A large number of Americans experiencing chronic pain will receive opioid prescription painkillers. When prescribed in a medical setting these drugs can be extremely helpful in regulating pain.

However, understanding more about these drugs can help recognize if there is a problem occurring. What are opioids and what problems do these types of drugs present? How can you recognize the signs of an opioid abuse problem? Do you or someone you know need to go to a prescription painkiller addiction treatment center?

What are Opioids?A woman in need of a prescription painkiller addiction treatment center

Opioids are a class of drugs that are naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Morphine and codeine are examples of naturally occurring prescribed opioids. That being said, most prescription opioids are synthetic and created in labs, however, the effects are still the same. Examples of synthetic opioids would be drugs like fentanyl, and oxycodone. 

Opioids work by blocking pain receptors in the brain. Typically they are prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. They also make the user feel more sedated, relaxed and happy. 

Opioids are also referred to as a narcotic because although they are pain relievers, they do not fall into the same category as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Narcotic simply means that they can also have a mood-altering effect. Narcotic also means that there is a high risk of abuse with the substance. 

What Causes Issues with Dependence on Prescription Pain-Relieving Drugs?

Why are we seeing a continual increase in the abuse of opioid medications? For example, more people are using prescription opioids today than at any time in the past. Secondly, people are also using these medications for longer periods of time.

However, opioids should generally remain in use for short periods of time to lessen the likelihood of dependence occurring. Over time more of the drug is needed to create the same type of effect. This is when tolerance and addiction develop. 

Once addiction occurs, the discomfort that accompanies physical painkiller withdrawal symptoms can be extreme. 

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating and chills
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramping

Because the withdrawal symptoms can be so intense. It can result in a person not seeking the help they need to overcome the abuse of opioid drugs. Or, they could find themselves attempting to quit “cold turkey” and suffering dramatically to the withdrawal symptoms. 

If you or someone you know is trying to detox your body from prescription drugs like opioids, it is important that you seek help from a professional detox clinic. 

What are the Signs of a Problem with Opioid Use?

Substance abuse comes in many different forms. Different people can be affected by this problem in different ways. However, there are a number of signs of opioid addiction that you can watch out for. 

  • Is the individual avoiding activities that used to bring them joy? Things like sports events, social gatherings or hobbies. 
  • Has the person recently come into money trouble? Are they asking for loans from friends or family members?
  • Does it seem as though their career or work levels are slipping? Do they constantly need time away?
  • Have they made excuses for using prescription pills? Even seeking drugs without a legal prescription?
  • Do they seem to “nod off” when sitting upright, during the middle of the day?
  • Are they eating much more or much less than usual?
  • Did you notice that they have been neglecting their overall appearance? 

When people are living with addiction, their behavior can change dramatically. If you notice they are making decisions that they otherwise would never make, they may be suffering from addiction. Some more serious signs include the following:

Seeking Care from Multiple Doctors

Those struggling with substance abuse issues may seek treatment from several different doctors. This is referred to as “Doctor Shopping”. Addicts will do this to ensure they never run out of the medication they’re using.

They may also look for other individuals using the same or similar substances so that they can trade.

Continuing to Abuse Medications in Spite of Devastating Effects

Specifically, the effects of substance abuse can become extreme. It may start off as some mild neglect of their career, friends or family, but in the long run, those facing these issues will often continue to misuse the substance in spite of devastating effects. Things like job losses, legal troubles, and severe health complaints.

Showing Support for Loved Ones Affected by Substance Abuse

It can be difficult to watch a loved one suffer from the effects of substance abuse. Often times an addict has outcasted themselves from friends and family due to the addiction.  Continuing to show your love and concern is often the best thing you can do to support them. Let them know you are there to lend a supportive shoulder and listening ear. Help them consider seeking appropriate professional help so that they can regain a peaceful life.

Why Seek Treatment for Prescription Painkillers?

As we discussed earlier, addiction to many prescription pills causes the users extreme withdrawal symptoms. Attempting to quit alone is extremely difficult and medically speaking – not recommended. But beating the physical symptoms of addiction is only the beginning. 

The road to recovery from substance abuse can be long and isolating for many people. The overwhelming majority of those suffering from these issues require the expertise of professionals who dedicate their lives to implementing effective forms of treatment. Addicts need to understand what led them to addiction in the first place. They also need to understand their triggers and how to develop a routine that no longer includes their addiction.

Furthermore, addiction treatment centers exist all over America to provide such in-depth support to those in need.

Crest View Recovery Center’s Prescription Painkiller Addiction Treatment Center

Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, North Carolina will help you achieve lasting results over prescription painkillers and addiction.

Don’t allow addiction to control your life or dictate your future. In fact, you can overcome the challenges of addiction at our prescription painkiller addiction treatment center. Contact CVRC today at 866.327.2505 and learn more about us and our recovery programs.

Article Reviewed by Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS

Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCSPatrice has over 30 years experience working in social work and mental health/substance abuse counseling. She received her Master’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked in a variety of settings, including community-based outpatient, hospital and classroom settings. Patrice specializes in substance abuse treatment, trauma and women’s issues.