The Physical and Psychological Effects of an Addiction to Prescription Painkillers

The Physical and Psychological Effects of an Addiction to Prescription Painkillers

Morphine, hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone and methadone are all legal drugs prescribed by doctors to treat pain. Just because they are legal in most countries (with a prescription), does not mean they are safe for everyone. These painkillers are widely prescribed in Australia, Europe and the United States. As these prescriptions have been increasingly handed out by doctors there has been a huge rise in abuse and addiction.

Effects of Prescription Painkillers

Some painkillers, like Morphine, are directly extracted from the poppy; others are made in a lab. Familiar drug names include Percocet, Tramadol, Vicodin, Darvocet and Lortab (to name a few, many brand names not listed). All of these medications affect the a person in a similar way, blocking pain signals by attaching to specific receptors that react to opiates. These receptors are in different areas of the brain, and once attached, pain and anxiety will be reduced while a sense of relaxation and euphoria will rise. It is these primary reasons why people abuse painkiller drugs.

When are painkillers okay?

Pain medications have been given by doctors since the middle ages. When used as prescribed they can help to alleviate acute or chronic pain. Respecting its powerful effects and taken exactly as noted on the bottle can improve the quality of an individual’s life; for example in the case of someone with a serious back injury or broken bone.

Opioids and opiate medication produces an intoxicating high and relieves anxiety (as well as pain). These  are the foremost reason people will misuse them. When a person starts to take too many prescription painkillers, or they seek out alternative ways to access the drug, they have crossed the line into abuse. With continued usage, a tolerance can build and the need can be so strong that an individual is willing to do anything to get more of the tablets. At this point, an addiction is a serious concern. The user will benefit from a prescription painkiller center.

Side Effects of Painkillers

Prolonged use of prescription painkillers can not only cause dependence or addiction, but also frequent side effects which could have serious implications on a persons’ health. Many of these are mild, but some can be fatal. These side effects include constipation, painful bowel movements, ruptured bowels, nausea, weight loss, bloating and water retention.

Physical and Physiological Effects of Prescription Painkillers

Once tolerance and dependency have been established, the physical and psychological effects of painkillers may start to set it. The degree to which people will experience there will depend on a number of different factors. These include the type and amount of medication, how it was being administered (orally, snorted, injected) and whether or not there was any pre-exposure to the drug. When taken for chronic pain, a tolerance will automatically build just like someone who used recreationally/occasionally.

Once a person is experiencing physical effects of painkiller dependency, a rehab treatment program will be ideal. Liver and kidney damage, cardiovascular problems, damaged colon or lowered immunity are all potential physical effects of long term painkiller use. Psychological factors could include depression, stress, inability to sleep/oversleeping and anxiety.

Symptoms of withdraw can include restlessness, muscle and bone aches, muscle spasm, vomiting, diarrhea, cold sweats, agitation and anxiety. Secondary addictions to other medications or alcohol should also be addressed. Withdrawing from prescription painkillers should be monitored closely by professionals such as an opiate rehab.

The Effects of Mixing Prescription Painkillers

Painkillers can enhance the “neuromuscular blocking action of skeletal muscle relaxants”; as a result respiratory depression (slowed breathing) can occur.  Mixing painkillers with other medications is quite common with users and abusers. Some of these such as paracetamol are safe; whereas, others are not. Addicts may mix painkillers with CNS depressants or alcohol. When this happens the cocktail can result in dangerous respiratory depression, hypotension, profound sedation, coma, overdose or death.

Getting Help at a Prescription Painkiller Rehab Center

Whenever someone is taking prescription painkillers and is running into family, legal, work or financial problems yet is still unable to quit, an addiction could be the cause. These medications can take a toll on a person and those around them.

If you believe someone you care about is dependent or addicted to prescription painkillers, don’t step away and do nothing. Notice how they use their medication. If you are unable to watch them, pay careful attention to their behavior. Constant refills, missing money, changes in attitude and the inability to alleviate pain could all signal addiction.

A rehab for prescription painkiller addiction can help a person safely and comfortably go through a detox. From there, a private holistic rehab will be able to restore balance between the mind and body. Serenity Rehab center is one of the leading facilities in Thailand and Asia as a whole. As a cost affordable painkiller rehab, it offers individualized treatment programs in a secluded, luxury environment.

If you would like to know more about our prescription painkiller treatment programs, please contact us today.