Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels in America due to the rising number of people taking opioid-based meds to treat chronic pain. The way opioids work is by altering the brain’s chemistry so that the user is flooded with pleasurable sensations that serve to “distract” the mind from pain signals. The opioids used in prescription painkillers are essentially a synthetic form of heroin and naturally, using them carries a high risk of dependence and addiction.
Although a person who has been prescribed powerful painkillers may initially find the meds ease their symptoms, this does not last. It doesn’t take long for the body to develop a tolerance which means an individual has to take a higher dose of their meds in order to get the desired effect. In these cases, physicians are very reluctant to up prescribed doses because of the highly addictive nature of opioids. In an increasing number of cases, people are turning to illegal heroin so as to get the pain relief they desperately need.
When a person develops tolerance to painkillers, they are likely to start experiencing withdrawal effects and cravings to use more of the drug. This is usually a sign that the brain has become used to being stimulated by painkillers at regular intervals, requiring more of the substance to get relief. This compels a person to start using simply to ease withdrawal symptoms rather than seeking to manage their pain.
Ultimately, if a person develops an addiction to painkillers, they risk a number of serious health problems including the following:
- Coronary disease
- Respiratory failure
- Heart attack
Another significant risk of opioid abuse is a fatal overdose. Around 60,000 Americans die every year as a consequence of opioid overdose.
If you or a loved one is struggling with prescription painkillers, CASA Recovery can help with drug addiction treatment in San Juan Capistrano. We take our time to carefully assess and evaluate every person entering our center to devise the most effective treatment program for their needs. Contact us in confidence today to start your recovery journey with our help.