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Dangers of Painkiller Abuse

Young man with head in his hands struggling with the dangers of painkiller abuse

The modern world of medicine is quite a wonder. Doctors can treat injuries and diseases that were once thought impossible to help. Whereas a scrape on the knee might have guaranteed infection followed by death, today, it’s followed by a band-aid and a dab of Neosporin. Not only has the medical field improved in treating injuries, but they have also improved in treating the pain, discomfort, and symptoms associated with injuries. Painkillers are nothing new to the world of medicine. They have been used for countless centuries. However, the painkillers on the market today are considerably different. The first difference comes in the form of their potency. 

Modern painkillers have been developed with incredible precision to ensure they perform at maximum effectiveness. Another significant difference comes in their availability. For those unaware, the United States has been dealing with an opioid epidemic for quite some time now. While this is partly due to overprescribing, it is also due to rampant rates of opioid addiction. And this highlights another difference between the painkillers from the days of old and those available today; they are incredibly addictive. When searching for an opiate addiction treatment center, consider Insights Recovery NC, where support and guidance are a right, not a privilege.

What Are Painkillers?

Painkillers are pretty self-explanatory concerning their function—they kill pain. But what kind of pain do they kill? What are they prescribed for? And what risks come with a painkiller prescription? Painkillers typically come in the form of opioids which prevent pain receptors in the brain from causing feelings of discomfort. Commonly, painkillers are prescribed to those recovering from a significant injury or suffering from chronic pain. To this extent, painkillers can significantly increase an individual’s quality of life when dealing with such issues, as they are not plagued by constant pain and discomfort. This alleviation of pain, however, comes with certain risks to the individual user. Painkillers can be highly addictive. Not only that, but consistently using painkillers can increase a person’s tolerance. This, in essence, is a recipe for disaster. As tolerance builds, more and more medication is required to produce the same intended effect. This can quickly lead patients to take higher and higher doses, which depletes their prescription more rapidly and increases the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms occurring once a drug runs out.

What Is an Opiate Use Disorder?

An opiate use disorder describes the compulsion to take painkillers after a prescription runs out or to take higher doses of a painkiller despite the prescriber’s instructions. One of the critical signs associated with an opiate use disorder is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal. While taking painkillers, the body becomes accustomed to receiving that medication and can have a strong reaction when that medication disappears. Symptoms associated with painkiller abuse are:

  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to sleep
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nassau and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Extreme discomfort

These symptoms’ severity highly depends on the quantity and duration of use. Unfortunately, these symptoms are reported to be so severe that those who attempt to come off painkillers on their own often relapse before they can withdraw. Painkiller abuse can quickly lead to addiction if not appropriately monitored. That is why it is of the utmost importance to seek treatment as soon as an opiate addiction becomes apparent.

Learn More about Painkiller Abuse at Insights Recovery NC

When searching for substance use disorder treatment, getting bogged down by all the information a simple internet search result can produce can be easy. That is why, at Insights Recovery NC, we welcome any questions related to our curriculum, facility, and campus. For more information on painkiller abuse or to schedule your appointment today, reach out to the Insights Recovery team at 828.826.1376.