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Prescription Painkillers’ Paradoxical Addiction

Prescription Painkillers and Opioids - The Bergand Group

There is a lot of less-than-positive news when it comes to opioids these days, particularly when it comes to the rates of addictions and the difficulties that come with them. Unfortunately, as more and more research is done about prescription painkillers and their effects, there are more concerning breakthroughs that take place. In this case, the facts suggest that opioids “may increase and prolong chronic pain.”

How Prescription Painkillers Can Cause Pain

Though the most recent test has involved lab rats, the researchers behind it are gravely confident that there would (and will) be similar discoveries made about humans. Evidence suggests that “even short-term use” can have these negative results, which means that taking these addiction-causing drugs for pain management may not only not be helping, but it may be hurting the individual in the long run.

Most opioid addictions begin with prescription painkillers, the purpose of which is to reduce the daily strife of chronic pain. However, if these medicines are paradoxically causing increased pain, then, essentially, addictions are being generated in large quantities in what is a hugely serious issue in the U.S. Reportedly, the problem that is being caused by the opioids is that they seem to be “exacerbating the release of pain signals from specific immune cells in the spinal cord.” In short, they may be making people more sensitive to the feeling of pain rather than doing the opposite.

Perhaps the most concerning point is that such a short experience with the drugs in a person’s body can result in such a long, resultant period of increased pain. The study done thus far shows that “just five days of opioid treatments could trigger chronic pain that lasted for several months.” This is clearly a huge issue, considering the goal of these prescription painkillers is to reduce pain, and in these cases, the level and intensity of pain may actually rise. Unfortunately, this is when many people fall into the clutches of an addiction, since they then want to manage that increased pain with increased dosages… and the cycle continues. Even if they free themselves from this prescription pills abuse, many then turn to heroin, which they can potentially obtain more easily.

Humans are creatures that typically want immediate gratification and thus they seek out solutions like prescription medication for serious pain. Longer-term solutions are not as appealing when something as forceful and unyielding as chronic pain is wreaking havoc. Within the past ten years, instances of people obtaining these opioids from doctors and subsequently becoming addicted and overdosing have risen dramatically across the board. “In 2014, the number of deaths in the United States from opioid drugs or heroin overdoses totaled 47,055 people. This adds up to about 125 Americans every day.”

What is being done to reduce these numbers, or at least to try different solutions for chronic pain when the current method poses so many dangers? Since these findings especially are so new, the answer is “not much.” It’s hard to come up with an “answer” to addiction in general, let alone one with as many complications as with prescription painkillers addictions. Research needs to be put into both finding safer ways to manage pain and, if opioids are the only solution, then there need to be a way to prevent the increase of pain while also combating potential addiction.

If you have been using prescription painkillers and have been having difficulty with a resulting addiction, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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