Painkillers and their groupings
Over the past couple of decades, the DEA has had growing concerns regarding the illegal use of prescription painkillers. Health care officials and medical professionals now feel that painkiller addiction is a serious public health threat as more and more cases of overdosing are occurring every year while the number of ER visits associated with it is increasing. Today, the abuse of, addiction to, and dependency on painkillers is front page news and painkiller withdrawal symptoms typically occur when an individual quits taking them.
Despite the fact that Painkillers are all prescribed to alleviate pain, they are divided into the following groups:
- NSAID’s or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (e.g. salicylates)
- Opioids (morphine, opium, etc.)
- Paracetamol (acetaminophen)
Additionally Painkillers are distinctly different from anesthetics in that these eliminate pain on a temporary, reversible basis.
Tolerance, dependency, and addiction
Tolerance- Built up with prescription painkillers is extremely common and is a very normal physiological function of these particular class of drugs. Basically, this means that the individual will need to take increasingly larger doses over time as they continue using the drug. The person needs more of the drug as the tolerance to it builds up so they can experience the feeling they initially did the first time they took the medication.
Dependency- Evident once you stop taking the drug and begin to feel the unpleasant painkiller withdrawal symptoms. Technically, withdrawal is a normal part of a painkiller regimen once your body has gotten used to it. When abruptly stop taking a painkiller and abstain from taking any more, the withdrawal symptoms start. The longer you have been taking the drug, the more intense those withdrawal symptoms will be.
Addiction- A behavioral phenomenon that is characterized by compulsively using the substance. You eventually lose control and cannot overcome the compulsive desire to ingest more of the drug in order to achieve the desired effect. This is highly noticeable where recreation use of painkillers is concerned. Your entire life revolves around the uncontrollable desire to obtain a steady supply of the medication.
Recognizing the withdrawal symptoms
Depending on the particular type of painkiller you have become dependent upon (see types above) and the severity of your addiction or dependency, painkiller withdrawal symptoms can range anywhere from mild to extremely severe. These withdrawal symptoms will vary from one individual to the next but the most common are:
- bone and muscle pain
- delirium and tremors
- extreme irritability
- flu-like symptoms
- muscle spasms
- runny nose
- strong cravings for the drug
If you or a loved one is addicted to or dependent upon any of the painkillers mentioned above, Blue Water Detox can customize a program that will address your physical and psychological needs. You will be able to overcome your addiction or dependency issues and start living substance-free once again. There is no charge for the phone call and one of our caring staff members will be happy to discuss your circumstances with you.