Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction and Painkillers
Drug addiction can come in many forms—not just to illegal narcotics, but even to medications that are rightly prescribed by a physician. After all, many prescription painkillers belong to the opioid group, a class of narcotics that also includes heroin. Even when taken according to a physician’s instructions, these drugs can become habit-forming and addictive—and the effects can be corrosive to mental and physical health alike. The good news here is that, through treatment, ongoing recovery and full health are attainable. Seacliff provides compassionate, clinical care to those who are struggling with addiction as well as co-occurring disorders.
What Happens When People Abuse Prescription Drugs and Painkillers?
Not all prescription painkillers are created equal, but many of them work on the opioid receptors, special proteins found in the brain and throughout the body. These proteins help regulate the body’s experiences with pain and pleasure, and prescription painkillers can have the effect of minimizing pain while optimizing the body’s sense of pleasure. Over time, however, it can become impossible to experience any sort of pleasure without the use of higher and higher doses of opioid drugs—creating a truly dangerous physical and mental dependence. Through treatment from Seacliff Recovery, however, it is more than possible to find freedom from addiction’s hold.
What Comes First, Drug Addiction or Mental Illness?
It is not uncommon for drug addiction to present along with a mood disorder or mental illness; these are known as co-occurring disorders. The link between addiction and mental illness is a complicated one, and causation can be hard to determine. In some instances, drug abuse and mental illness may have the same underlying genetic cause. In other instances, however, drug addiction may begin as a means of self-medicating—a way to cope with the effects of mental illness. In either case, the best way to seek treatment is to pursue dual diagnosis care, where the true underlying issue can be identified and all the symptoms fully addressed. Seacliff Recovery proudly embraces the dual diagnosis care model.
Causes of Prescription Drug & Painkiller Addiction
It is likewise difficult to determine what causes addiction to drugs and prescription pain medicines. There are many different factors that can contribute to addiction, some of them genetic and some of them environmental. In most cases, drug addiction can be attributed to a combination of biology and environment. Addiction can also begin quite innocently, using legal painkillers to cope with a legitimate chronic pain condition—but even when taken according to a doctor’s orders; these painkillers can have a harmful effect over the long term.
How Do You Know if There is a Co-Occurring Disorder?
A common question: How can you tell when there is a co-occurring disorder present along with prescription drug addiction? The truth is, co-occurring mental health conditions all too often go undetected and untreated. When addiction is present, it tends to get all the attention, and is seen as the cause for all symptoms. The best way to identify any additional problems is to embrace a dual diagnosis care model—something we do here at Seacliff Recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug & Painkiller Addiction
It also helps to have a grasp of the specific signs and symptoms that are most often associated with prescription drug addiction. Though these symptoms can vary from one individual to the next, a few of the most common include:
- Taking prescription drugs long after the initial medical problem has been addressed
- Stealing prescription painkillers
- Taking someone else’s prescription painkillers
- Lying or trying to hide drug use
- Wild mood swings or changes in behavior
- Extreme secrecy or social isolation
- Withdrawal from relationships and hobbies that once brought pleasure
Prescription Drug & Painkiller Addiction Rehab Treatment Center
For those struggling with addiction to prescription painkillers, the best way forward is to ask for help. Through medical intervention, the effects of addiction can be brought under control, and a foundation can be laid for lifelong recovery. Through rehab at Seacliff, clients can also develop healthy, non-addicting ways to deal with chronic pain, eliminating their need for dangerous drugs.
Get a Pain Management Assessment with Seacliff Recovery Center
There is hope for anyone struggling with prescription painkiller addiction. The process starts with a pain management assessment from Seacliff’s team of clinical caregivers. Whether you are struggling with addiction or are worried about a family member, we invite you to contact Seacliff today to discuss the next steps.