A painkiller addiction can be difficult to spot. Painkiller medications are purely produced as opiates and synthetically produced as opioids. Opioids are the leading cause of drug overdoses in the United States today. If you think you have a problem, Ashley Treatment can help you find the answer.
How a Painkiller Addiction Develops
Here in the United States, we prescribe more prescription opioids, marginally, than any other country. According to a 2010 report from the MS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the United States prescribes over 80% of all opioids in the world. This wouldn’t be an issue if the medications weren’t extremely addictive. The medications are meant to treat moderate-severe and chronic pain, but abuse can result in death.
Some common painkiller medications include:
Eventually, the brain starts craving a high. These medications block pain receptors and release a flood of dopamine. Dopamine tells the brain to repeat certain pleasurable behaviors. This is what happens chemically each time you take the medication.
Why Is a Painkiller Addiction Difficult to Spot?
The part of your brain responsible for basic human survival instincts dangerously releases the dopamine. Long-term use of any narcotic medication causes the brain to ignore other important signals. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for self-awareness and logical decision making. Addiction causes these areas to malfunction. Your mind needs these medications, so it justifies and rationalizes using.
As a loved one, it can be difficult to see the signs of painkiller addiction for similar reasons. Seeing loved ones struggle with pain is difficult, so you might justify their drug abuse. Addiction is a progressive disease, so it’s important to spot the signs early. If you or a loved one has a problem, come to Ashley Treatment for help.
Overcoming Opioid Addiction at Ashley Treatment
If you realize that you have a problem, our addiction treatment center will give you the necessary care. The process starts with our on-site detoxification process which helps with withdrawal symptoms. If needed, we can even administer medications to ensure your comfort while going through detox.
In treatment, you’ll begin to learn about addiction and understand why you abuse drugs. Whether you used recreationally or for pain management, there’s often underlying issues triggering substance use. We’ll help you discover whether these are symptoms from mental illness or high levels of stress. Once we identify triggers, we’ll begin working on healthy coping strategies.