Is your pain management leading to prescription addiction?

Guest Post

Everybody deals with physical pain, but not everybody goes about treating their ailments the same way. If you take medications for your aches and pains, you may be at risk. Even if your medication comes from a doctor’s prescription, it’s easy to fall into the unsuspecting throes of drug addiction.

Falling Prey to Addiction

Prescription Drug use
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / 

Most people think that prescription drugs are safe. After all, if a doctor writes a prescription for a painkiller, it must be okay to consume, right? The reality is, any painkiller, whether it’s prescribed or not, is a controlled substance. That means even taking the recommended dosage can lead to addiction.

It’s easy to understand how these situations play out. You get hurt in a car accident, and your doctor prescribes two painkillers per day. After taking the two per day for a while, you feel like you’re not responding to the medication anymore, so you take three per day. Sooner or later, you’re used to the three pills per day, and you add even more to your dosage. That’s just one way addiction to pain medication takes hold.

The Truth About Prescription Medication

Even if you take too many prescription pills, it’s commonly believed to be okay. Again, the idea that a doctor wouldn’t prescribe something dangerous pervades society. Unfortunately, excessive use of pain medication not only leads to addiction, but it also causes a tremendous amount of fatalities.

You might be surprised to find out that prescription drugs kill more people than street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and crystal meth. You might also not be aware that prescription drugs are now America’s top cause of accidental death and are more prevalent than car accidents. Although many people take prescription painkillers for recreational purposes, far more people die as a result of accidental overdoses or repeated excessive use. None of these people set out to become addicted to their medications; they simply began taking their pills as prescribed, thought they needed more, and then saw that they couldn’t stop.

Signs of Prescription Drug Addiction

If there’s one good thing about the nature of prescription drug addiction, it’s that the disease can be easily identified. If you find yourself constantly needing refills, usually in advance of when your prescription is scheduled to run out, odds are pretty good that you’re overusing your pain medication. If you frequently go to your doctor to get a new prescription after “losing” your old one, or if you go to multiple doctors to obtain new prescriptions, you’re a drug addict. Other common signs include going to the emergency room just to get painkillers and requesting a specific pain medication by name – that is, choosing the pill you’re addicted to instead of a different painkiller.

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction to pain medication, help is all around you. Rehabilitation centers around the country offer programs geared specifically towards the treatment of painkiller addiction. These facilities are able to help patients in a way that not only helps them kick their addictions, but also sets them up to make the most of their second chances at life.

If you think you may have an addiction to prescription medication, don’t hesitate to contact a local rehab facility. The call you make may save your life.

Author: Shane Burke

Bio: Shane is a writer and advocate of treatment for addiction and depression. He is currently writing for Delray Recovery Center a drug treatment center in Delray Beach, Florida.

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