Painkillers are the common term for prescription drugs that are in the synthetic opiate narcotic category. These include all forms of hydrocodone and oxycodone and all of their brand name pills. It also includes morphine, methadone, buprenorphine, fentanyl and other similar opioids. Addiction treatment programs have been overwhelmed in the past decade by the number of people who become addicted to painkillers for various reasons.
Unfortunately, these narcotic drugs have the initial effect of causing a sense of pleasurable euphoria or “high”, and for this reason have been increasingly misused. People using painkillers, whether for legitimate or illicit reasons, often need more of the drug over time to get the same effects. Most people entering addiction treatment programs for these painkillers end up needing at least 60 – 90 days of inpatient care, depending of course on their individual circumstances.
The more a person uses a prescription painkiller, their body becomes physically dependent on it and their tolerance also increases. This means that not only do they wind up feeling like they have to take more pills to have the same result, but if they suddenly stop taking them they will exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Opiate withdrawal is one of the more difficult physical situations to deal with regarding dependency and addictions. There are a wide variety of symptoms, including muscle aches and pains, cold sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, sleeplessness and much, much more.
Although scientists and pharmacists are trying to find more ways to develop abuse-deterrent pills so that people cannot simply crush the pills to either snort them or dissolve them in water and inject them, there is still a long way to go in that regard. Some of the best ways at preventing painkiller addiction on a national level is the implementation of prescription drug tracking systems that actually get used by doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement personnel.
Rehab Treatment for Painkiller Addiction
While there is often a distinction between dependency and addiction, both usually require some form of professional help to get off the drugs. Addiction includes begin physically dependent, but there is also the extra component of continuing to seek the drugs despite any negative consequences that develop as a result of the use. This is also the more severe part where people begin breaking other laws to obtain fraudulent prescriptions or buying the pills off the street. Sometimes there is only a very fine line between dependency and addiction, and you shouldn’t wait to get the necessary help to fix the problem.
Prescription opiate addicts will need a drying out period prior to beginning the rehabilitation program. A period of medically-monitored withdrawal out helps manage the uncomfortable symptoms an addict feels when the drug is no longer available. Detox isn’t treatment though, it only helps a person be more physically and mental ready for actual rehab and recovery.
A broader spectrum of painkiller addiction treatment includes inpatient rehab, which is often inclusive of intensive group and individual therapy. Finding out why the addiction began, and continued, is as important as stopping the addiction. It is also important for recovering addicts to learn ways to cope with relapse temptations when then return home. Support groups during and after active rehab are important.
Addiction Treatment Services is here to help you find the best treatment and rehab options for your addiction to prescription painkillers. Call us, we’re here to help.