There are lots of legitimate reasons to take painkillers. Maybe you’re recovering from a surgery, or maybe you have a chronic condition that causes pain. But if you’re taking opioid painkillers, you could be at risk for getting addicted – even if you take your pills exactly as prescribed.
Opioid use is an epidemic. This type of drug is extremely habit-forming, and addiction can happen surprisingly quickly. No one is safe from addiction – the tired old “druggie” stereotype often doesn’t hold true when it comes to opioid abuse. Plenty of people from all walks of life are addicted to opioids.
Opioid painkillers come under a variety of names. Oxycodone, tramadol, fentanyl, and morphine are all opioid drugs. So are opium, heroin, codeine, and hydrocodone. If you take pain pills and you’re not sure what’s in them, a Google search or a call to your doctor can help you find out.
Could You Be In Danger of Addiction?
Many people think they’ll be able to recognize the signs of addiction and stop using drugs before the problem gets serious. This is a misconception, and a dangerous one at that. Addiction can happen very quickly, and by the time you recognize that something is wrong, it may be too late to easily quit. Addiction is a progressive disease, and the longer it goes untreated, the harder it is to beat – so it’s always better to seek treatment sooner rather than later.
Wondering if your opioid use is starting to be a problem? Here are some signs that you may be developing (or already have) an addiction.
- You’ve noticed that you need a higher dose of a drug to feel the same effects from it. This means your body is becoming dependent on the substance. You may also have withdrawal symptoms, like nausea or chills, if you stop using the drug.
- You visit more than one doctor so that you can get more pills.
- You’ve started using opioids or pain pills because they make you feel good, not because they treat your symptoms. This is an especially big red flag if you’ve started neglecting your loved ones, your hobbies, or your job to use drugs.
- You think about using opioids all the time, and you feel anxious when you’re about to run out.