Pain pills can be beneficial after surgery to combat moderate to severe pain. When you hear the term “pain pills,” it sounds harmless, right? But what if we referred to them as “opioids” or “narcotics?”
Those terms sound a lot more serious, right? That’s probably because you likely associate these terms with hard drugs like heroin and cocaine.
Well, you’re right. Prescription pain pills are most often in the same opioid family. And just like you can develop a heroin addiction, you can quickly develop a pain pill addiction if you aren’t careful about it.
Types of Prescription Opioids That Can Lead to Pain Pill Addiction
Many pain pills fall in the addictive opioid category and are derived from opium, a naturally occurring drug derived from the poppy plant.
Prescription opioids are often prescribed after surgery or can even treat sickness symptoms like coughing and diarrhea.
The most common types of prescription opioids leading to pain pill addiction include:
- Morphine (Kadian®, Avinza®)
- Oxymorphone (Opana®)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin®)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percocet®)
Symptoms of an Opioid Addiction
It’s okay to take pain pills if you need them. Generally speaking, they are safe if taken as prescribed by your doctor. However, because opioids can make you feel euphoric and free from all kinds of pain, they are incredibly addictive.
You may not even know you are abusing pain pills. If any of the following symptoms ring true to you, then you could unknowingly be participating in opioid abuse:
- You have to take a higher dose than prescribed to feel its effects
- You take it to get high
- You find yourself thinking about when the next time you get to take it will be
- You take someone else’s prescription pain pills, even if it’s to treat pain
- You take your prescription pain pills because you are angry or upset with others
- Your relationships with family and friends are affected
If you think you or someone you love may have a pain pill addiction, it’s crucial to get help now. From 1999 to 2019, close to 250,000 people died from an opioid overdose. And many of them probably didn’t even know they had opioid abuse disorder.
As with any mental health concern, early intervention is always a good idea.
Dangers of Opioid Abuse
Prescription opioid abuse can lead to dependence, addiction, overdose, or death. Why? Because your brain is wired to seek reward. And because prescription pain pills, when abused, can help you feel euphorically happy and pain-free, your brain gets rewired to seek the substance leading to that feeling.
Prescription opioid abuse can lead to physical dependence, but just like any other drug addiction, there can also be other life-impacting consequences to abusing pain pills.
- Financial issues
- Problems at work
- Loss of family and friend support
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Permanent lung, liver, and kidney damage
How to Get Help for an Opioid Addiction
Prescription opioid addiction is a serious chronic illness, and it needs treatment as soon as possible. To begin treatment, reach out to your general practitioner for guidance or contact a mental health practice like BOLD Health, offering treatment specifically for people dealing with substance abuse, including prescription opioid addiction.
While the road to beating addiction may be difficult, recovery is possible.
One of the best treatments for prescription opioid addiction is enrolling in an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Of course, an inpatient rehabilitation program is an excellent option as well, but if you would rather face your addiction and withdrawal symptoms while in the comfort of your own home, an IOP could be the best option for you.
BOLD Health’s IOP for Substance Abuse Could Save Your Life
As one of California’s leading intensive outpatient programs, BOLD Health’s substance abuse experts are equipped to help you fight your addiction.
Our team of psychiatrists and therapists will work with you to develop an individualized treatment program. Using a compassionate yet scientific approach, we treat you as a whole. That means we don’t just treat your opioid abuse problem.
In our IOP, at our opioid abuse treatment facility in San Diego, you’ll get the support and tools to succeed. You’ll share your struggles and victories and hear the same from peers going through similar experiences. Together with your assigned IOP therapist, you’ll work through those struggles and develop strategies you need to overcome them.
Your road to recovery from opioid addiction while in our IOP means your treatment is 100% customized to meet your needs. While enrolling in an IOP may be more intensive than typical talk therapy, it’s also much more impactful and can produce lasting results.
Your treatment program may include a combination of the following:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Medication management
Whatever your opioid abuse treatment looks like, rest assured, at BOLD Health, we’re here to ensure your success.
Pain Pill Addiction Doesn’t Define You
Life can be difficult. Pain is never easy. But using prescription medications to cope isn’t the answer.
Don’t be ashamed of your opioid abuse. Shame fosters avoidance.
Instead, reach out for help. Your pain pill addiction doesn’t have to define you. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Tell them you need help. If you don’t have that option, contact us. Even if you aren’t in the San Diego area, we’ll point you in the right direction for where to get the help you need.