If you’re currently taking prescription pain killers for pain or are taking them for other reasons you may have come to the point where you think you may be addicted to them. Many people assume they’re addicted and don’t know that they may have a physical dependence instead. A physical dependence is not an addiction and can be more easily stopped. An addiction to prescription pain killers is a totally different issue and it too can be stopped but will take a different approach.
You may have innocently started taking pain killers for a chronic pain problem or pain relief following surgery and soon realized you were hooked. This may be just be a physical dependence as I mentioned and it’s important that you know the difference.
There are many names for prescription pain killer addictions including opiate dependency, opiate addiction, narcotic dependency, narcotic addiction or painkiller dependency. But they all generally refer to an addiction to narcotic painkillers. These narcotics include OxyContin, oxycodone, Dilaudid, Demerol and morphine.
If you’re addicted to painkillers know that you can get off them. Thousands of people have quit pain killers and are leading normal lives. As time goes by more and more research and improvements in treatment approaches have helped people who are addicted.
It’s not often understood by many people how addictions can happen. But basically the body depends on our endorphins to relieve pain and for many other functions. When narcotics are taken, the body thinks it’s getting endorphins and shuts down the body’s endorphin production. This causes a craving for the painkillers. So finding a way to slowly get rid of the painkillers and start increasing the production of endorphins is really the end result.
There are many treatment choices today. Treatment should be done in a supervised setting where you can be observed, Drugs may have to be used in the detoxification process, perhaps methadone, depending on a number of factors. Another drug is LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol). Behavioral counseling is a must. Partly because there may be social factors that go along with the addiction. Detoxification is the first step usually before any counseling begins. All depends on the treatment facility and what methods they’re using. They may be using the newest method or rely on old standbys or a combination.
Hundreds of thousands of people annually have received treatment successfully for a number of years now. If you’re physically dependent you’ll have a much different and easier approach than for pain killer addiction. Check out the local rehabilitation facilities and see what treatment options you have access to. You can quit now – you can do it!
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