You may have heard how pain medication such as opioids, are causing many to become addicted. However what does addiction have to do with pain? Aren’t these prescription medications meant to help people? The truth is much more complex than you realize.
For years physicians have prescribed painkillers to help their patients for very legitimate reasons. For example:
- Recovering from an injury, such as a broken bone.
- Coping with a serious illness, like cancer.
- Struggling with chronic pain, such as back pain.
- Bearing with migraine headaches.
The pain from these problems can be devastating; severely limiting or preventing people from working or even enjoying life. Thus, medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Demerol became a popular solution. This is because these drugs seemed to help with pain management and reducing symptoms. However, these medications were also highly addictive.
What Does Pain Have to Do With Addiction?
The answer to this question lies in the chemical makeup of your brain. When any opiate drug is introduced into the body it makes its way to the brain via your bloodstream. Once there the chemical attaches itself to receptors in your brain that are sensitive to opiates. This activates the reward sensations that people experience when taking the drug, or doing other pleasurable activities such as eating or having sex.
The problem is that over time your brain develops a tolerance for the medication, and wants more. Thus greater amounts are required to achieve that same level of pleasure as before. This causes you to want obtain either more of the same drug or different drugs (such as heroin) in order to experience those pleasure sensations. For those who struggle with pain these drugs can be lifesaving-at first. However, as they gain a tolerance to the drugs they become dependent on them. Thus, you become addicted to a powerful chemical substance.
What does addiction have to do with pain? Pain is a gateway for people who may have serious medical problems that are looking for relief. Yet, they become trapped in a downward spiral of addiction. However, despite the seriousness of this addiction, there is hope. Substance abuse treatment can help you to break free from the grip of opioid addiction.
Are you ready to get started? Call us today at 800-737-0933 to begin your journey to recovery.