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Painkiller Addiction

Drugs refers to some compounds that have effects on the body metabolism in order to heal some diseases and relieve some symptoms. That definition includes prescription medicines, analgesic substances and opioid. Generally, drugs refers to the bad substances taken to relieve stress which are notorious for their fast addictive effects. Prescription drugs are commonly referred to by painkillers.

Painkillers are analgesic substances that are taken to reduce pain sensations. Their effects goes beyond anesthesia ; they eliminate pain. They operate at the brain level and not at the sensory receptor. The abuse of that type of medicines can develop a dependency ; the individual is therefore experiencing painkiller addiction.

Behold painkillers :

Opioid are compound used to treat chronic or long term pain sensations. They are made of substances that induce euphoria sensations. Because of their analgesic effect, they mimic the anesthetics effects. They have the role of inhibiting some neural transmission just the same as some neurotransmitters. In fact, the brain produces its own painkillers but generally they are not enough to counter pain at a critical level. It is then important to prescribe these substances to the subject in order to help reduce the pain sensations and make it easy for him to overcome the sensation.

There are two groups of painkillers:

  • Weak painkillers: they are prescribed to minor pains; such pains that prevent you from sleeping. Usually they are taken for short time.
  • Strong painkillers: they are the solution for major pains or chronic pains. There are some traumatic situation like accidents resulting in loosing some organs, severe burns and very damaging injuries.

Pain mechanism:

To understand painkiller addiction, it is important to understand the pain sensation mechanism. Well, pain is a particular sensation that is felt the same no matter the sensory receptor is. In fact, pain is pain whether you experience it at your feet, tooth, hand, stomach head or whatever. Actually, pain is perceived as such in the brain, while the sensory receptors might be destroyed.

Regular painkilling:

Naturally, pain induces a complex of reaction within the brain in order to relieve that sensation and reduce the intensity. Two reactions are possible:

  • Analgesic reaction: the brain will release some factor known for their ability of suppressing the sensation without losing consciousness.
  • Anesthetic reaction: the brain will induce the suppression of all mechanisms related to the pain origin and perception and may lead to fainting or even comas.

Painkiller addiction:

All addiction types share the fact the addicted person is unable to make it out without the addictive behavior; whether it is taking a substance or performing some activities. Painkiller addiction has that symptom. It is easy to notice the addictive behavior as the acquisition of the prescribed painkiller even without doctor notice. The patient will experience withdrawal symptoms anytime he is away from the substances. Painkiller addiction is very similar to drug addiction; since they both share some addictive compounds. Overcoming painkiller addiction is somehow harder because the body would be still experience compulsive pain; it is the reason of taking these medicine indeed.

Overcoming painkiller addiction:

Overcoming painkiller addiction is to bear suffer withdrawal symptoms plus the recurrent pain. The decision is for the subject to make. The eventual damages caused by the administration of heavy loads of painkillers may only be treated by gradual decrease of the load. This would help the body to counter the urge for the addictive substances. While proceeding this way, psychological treatment is essential to help patient learning new way to fight pain ; it is possible to resort to some specific diet when it is possible.

Conclusion:

The best way to fight painkiller addiction is not to fall for it. Prevention remains the best solution. But if it is already done, better to proceed as quick as possible before the body get accustomed ; painkillers have several side effects that may make you accept the pain rather than take them.

Drug addiction

There are as much types of addiction as potentially addictive substances. Commonly, addictive substances or behaviors are gathered in groups that share some characteristics.

While drugs describe a group of substances that have the ability of stimulating the brain and inducing it to ecstasy, the truth about addiction is that it has so much to do with psychological matters. In fact, smoking and drug addictions are proofs of the psychological side of additive behaviors. Then the brain is trapped and a high damaging experience takes place.

For instance, drug addiction refers to a damaging circle that begins by a little amount of drugs and may end by deadly overdose. At that point, the coming back is still possible. But before, let’s discover the process from the start.

Drug addiction: the first steps in.

Drug addiction begins similarly to smoking addiction. They both have psychological roots when it is about answering the question “why to be on drugs?”. It is obvious that being on drugs signifies lack of self esteem, troubles, difficulties to fit in society and belonging signs. The difference between drugs and smoking is the speed of addiction development. In fact, the first steps in the drug administration are usually the beginning of the agony.

The following list is to summarize the common and known causes that lead to drug addiction:

  • Social disorder: the subject faces difficulties to prove himself as a member of a given society or community. He is therefore forced to compensate what he is lacking by something else. In most cases, alcohol drinks and drugs are the best solution he can resort to. Unfortunately these the worst ever.
  • Psychological disorder: intense anxiety and stress are two predominant factor that leads individuals to drug addiction. In hope of relieving the straggles, people may resort to these punctual and indeed futile happy and delightful moments.
  • Environment constraint: the risk of being on drug is increased when the environment is full of dealers and consumers. The reality is the environment may promote the drug addiction; in fact criminality rate in the considered zone may be a factor that promotes drug dealing and use.

Drug addiction symptoms:

Drug addiction is different from casual drug use. There are some signs that might tell the person is in a state of addiction. Below is the most common symptoms.

  • The person has the urgent need for drugs: he claims drugs energetically and may use violence in order to force the drug obtaining.
  • Failure to abandon drugs: every time the person tries to quit taking drugs, he fails and might magnify his use afterward.
  • Defending the state: the person tries to hide his unhealthy behavior by explaining how drugs help him to make it through life.
  • Recurrent withdrawal symptoms: the patient behave abnormally. Body shakiness and high irritability are the most obvious signs of the body claiming the addictive substances; it might be accompanied by painful sensation in the joints.

Drug addiction effects:

Drug addiction affects the brain functionong besides the brain anatomy. In fact, the addictive substances are severely damaging the neurotransmitters balance and the neurones connections. They may also alter memories ; the subject may experience blackouts  very frequently. The worst case is death by overdoses. With repetitive use of drugs, the quantity to take increases and th epatient may be completely dragged in. Recovering may take time, but it is always possible to go the way back.

Conclusion :

Drug addiction is surely a big concern. Developing such unhealthy behavior is the result of several psycholigical disorders. The better is preventing the causes rather than suffer the consequences. Yet, prevention would be planned to cover whole generations to come, and it is a long term educational process indeed.

Causes of Addiction

It is common to come across someone who says that he can’t go through the day without smoking a couple of cigarettes. There are some who might say that they can’t help taking drugs or painkillers ; This situation -being dependent of a certain element- is known by addiction. Well, there is a list of addictions ; the addicted person to a certain element, ingredient or activity is helpless in front of it and can only be on it or at it. Amazingly, there are causes of addiction as many as there are types of addiction. Yet, there are some common causes which are shared among all addict person.

What is addiction:

Addiction is the fact of being tightly related to some elements in order to perform activity or  achieve certain performance. The most frequent aspects of addiction are smoking and drugs addictions. The reality about this behavior is that there are a physiological -neuro physiological- process that leads to the addictive state. The addicting factor provokes several changes in the way the brain reacts and may dramatically alter its homeostasis.

For short, addiction is the way that the brain reacts to the administration -equally the practice- of certain elements -equally some behaviors.

Physiology of the addicted:

The nerve system is contains neurons. These neurons communicate with each others and through synapses using neurotransmitters. There are some neurotransmitters which are known for their good effects; they are released as rewards at particular situations and they induce feeling of contentment. Moreover they can induce the ecstasy feeling. The repetitive administration of the ingredient would have the effect of stimulating the release of thee ecstasy neurotransmitters; the nerve system will be seeking the ecstasy. Afterward, the release of the neurotransmitters would only be under the control of the outer factor and then, the brain become addicted to that stimulator.

 

Physical addiction vs mental addiction:

Physical addiction refers to physical factors as causes of addiction. Generally, there some ingredients which are said to be very addictive. Smoking and alcohol contain ingredients -nicotine and esters- that may interact with the nerve system. The reality is that everything that may trigger a massive release of the ecstasy neurotransmitters can be listed as one of the numerous causes of addiction.

By this definition, psychological and physical causes of addiction share the results parameter: both induce contentment and happiness. Though the behavior can be unhealthy and maladaptive, the subject feels satisfaction while in action and the feeling can last for a while. The overall statement of psychology about addiction is that it is a psychological disorder, since the subject has definite conviction about the relationship between what he is doing and the ecstasy he is seeking, yet the behavior is described as maladaptive.

Common causes of addiction:

There are several factors that have been reported as causes of addiction. The commonly described are:

  • Drugs: the addictive ingredient is naturally produced by the brain but at very low rate.
  • Smoking: nicotine is the addictive ingredient; here again, the brain produces its own compound of nicotine but at healthy dosages.
  • Gaming: the behavior is definitely unhealthy; the subject is unable to behave normally and is always in front of his gaming console.
  • Painkiller: the analgesic property of some compound released by the brain can be counterbalanced by a high dosage of painkillers; this result in several mental disorders.

Addiction evolution:

The causes of addiction act as stimulator; they target specific neurons and they trigger the release of relatively abnormal rate of neurotransmitters. The first time the dose is enough to induce the ecstatic state. After several times, the neurons become insensitive to that dosage and therefore the subject -in quest of the feeling- tends to increase the dosage. After a long period, the subject can become completely insensitive physically but remain highly addicted mentally.

 

Popping the Lid on Prescription Pills Addiction

Popping the Lid on Prescription Pills Addiction

Every year almost 5 million painkillers are being sold in America alone, this could connote that there are a lot of prescriptions going around to solve or mitigate pain. Unfortunately, the truth is, it includes the number of people who are addicted to pharmaceutical drugs.

The top most abused drugs in the world are painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. It’s alarming that despite the fact that these needs prescription to access, the trade is still happening. What’s worse is that a higher percentage of prescription drugs are sold because it is very easy to get a doctor to write a prescription.

But why is there a developing addiction to pharmaceutical drugs? As we have mentioned, these drugs are used to treat or target a certain type of problem. It becomes easy for a person to get hooked to something he takes every day to mitigate pain, especially the serious ones. They could get to a point that if they do not manage their intake they become dependent on the drug, increasing the dose just to ease the pain.

How come it was easy to access these types of medicines? There are different ways a prescription pill addict could access drugs:

1.     By visiting multiple doctors. Sadly, even with the advent of technology, there are still medical practitioners who may not effectively track their patients. They could get second opinion on their problems and therefore, also get the chance to have a doctor write them up a prescription.

2.     These drugs are available at home. Parents could have them in their medicine cabinets because they legitimately have medical concerns and these could be accessible to experimenting kids who could become easily hooked.

3.     Family doctors. We do not say that the doctor in the family provides the prescription without proper assessment, but the thing is, they might have their prescription lying around and an addict could use it at his own disposal.

4.     Cheaper alternative to illegal drugs. Admit it, prescription drugs are way cheaper compared to illegal drugs, plus the fact that you could carry it around without actually being caught unless with further inspection.

Now the real problem is how people get hooked on prescription drugs, which could be any of the following:

1.     In an attempt to alleviate pain. If you have a very low tolerance to pain, then you might have taken painkillers a lot of times in your life. Now imagine someone who had to endure it every day. Take the case of Dr. House from the series House, he suffered a leg injury and had to take Vicodin for a period of time. He got dependent on the drug for the pain that he no longer know if his leg has already healed or if the pain he is experiencing is just his imagination. All he wanted to do was to take drugs.

2.     To feel better. This is in relation to antidepressants. When you are clinically depressed you are advised to take antidepressants, now what people do not realize is they do not work on their own. You have to get yourself together, seek support and maintain contact with your family. If you rely solely on the drugs, it could give you temporary refuge but not a complete rehabilitation.

Certainly there is an amount of psychological addiction involved in this, the individual feels that he will not be able to function well without taking the drugs. That’s why sleeping pills have been very popular as well, because the cessation of the mind’s function is important to some.

However, we also believe that there are instances where people are made to take drugs, take for example the elderly in institutions who are taking pills every day for reasons they must have already forgotten. They could become dependent as well.

Now, the key in overcoming this type of addiction is awareness.

        Of the problem, if it exists and when it ceases to exist. We often rely on the medicines because we are no longer aware of the moments when we feel okay, but we are greatly reminded of how bad our situation is.

        Of the craving, and how to effectively manage it. The individual must be able to accept the fact that they need to know how to function normally without reaching for the next bottle of pill.

        Of the support they need and when to ask for help.

Addiction is a pandemic that slowly kills people. We need to be able to put a stop to it by being vigilant and constantly reassuring our loved ones that they will be able to overcome whatever situation they are going through.