Doctors prescribe painkillers to patients as a way to manage pain from an injury, surgery, or trauma. Painkillers are highly addictive opioids. The common opioids are Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Demerol. These opioids are for short-term use; however, opioids are also used for long-term illnesses such as cancer. The opioid epidemic has been declared a national health emergency due to the overwhelming rise in opioid use, overdoses, and deaths.
If you take painkillers for a long time, you can develop a physical dependence on the drug, which puts you at high risk of developing an opioid addiction.
People who are addicted to painkillers eventually move on to cheaper, more potent drugs such as heroin. Long-term use of painkillers leads to tolerance, dependence, and overdose or death. There are ways to prevent an addiction to painkillers:
- Follow the doctor’s orders. If you are taking medication for pain, take the medication as directed by your doctor. When you take more painkillers, and more frequently than prescribed, you put yourself at risk of developing a dependency or addiction. Take the painkillers exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Seek alternatives. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to opioids. There are less addictive medications that can alleviate pain. Check with your doctor for other options that can minimize discomfort.
- Ask yourself if you still need painkillers. If your pain is more manageable and you are experiencing less pain, ask yourself if you need to continue using painkillers. If you continue to use them, but no longer need them, you could be at risk of addiction.
- Limit the opioid use. Do not take more painkillers than needed or increase the duration of use. If you feel better, talk to your physician about discontinuing the medication and withdrawal management.
- Think about other risks. Discuss other factors with your physician that may contribute to your risk of developing an addiction. Talk about your experiences with addiction to drugs or alcohol, or mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
The number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths is staggering. Opioid addiction can be prevented if you know the risk factors, act responsibly, and maintain communication with your physician.
If you or your loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, you are not alone. Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in treating drug and alcohol addiction with a focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit. Addiction is deadly. Get help today.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 877-938-1577