Painkillers such as Oxycontin, Codeine and Vicodin have become all the rage in the U.S. The reason for this is simple: they alleviate pain, much more effectively than substances such as acetaminophen. In fact, they are the preferred drugs for any pain which is debilitating or severe, which is why many doctors prescribe them. However, it is absolutely essential that these drugs be taken carefully; otherwise one will run the risk of becoming addicted. Below are some warning signs.
Behavioral And Physical Changes
An individual who becomes addicted to painkillers will manifest changes both physically and behaviorally. Tolerance occurs when the body desires more medication to achieve the same pain relief. Withdrawal begins whenever the body doesn’t receive a consistent supply of the substance, and individuals may experience issues such as stomach discomfort, mood swings or profuse sweating.
An addict will make acquiring medications their main priority. In severe cases, it can interfere with their job, career and relationships with friends and family members. Anytime a person spends too much time trying to acquire painkillers this is a sign that they are addicted to it. Addicts will also use up their supply of painkillers faster than they should, or will raise their dosages more rapidly than recommended.
Some Doctors Are Too Quick To Prescribe Them
Unfortunately, many doctors unknowingly play a role in painkiller addiction by being too quick to prescribe the medications to their patients. When speaking with doctors patients should first take the time to determine if it is really necessary for painkillers to be used for their particular condition. While no one wants to be in chronic pain, patients should seek to determine if there are alternatives available.
This is particularly true for anyone who has a family history of drug abuse. Those who fall under this category should be very reluctant to be prescribed any controlled substance unless it is absolutely necessary. Those who have a history of addiction or who have close relatives who are addicts are at greatest risk of becoming addicted themselves.
Things To Discuss With Your Doctor When Prescribed Painkillers
Painkillers should always be prescribed with care, especially given the headlines of so many people becoming addicted to them. Your doctor should be able to thoroughly explain why they’re prescribing it, as well as how it should be taken and the side effects which are associated with its use. It is the responsibility of your doctor to inform you of any risks associated with the medications they prescribe and as a patient you must hold them to this.
Most important of all, you must carefully follow the instructions of your doctor when taking any substance which has the potential for addiction if abused. Every medication has side effects, and one of the most common is the development of dependence and the systematic disorders which result. There are a number of ways to self-monitor your usage of painkillers, including taking the medicine as the doctor prescribed it, and if that isn’t effective, speaking with your doctor about alternatives.