What many people fail to realize is that it is just as likely for someone to become addicted to (or abuse) legal narcotics as it is for people who use drugs that are against the law. The number of Americans who are becoming addicted to legal prescription painkillers is astounding, quickly reaching heights of epidemic proportions. Prescription painkillers or tranquilizers have infiltrated middle-class America and have become a major problem among mothers raising small children.
When prescribed by a doctor, it is easy to begin abusing narcotics. Many of these medications allow the user to maintain a high level of functioning, which means he or she can carry on with a daily routine for months without being aware of the damage painkillers are causing. Until it causes serious consequences, a prescription medication addiction can go undetected for years. After all, when you have a written prescription from a doctor to take pills for pain, justifying their use doesn’t require much effort.
Thousands of people enter recovery every day for opiate addiction. That’s right –opiate addiction. Most people associate opiates with heroin or morphine, but opiates come in a number of different forms. Many of the most popular legal narcotics are highly addictive. Medications like Vicodin, Oxycodone, Soma, Valium and Zanax produce a feeling of euphoria so incredible, it causes the user to return again and again for more.
Some get hooked on pills through street transactions that happened at clubs and parties. All too often, people partake of prescription medication at social gatherings and quickly become hooked on the stuff, unaware of the addictive properties of these pharmaceuticals. Others innocently, and unknowingly, become addicted to painkillers after a legitimate injury or necessary surgery. A broken leg or injured back caused by a sports injury, whiplash from a serious car accident, a root canal….even a caesarean birth –these are all situations where a doctor might see a need to prescribe painkillers.
For a crack smoker or heroin addict, it’s easy to identify that a substance abuse problem exists, just by the taboo nature of the drug they are addicted to. Illicit drugs require illicit behavior, which causes people to do business in dark alleys with unsavory characters. Legal painkillers and tranquilizers are available to anyone who has a legal prescription from a doctor. These transactions require you to be in public places like pharmacies and grocery stores, which give a green light that says what you are doing is okay, even if you are hopelessly addicted, doctor shopping and going into debt because of your addiction.
It may be harder to recognize, but being addicted to prescription medication can wreak havoc on your life just like any other addiction. These types of narcotics cause major health problems and can be lethal if used excessively. Prescription medication addiction is a costly financial endeavor as well, with many people spending thousands every month to get a fix, forgoing the mortgage payment. Plus, legal consequences, family troubles and problems at work accompany this type of addiction.
There is no shame in asking for help and help is available to you if you have a sincere desire to break your addiction. Trying to do it one your own is never a good idea. After all, if you could cure yourself, you would have done it already! Withdrawing from opiate addiction can cause major complications like a stroke, heart attack or even death. De-toxing in a safe, secure environment is highly recommended, followed by at least 28 days of in-patient addiction treatment.
If you have been abusing painkillers or tranquilizers, there is hope. Millions of people have overcome an addiction to prescription medication with in-patient treatment and ongoing support. You can do it too.