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Addiction to pain pills is a serious problems, which affects people from all walks of life. What starts as treatment for pain can change into an addiction. Learn how to identify signs of pain pill addiction and how it is treated.

Millions of people suffer from chronic or acute pain each day. Various types of narcotics, also referred to as opiates, are often prescribed, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Pain medication is sometimes needed after an injury, surgery or to treat pain from an illness. In some cases, it can be the only thing which reduces discomfort and provides a person with relief. Pain medication has its place in some treatment plans.

The problem starts when treatment changes into an addiction. 

How Addiction Starts

Addiction may start for a variety of reasons. For example, some people start taking pain pills due to their medical condition. Overtime, a tolerance to the pain medication develops and more is needed to have the same effect. This tolerance can sometimes lead to abuse and addiction.

Pain pill abuse includes taking medication for purposes other than what is was prescribed for. For example, pain medication may be taken for recreational purposes and not due to pain. Most people at one time or another have some type of pain medication in their medicine cabinets, which makes pills readily accessible. It can be easy to get pain meds from a family member or friend.

Since pain medication is not considered a street drug and is prescribed by a doctor, some people may feel it is safer than other drugs. But addiction and abuse of pain medication is far from safe.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, more people die from overdoses of prescription pain medication, such as opiates, than illegal street drugs including cocaine and heroin.

Pain medication taken recreationally is dangerous for several reasons. When opiates are taken as a treatment for pain, the dosage is recommended and monitored by a physician. The patient’s size, age and level of pain is taken into consideration when prescribing a specific drug and amount. But when pain pills are used for recreational purposes, the dose and frequency may far exceed therapeutic doses used for pain.

Although pain medication abuse may include taking the drug in pill form, sometimes it is sold on the streets as a drug to be injected or snorted. When the medication is snorted or injected, it can have an even greater effect on the body and be more potent. Pain medication, which is sold on the street, may also have other chemicals and drugs added to it which make it even more toxic and dangerous.

Signs of Pain Medication Abuse

Although signs of pain pill addiction may vary, most people will have at least some of the following symptoms of drug abuse.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are various signs of pain pill abuse including poor coordination, sweating, depression and confusion. In addition, people who are abusing prescription pain pills may also have changes in behavior and personality. For instance, someone addicted to pain meds may start isolating themselves or have excessive mood swings. Some people who have addiction to pain medication may also have changes in their sleep patterns. Some people may sleep more whiles others cannot sleet.

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