Painkillers are sometimes a necessity and it is likely that, at some point in life, you may need them to address discomfort after surgery or to treat pain from an injury. However, painkillers are not meant for long-term use, especially if what they were originally prescribed for has long passed. After taking painkillers for a legitimate need, you may begin to develop dependency on them, particularly opioid-based drugs such as OxyContin or Vicodin. Even if taken as prescribed, it is possible to become addicted and dependent upon these types of drugs. This dependency can be either physical or psychological. In cases of physical dependency, the body adapts, builds up a tolerance for it, which leads to a need for higher doses of the drug. Psychological dependency relates more to one’s state of mind and the belief that the drug is a necessary part of functionality.
How do you begin to identify when the line between legitimate need and addiction has been crossed? One of the first and perhaps most prevalent signs of any addiction is when a person is always thinking of when the next dose is or overly concerned about whether there is enough of it left. Of course, if you recently had a surgery or an injury is still fresh, relieving the pain will be an understandable preoccupation. However, if you have been using painkillers for a while, it is possible that you have become addicted to them. In addition to this constant fixation with painkillers, you may also begin to take more than prescribed, or alter the schedule of when they should be taken, going against the doctor’s instructions.
When you start seeking painkillers beyond a prescription’s supply, whether it involves stealing someone else’s drugs or buying them on the street, this is another clear indication of a serious problem. It may also mean that you have been using painkillers for so long that you no longer have a prescription for it because your doctor deemed it is no longer necessary. Lastly, a change in mood is clear sign of addiction. If someone tries to broach the topic of your painkiller usage and you become irritable, or if you simply no longer feel like yourself, you may have an addiction.
At Turning Point, we can help you on your path to recovery. We treat alcoholism, opiate and heroin addiction and offer a variety of treatments. Call us today at 973-380-0905 and get started on reclaiming your life.