The country is in the midst of a serious decade-long opioid crisis. While significant gains at curbing this problem were made in the past few years, the pandemic created a major disruption in healthcare that made it difficult for many people recovering from opioids to get the help they needed.
The best way to avoid needing rehab for opioid painkillers is to not get hooked in the first place. This is a particularly serious challenge as millions of Americans with chronic pain need opioid painkillers to be able to enjoy a decent quality of life. While most never develop an opioid use disorder, the sheer number of prescriptions being given out guarantees that some will.
What’s more, with more prescriptions comes more opportunities for unauthorized people to get access to these controlled opioids. This, in turn, fuels a deadly demand for illicit drugs as these people get hooked after misusing prescription painkillers.
Absolutely. After alcohol, opioids are the most called-in problem at Dallas Drug Treatment Centers, mostly mirroring a nationwide pattern. A striking proportion of the people seeking treatment for opioid use disorders started because of legitimate painkiller prescriptions, while many others got hooked after taking black market painkillers recreationally.
Opioid-based painkillers are an incredibly useful class of medications. Modern medicine as we know it would be close to impossible without the use of these drugs. The addictive nature of opioids has long been recognized, so pharmaceutical companies have long taken steps to make these substances less addictive.
However, it’s very difficult to create opioid painkillers that do not have any potential for addiction. For this reason, doctors need to be very careful when handing out prescriptions for opioid drugs.
While these precautions are mostly effective, it’s impossible to guarantee that patients — many of whom are in serious pain — will use these potentially addictive painkillers as directed. There is also the constant danger of unauthorized access to these drugs by people close to the patient or others with indirect access. Additionally, some addiction risks remain, even if the painkillers are used as directed.
Unfortunately, once you get hooked on opioid painkillers, it becomes extremely difficult to stop. Withdrawals can bring extreme pain and discomfort that may even drive individuals to suicide. The withdrawal pains may cause the individual to “shop around” for doctors willing to prescribe more opioids or even cause them to seek out these drugs on the black market.
Because black market opioids can be cheaper and more powerful than legitimate prescription painkillers, some people may even come to prefer them. This opens them up to more health risks, as these illicit drugs are completely unregulated and are often cut with toxic chemicals.
Virtually all opioid painkillers have some addictive potential. Below are just some of the prescription painkillers you should be wary about using. Be sure to discuss all your prescriptions at length with your doctor and to closely follow the directed usage of any opioid medications.
If you think that you or someone you love has a problem with painkiller use, our team at Dallas Drug Treatment Centers is ready to help. We can offer you easy access to dozens of opioid treatment programs in North Texas and beyond. Get in touch to find out which residential and outpatient rehab programs work best for you.