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10 Percent of Patients With Painkiller Scripts Develop Addictions

young woman talking to doctor is distraught to learn that 10 percent of patients with painkiller scripts develop addictions

Painkiller addiction in the United States has skyrocketed in the last decade. While painkillers can be highly effective in managing pain and other debilitating conditions, they also carry the risk of addiction. Recent research has found that about 10% of patients who are prescribed painkillers develop an addiction to these powerful medications.

Opioid-based medications are handed out liberally to patients seeking to manage chronic pain. According to the researchers, the sharp increase in painkiller scripts has correlated with an increase in related issues, including painkiller overdose, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms triggered by painkiller detox. Researchers are not saying all chronic pain patients should stop taking their medication but are uncertain that the benefits from opioids compensate for this additional burden to patients and healthcare systems.

If you or someone you love is struggling with painkiller addiction, it’s essential to seek help as soon as possible. A painkiller rehab center can provide comprehensive treatment and support to help you or your loved one overcome addiction. To find a painkiller rehab center near you, call Michael’s House at 760.548.4032. With a proper treatment program, you can reclaim your health and live a happier, healthier life.

Can Painkillers Cause Addiction?

Painkiller addiction has become a significant problem in recent years. Sadly, it’s often painkillers that are to blame. These powerful drugs are designed to relieve pain but can also be incredibly addictive. Many people become addicted to painkillers after taking them for a short time. Once someone is addicted, it can be challenging to break free from the grip of the drug.

Painkiller addiction often starts with legitimate painkiller scripts. The person takes the painkillers as prescribed and then starts to develop a tolerance to the drug. At this point, they may begin taking more painkillers than prescribed in an attempt to get relief from their pain. However, this only leads to further addiction and more problems.

What It Means to Be Addicted to Painkillers

Because of these risks for addiction, the medical community has taken great strides to better educate physicians about long-term painkiller use. In some states, doctors are required to check and update a statewide prescription drug database to ensure patients are using their medications safely. This helps prevent some individuals from manipulating the system by seeking multiple painkiller scripts from different doctors or filling a single prescription at various pharmacies.

The pharmaceutical companies have been compelled to do their part as well. Many have created tamper-resistant versions of their most addictive medications. These safeguards make it more difficult for patients to snort the drugs. Additionally, legislators have reclassified hydrocodone-based drugs. This change makes it harder for patients to get large amounts of these medications at once. The new reclassification also increases the medical monitoring patients receive when using the drugs over an extended period.

Choosing Alternative Pain Management when Addicted to Prescribed Painkillers

For those who struggle with chronic pain, there may be other ways to help patients to manage pain. Effective holistic and alternative therapies are available. Some possibilities include the following:

  • Physical therapy
  • Massage and bodywork
  • Herbal ointments
  • Essential oils
  • Yoga
  • Gentle exercise

Though patients who struggle with intense chronic pain may not be able to discontinue painkiller use, they may be able to manage their use of the pills more safely. Regardless of pain management methods, it’s important to remember that painkillers can be addictive and dangerous.

Contact Michael’s House for Help Finding a Painkiller Rehab Center

For those who already live with an active painkiller addiction, preventative measures and new legislation may not be enough to help. However, treatment services can help patients stop drug use safely. Rehab helps individuals make changes that will allow them to remain drug-free for the long term. With help from Michael’s House, we can assist you with finding a painkiller rehab center that will meet your unique needs and provide comprehensive care throughout the recovery process. If you have any questions, please know that you can contact us at 760.548.4032.