Are You Addicted to Your Pain Medication?

painkiller addictionNumerous individuals using prescription drugs to manage chronic pain are frightened they may become dependent on these medicines.

Some individuals do end up being addicted, and the outcome can generally be catastrophic and result in the destruction of families and careers. However, it is possible to reduce this danger.

Healthcare professionals understand the concerns and dangers of prescription drug dependency.

People who suffer serious injuries are often prescribed strong drugs to help manage the pain. Perhaps the most universally dreaded and frequently misunderstood is the painkiller morphine.

There have been many instances of patients recovering from severe trauma such as automobile accidents and being administered morphine to assist them with making the pain bearable, only to end up being addicted to morphine long after recovering from the initial trauma.

“Drug dependency” is a broadly used term. However, most people do not use the term correctly.

What drug dependency is … and is not

Dependency or drug addiction is much more than just a craving. Drug addiction carried with it many disturbing implications which can impact extremely negatively on any person’s lifestyle, relationships or career.

Drug dependency means that the person has lost control of the usage of their medication. They may be using it uncontrollably, and in higher doses. Indeed, they continue using the drug even though they are aware that it is harmful and destructive.

Tolerance and dependency is not the same thing as drug addiction.

Tolerance is usual in individuals using opioids (such as morphine) for recurring pain. This signifies that the human body has started to become used to the medication, and it has significantly less impact at the given dosage.

Addiction, on the other hand, suggests that there are many intense withdrawal symptoms when someone suddenly stops using the drug.
Those who are not currently addicted are not excluded from developing tolerance or addiction to the drug over time.

Possibility of Addiction

Opioid pain medicines (like morphine) are prescription drugs with the most potential for drug dependency and probably the most frequently misused prescription medicines. Nevertheless, the danger that well-screened individuals will become dependent on opioid drugs if they use them for persistent pain is usually minimal.

Research shows that nearly 3% of men and women with persistent non-cancer pain taking opioid medication misused them or eventually became addicted. The danger was lower than 1% in those who had not abused drugs or been drug dependent in their previous history.

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Updated: July 3, 2013 — 7:45 am

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