Painkiller Abuse Facts

Painkiller abuse can have a devastating effect on both the individual and his or her family. Because abuse is not restricted to a person's gender, age, nationality or background, it can occur anytime to anyone, wreaking havoc and destruction along the way. Painkillers are perhaps one of the most abused drugs on the market, due to their easy access and availability. These substances are fairly inexpensive to buy and come readily available in tablet, powder, liquid and suppository form.

Most Commonly Abused Painkillers

Some of the most widely abused painkillers in the country today are those derived from the opium drug or its synthetic derivative. These include Morphine, Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxycodone and Fentanyl, just to name a few. These painkillers can be found in many common over the counter medicines sold in local supermarkets and pharmacies. The fact that they are fairly cheap to buy and so easily available makes them easy to abuse.

Opium has a long history of medical use as a painkiller. Because of its addictive properties and abuse, the substance was gradually phased out of many modern medicines, being replaced by synthetic versions of the same. Whether a painkiller contains natural opium or a man-made opium substitute, abuse of these drugs continues to pose a great threat. Each year thousands of people suffer permanent brain and body damage due to painkiller abuse. These substances are also responsible for a number of untimely deaths.

The painkillers codeine and morphine are made from the natural opium drug. They can be found in medicines such as Empirin, Robitussin A-C, Tylenol, Duramorph and Roxanol. Morphine and codeine are among some of the favorite drugs abused by young people on the street. Abuse of these substances can occur through injection, ingestion or smoking.

Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Fentanyl are all painkillers made from synthetic versions of opium. Hydrocodone sells under the brand names of Vicodin, Lorcet and Lortab. Brand names of Oxycodone include Tylox, Percocet and OxyContin. Fentanyl operates under the name brands of Actiq and Duragesic.

When painkillers are abused they can be life threatening, causing long term negative effects on a person's health and well-being. Although these painkillers were originally designed to help alleviate pain and suffering, their abusive properties make them virtual killers in the wrong hands.

How Painkillers Are Abused

Many young people in particular are not aware of the devastating effects painkiller abuse can cause on the body. Sometimes young people start with mildly abusing these substances to get a temporary high or euphoric effect. As the body becomes accustomed to the drug, the "mild abuse" becomes more extensive to get the results they desire.

Over time, young people become addicted to the painkillers they use to where their body suffers serious withdrawal symptoms when they try to break free. Like any other narcotic, painkillers can become so addictive that, without outside help and intervention, individuals are unable to become free of their use.

Painkiller abuse also occurs when these drugs are used improperly due to a person's ignorance or stupidity. Individuals who purposely ignore a medicine's instructions or use more than what the doctor prescribes run the risk of the medicine causing more harm than good. Excessive use of painkillers can lead to addiction, bodily damage or death.

When used properly, painkillers can be an asset to society by alleviating suffering and pain. Painkiller abuse causes detrimental effects, producing injury and pain. The choice is up to you.