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What Types of Painkillers Are Addictive?

image of person with pain pill in one hand and glass of water in the other wondering what types of painkillers are addictive

Painkillers, also known as opioids, are a class of drugs widely used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, these potent pain-relieving drugs come with a high potential for addiction. It’s essential to understand the risks associated with their use and recognize the signs of addiction to seek help promptly. Addictive painkillers are often legally prescribed for severe pain, such as following major surgery or recovering from a severe injury. While it is undeniable that they have legitimate medical uses, they can quietly pose the risk of addiction to many who would otherwise not be at risk for a substance use disorder.

Northpoint Nebraska understands painkillers that are addictive and offers a painkiller addiction treatment program to residents of Omaha, NE, and the surrounding area. Call 888.351.3834 or contact us online for more information or to get started on the road to recovery today.

The Addictive Potential of Painkillers

The risk of addiction stems from how these drugs interact with the brain. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking pain signals, and releasing large amounts of dopamine. This creates a powerful feeling of euphoria that can lead to misuse and eventual addiction. Over time, users develop a tolerance, necessitating higher doses to achieve the same effect. This can also lead to physical dependence on the drug and withdrawal symptoms if they stop using suddenly.

Recognizing Signs of Painkiller Addiction

Family members or friends need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of addiction in case a loved one is struggling with painkiller abuse. This includes:

  • Taking larger doses of the drug than prescribed
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Taking risky steps to obtain more of the drug, such as doctor shopping or buying it on the street
  • Lying about taking painkillers or denying there is a problem

As many of these signs are subtle, it can come as quite a surprise that a friend or loved one is abusing their legally prescribed painkillers, or worse, has become dependent on them and is obtaining them illegally.

Commonly Misused Painkillers

Here are some specific painkillers that have a high potential for addiction:

  • OxyContin (Oxycodone) – Introduced in the 1990s, OxyContin is a powerful prescription opioid. Its misuse can lead to severe health problems, such as respiratory depression and overdose.
  • Vicodin (Hydrocodone) – Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Long-term use can lead to liver damage, addiction, and dependence.
  • Fentanyl – Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, 50-100 times more potent than morphine. It has a high risk of overdose, especially when misused.
  • Codeine – Often found in prescription cough syrups, codeine can cause respiratory distress and addiction if misused.
  • Morphine – Morphine is an opioid pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain. Taking large doses can lead to overdose and addiction.

Again, while all of these have legitimate medical uses, they are highly addictive. The potential for abuse, dependency, and addiction cannot be dismissed simply because they are legally prescribed.

Northpoint Nebraska: Your Ally in Overcoming Addictive Painkillers

When struggling with painkiller addiction, it is critical to seek professional help. Misuse of these drugs can lead to severe health risks, including overdose and death.

Northpoint Nebraska offers a comprehensive painkiller addiction program designed to help individuals overcome their struggle with addiction. The program focuses on providing a safe and supportive environment for recovery, using evidence-based therapies to address the root causes of addiction.

Seeking professional help for addiction increases the chances of a successful recovery. Through therapy and support, individuals can learn to manage their addiction and regain control over their lives. If you or a loved one is struggling with painkiller addiction, reach out to Northpoint Nebraska today by calling 888.351.3834 or online.

Remember, addiction is not a choice, but recovery is. It’s never too late to seek help and take the first step toward a healthier, addiction-free life.