More Americans are getting prescriptions for painkillers than ever before. Along with this increased usage of painkillers, comes an increased risk for abuse of the drugs.
In addition to the widespread use of these drugs, there are more potent versions of painkillers being released by drug companies year after year. Americans are aware of the powerful effects of prescription painkillers and often collect them in their medicine cabinets at home where other family members may have access to them. All of these factors contribute to the widespread epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is going on right now.
Recognizing the signs of prescription drug abuse can be hard, and treating that addiction is even harder. Because so many of those who abuse painkillers do so in secret or have developed the addiction in gradual stages, it's difficult for them to recognize that they have a problem.
Often when they do, it's already too late. Admitting that you have an addiction to painkillers can be a frightening thing to do. It may leave you feeling ashamed and hopeless. But kicking a prescription drug habit can be done - you just need to accept the help that's out there and take small steps toward regaining your sobriety.
Many drug addicts, including those who use painkillers, are worries about the unpleasant side effects of a detox. Just like an addiction to illegal narcotics, a prescription drug addiction leaves you both mentally and physically dependent on the drug. Just the thought of trying to come off of prescription drugs is enough to keep someone from giving it their best effort.
But prescription detox can be done, and it doesn't have to be an entirely unpleasant, painful experience. With the right kind of medical supervision, you can start detoxing and begin the path to recovery.
Start off by finding a rehab facility that specializes in helping patients detox from prescription drugs. This type of facility will have staff members that have experience helping patients get through the detox process as comfortably as possible. With that kind of expertise at your side, getting through detox will simply be the first of many steps toward recovery.
There are some withdrawal symptoms associated with prescription drug detox that you should be aware of. If you're detoxing in a rehab facility, the staff on hand will do their best to help manage these symptoms to keep your health and safety intact. These symptoms include:
- Flu like symptoms
- Feelings of anxiety or anxiety attacks
- Body aches
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep loss
- Mood swings
- Severe headaches
- Confusion and trouble concentrating
You may experience some of these symptoms immediately after stopping consumption of painkillers. The symptoms can become more severe as the days go on. Sometimes these withdrawal symptoms can last for a few weeks depending on the severity of your addiction and tolerance level. Being in a detox facility will benefit you during the process because the people there will already be familiar with the stages of withdrawal and can help you get through it.
There are also medications that can be taken during detox to help ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is often used to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Another medication is Suboxene, which works to curb drug craving during detox and even afterwards in a rehab program.
Getting help for prescription drug addiction.
It's important to monitor your own behavior or the behavior of a loved one who is taking prescription painkillers. Is more than the recommended dosage being taken? Does pain persist even after a full dosage has been consumed? These can be signs of a problem.