Prescription Pain Pills: The Dangers of Addiction

It’s important to know the signs and perils of prescription painkiller addiction

Painkiller abuse has been referred to as a growing epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdose has been responsible for more than one hundred and sixty-five thousand deaths between 1999 and 2014. More than half of these overdose deaths involved prescription opioids and in 2014 alone, more than 14,000 people died of prescription opioid overdose. Efforts to combat it have included prescription drug monitoring programs, which is meant to combat things like “doctor shopping,” someone using multiple doctors in order to get as many prescriptions as they can. With all the clear dangers for prescription painkiller abuse as well as statistics about overdoses, some might wonder how someone can even let themselves get addicted in the first place. But addiction is, of course, not at all that simple. There’s a myriad of ways and reasons that people can become addicted to prescription painkillers, but luckily, there’s also help in the form of addiction treatment centers like Ridgeview Ranch.

 

Early warning signs

The first thing to understand is the difference between dependence on a drug and addiction to it. When you are dependent on a drug, that means that your body has built up a tolerance to the drug and you need to take more and more of it to feel its effects, and can suffer a withdrawal without it. While this is a facet of addiction, it does not constitute it. Addiction is dependency in the context of compulsive drug use, even in the face of dangerous and harmful consequences. It’s a dependency that becomes not just physical but mental, an inability to stop using and a failure to meet life responsibilities and obligations. Warning signs of the beginnings of an addiction can sometimes be difficult to spot until it’s too late, even if you’re the one who is sliding into addiction. It’s important to know the warning signs to watch out for:

  • You’re taking a different number of pills than prescribed by your doctor. Whether it’s taking more at once or more often than your doctor has told you to, this is an early sign of a budding addiction. Deciding your own dosage instead of following your doctor’s orders may be indicative of a problem.

 

  • You’ve been using painkillers for a long time. A doctor prescribes you painkillers after a surgery or otherwise because you hurt. But they are not meant to be a permanent solution. If you’re still taking prescription pain medication after the pain should have gone away, this is a big warning sign that something is wrong. It might be that you just enjoy the way they make you feel, or you’ve started to physically need them. Both of these are signs of addiction and reasons to get help before it’s too late.

 

  • You’re getting painkillers from other sources than a doctor. While there is a crackdown on “doctor shopping,” there are other places to get pills from, such as ordering them online, stealing from people’s medicine cabinets, buying other people’s prescription medication or even purposefully hurting yourself so you can get access to more. All of these are very serious signs that you have an addiction, both that you are getting drugs from illegal sources and that you feel the need to “stockpile.”

Final Word

It can be frighteningly easy to misuse painkillers, even when you try not to do it. The most important thing to remember is honesty. Be honest with your doctor, your friends and family, and of course, yourself. If there’s a problem and you see yourself or someone you care about exhibiting these signs, know that there are addiction specialists and treatment centers that are there to help and can get your life back on track and back to normal. Here at Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, we understand the roots of addiction and are committed to providing hope and healing.

If you or a loved one need advice or help with painkillers, please call our Hotline, 24/7, (800) 296-1868, to speak with one of our treatment specialists for assistance. We are here for you…

Ridgeview Ranch has every direction covered! Call Today!

 

Addiction: A Family Disease

Addiction: A Family Disease - Ridgeview Ranch treats the family as wellLife is a constant series of choices. Sometimes they are simple choices; wakeup or hit the snooze button, turn right at the light or go straight through the intersection. Sometimes the choices are much harder; speak up when you’ve made a mistake or let someone else take the blame. Making hard choices are never easy and sometimes doing what is right or even what is in our best interest is a painful road.

Getting help for an addiction is one of the hardest choices anyone can ever make. Do you walk a tough, scary and sometimes lonely road toward a better life or do you continue to do that thing that feels good now but causes unimaginable hurt to you and to the people you love?

Addiction is a progressive disease, and without treatment, it only gets worse. Addiction is also a family disease; everyone in the family is affected. “Addiction affects the stability of the home, the unity of the family, mental and physical health, and the overall family dynamic” (Research & News, 2010). Recovery is a lifelong process and the family requires treatment just as the addict requires treatment.

At Ridgeview Ranch, we support not only our clients but their families as well. In addition to the client’s recovery work, we offer family therapy to help ensure the best possible outcome. “With treatment, both the addict and family members can go on to live full, happy, and productive lives. For the addict, this will be the new normal. For family members who have learned how best to support their loved one in recovery and how to take care of themselves, it may well become the better normal” (Research & News, 2010).

Blog written by Leanne Reece, Substance Abuse Counselor, Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center

Residential Treatment for Addictions

Ridgeview Ranch EastIn Residential Treatment, recovery is the sole focus of our client’s lives – this is what leads to long-term sobriety.

Addiction is chemical, psychological and behavioral.

Intensive and individualized Residential Treatment takes time [30 to 90 days or longer if necessary] after clients detox, to begin the psychological and emotional discovery of why they use. We help them discover and recover, in a positive way.

The body must first heal the damage, build back up and become physically strong. Our clients practice and participate in yoga, stress reduction, meditation, equine, art therapy, hypnotherapy as well as other therapeutic and holistic treatment to heal and calm the body and mind.

In conjunction, we help our clients rebuild their psychological and emotional health – to find the root of their addictions – so they become emotionally strong. We utilize Group Sessions, Coping Skills work, Relationship, Individual and Family Counseling and 12-Step/Concept meetings, and Education and Process Groups to build a firm psychological foundation for long-term sobriety.

Then, we help Transition [30 days or more – whatever time deemed necessary] clients back to their lives with Sober Living. Ridgeview Ranch provides individual, client and family After Care programs and Relapse Prevention Planning for one year after the client is discharged from residential treatment to help insure their long-term success.

Our Client’s Success is Our Success!