Step Programs

The disease of addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful. In order to maintain sobriety for a lifetime, a strong sober support system is required. The support you need to get and maintain sobriety can be found at a local 12-step meeting. 12-step programs have helped millions of people worldwide recover from their addiction and learn a better way to live. Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous still prove the best way to combat the disease of addiction. Everyone is encouraged to get a sponsor and work the 12-steps of recovery. Regular meeting attendance is also encouraged as it helps keep you connected to a sober network of people. Fellow group members will help each other through even the toughest of circumstances. Together, obstacles can easily be overcome that would have seemed insurmountable alone. Types of Painkillers Buprenorphine, Codeine, Darvocet, Demerol, Dilaudid, Fentora, Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Lorcet, Lortab, Methadone, Morphine, Norco, Methadone, Opana, Opiate, Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Roxicodone, Subutex, Suboxone, Tramadol, Vicodin, Vicoprofen

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