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!

 

Is My Loved One an Addict?

Today is never too late to be brand new - Ridgeview Ranch, Los Angeles, CAIn today’s society, drinking and using drugs is somewhat romanticized in the media. People of all ages, mainly those that are very impressionable, see various celebrities dabble with drugs, glorify copious amounts of drinking, going in and out of rehab as though it is simply a “normal” cycle, and people begin to think “Hmm, I’m okay. I don’t have a problem. It’s normal and possibly even cool”. Of course, that’s not to say that that is the sole cause of addiction; it’s an aid. Another wondrous aid– social media! It is the perfect outlet for people to paint a picture they want everyone to see– bottles on bottles in the VIP section, keg stands at tailgates, chugging from “fancy” bottles, etc. It’s difficult for some people to keep up (safely) with these pictures or differentiate perception versus reality. Some people are able to have one or two drinks and stop. Some people drink and their personalities don’t change except for an added tinge of happiness, but that is where they stop.

A person battling addiction doesn’t know when to stop. Once they have a sip– game on! You may notice your loved one drinking excessively and when they do, they are completely different people. There are many types of alcoholics, binge drinkers are just one of many varying forms. Drinking to the point of blacking out more than once in a month, is certainly not normal. If you cannot control yourself, and have absolutely no ability to stop yourself, you likely have a problem. Then you have the alcoholic that comes to most minds when the word alcoholic is said. The one that never stops drinking. From the second they wake up, to the minute they go to bed, they are deep into mass amounts of alcohol to keep from withdrawing. Once you become powerless to anything, you have no control. You can try everything to stop, and just can’t.

If your loved one is suffering from the disease of addiction, bombarding them with it constantly may push them away. They may begin to isolate and become distant. Their lives become a dark cave of lies, guilt, shame, hopelessness, and suffering. The people who love them; friends and family, suffer as well. There are tests they can take (see below), asking questions that may lead to the conclusion that maybe getting help is the next step. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Keeping yourself informed is the greatest way to help someone. Approach the situation from a sincere place. Knowledge is power, read about it, and ask about it.

H.O.P.E. - Hold On, Pain Ends - Ridgeview Ranch, Los Angeles, CAIf YOU think you are an addict and you don’t want anyone to know, and don’t know who to tell, or aren’t ready to stop, think about your life in the long term; will you live a deep and meaningful life that is not completely dependent on alcohol or drugs? Will you be able to develop and maintain successful relationships? Do you want the rest of your life, for your partner to be your drug of choice? Can you stop? Can you go months without it? Have you ever Googled “How can I get help” WHILE under the influence? Do you oftentimes find yourself waking up in the morning not wanting to talk to or see anyone because you are embarrassed about things you may have done or said the night before? Do you wake up worried about your drunken Facebook postings? If you’re answering yes to most of these, and you can relate to many of the things in this blog, call Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center TODAY at (800) 296-1868 to speak confidentially with one of our recovery specialist, available 24/7, to answer your questions, provide you help and support and to guide you to a new life of healing and sobriety.

Remember, the first step towards a better life is admitting you have a problem! The rest will come and your life will start to change in beautiful ways. No one deserves a life of dependency and darkness. Live the life you deserve.

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