Pain Medication Abuse

What You Need to Know

Pain Medication Abuse

According to the National Institute of Health, roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. With these staggering numbers, it’s more important than ever to know about pain medication abuse.

Pain Medication Abuse

Why People Become Addicted

Prescription opioids have chemicals that relax the body and can make a person feel “high,” which is often why they are used for non-medical reasons.

Common Prescription Opioids

  • Oxycodone: Oxycontin, Percocet
  • Hydrocodone: Norco
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl

Who Is at Risk

Like any drug addiction, anyone can become addicted to using prescription pain medications because of the chemical reaction in the body. However, pain medication abuse is more likely to happen to someone who has a personal or family history of addiction and those individuals who have frequent access to the drugs (like when they are prescribed without close doctor supervision).

Signs of Abuse

  • Getting prescriptions from more than one doctor
  • Stealing or selling prescriptions
  • Asking for refills earlier than expected
  • Unexpected and uncharacteristic mood swings
  • Acting high (either extremely energetic or sedated)
  • Poor decision making

Effects of Prescription Opioid Use

Soon after taking, the user might feel relaxed and happy and have less pain. Short-term health effects include drowsiness, nausea, slowed breathing, and euphoria.

When used long-term, there are risks of overdose or addiction if misused, which can lead to death. Doctors are still researching the long-term effects of opioid addiction on the brain and whether the damage can be reversed.

Seek Help Today for Pain Medication Abuse.

Addiction to pain medication can be devastating for individuals and their families. You don’t need to travel the road to sobriety on your own. North Star Treatment Services offers addiction treatment services to adults in King of Prussia Pennsylvania. Our intensive outpatient program includes a variety of support to ensure a safe and encouraging recovery. Call us today at 610-265-2215 to take the first step today.