Getting Hooked on Prescription Painkillers
It can start out as a simple request. A patient suffering in pain from an injury, surgical procedure or chronic ailment just wants a little relief. Often a doctor will prescribe an opioid painkiller, like codeine or OxyContin, to take the edge off. But sometimes this physician prescribed drug can morph into an addiction to pain killers, which can eventually lead to heroin abuse.
For many patients, getting these painkillers is simple if they can find a doctor who is willing to prescribe them. Although states that offer drug monitoring programs show a 30% drop in the amount of written prescriptions for opioid painkillers, only 53% of physicians are taking part in them.
Prolonging the Problem
Researchers recently discovered that even short-term opioid use might actually increase chronic pain, potentially doubling the duration of the physical discomfort. Ironically, these highly addictive medications might actually aggravate the pain they’re intended to treat.
Five Facts about Opiod Addiction
- Doctors have been prescribing more pain killers. Over the past 15 years, the amount of prescriptions for pain-relief drugs has risen dramatically. Parallel to this surge, the rate of opioid dependence and other problems, like withdrawal and overdose, has gone up as well.
- Prescription pain killers often trigger addiction. It is estimated that more than half of women and a third of men place physician prescribed medication, like OxyContin and codeine, as their first point of contact with opioids.
- A lot of prescription pain killers are abused. Recent estimates place the misuse of prescribed opioid analgesic drugs for chronic pain at 20 to 30 percent. Out of every four to five patients, approximately one misuses the medication.
- Addiction to opioids is common. Out of ten or eleven patients who have prescriptions to treat chronic pain, it is estimated that one will be addicted, making the rate of opioid addiction around 10 percent.
- Opioid addiction is affecting new patient populations. The face of opioid addiction has been changing over the past two decades. Patients are starting to use at a later age on average, and are being treated for addiction later in life. In addition, injectable drug use has decreased by 60% and rates of HIV among opioid users have been halved.
Addiction to Opioids is becoming increasingly common and is difficult to tackle alone. But it is possible to get effective treatment that can help you recover. At Champion Center we offer a Chronic Pain Track that takes a holistic approach to your healing process. As an alternative to narcotic analgesic therapy, we offer medically managed detoxification, yoga, meditation, group therapy and acupuncture to treat you. For more information, please call 1-844-394-3767.