The abuse of prescription opiate painkillers has reached a boiling point in America, with over 2.4 million people reported to be abusing prescription medications such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, and more.
A number of factors played a part in this growing epidemic. Overprescribing and a lack of communication between hospitals, doctor’s and pharmacies is a part of the problem. The current healthcare system is another part.
For some time, it was easy to get a prescription for medications such as Oxycontin, Norco, Vicodin and Codeine. Getting refills was simple, and when they ran out, it wasn’t difficult to get another prescription. You could go to a different doctor, or go to the emergency room and fake an injury or illness.
Doctors who didn’t have the time to fully diagnose and treat problems with chronic pain found it easier to write a prescription than to order tests. Limitations of insurance and funding were other issues. More tests cost more money. Just take some Vicodin.
Society has become accustomed to popping pills. We are also a busy, stressed and sleep-deprived society. Taking pills helps us to relax and get that rest that we have been craving. The accessibility of prescription medications, the fact that there is little stigma involved with popping a prescription pill and the promise of a quick fix have combined to create a perfect storm of sorts.
Now, regulations have tightened, and it is more difficult to obtain and abuse painkillers, but this hasn’t solved the problem. People continue to seek medication and to purchase their pills on the street. When all else fails, a person addicted to opiate painkillers will resort to using heroin to keep from getting sick.
People are often unaware of just how addictive and destructive painkillers are. They think that because they come from a pharmacy and are prescribed by a doctor that they aren’t as bad as street drugs like heroin. This isn’t true. Some prescription medications are more potent than heroin, such as Fentanyl.
Sometimes it’s hard to know when you are abusing painkillers. You may take pills every day and not see a problem with it. You have no trouble getting up in the morning, and you may not be feeling any ill effects. You could be a functioning addict. But if you look closer, you will realize that taking painkillers has become a priority in your life. You may not be spending quality time with those you love. You may be depressed, lethargic and have a lack of interest in activities that you previously enjoyed. These signs and symptoms of addiction may not be as dramatic as overdosing or homelessness, but they are destructive in their own way.
If you have become dependent on painkillers, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you go too long without taking them. These withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and debilitating. You can also experience anxiety, agitation and restlessness.
This can make your dependence on painkillers feel like a prison. When you decide you want to stop abusing painkillers you may find that you can’t. This is when you need help.
Because painkillers produce both a physical and a psychological dependence it is important that both are addressed in order to overcome the addiction.
The first step for most people is a painkiller detox. It’s common for individuals who are abusing painkillers to try and quit them on their own. Once the withdrawal symptoms set in the symptoms are often so bad that using seems like the only option.
At a painkiller detox, you will receive the support you need to successfully detox and free your system of opiates. This is the first step. A detox can help you by prescribing medication that will ease the symptoms of withdrawal, and give you the support you need to get through the first three days.
From there, it is important to continue with your recovery. An inpatient treatment program can help you get through the psychological aspect of your addiction and teach you new ways to cope without resorting to painkillers.
If you have chronic pain issues, it is important to explore new ways to cope with pain. Non-narcotic pain medications, physical therapy and cutting-edge pain management tools are some ideas. It is important to get lots of support from other people in recovery who understand what you are going through.
If someone you care about is abusing painkillers and your efforts to get them to stop have failed, an intervention may be the solution. Interventions aren’t just for celebrities or rich people. Regular people turn to professional intervention services to help their loved one’s every day.
Addicts who are in denial often don’t respond to the threats, reason and pleas of those closest to them. As frustrating and unfair as this may seem, it is a universal experience for many families. Somehow, the presence of an impartial third party makes the difference. When this third party is a trained professional who is experienced in interventions, miracles happen. Interventions work over 90% of the time.
If you are ready to get help for your loved one, Intervention Services, Inc. is there to help you and your family. From the time you pick up the phone, we are there for you and will continue to be there for you throughout the process. Call 1-877-478-4621 and start the process of healing today.