Trying to quit addictive painkillers can be one of the most difficult challenges in an individual’s life. Most people begin taking these medications for legitimate reasons. However, it’s important to understand the signs of addiction as well as how to get off of these dangerous medications.
What Are Addictive Painkillers?
In an effort to help people with pain management, pharmaceutical companies created opioids. Derivatives of opiates, these medications block pain receptors in the brain and also release a euphoric neurotransmitter called dopamine.
Some of the most common opioids include:
Although doctors and physicians prescribe these drugs to help with pain, many individuals end up developing a painkiller addiction because the pills release dopamine in excess.
In most cases, doctors prescribe these medications with good intentions, but they eventually become a problem that a person can’t control. As individuals continue to take these medications, their tolerance increases, meaning they need more in order to feel that initial effect.
Eventually, the person develops a dependence on the medications as well, so they continue using so they don’t experience the symptoms of withdrawal. Aside from the fear of withdrawal, these medications are difficult to quit due to the way they affect the brain.
Addictive Painkillers Hijack the Brain
Whether individuals struggle with addictive painkillers or another addictive substance, these substances hijack the survival portion of the brain. The limbic system tells individuals to eat when they get hungry or drink water when they become thirsty. As they develop a painkiller dependency, the brain begins thinking that he or she needs these medications in order to survive.
Another issue for those struggling with addiction is that their brain’s prefrontal cortex—responsible for self-awareness and other important functions—isn’t working properly. When individuals feel as though they need the pills in order to survive, they’re often in denial about their addictions.
Getting Help for Painkiller Addiction
If you’ve found that you continue to use addictive painkillers and can’t stop, allow Serenity Lodge to help you. Compassionate professionals at our gender-responsive drug and alcohol addiction treatment facility provide you with various addiction therapy methods that will teach you how to live a better life, substance-free life.