Pain medication substance use disorder is prevalent within and outside the United States of America. Individuals tend to misuse prescription drugs like opioids by taking the drug without following the doctor’s prescription. In certain cases, individuals may also use the drugs for the effects that they produce. There are various ways addiction to pain medication influences the body.
According to a study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,1 medical experts wrote over 200 million prescriptions of opioids. The prescriptions were enough for each adult in the United States to have a bottle of pills. From the rates of painkiller prescribing in the US, it is evident that a significant percentage of individuals are unaware of the appropriate usage of such medications.
Addiction to pain medication describes the inability to control the use of analgesics due to their effects on the brain and body system. Doctors typically diagnose a painkiller substance use disorder when certain symptoms are evident. Significant symptoms of addiction may include problems cutting down the medication, a high urge to administer the drug, and more.
There are different types of pain medications, and each one varies based on the degree of the individual’s pain. Most drugs for pain fall into one of the following groups:
Compound pain medicine falls under the general categorization of the different types of painkillers. These substances are from a mixture of two different drugs. Examples of these drugs include a combination of standard painkillers like acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol with opioid pain meds in low doses.
Pain relief medication is useful for different medical conditions, especially those that involve severe pain. Here are some of the significant conditions that a pain killer may be necessary:
Appropriate use of pain medication benefits the overall living of an individual experiencing a medical condition involving pain. Pain relief medication is essential for treating general pain like headaches, strains, and more severe conditions. Examples include drugs for chronic pain after surgery or trauma. Here are the benefits of drugs for pain:
Pain relievers are safe when an individual uses them according to the doctor’s prescription. Scenarios, where an individual uses these drugs inappropriately for their euphoric effect, may make them unsafe. Most people may develop a noticeable physical dependence on these medications. This dependence occurs due to factors that include a decrease in dosage or abrupt cessation of use.
A pain reliever like NSAIDs is usually safe, but taking more than the recommended dosage may result in certain side effects. Major examples of these effects include stomach pain, nausea, stomach bleeding nausea, or ulcers. Large dosages may also result in high blood pressure, kidney problems, and fluid retention. Apart from NSAIDs, other medications for mild and severe pain also have visible side effects.
Prescription medications like opioids also have side effects like dizziness, nausea, sedation, constipation, and respiratory depression. It is imperative to consult a doctor for alternative pain medication if any of those side effects of the drugs are observable.
Side effects of pain medication are rare, but individuals develop them depending on factors like frequency of use. Most individuals tend to develop a rash from the usage of pain medication amidst other significant side effects. Note that the side effects of the drugs may range from mild to severe. Here are the common aftereffects of certain painkillers:
Substances, including pain meds, have a high tendency to interact with other drugs. It’s imperative to review all the drugs you take with a doctor, including the OTC medications. Certain OTC medications can cause a significant drug interaction with a pain reliever like opioids. For example, cold and allergy medications containing diphenhydramine may result in sedative effects, which is dangerous.
Some other substances that may react negatively with a pain relief medication like opioids include:
Pain relievers can be addictive when an individual develops physical dependence and tolerance to the drugs. Some of the common addictive pain relievers include:
Doctors may suggest other techniques to relieve pain apart from pain meds, physical therapy, injections, or acupuncture. Here are the significant techniques to note:
Pain medications can be highly addictive due to their ability to activate reward centers in the brain. Some of these substances trigger the release of the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Finding an alternative pain medication may be safer for a lower tendency to develop an addiction.
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