Prescription pain meds, although used to treat chronic pain and medical conditions still pose extreme risks to users. If you’re questioning: am I addicted to pain meds, consider taking our assessments found below.
It happens more often than you might think. A person suffering from acute or chronic pain may book an appointment with their family physician only to walk out of the clinic with a pain meds prescription. Trusting their doctor’s advice, the patient may, at first, use the medications as directed and discover comfort in its effectiveness. Relief from the ongoing bouts of pain can feel euphoric, and, in some, it may trigger an urgent need to seek out this feeling. Unknowingly, dependency can quickly grab hold, and then the real dangers of prescription addiction begin to unfold. This spiraling tale of prescription pain meds is a familiar tale among many American families. Today, many people ask, “am I addicted to pain meds?” It’s a crucial question that is worth exploring considering the risk involved with the misuse of prescription medications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription pain medications claim more lives due to overdose than cocaine or heroin. If you or a loved one is dependent on pain meds to make it through the day, it may be time to seek help. Contact our AspenRidge 24/7 help center at (855) 281-5588.
Some of the most commonly prescribed pain meds are Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycontin. Opiate based medications combat symptoms associated with chronic pain because they are both highly effective and relaxing. While most prescription medications are intended medications to address specific ailments, researchers and physicians discovered the dangers of misuse might far exceed the benefits of these highly addictive pain meds.
Misusing Pain Meds
In general, prescription opioids used for pain relief are generally safe when taken for a short time and as prescribed by a doctor, but they are often misused. People misuse prescription opioids by:
- Taking the medication in a way or dose other than prescribed
- Taking someone else’s prescription
- Using for the feeling of euphoria it causes
Many are finding it increasingly difficult to address the question, Am I Addicted to Pain Meds? On the one hand, individuals may trust their health care providers to oversee their use of pain meds and feel confident that addiction may never transpire despite references to these highly addictive substances. However, the reality is that opiate and opioid pain meds have fueled an epidemic that has claimed countless lives.
Truth Behind Prescription Pain Meds
Despite widespread devastation caused by America’s opioid epidemic, an investigation conducted by NPR found that doctors and other health care providers still prescribe highly addictive pain medications at rates widely considered unsafe.
According to many counseling professionals, the current opioid crisis is one of America’s largest concerns. The Health Resources & Services Administration said, more than 130 people die each day from opioid-related drug overdoses.
When Are Pain Meds the Right Choice?
Long-term use of opioids can lead to physical tolerance, misuse, addiction, and unintentional overdose. In recent years, prescription and use of opioid medications have steadily increased. These drugs cause the majority of prescription drug-related overdose deaths in the United States.
Opioid medications are often prescribed for a sudden, acute episode of pain after surgery or a traumatic injury, such as a broken bone. Opioids are used for as short a period as possible in such cases — often, just a few days.
In addition, opioids offer an essential treatment option for people with cancer-related pain. Studies indicate that up to one-third of cancer patients don’t receive adequate pain treatment. People with poorly managed cancer pain are at increased risk of prolonged and repeated hospital stays, disruptions in their treatment schedule, and difficulty managing daily living activities. Opioid treatment can play an essential role in improving the lives of people with cancer suffering from extreme, intolerable pain.
Prevention and proper education about opioid or pharmaceutical addiction have led to many overdose reversal medications to help fight the opioid epidemic in the United States.
Ongoing Physician Training
Many doctors are undergoing proper training and updated regulations to minimize the number of patients who become addicted to pain medications. For example, physicians are now responsible for informing patients of the risks and dangers of prescription pain med dependency. End of treatment options should also be made available to patients who may be at a higher risk of misuse.
Physicians are now more equipped to address an important question that many families face: Am I addicted to pain meds?
Information and Research
Pain medications have been around for centuries, used both recreationally and medically. Morphine was first extracted from opium in pure form in the early 19th century. It was used to treat many during the American Civil War, and, unsurprisingly, many soldiers became addicted. In 1905, most opium-based medications were banned in the U.S. In later decades, other synthetic forms of opium-based products created by pharmaceutical companies hit the market. First, with Vicodin in 1984, then OxyContin in 1995, and Percocet in 1999. Meanwhile, the illegal opium trade boomed. There was also a well-documented rise in physician prescriptions, painting a grave picture of pain meds, and addiction’s realities.
Today, researchers are gaining a better understanding of prescription pain meds, including alternative medications that may prove to be less addictive and invasive. Scientists are also collecting information on the interactions of pain meds with mental health and social dynamics. With decades of data, we are better equipped to implement addiction treatment programs and preventive measures to directly combat the continued use of pain meds.
What Pills are Considered to be Pain Medications?
Pain Medications are a commonly used term to describe medications or pills that will help block pain receptors and minimize pain experience. The human brain has several highways of transportation for messages, which are known as neurons. Neurons transport information from the brain to the body and cause different sensations in the body. What’s the difference between opiates and opioids? Although these terms are often used interchangeably, they are different. Opiates refer to natural opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. Opioids refer to all-natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic opioids.
Historically, opioids have been prescribed by doctors in the medical field to minimize pain after surgeries or other procedures. Although pain medications work well, recent research shows that many pain medications are highly addictive and can lead to severe consequences if misused. These severe consequences can include death by overdosing. More deaths have been reported due to opioid use than in several previous years.
What Exactly is the Opioid Crisis?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the world faces an opioid epidemic due to the recent increase in opioid-related deaths and treatment. A large increase in prescription medication may have contributed to the extensive opioids addictions the United States is currently experiencing. The U.S. Health Services also states “More than 760,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose. Two out of three drug overdose deaths in 2018 involved opioids.” The growing numbers have been alarming to many people and have caused significant political, legal, and financial concerns. Addiction Counselors and doctors are working hard to create new guidelines to better manage pain medications.
How Can I Tell If I am Addicted to Opioids?
Knowing if someone is addicted to opioids can be challenging as the use of pain medications may go unnoticed by others. Common signs of opioid addiction include:
- Prolonged use of pain medication
- Recent surgeries or procedures
- Breathing or respiratory problems
- Heart conditions
- Comments about chronic pain.
- Mood swings
- Painful withdrawal symptoms
These are all symptoms that may point to a possible opioid addiction in yourself or a family member. Self-assessment through AspenRidge Recovery can be found below. If you show signs of addiction, please reach out and discuss concerns with AspenRidge staff.
What Programs does AspenRidge Offer for Opioids?
Understanding opioid addiction is important and proper assessment is a critical tool for appropriate treatment methods. AspenRidge understands the challenges that are facing Colorado due to the opioid crisis. Because of this, AspenRidge has developed a program that is designed for those struggling with pain medication or opioid use. AspenRidge offers the Colorado opiate addiction treatment program. Clients will receive therapies performed by highly-trained and caring professionals at AspenRidge. Some treatment modalities include addiction therapy, mental health therapy, trauma-focused therapy, brain spotting, and neurofeedback or biofeedback therapy.
AspenRidge offers a phased approach to treatment and has a highly reputable and effective program. Your treatment options include a 90-day In house Transitional program with recovery residences, Intensive Outpatient care, Outpatient and Alumni Support Program that aids in maintaining sobriety even after the intensive program has been completed. The full process of treatment occurs over a 12-month period.
AspenRidge is a confidential recovery center with locations in Fort Collins, Lakewood, Lone Tree, and Colorado Springs.. If you or a loved one are ready to begin their journey towards recovery from opioids or other drugs please contact AspenRidge Recovery Centers at (719) 259-1107 to talk to an admissions staff member.
How Can AspenRidge Help Me Get Started?
AspenRidge understands the challenges that arise from addiction. Opioid use is extremely dangerous and AspenRidge highly encourages you to engage in our self-assessment tools. Proper assessment prior to engaging in treatment is crucial and AspenRidge offers concise and accurate assessments. They take approximately 5 minutes to complete and you are then connected with a specialist who can discuss the assessment results and properly guide you through the initial steps towards recovery.
The mental health self-assessment can be found here:
Other drug use assessment can be found here:
Am I addicted to pain meds? Find information on the dangers of pain meds and prescription misuse as soon as possible. AspenRidge tailors treatment programs for every individual. In addition, our support staff is here to help you identify issues before they spiral out of control. It is the hope of AspenRidge to provide a safe environment for all who are struggling with opioid addiction to experience long term sobriety.
Prospective clients may contact AspenRidge Recovery Centers to discuss Opioid Addiction Treatment Program at (719) 259-1107. Gaining knowledge prior to taking the steps towards recovery is important and AspenRidge is dedicated to guiding clients and their families through the process towards recovery.