Addiction to Painkillers

Developing an addiction to painkiller medication is common

You may find yourself healed from the injury that caused you to begin using prescription pain medication and now find it impossible to stop. Or perhaps you have a chronic pain issue and keep needing to increase the dosage or frequency of your painkiller to get the desired results. The pain remains and you know you are hooked. Now in addition to the pain, you find yourself further endangering your health and well-being with a drug addiction.

You are not alone.

Nora Volkow, director of The National Institute on Drug Abuse, stated that up to 7% of patients who are prescribed prescription painkillers will become addicted.  The most commonly prescribed painkillers are  OxyContin, Vicodin, Percodan, Percocet, Codeine, Darvocet, Demerol, Dilaudid, Morphine and Lortab.

Why painkillers are so addictive

Painkillers work by preventing certain brain chemicals from being released, which blocks the pain. Blocking these chemicals not only blocks pain but also puts the brain in a euphoric state. You quickly develop a tolerance to the painkiller, requiring higher doses to get the same effect, both physically and psychologically. In some cases, the painkiller is no longer able to manage the pain, even in dangerously high doses.

Painkiller addiction is serious and life-threatening

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are nearly 40 deaths from prescription painkillers each day, an increase of threefold in the last decade. “And now there are more people killed by prescription narcotics than from heroin and cocaine combined,” notes Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC.

Some of the dangers of using and abusing painkillers include:

  • Driving under the influence of painkillers can cause drowsiness and lessen reaction time, causing accidents.
  • Infants born to mothers who are on opioids are at risk for congenital heart disease and other birth defects and can be born addicted.
  • Some users shift to heroin because it costs less. Shifting to heroin increases the risk of contracting Hepatitic C and HIV.
  • Studies have linked narcotic painkillers to sleep apnea.
  • All users are in danger of developing heart problems such as palpitations and arrhythmia and respiratory issues such as shortness of breath.

Get the professional help you need to break your addiction safely

You may have attempted to stop using your prescription medication and found it impossible or suffered such uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms you gave up.  You did not fail, the method you used to try and stop failed.  Withdrawal from a narcotic or opiate painkiller addiction is nearly impossible without professional therapeutic help. Cliffside Malibu’s staff of industry-leading addiction professionals will make the difference between success and failure.

We customize a treatment plan especially for you

Cliffside Malibu uses a holistic (mind-body-spirit) approach to curing drug addiction. The first step is to help the body physically withdraw from the prescription painkiller through detox. After an extensive intake process to determine your physical health, how much, how long and what painkiller was used, our medical team will create a personalized plan to alleviate withdrawal symptoms as much as possible, in a safe, secure environment.

Next a psychotherapist will be selected from our team who best matches your personality and other factors determined during the intake process. You will work closely with the therapist, one-on-one, to uncover the reasons for your addiction.

Cliffside Malibu draws from age-old complementary medical traditions as well as the latest cutting-edge technologies. From acupuncture, massage, yoga, equine-assisted therapy, rapid eye movement desensitization and reprocessing and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Cliffside’s proven array of treatments make it unique. Our spa-like treatment center is surrounded by beautiful gardens and faces the Pacific Ocean. Together, the combination of evidence-based treatments and luxury will allow your mind and spirit to heal.

Take the first step

For additional information on our painkiller addiction treatment program, please call Cliffside Malibu anytime at 1-800-501-1988.

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