Treatment options for pain killer addiction include: medications, such as methadone and LAAM (levo-alpha-acetyl-methadol), and behavioral counseling; usually, the patient is medically detoxified before any treatment approach is begun. Less common side effects and adverse reactions of pain killers are: confusion, hallucinations, delirium, hives, itching, hypothermia, bradycardia (slow heart rate), tachycardia (rapid heart rate), raised intracranial pressure, ureteric or biliary spasm, muscle rigidity and flushing. Many chronic pain patients may be under-treated as a result of doctors who are trying to gain control over pain killer addiction, they report.
Physical dependence on a drug suggests that sudden stopping of the drug may result in negative consequences. Common side effects and adverse reactions of pain killers are: nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry mouth, miosis (contraction of the pupil), orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drops upon sudden standing) -- often happens when arising too fast when getting out of bed in the morning, urinary retention, constipation and fecal impaction. Addiction to pain killers is an escalating problem today, especially the abuse of opioid pain killers.
An opioid-dependent pain patient has improved function with the use of the drug while an opioid-addicted patient does not have improvement. There are many side effects and adverse reactions that can occur with the use of opioids as pain killers. Once a patient addicted to pain killing drugs has completed detoxification, the treatment provider must then work with the patient to determine which course of treatment would be best for the patient.
Many other drugs can interact with the opioids and cause a variety of symptoms; this can be fatal. Chronic pain affects one out of three or four adults; millions of people suffer from severe disabling pain. Often people who are addicted to pain killers are plagued with various symptoms to different degrees; many times they don't associate the symptoms with the drug.
Although detoxification is not a treatment for pain killer addiction, it can help relieve withdrawal symptoms while the patient adjusts to being free of pain killers or other prescription drugs. If you think you are addicted and want to get off pain killers or other drugs, it's best to get detoxified as fast as you can and then go through some type of rehabilitation; it's important to have others to lean on and learn from and offer support to you. There are a number of effective treatment options to treat pain killer addiction to prescription opioids and to help manage the sometimes severe withdrawal symptoms that can accompany sudden stopping of pain killers or drugs.
You must make a change in your lifestyle in order to prevent you from taking pain killers and or other drugs again. It's important to get help and not to try getting off pain killers on your own. If you can't do an in-patient rehab, find out how you can do outpatient rehab and pay for it under your insurance plan; check your insurance policy to see if it's covered.
Taking the time to spend in a treatment center, detoxing, is of the utmost priority. Some insurance companies will pay for one or two weeks; some may pay for rehabilitation too. You must leave the routine responsibilities of your life for a week or two or suffer the inevitable outcome and bad health effects of prolonged drug addiction.
Experts say that only a small segment of patients with a medical need for using narcotic pain medications ever become addicted. A patient being treated with a pain killer can become dependent, but with controlled and appropriate use of the medication, the patient can return to some level of normal living and normal activities following discontinuance of the drug. Today's pain killer treatment options are drawn from long-time experience and clinical research from studying and treating other types of drugs and even heroin addiction.
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