Understanding Painkiller Abuse
Painkiller abuse and prescription drug addiction is a vice that has continued to claim the lives of teens as well as adults. Next to marijuana abuse, doctor-prescribed drugs top the list of mind-altering substances among the younger generation. Dial 800-303-2482 to speak with a counselor now if you need help.
Although doctors and care givers prescribe and administer painkillers primarily for pain relief, actually the risk of abuse and subsequent addiction remains rife. Convalescing from a surgery or managing arthritis could potentially lead to high dependence on painkillers; a dangerous habit which could eventually lead to painkiller addiction and finally, death.
The pandemic indiscriminately affects everyone. Statistics show that one out of four people have fallen into painkiller abuse at some time in their lives. Additionally, about two and a half million people start abusing painkillers every single year. Most users start abusing prescription drugs in an effort to combat constant pain due to the medical condition affecting them.
At some point, the desire to alleviate pain and discomfort becomes an excuse to use more of the pain relievers. Owing to easy availability of these drugs, detachment becomes somewhat difficult. Further experimentation with stronger drugs for pain relief then becomes a fatal habit that could only lead to death.
Painkiller addicts continually come up with new-fangled ways to use the drugs. Since most prescription drugs come in the form of pills, addicts are always formulating fresh ways to modify painkillers for maximum effect. Some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs such as morphine and hydrocodone are ground into powder, and snorted. On the other hand, a painkiller that has been modified into a liquid form may be injected to numb pain in an instant.
However, the ‘high feeling’ that such abuse generates resembles hard core drugs like heroin and cocaine. Unfortunately the lack of restraint and endurance has led many to reach for painkillers more often than required each time the pain starts, ending up dependent on the drugs in the long run.
Most painkillers and prescription drugs which are frequently abused are mainly opium products. Opium is highly effective as a painkiller, however it is a most addictive substance that other synthetic drugs were created to substitute such as laudanum; a highly addictive pain killer derived from opium.
On the streets, opium remains a delight in many addicts’ eyes. Opium has several street names; Big O, Black stuff, Block and Gum. Extreme users of opium either smoke it or consume it orally. A good example of a painkiller directly derived from opium is codeine.
Medicines such as empiric, Tylenol and Fiorina all contain codeine and are likely candidates for painkiller abuse. Similarly to opium, codeine users baptize the addictive substance in many steer terms like schoolboy, doors and fours, loads, or pancakes.
The synthetic opioid Fentanyl is by far a most lethal painkiller that causes thousands of deaths each year. There are several ways in which painkiller abusers administer it in to their system. Some prefer to inject it in the blood, while others simply smoke it or snort it.
Fentanyl can also be taken via a skin patch, and has been found to be superior to heroin as much as fifty times. Popular street names for Fentanyl include; china girl, dance fever, apache and friend. Addiction can but will less likely occur to people who use prescription drugs in the correct way.
Once a drug has been converted or modified into some other form, then painkiller abuse starts the downward route to addiction which then becomes a big problem to quit. The responsibility to keep the youth and family members safe from the endemic of painkiller abuse lies with each and every one of us. Pharmacists, patients and the society as a whole have a crucial role to play!