Effects of Common Painkillers
Painkillers, also called opioids, are prescription medications used to relieve pain. Doctors typically prescribe painkillers to a patient who has recently had surgery and may be in pain. When used properly, painkillers can be effective at decreasing pain levels.
Painkillers work by breaking down and attaching to proteins in the brain called opioid receptors. These receptors are also found in the spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract and other organs. Once attached, the painkillers can reduce the perception of pain felt by the individual.
When an individual in not in pain, yet still uses painkillers, the effect on the brain can result in a relaxed, euphoric feeling. This happens when the medication affects areas of the brain that are connected to how we perceive pleasure. This is often the effect felt when painkillers are abused or taken without a prescription, and it is why repeated use can lead to addiction. Individuals who abuse painkillers may yearn for that relaxed, “high” feeling the medications may provide.
These types of prescription drugs typically come in pill form. People can become addicted to painkillers when they use them without a prescription, use larger doses than prescribed or combine painkillers with alcohol or other drugs.
Specific types of painkillers (opioids) include:
- Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet)
- Morphine (Kadian, Avinza, MS Contin)
- Fentanyl (Duragesic)
- Diphenoxylate (Lomotil)
- Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet)
- Propoxyphene (Darvon)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
Painkiller Addiction Treatment
Addiction to painkillers (opioids) is not uncommon, especially among young adults and teens. Behind marijuana, Vicodin (a type of painkiller) is the most abused prescription drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When painkillers are abused, they can cause severe breathing complications and even death. They should not be combined with alcohol or other medications that may also slow breathing, such as barbiturates and antihistamines, because the combination could result in life-threatening respiratory problems.
It is essential that young adults or any individual with a painkiller addiction seek treatment before the addiction gets worse. Talbott Recovery can help. We offer a variety of addiction treatment programs for adults over age 18. We have campuses in the Atlanta, Dunwoody and Columbus, GA areas that have programs to fit you or your loved one’s specific needs.
If you’re ready to take the next step, do not hesitate to contact Talbott Recovery to see if our programs are right for you or your loved one. Get in touch with us today.