Opioid painkillers like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl are essential in the management of chronic pain. However, regular use can lead to dependence and addiction.
Just like any other form of addiction, painkiller addiction can increase your risk of injuries, weaken your immune system, cause behavioral problems, as well as subject you to other negative impacts that would reduce your quality of life.
However, if you have been suffering from this type of unintentional addiction, don’t let it ruin your life since it is manageable. How? Following are the pieces of information that would settle your concerns.
How Can You Tell That You Have A Painkiller Addiction?
Some of the signs that could suggest the possibility of painkiller addiction are:
- Irresistible urge to exceed the recommended dose
- Feigning pain to receive a doctor prescription
- Increased urge to take alcohol and illegal drugs
- Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, agitation, muscle aches, anxiety, and cramping
- The urge to visit multiple health specialists to get more prescriptions
Painkiller Addiction Treatment
Just like substance addiction, painkiller addiction treatment consists of several stages which are tailored to match your individual needs. The basic ones are:
1. Doctor assessment and examination
During the assessment, your doctor will hold a one on one meeting to determine your severity of addiction, understand your individual needs, establish the presence of co-occurring conditions, as well as the painkiller you are addicted to.
These pieces of information will help him or her tailor a personalized treatment plan that would help you recover fully from addiction.
2. Assisted Detox treatment
Assisted detoxification is administered to flush out the painkillers’ toxins from your body. Depending on the severity of your addiction, detoxification can take days, weeks, or months.
In most cases, detoxification is administered under close supervision since it can result in detrimental withdrawal symptoms like excessive sweating, insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, and agitation.
After detoxification, your doctor will organize one on one or group counseling sessions, where you will air out your challenges and receive expert support. Such sessions will encourage you to stick with the treatment plan, as well as settle your concerns.
4. Relapse prevention
In this stage, your doctor may use medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone to re-establish normal brain function and reduce your drug seeking behavior.
Moreover, the health expert doctor may administer other medications to manage co-occurring conditions like stress, depression, and any other conditions that would compromise the painkiller addiction treatment process.
5. Behavioral therapy
Behavioral therapy is a set of thoughtfully-structured programs tailored to change your attitude towards the use of addictive painkillers, help you cope up with situations that would get you back into using the painkillers, as well as help you lead a comfortable life without abusing the painkillers.
Just like any other form of addiction, painkiller addiction can increase your risk of injuries and infections, and it subjects you to unwanted legal consequences, financial problems, and behavioral issues. However, the good news is that you can recover from this form of addiction.