American society is too dependent on pharmaceuticals. And with millions, this dependence transcends therapeutic use and turns into abuse. It is important that individuals gain awareness of how prescription painkillers are potentially harmful.
Many prescription painkillers are opioids, which are a highly addictive class of drugs. Examples include hydrocodone and oxycodone. Painkillers are safe only when taken in doses prescribed by doctors and for the duration allowed. Even in these cases, subjects can develop tolerance to the painkiller and may increase the dose without informing the doctor. This leads to physical dependence that can soon become an addiction.
If proper diligence is not exercised, then one has to suffer uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms after the medication is stopped. Withdrawal symptoms associated with Lortab (hydrocodone and acetaminophen) include aches, perspiration, severe vomiting, and headaches. The symptoms can develop in as few as 24 hours.
Endorphins are our body’s natural pain relievers. The pituitary gland secretes this chemical, which binds to the receptors in the brain and helps alleviate pain. This natural provision to counter pain needs a medical boost when the pain is too severe. Opioid-based prescription medications improve the binding of the endorphins to the brain’s receptors. This leads to quicker relief. However, continuous use of such medicine alters brain chemistry and leads to physical dependence.
Symptoms of addiction to prescription medicines include taking medication in doses higher than recommended. Addicts obtain prescriptions from more than one doctor. Prescription medicines are illegally trafficked, and addicts may purchase them from street vendors. Addicts spend a lot of time in trying to obtain the drug, they lose interest in activities and prefer to stay aloof. Aloofness serves to keep them away from friends and family who may recognize the symptoms of their condition and try to put an end to it. A demotivated addict does not bother about hygiene, cleanliness, and following a routine.
If you’ve been asked to stop taking medication, but you continue to do so, then you are likely an addict, or at the very least you have become physically dependent on the drug. Receptors in your brain need the endorphin release stimulated by the drug at all times. As the dosage and frequency of drug intake increases, the number of receptors in the brain increases. This necessitates an increase in the dose or more frequent doses. This is how addiction tightens its grip on an individual.
When an addict’s brain is deprived of opiates, withdrawal happens. The best way to overcome withdrawal and beat addiction is under the guidance of experienced recovery experts, preferably in a rehab center where trained personnel can ensure that you navigate the different stages of withdrawal with minimum discomfort. Once, the detox happens and withdrawal is no longer an issue, recovery from addiction becomes relatively easier. However, you always need to be on guard against relapse.
If you wish to learn about the best way to overcome your addiction to prescription medication, then The Villa Treatment Center can explain alternatives available to you. Call us. 855-591-6116