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Pain Pill Addiction: The Unintended Road to Addiction

Opioids have been used for thousands of years both recreationally and medicinally for the treatment of chronic or severe pain.

The opioid class of drugs includes illegal substances, such as heroin, and prescription pain pills, both of which have a high potential for misuse and addiction.

Prescription pain pills, and their commonly known brand names, include:

  • Hydrocodone — Vicodin® , Lortab® , Norco® , Zohydro® ER or Lorcet®
  • Oxycodone — OxyContin® , Percocet® , Percodan® , or Roxicodone
  • Tramadol — Ultram® , Ultram® ER, or Ultracet®
  • Codeine — Tylenol® with Codeine 3 or 4, Codeine Pills
  • Morphine — Avinza® , Kadian® , MSContin® , or MSIR®
  • Fentanyl — Duragesic® , Fentora®
  • Oxymorphone — Opana® , Opana® ER
  • Hydromorphone — Dilaudid® , Exalgo
Pain Pills & The Opioid Epidemic
Pain pills can bring relief to individuals struggling with chronic or severe pain, injury or illness, but for many that relief comes at a price. Addiction to pain medication, known medically as pain reliever use disorder, has reached epidemic proportions across the nation.
1.8 Million
people had an identified pain reliever use disorder in 2016
11.5 Million
people reported misusing prescription pain relievers in 2016
>20,000
Americans died of a prescription opioid overdose in 2015
>1,000
people per day are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids
Signs & Symptoms of Pain Pill Addiction
Some signs that you may be misusing pain pills:

Individuals who take a prescription medication long-term for the treatment of pain or other ailments often struggle to determine if their use has gone from a medical solution to a physical dependency or addiction which requires treatment. Addiction is defined as a person being physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, where the user is unable to stop taking it for any length of time without experiencing adverse effects.

Some signs that you may be misusing your prescription pain pills include taking medication:

  • That was not prescribed for you by your doctor
  • More frequently or in a higher dose than prescribed
  • To treat a condition other than was prescribed
  • When you are not in pain or not for the treatment of any specific condition
  • In a manner other than as prescribed, i.e. snorting, injecting, etc.
Behavioral Signs:

When an individual begins to use medications in these ways, their behavior may also change to reflect the growing focus on obtaining and using their chosen drug, which often leads to negative consequences. Such signs include:

  • Inability to control or reduce the amount of medication they take
  • Developing a tolerance, causing a need to increase the amount of medication taken to achieve the desired effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if unable to obtain their chosen drug
  • Being irritable and difficult to get along with
  • Having difficulty meeting work or social obligations
  • Experiencing legal problems
  • Experiencing health issues
If you or someone you know is experiencing the signs of physical dependency or addiction, and would like to discuss treatment options, please reach out to the MedMark Treatment Center nearest you.
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