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…

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The Darkness Behind Opiate Addiction

Who has ever been to the doctor’s office? I can guarantee, in America, the answer to that question, without doubt, would have, “I have”, reigning supreme over the alternative answer, “I have not”. There are, of course, many reasons for making an appointment with your doctor. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons people schedule these appointments is for pain. As doctors they have to cure or try to cure the symptoms they are presented with, so oftentimes a person can get their hands on a number of opiates to relieve the pain, easier than one would expect. Opiates are also referred to as opioids and narcotics. They are pain relievers created from Opium. More specifically, Opium is derived from the poppy plant. The two natural forms or products of opiates are; codeine and morphine. There are numerous amounts of synthetic imitations and modifications that create opioids as well. The list stretches from the street drug, heroin, to forms such as methadone, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone– this is only naming a few. The narcotics mentioned greatly reduce high-intensity pain and when correctly taken, they absolutely aid in effectively managing pain with short-term usage and when taken this way, rarely is addiction caused. These drugs, in all their forms, are highly addictive and even deadly if misused. Seeking treatment at the best detox center Los Angeles, maybe the ending point of suffering for you.

The Darkness Behind Opiate Addiction - Ridgeview Ranch can bring you back into the light.
Many people who do seek medical attention when in pain after an accident, injury, or any other event that may take place to cause avid pain, go see a doctor for legitimate reasons and really do need the medication. They start out taking them as prescribed for relieving pain. Some people realize that they enjoy the feeling that the drug gives them once taken. At this point, people may begin taking an extra half of a pill, just for an extra little kick. Sometimes, people will begin imagining their pain is intensifying, which assists in a delusional mind that is able to rationalize abusing prescribed medications. This mind is the mind that may allow loved ones to enable their drug-addicted son, daughter, wife, husband, friend, and so on. Once the addiction is there an individual will slowly or rapidly begin a very dark downward spiral, which can also include beginning to take other drugs, or seek street drugs when their doctor will no longer prescribe the medication. In these situations, no one wins. Families suffer watching the people they love to go down a dark path, and the addict is suffering both mentally and physically. Their vision is tunneled and all they are able to see is their drug of choice. Addiction is unfortunate. In some cases, adults with young children may become addicted together and seemingly out of nowhere, the children become somewhat or entirely neglected.

Ridgeview Ranch can help you take control of your life
Opiate usage and abuse has reached epidemic proportions. It is easier for people to get their hands on different forms of opiates than ever before. It starts by swallowing the pills and addicts may work their way to snorting, injecting, and any other means of consumption– preferably whichever gets to the bloodstream quickest, equating in a faster and stronger high. Opiate death rates have begun to sweep the nation at extremely high rates. Most people are familiar with the recent passing of Prince or Prince Rogers Nelson (his full name). Toxicology tests did conclude that Prince passed away due to an accidental overdose of Fentanyl. Fentanyl is commonly prescribed by physicians for cancer treatment. This has contributed to the spike in Opiate overdose. It is not the sole driving factor, but its contribution is quite massive. Fentanyl is stronger than most Opiates out there. Once in the midst of Fentanyl addiction, it will grasp with a clawing grip that never dares to let go, it will take you down and make it almost impossible to quit on your own. The first step to getting better is admitting and acknowledging you have a problem. This may happen on your own or by intervention. Either way, it is important to get help before it is too late. Contact Ridgeview Ranch, Rehab Center Los Angeles, who knows the ins and outs of struggling. We know the suffering. We understand. We can help. If you or a loved one is struggling, give us a call at (800) 296-1868 and visit for more information. We can bring you back to the life you deserve.