Risks of Painkillers Should be Heavily Weighed Before Use

While there has been a lot of recent buzz about the dangers of OxyContin, there are many other painkillers that carry the potential for abuse.

Vicodin and Lortab, which contain Hydrocodone, are high on the list, as is Percocet, the brand name for Oxycodone. Methadone and Suboxone are used as substitutes for patients with opioid addictions but are also subject to misuse. Many individuals with painkiller addictions start out as normal, everyday people who develop dependency overtime.

And while the effects of addiction can be devastating, many find it difficult to remove themselves from the cycle of abuse. What starts out as relief can quickly turn into a crutch as the painkillers become a necessary part of getting through the day.

Many with pain pill addictions are considered to be high functioning individuals who hold down jobs and keep it together, at least on the outside. For that reason, the illness can be hard to diagnose. Recognizing painkiller addiction as a legitimate problem is important; however, it can cause all sorts of damage or even result in death.

Risks of painkiller misuse include organ damage, dangerous conduct, and overdose. What some don’t realize is that certain medications such as Vicodin and Percocet contain high levels of acetaminophen that when abused, can lead to permanent liver damage. Oftentimes, though, drive for the drug is stronger than the potentially negative consequences. 

This drive leads addicts to seek out their fix wherever and however they can get it. And when their supply dries up, they will go to dangerous parts of town or engage in risky behaviors just to get it. The potential for overdose in these situations is very real. 

Opioids cause a person’s breathing to slow down, reducing oxygen to the brain. Painkiller overdose leading to asphyxiation in one’s own vomit is also a real and deadly possibility.

There are many other dangers of abusing prescription drugs. While these drugs are wonderful for the short-term treatment of pain and discomfort, their use should be highly monitored so that the good doesn’t end up outweighing the bad.

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The Pain of Addiction

Vicodin addiction often starts innocently enough. Most people start taking Vicodin or other pain medications after surgery or an injury. But then they can’t stop. They need more to get the same pain relief. They start doctor shopping to get more pills. And the cycle continues until it takes over their lives.