Quitting Painkillers Could be Life or Death

Painkiller addiction seems to be an increasing problem in our society, and it’s certainly receiving more media attention than ever before. Many people who have been prescribed painkillers for legitimate purposes have become addicted because of a lack of understanding about the dangers. When they first try to quit painkillers, they find it’s much more difficult than they’d imagined. Prescription painkiller abuse is far too common, and many different types of people become addicted to painkillers, from kids raiding their parents medicine cabinets to junkies to people in business suits who from the outside seem to have everything under control.

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The Epidemic of Painkillers

Rx

Nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers.

 

PillsIn 2010, 1 in 20 people in the US (age 12 or older) reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in the past year.

 

CalendarEnough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for a month.

 

Effects of Painkillers on the Brain and Body

There are many different types of painkillers out there, but most are opioids, which means they have the same effects on your body as heroin. Opioids are central nervous system depressants, and they essentially slow down the nervous system and gastrointestinal tract. Opioids decrease pain perception and increase pain tolerance. They can produce feelings of euphoria. When abusing opioids, people experience itching, slurred speech, dilated pupils, slow reaction time, sleepiness, and loss of appetite. There are serious long term effects with painkiller abuse.

Symptoms of Painkiller Withdrawal

Your body can quickly develop a dependence on opioids, and when you try to quit painkillers, you can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Your symptoms will range from mild to severe based on the history of your addiction to opioids. Withdrawal symptoms can include restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, increased appetite, difficulty sleeping, headaches, sweating, or chills. It can take up to 10 days for your body to flush itself of painkillers. When you quit painkillers, withdrawal symptoms can also include depression, anxiety, irritability, nightmares, and cravings. Sometimes these psychological withdrawal symptoms are extremely intense and can last much longer than the physical withdrawal symptoms of quitting painkillers.

How to Quit Painkillers

If you want to quit painkillers, you should never attempt to do it on your own. Quitting cold turkey can be dangerous. You should always consult your doctor before you quit painkillers, and they can help you come up with a plan to end your addiction safely and successfully. In general, it’s best to attend a detox center to quit painkillers. The medical staff can prescribe you medication to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, as well as monitor your health as you detox. There are medications, such as Suboxone, that can help you quit painkillers by eliminating withdrawal symptoms and blocking the effects of opioids on your body. After you detox, rehab is a great option to help yourself heal after you’ve quit painkillers. Rehab will give you a safe, controlled environment in which you can continue to cope with withdrawal symptoms and learn to adjust to life without painkillers. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you learn new techniques of managing pain and stress.

While it is possible to quit painkillers with the help of outpatient treatment centers, it’s generally not the best method. Clinics may give out Suboxone to those who are trying to quit painkillers, but there is too much potential to misuse the drug without constant medical supervision, and most people need more support in order to transition to an entirely drug-free life that does not include painkillers or Suboxone. If you want to quit painkillers, it is possible. A good support system is crucial. As you try to quit painkillers, you should ask for help when you need it. Friends and family members who do not abuse drugs should be made aware of your attempts to quit painkillers. Support groups, group therapy, counseling, and other types of treatment can help you stay off painkillers for good.

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Comments

  1. Pam says

    I went to treatment for 28 days to get off painkillers, then it was prescribed suboxone. It was a night mare for me to get off the suboxone when I lost my job and insurance. No one would help, not my doctor, not the company that makes suboxone, no one. I have been through hell to leave suboxone, it was more difficult than my original detox by far. Now I am trying to pick myself up and find a job before I am homeless. I once was a successful , rescepted teacher. Suboxone wasn’t my friend in the end.

  2. Pam says

    I went to treatment for 28 days to get off painkillers, then it was prescribed suboxone. It was a night mare for me to get off the suboxone when I lost my job and insurance. No one would help, not my doctor, not the company that makes suboxone, no one. I have been through hell to leave suboxone, it was more difficult than my original detox by far. Now I am trying to pick myself up and find a job before I am homeless. I once was a successful , rescepted teacher. Suboxone wasn’t my friend in the end.

  3. steve says

    Try kratom, i kicked 100 mg of methadone with just kratom, took kratom for a few weeks and stopped with no withdrawals at all…its a natural leaf that has been used for pain, energy,depression , opiate withdrawal etc in indinesia for hundreds of years…google it, i go to meetings, havesponsor, work steps etc and been clean 3 years..google kratom, all natural etc, suboxone was one of the worst withdrawals ive ever had…kratom saved my life and AA and god keep me sober…

  4. Steve says

    Why wont u publiah my comments about kratom, it got me off 100 mgs of methadone with no withdrawals, then i stopped that and noe go to meetings everyday, have sponsor, speak at detoxes every wed and sat, worked my ateps qith a sponsor and sponsor people,,,3 years clean on Feb 2…Seems like anything that will help people off opiates should be allowed to be discussed…people talk about suboxone and that is worse than heroin to come off…this is biased gtoup and god forbid people get clean without supporting “Big Pharma” drugs….

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