Over the last 25 years, there has been an increase in the number of prescriptions given for painkillers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the number has increased from 76 million to over 200 million. While most people who take them as prescribed by their doctors won’t develop an addiction, there is a small percentage of people who may develop a problem. Searching for substance abuse treatment centers in Wilmington NC? Call Legacy Freedom for help.
The most addictive pain killers are in the opioid family. They’re given when over-the-counter (OTC) medicines aren’t strong enough to manage pain. They’re usually prescribed as a short-term remedy for pain following surgery, but can also be an option for managing chronic pain.
Here are the most additive drugs in the opioid family, what form they generally are available in and common side effects.
Known by its brand name OxyContin, this is the most well-known and most addictive painkiller. It is given for moderate to severe pain because it has fewer side effects.
Side effects: Mild drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, mild itching
Another well-known painkiller, this is generally only prescribed for severe pain from an injury or disease. Users can develop a tolerance to the drug, making it highly addictive.
Forms: Tablet, liquid, capsule
Side effects: Drowsiness, upset stomach, constipation, headache, blurred vision, dry mouth, ringing in ears, difficulty urinating
This is a form of Oxycodone with acetaminophen that is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
Side effects: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever, headache, itching, loss of appetite, nausea, rash, sweating
This narcotic analgesic is a combination of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. There is a shorter time period for developing an addiction to it.
Forms: Tablet or liquid
Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, or drowsiness
Taken orally or injected, it relieves moderate to severe pain. It is a popular pain reliever used during childbirth. The generic name is Meperidine.
Forms: tablet or injection
Side effects: lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, constipation, loss of appetite, headache, weakness, dry mouth, itching
This drug is prescribed when a patient is on other painkillers but needs more relief. It is used for severe pain that other drugs are not strong enough to ease.
Forms: tablet, nasal spray or injection
Side effects: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fever, headache, itching, loss of appetite, nausea, rash
When a person begins abusing drugs in the opioid family, the side effects become increased, and can also include depression, insomnia and severe mood swings. Long term abuse can lead to liver damage, suppression of the respiratory system and overdose.
Signs that someone may be abusing their prescriptions can be hard to identify because many people are able to hide it. If a loved one seems to be running out of their prescriptions more quickly than usual, they may be taking more than the prescribed dosage. Some people will begin “doctor shopping” or going to multiple doctors in order to get more prescriptions. If you suspect a loved one has a problem with painkillers, it’s important that you get them help immediately.
Safe and Reliable Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Wilmington NC | Legacy Freedom
Is your family troubled because of a loved one’s addiction problem? Tired of searching for substance abuse treatment centers in Wilmington NC? Call Legacy Freedom Treatment Center of Wilmington to speak with a counselor today. Our approach to recovery includes the family members of our patients because we know how important it is to have a support system when you’re struggling with something as traumatic as addiction. We offer outpatient therapy so patients don’t have to be taken away from family during treatment. Call us today.