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Alcohol & Drug Rehab Main » Research » Prescription Drug Addiction » Pain Reliever

Treatment for Pain Relievers

Medications Can be Addictive Cirque Lodge offers a caring treatment program for those struggling with an addiction to pain relievers. When used appropriately, these medications can be a great benefit in managing and reducing pain. Sadly, these medications also bring with them an increased risk. Many have developed an addiction to these drugs and a tendency to abuse them. A stay within our mountain drug rehab facility can help to address these concerns and provide proper rehabilitation.

Admissions into drug treatment for prescription medications have greatly increased in the last decade. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released its “Teds” (Treatment Episode Data) Report on prescription drugs. This report analyzes the demographics of those who have admitted into treatment for this particular drug. The increase in 2008 is over four times what it was in 1998. In subsequent years it has grown even higher. The report stated that such medications are now second most prevalent drug of abuse in the United States next to marijuana.

A National Problem

The April 29, 2012 broadcast of CBS's 60 Minutes interviewed Dr. Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The segment was called "Hooked: Why Bad Habits are Hard to Break." The interview addressed several aspects of addiction and much of the brain science that Dr. Volkow has established in addressing the mental disease that makes up addictions to drugs, alcohol and even food. Prescription painkillers were also discussed in the interview.

In discussing painkillers Dr. Volkow brought up an alarming statistic, last year 210 million prescriptions were written for opioid painkillers in this country. The report stated that is enough painkiller medication to keep every adult in the United States medicated around-the-clock for an entire month. Overdose deaths have skyrocketed across the country and in many states it is now the #1 cause of accidental death, beating out traffic accidents. Data also reflects that the treatment episodes for those of prescription painkillers have surged over 100 times what it was 10-15 years ago. More are checking into drug rehab centers with prescription painkillers as their primary drug of abuse.

Dr. Volkow expressed that we are a 'nation of severe pain or… we are over prescribing'. Many individuals hooked on prescription drugs have resulted in a behavior of "Dr. Shopping," which is the habit of seeing several doctors to obtain prescriptions. A recent summit was held to address prescription drug and drug abuse. Those in attendance discussed solutions to address this problem. Motions are being taken to create pills that are more challenging to abuse. Also they discussed developing a more effective database that medical facilities can use to access patient prescription information.

The White House Drug Policy also reflected that one of the ways to help with Dr. Shopping and the prescription painkiller problem in the United States is to better educate medical professionals on the dangers of prescribing prescription pain medications and opioids. Dr. Volkow's opinion reflected this same thought in the 60 Minutes Interview. She stated, "Being honest, I think that many physicians have not been properly trained on how to prescribe opiate medications." See the entire 60 Minutes segment on addiction and being hooked.

What type of Prescriptions are Addictive?

Now not all prescription pain medications are considered highly addictive, but there are ingredient types to be concerned with. Typically these medications contain opiates or more accurately semi-synthetic opiates called opioids. The oldest and most known of these is morphine, but newer medications typically contain either hydrocodone or oxycodone.

A number of different pain medication brand names contain these opioids. They go by names such as: Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro, Percocet, Hycodan, Roxicet, Percodan and OxyContin. When taken these medications block pain receptors in the central nervous system, but they also attach to dopamine receptors. Dopamine is the pleasure receptor and a release of dopamine creates a sensation of euphoria. It is the euphoria that leads to the abuse of pain medications.

Avoiding Abuse and Addiction

When used according to doctor's orders these pain medications can be miracles for relieving chronic pain or suppress pain caused by recent injuries or surgery. Always follow physician's instructions in taking these medications. Do not take meds that are not prescribed to you and always consult a doctor when it comes to changing your dosage in any way.

Pain relief medications in most cases should be considered a short term remedy. Long-term use of pain relievers greatly increases the risk of developing tolerances to drugs and possible abuse of increased dosages. When storing these drugs, it is recommended keep them in a secure location in your home and out of the reach of children. When you no longer need the help of pain medications it is also recommended that you should safely discard them and not keep them stored in your home.

Help with Prescription Drug Addiction

For those who need a rehabilitation program for prescription addiction, we offer a caring facility, effective program and staff that are second to none. It begins with a personalized program, which is provided by a professional and caring staff. Coupled into this treatment are the unique and effective experiential program, effective therapies for prescription drug addiction, and a family based treatment. The intent is to put the pain reliever addiction into remission and to arm the individual with the skills and knowledge they need to keep it there. This form of addiction is growing at an alarming rate. However, to combat this, there is treatment available and we are considered one of the very best in a private and exclusive facility.