Pain Medication and Addiction

People who use medication to control chronic pain don't plan to become addicted to the medications, their only goal is to control the pain that complicates life and interferes with daily activities and responsibilities. Most people take the medications as prescribed with no adverse effects. For others use of pain relief medication can lead to dependency and addiction.

Addiction experts aren't sure why some people develop dependence while others take pain medication without complications. Whatever the reason for addiction it's clear that addiction to pain medications is becoming a common problem primarily because drugs such as hydrocodone oxycodone and codeine are readily available and frequently over-prescribed. Often the cause for the chronic pain cannot be found out or physicians focus on treating only the pain without paying attention to the cause.

Addicted people often receive prescriptions from several doctors or they may purchase pain pills illegally. Sometimes people who are addicted to pain pills steal the medications from the medicine cabinets of family members or friends.

If you use medications for pain you may be developing a dependence or addiction if you have powerful cravings for the drug or if you notice that you require larger amounts or more frequent doses to attain the same level of pain relief. If this is happening to you it's important to seek help as soon as possible. Don't wait because addiction never gets better on its own. It only gets worse as time goes by.

Never attempt to quit pain pills “cold turkey” without talking to your health care provider or treatment professional first. Withdrawal can be severe and may include not only intense cravings but other symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pain, vomiting, tremors, agitation, sweating and chills.

Don’t be ashamed if you have developed a dependence on pain medications. Like all addictions the substances cause very real changes in the chemical structure of the brain. This is why addiction is considered a chronic disease not an indication of weakness or lack of willpower.

Look for a skilled drug-treatment professional who has experience dealing with addictions to pain medications. It isn’t easy but a knowledgeable treatment center can help you kick the habit and learn to control pain without use of addictive drugs.

Treatments that help include addiction counseling, psychotherapy, as well as a thorough medical examination to revisit the cause for pain and to determine biochemical deficits and imbalances in the body. These can be repaired through proper diet nutritional supplements and attention to the cause of pain. In many cases individual treatment plans also include complementary modalities such as biofeedback acupuncture, exercise, meditation or yoga.

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