An estimated 18 million Americans misuse prescription painkillers each year. This addiction starts with one or more medications that a trusted doctor originally prescribed to treat severe pain and extreme discomfort. Many people who develop an opioid use disorder have it occur because of misusing prescription painkillers. However, there are numerous dangers of prescription painkillers, including addiction and all that comes with a physical and mental dependence on drugs. If a loved one is struggling with prescription drug abuse, they may not know where to begin to overcome their addiction or where or how to seek help, but you can reach out to Midwest Recovery online or call us at 833.627.0039 today to learn about our painkiller addiction treatment program.
What Are Painkillers?
Prescription narcotics or painkillers, also known as opioids, are often prescribed by medical professionals in pill form to help with the severe or chronic pain you are suffering from surgery or accident. When taken as directed by a doctor, there are not many dangers of prescription painkillers. They’re relatively safe and can be beneficial when used properly. That said, there is always a risk of addiction for numerous reasons, some simply due to an individual’s unique physiology to stressors in a person’s life to misdiagnosis. And the risks of prescription painkillers increase greatly when you abuse prescription painkillers.
What Does Prescription Painkiller Abuse Look Like?
Not everyone who uses prescription painkillers develops an addiction, but the signs of painkiller abuse commonly include:
- Taking prescription painkillers in a way that was not originally prescribed by your own doctor
- Taking too many pills at once
- Combining pills with alcohol or other drugs
- Crushing pills into powder to snort or inject
- Taking someone else’s prescription painkiller
- Using prescription painkillers to “feel good” or get high
Abusing opioids can lead to addiction and death, and as such, there are many dangers of prescription painkillers.
The Dangers of Prescription Painkillers
There are many risks of prescription painkillers. For example, taking just one dose too large can cause serious health problems and, in some situations, can lead to death. Speaking of dosage, here’s a dose of reality to consider when it comes to the dangers of prescription painkillers: Deaths from unintended drug overdoses have been rising sharply in recent years. In 2019, prescription painkillers resulted in 14,000 deaths by overdose in the United States alone. That’s more than three times the number of deaths a decade earlier – just 3,400 in 1999!
When it comes to the dangers of prescription painkillers, the risk of overdose and death increases exponentially when prescription painkillers are combined with other drugs or with alcohol. Therefore, it is important for you to be aware of and recognize the many signs of prescription drug misuse in yourself and others you love in your life. If any of the following signs seem familiar, seek out the prescription drug addiction treatment program at Midwest Recovery immediately:
- Continue using the prescribed drug even after the pain has ceased
- Manufacture symptoms to get more of the prescription painkillers
- Changes in mood and behavior
- Lack of interest in other treatment options
- Stealing prescription painkillers from others or doctor shopping
- Physical withdrawal when the prescription painkillers are not being used
- Tolerance to the prescription painkillers, meaning more of the drug is needed to relieve pain or to get high
- Withdrawing from family, friends, work, and social life
- Financial problems
- Poor decision making
Learn More at Midwest Recovery
There are many risks of prescription painkillers. Learn how Midwest Recovery can help you get clean and overcome your dependence on painkillers. Contact us using our secure online form or call us at 833.627.0039 today and ask about our prescription drug addiction treatment program.