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Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment Options

Painkillers (Opioids) Addiction & Treatment Guide

Home > Drug & Alcohol Addiction > Painkillers/Opioids

Content Overview: America’s opioid epidemic began in part, due to the overprescribing of painkillers. There are many people who became addicted, due to being prescribed painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and more. Learn more about how to overcome painkiller addiction for good at our South Florida opioid rehab center.

Besides the fact that addiction is a disease, it’s often poorly understand that each type of addiction must be treated in a unique way. In recent years, there’s been a surge of opioid abuse and addiction, including painkillers. Despite the decline that we’ve seen in rates of painkiller abuse and painkiller addiction, painkillers remain one of the most widely abused and highly addictive types of drugs.

Principles Recovery Center is your premiere South Florida drug rehab, specializing in treating almost any type of addiction. Among the various addictions we treat, painkiller addiction is one of the most important. If you or someone you love wants to learn how to quit abusing painkillers, let Principles Recovery Center guide you or your loved one on this journey of recovery.

What are Painkillers? How Do People Become Addicted?

Before we can discuss how painkiller addiction occurs, it’s necessary to take a step back for a moment and gain a better understanding of what painkillers are and how they work.

As you may already be aware, there are certain medications that have psychoactive, or mind-altering, properties and, due to being of this nature of substance, they are prone to abuse, meaning that they’re commonly taken in ways for which they’re not intended. This encompasses numerous different situations, including when an individual takes a prescription drug in higher-than-advised doses, when an individual takes a drug that he or she wasn’t prescribed, or anytime an individual takes a substance recreationally, meaning that he or she simply wants to enjoy the effects of the drug rather than needing the substance to treat symptoms. After alcohol and marijuana, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans over the age of 14.

Of course, prescription drugs and painkillers aren’t exactly the same thing. To be clear, a painkiller is an analgesic medication, meaning that it’s taken to alleviate physical pain. Although painkillers are a type of prescription drug, there are numerous other types of prescription drugs, too, including anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., over-the-counter medications like Advil and Aspirin) and benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium and Xanax).

More often than not, painkillers are a type of drug known as opioids, which is a term that refers to medications that are similar in effect to the opium that’s derived from the Asian opium poppy. Opioid painkillers are known to have an extremely high potential for abuse and addiction, which also makes them quite lethal.

Not everyone who takes painkillers intends to become addicted. Unfortunately, it’s occasionally the case that individuals who are prescribed painkillers and take them only as prescribed become physically dependent on the medications. However, it’s far more common that painkiller addiction occurs from chronic, habitual painkiller abuse. Many times people end up turning to heroin due to pricing and availability if their doctor cuts off their supply, which has led to a huge increase in heroin addiction over the last 10 years.

What are the Signs of Painkiller Abuse?

As with other mind-altering substances, there are often signs that an individual is or has been abusing painkillers. While these signs shouldn’t be taken as clear evidence, being familiar with the signs of painkiller abuse can help loved ones to detect painkiller abuse in a family member earlier rather than later.

One of the most common signs of painkiller abuse is lethargy and drowsiness. Being that painkillers can often be considered depressants, the abuse of painkillers usually causes an individual to experience intense drowsiness that can even become so profound that he or she begins to fall asleep while sitting up.

Besides the drowsiness, chronic painkiller abuse has been associated with a number of other behavioral and even personality changes. Oftentimes, individuals who are abusing painkillers become distant and withdrawn in their relationships. It’s also quite common that individuals who are abusing or addicted to painkillers become uninterested in their former hobbies and pastimes.

How Can a Drug Rehab in South Florida Help with Painkiller Addiction?

Fortunately, addiction to painkillers can be treated with great success as long as the individual suffering from painkiller addiction utilizes the appropriate resources. Since not all individuals who suffer from addiction require the same treatments and recovery resources, an initial assessment and consultation will ensure that each patient receives only those treatments and therapies that will best address his or her specific needs.

For many individuals, the first stage of painkiller addiction is detoxification. To a large degree, detox treatment serves as a primer for the actual treatment phase of recovery. During the detox process, the patient’s body is cleansed of painkillers as well as any other harmful or foreign toxins. The idea is to restore the body to physical health in order to address the physical aspects of the addiction, making the individual more receptive in treatment.

There are several different types of addiction treatment that can commence after detox treatment, but they usually fall into one of two categories: inpatient or outpatient care.

Inpatient care refers to a type of treatment wherein the patient resides on-site at the facility. Widely seen as the ideal recovery option, inpatient treatment programs separate individuals from their home environments where they developed their addictions, minimizing the likelihood of encountering a trigger or otherwise being tempted to relapse before they’ve completed their treatment.

As for outpatient care, there are three main types of outpatient treatment: Partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and outpatient programs. Instead of residing on-site, patients in outpatient care continue living at home while commuting to treatment on their designated days. As such, outpatient care tends to be the best option for individuals who require flexibility in an addiction treatment program, which tends to be patients with familial obligations or a strict work schedule.

At Principles Recovery Center, our drug rehab in South Florida offers a selection of effective treatments for individuals who are addicted to painkillers. These treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing, and contingency management among others during treatment for painkiller addiction.

Treatment is sometimes intensive at first, where patients attend multiple outpatient sessions each week. After completing intensive treatment, patients transition to regular outpatient treatment, which meets less often and for fewer hours per week to help sustain their recovery.

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Dealing with Chronic Pain Without Narcotics

Since a number of individuals who suffer from painkiller addiction suffer from chronic pain, a common concern regarding painkiller addiction recovery is how these individuals will cope with their chronic pain if they’re unable to use painkillers. While this is understandably an intimidating prospect, the good news is there are plenty of strategies and resources available for coping with pain without using narcotics or opioid painkillers. Some of the most popular and effective options include learning deep breathing and meditation exercises, trying to live as stress-free a life as possible, eating a more nutritious and balanced diet, and getting more sleep.

Principles Recovery Center in South Florida Can Show You How to Quit Abusing Painkillers

At Principles Recovery Center in Davie, FL we treat the above substances as well as numerous others ranging from Flakka, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Marijuana, MDMA, Methamphetamine, Steroids, and many others for the PHP and IOP levels of care.

For any questions you may have, please give us a call. We recognize that every individual has a unique situation and circumstances, so we always happy to discuss yours and help you to create the best roadmap for recovery.

In the unlikely event that we are unable to provide you or your loved one with our own services, Principles Recovery Center can extend our treatment placement services and make referrals to other high-quality, trusted drug rehabs in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and numerous other locations across the country, including such states as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and a growing number of others.

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