Painkiller addiction is a growing problem all around the world. A large number of Americans are addicted to painkillers. The numbers are alarming and rising every year. More and more celebrities admit to having this problem. When a person becomes dependent on painkillers, his/her body becomes used to a particular dosage of that pain medication. The body then starts developing tolerance to the drug. Sudden withdrawal may lead to symptoms such as restlessness, cold sweats, insomnia and diarrhea.
Causes of Painkiller Addiction
Most people do not realize that they are addicted to pain medications. Regular usage of painkillers makes the body tolerant to the dosage being administered on a daily basis. Due to this, the drug does not provide relief from pain. The person then involuntarily starts increasing the dosage to find relief from pain. This happens regularly and leads to painkiller addiction on a long-term basis.
Over a period of time, the person may start taking pain medications compulsively. The feeling of euphoria takes over the feeling of pain relief. Opioids are most likely to cause addiction.
Painkiller addiction is both psychological and physical. Dependence on painkillers is a physical response by the human body. Addiction to painkillers is a psychological response.
Avoiding Painkiller Addiction
Long-term pain management involves the use of opioids and other pain killers. Monitoring their use and following a few guidelines will reduce the chance of painkiller addiction.
- Make sure to take the exact dosage at regular intervals as prescribed by your physician. Failure to do so may lead to complications including euphoria and fatal drug overdose.
- Keep your doctor informed about any changes in your treatment or dosage. Do not increase the dosage without consulting your doctor. You might think it is OK to take a little extra dosage of painkillers to control the pain. It is NOT OK to do so.
- If the prescribed dosage is ineffective in controlling pain, your doctor may increase the dosage or prescribe other drugs for it.
- Do not combine painkillers with other drugs, antihistamines or alcohol. Doing so may lead to a drug overdose and other complications.
Following the instructions given by your doctor and a regular health check-up will ensure that you do not get addicted to painkillers.