Prescription opioid use is widespread throughout the United States. According to data provided by the CDC, just under 143 million prescriptions were dispensed by doctors in 2020. Opioid medications are effective when used as prescribed and as part of a comprehensive pain management plan. While these medications are effective and greatly benefit patients, they are also highly addictive. Even under strict medical supervision, users can easily become dependent and, sadly, addicted to painkillers. Painkiller abuse is serious and life-threatening and can ruin the users and their families lives.
Why are prescription opioids abused in the first place?
This article will answer that question as well as provide the signs of painkiller abuse. If you or a loved one is addicted to painkillers, now is the time to act. The first and most important step in long-term recovery is medical detoxification. As one of the premier detox facilities in the Pacific Northwest, Sequoia Detox Centers provides all clients with the evidence-based care and support needed to get and stay sober. Call Sequoia Detox Centers today and learn more about our drug and alcohol detox center in Spokane, WA.
What Are Prescription Opioids?
In simple terms, prescription opioids are powerful pain-reducing medications commonly prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain associated with major surgical procedures, and diseases such as cancer, back pain, and arthritis. As part of a comprehensive pain management program, prescription opioids are an effective tool in helping people manage pain due to various conditions. As stated earlier, prescription painkillers have a high potential for addiction, and this is true even if these medications are prescribed and administered under close medical supervision.
Because of the potency of prescription opioids, the signs of painkiller abuse must be detected early. If the signs of pain medication addiction are left unchecked, users can find themselves in the battle of their lives.
Why Are Prescription Opioids Abused?
Many people ask the question of why are prescription opioids abused with a sense of curiosity and even bewilderment. These medications are created in a laboratory under strict restrictions and are prescribed by experienced medical professionals. Aren’t prescription medications safe?
These medications are anything but safe.
The first and more obvious reason these medications are abused is because of their potency. For example, the prescription painkiller fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. The immense and pleasurable sense of peace, calm, and euphoria felt as a result of these powerful medications can become quickly reinforcing for the user. As a result, they use more of their medications to achieve the desired effect. This often means taking more than the prescribed dose or taking medications longer than intended.
Another reason why people experience painkiller abuse has already been stated—the fact they think opioid medications are “safe.” Because doctors prescribe these medications, people think they are safer than illicit street drugs. In many instances, people will take opioids as prescribed, and it effectively manages their pain, but they enjoy the high they feel as a result. These feelings can open up a door for more chronic use and dependence on these medications. If left unchecked, it can lead to physical and chemical dependence.
Thirdly, people become addicted to painkillers because they seek an easy way to deal with the other forms of pain associated with their illness or injury. Many people prescribed these medications have serious illnesses that cause tremendous psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. When they take opioid medications, they not only feel relief from their condition, but they also feel relief from their emotional and psychological pain. When their physical pain is over, they want to continue taking these medications to deal with their traumatic pain. This may lead to behaviors such as doctor shopping to continue their habit.
End Prescription Painkiller Abuse With Help From Sequoia Detox Centers
Opioid abuse is very real and dangerous, and it devastates users and their families. If you are struggling with painkiller abuse, Sequoia Detox Centers can help you—starting today. We offer evidence-based detox and other programs that are extensively tested, proven to work, and tailored to meet your specific needs. No matter the severity of your addiction, the experienced team of professionals at Sequoia Detox Centers will be with you every step of your early recovery journey.
Call Sequoia Detox Centers toll-free today and take back control of your life.