Prescription Pain Medications – Both Powerful and Addictive
The addictive characteristics of powerful pain medications such as oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl and hydrocodone have well been demonstrated in extensive research on the topic. The challenge in the medical field was once access to the necessary medications to effectively manage chronic pain. Now, the challenge is weighing the relief from the pain against the potential for addiction.
A recent Psychology Today report highlights the process individuals go through in the development of addiction to pain medication. For many, the process is gradual as they need more and more medication to achieve the same level of pain relief. The main culprit in this dangerous dance is the brain and the effects of the opiates.
It’s not uncommon for a rewiring of the brain to take place as new connections form. Anxiety and discomfort often result when opiate levels in the brain are lacking. Individuals experiencing this level of addiction often experience a change in personality. The professional businessman may become the shifty slacker using any plausible excuse to visit a new doctor to obtain the needed opiates.
Using any means necessary to secure the addictive substance often dominates the existence of that individual. While their addictive condition is life-threatening; so too is an abrupt stop in taking the medication. Certified drug abuse programs employ detox methods that slowly reduce the amount of opiates in the system through methods that minimize the negative impact on the individual.
Unfortunately, the growing addiction to opiates among the population is changing the way drugs are dispensed to well-intended individuals. Those in critical condition and needing the medication may be advised to avoid it for fear of a possible addiction. Others may take pain killers more powerful than necessary to address a common issue, simply because of a pre-existing addiction to opiates.
The cycle has the potential to be never-ending, putting lives at stake while jeopardizing the potential of well-managed pain medication regimens.