People with chronic pain will experience a devastating and exasperating period. Individuals who wake up each morning and spend their entire day in pain often turn to medication for relief. Unfortunately, many take it too far and find themselves addicted to their pain pills. Even though many don’t consider this a valid form of addiction, mainly because it is a doctor prescribed medication, it is very real and is changing the lives of many people in a negative way.
There are several types of medication that are more addictive than others. If an individual has a history of addiction to alcohol or street drugs, they need to be aware of the pain medications that are prone to addiction. Two of these that are regularly prescribed for severe pain are Oxycodone and Codeine. Once a person has been prescribed these medications to treat a chronic pain condition they may feel an almost immediate dependence on them. As their body adjusts to the strength of the medication, they may feel the need to take more than the recommended dosage to find relief from their pain. Thus begins the downward spiral into the world of addiction.
Other narcotics that are often given after surgery or an injury are Morphine and Meperidine. These are often given generously in a hospital environment, and the patient can feel the need to ask for more to relieve their pain as their body absorbs it. Physicians will wean patients off these medications by prescribing weaker, less effective drugs. Unfortunately, in some cases, the prescribed medications, which the patient continues to take once they leave the hospital environment, contain Codeine, which is another highly addictive pain reliever.
Once an individual, or their physician, begins to recognize the symptoms of a pain pill addiction, their medication regime will be adjusted. Quite often, in the case of someone addicted to pain pills, they will find weaker, non-narcotic pain relievers to not be as effective. This will leave them not only in pain, but distraught as well. Doctors will likely suggest the individual undergo further examinations to determine what, besides medication, may be done to help relieve the pain.
In some cases, the best way to beat a pain pill addiction is to not take these addictive medications at the onset of an injury or illness. There are many pain relievers available today that provide substantial relief without the added complications associated with narcotics.
Even though the doctor is the expert when it comes to medical care, patients have a right and responsibility to make decisions regarding their care. If there is reason to believe that the individual may indeed become addicted to pain pills, because of past experience, it is their responsibility to consult this with their physician to find out an alternative treatment.