While treating pain is essential to medicine, it is important to be aware of the dangers of patients becoming addicted. The most frequently used medicines for treating moderate, severe, and chronic pain are opioids, which are highly addictive. Millions of people have fallen victim to one or more of these drugs, and the number continues to grow.
The first step in balancing pain management and addiction is attending a prescription drug addiction rehab. Once the body is free of toxins, healthier means of chronic pain management are introduced. The Ranch Tennessee can help you towards recovery. Call us at 1.844.876.7680, and our team can provide more resources on addiction and treatment options.
The Problem with Pain Pills and Addiction
Opioid painkiller abuse, addiction, and overdose have been growing problems over the last two decades. From 2001 to 2014, overdoses involving prescription painkillers tripled. More people are addicted to painkillers than any other drug. In 2015, two million Americans had a painkiller substance abuse disorder, while 591,000 had a heroin substance abuse disorder. In 2021, it was estimated that painkiller abuse would cost the U.S. $78.5 billion.
While so many people are abusing, getting hooked on, and even dying because of these drugs, millions of others genuinely need them to relieve severe pain. Living with chronic and serious pain is not acceptable for anyone, but living with pain management and addiction is neither. The challenge for lawmakers, physicians, and advocacy groups is to balance legitimate painkiller use and pain management. If you or a close family member need help to manage pain but have started to abuse heroin, reach out to the heroin addiction treatment center in TN.
Pain Management and Addiction Prevention
With the opioid epidemic in America, people from all sides of pain management are working toward preventing addiction. What does the process of pain management and addiction prevention look like?
The Role of Prescribers
Many have blamed the painkiller abuse epidemic on prescribing physicians. No one group is solely to blame. However, doctors have been known to overprescribe opioids, often giving them to patients who don’t truly need them. The FDA’s number one priority is to discourage opioid abuse and addiction. To do this, they have advocated that physicians receive more educational training on when it is appropriate to prescribe painkillers. Manufacturers of these drugs are now required to provide training for doctors to help them prescribe more appropriately and monitor patients using painkillers.
The Role of Drug Makers
The FDA has attempted to make painkillers safer by regulating how drug manufacturers make, label, and sell their products. One product that has contributed significantly to opioid addiction is the extended-release pill. This formulation allows a patient with chronic pain to take one pill a day and get round-the-clock relief in small doses. Abusers quickly learned to crush the pill to get a higher amount all at once. The FDA now requires that these pills include strongly worded labels warning about the risks of overdose and addiction if misused.
The Role of Law Makers
Legislators and policymakers also need to play a role in curbing opioid abuse and addiction trends. Experts recommend that states set up databases to track patients receiving prescriptions for opioid painkillers, for instance. These would prevent the type of doctor shopping people have engaged in to get multiple prescriptions. Policymakers, including the FDA, can also control factors such as how drug manufacturers make their drugs. For example, they can require that all extended-release formulas include abuse preventatives.
The balance between managing pain for millions of Americans and preventing abuse and addiction is delicate. Many people are involved in this issue, requiring all efforts to ensure that patients are treated appropriately while addiction and overdoses are minimized. It is also important to remember that patients have a role to play. When pain patients are better educated about the risks of using opioids, even more instances of abuse could be avoided.
What Does It Mean to Be Addicted to Pain Pills?
An addiction to pain pills is a real and serious problem. It can be difficult to identify because pain patients often have a legitimate need for their medication. However, some key signs may indicate an issue:
- Taking pain medication for longer than prescribed or taking higher doses than recommended
- Doctor shopping or going to multiple doctors to get multiple pain prescriptions
- Taking pain medication in ways other than prescribed, such as crushing pills and snorting them
- Taking pain medication for reasons other than pain relief, such as to get high
If you or someone you know is displaying these behaviors, it is crucial to seek painkiller addiction help immediately.
Learn More About Addiction to Pain Pills and Getting Treatment at The Ranch Tennessee
When chronic pain management and addiction occur, The Ranch Tennessee can provide support. We offer a pain management program that can help you understand the risks of using opioids and develop alternative pain relief methods.
We also offer comprehensive addiction treatment if painkiller abuse is already a problem. Find chronic pain management and addiction relief with the following programs:
- Inpatient drug rehab
- Outpatient drug rehab
- Family recovery program
- Addiction therapy programs in TN
- Dual diagnosis treatment program
To get more information and resources about pain pill addiction and treatment, contact The Ranch Tennessee at 1.844.876.7680.