The long-term effects of using painkillers
In most cases, painkillers are the drugs that people get over-the-counter. However, not many people know the risks that come with painkillers especially the ones for which you have no prescription. Just like narcotics, painkillers can lead to addiction too. Most importantly, they can be very harmful especially when they are taken incorrectly. Many people have lost their lives because of over-relying on painkillers.
Nonetheless, narcotic painkillers take the lead when defending against pain, which means they have a routine prescription after major surgeries. Painkillers become more trusted especially if the prescription comes from a physician, which is not always true. In such a case, the notion of the painkiller being safe and non-m addictive only leads to more addiction.
Signs that you are abusing your painkillers
Abuse of painkillers can lead to adverse long-term effect, and some of the signs that you need to look out for include dilated or constricted pupils, bloodshot or glazed eyes, and changes in weight and so on. People abusing painkillers will often feel drowsy and can sometimes nod off without even realizing. Some of the general signs include:
- Memory problems
- Poor concentration
- Slower breathing rate
- Mood swing
- Slower reactions and movements
As such, it is good to explore some of the long-term effects of relying too much on painkillers. Some of these long-term effects of on painkillers include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. These side effects emanate from the interaction of the drug with the opioid receptors that are found along the digestive tract.
Other side effects include muscle spasms that result from the reaction of the nerves at random due different stimuli. Once the opiate body starts to break down at the opioid receptor, GABA goes back into full swing. It also causes a sudden cessation of dopamine resulting in random twitches.
Long-term effects also hinge on how the drug is taken. Long-term heart damage and other cardiovascular problems can result from the introduction of the painkiller to the bloodstream via injection. Using enables also creates track marks that are susceptible to infections. Injecting painkillers especially in non-sterile condition and sharing of needles also increase the risk of contracting other blood-borne illnesses
Warning signs of painkiller addiction
A big number of people are affected by pain, and they manage it with painkillers. Others worry that if they take narcotic painkillers, they will get addicted. These drugs are meant to reduce your sensitivity to pain, but on the other hand, they create euphoria. If you have a painkiller prescription that you adhere to, you will avert addiction. However, there are those that are addicted and some of the signs to look out for include the following:
Thinking about medication a lot
If you become preoccupied with the time that you are taking your next painkiller, and whether you have enough supply of your painkiller, you are becoming addicted. If you are monitoring the clock to enable you to take your next dose, it is a sign that you are drowning into addiction. However, dependency and addiction are different phenomena. You can have a physical dependence on a drug without getting addicted. In other words, physical dependence on a drug means that your body has become lenient to the drug and you need a higher dose to get a similar effect.
Addiction transcends physical dependency to become emotional. It comes from uncontrolled behaviour. One continues to use the painkiller even if it is causing serious trouble with family, school or even at work.
You take more than what your doctor prescribed
When you notice that you take your painkillers more than what the doctor prescribed, that’s a sign of overdependence. Do not think that the doctor does not understand the level of pain, and therefore you add more to the dosage already prescribed. If your stretch or shrink time between your doses, then it is an indicator that you are no the wrong direction. To avoid this, you have to ensure you remain within the prescriptions of your physician.
Going to more different doctors for the same prescription
If you find yourself doing this, then you are over-relying on your painkillers. If you go looking for another doctor to get another prescription for the same painkiller, then something has shifted in the manner of your intake. If you do this, you are simply trying to replenish your supply and if it is not within what the doctor prescribed, them something is amiss. Some people look for doctors who are famous for overprescribing, and that is a red flag.
Getting painkillers from elsewhere
Sometimes people feel like they are not getting enough medication, which is why they try to get it from other quarters. This is an addiction signal especially when you start ordering drugs via the internet, stealing leftovers or forgotten prescription, stealing from a sick friend or relative, buying other people’s prescription drugs and so on.
Some painkillers have withdrawal symptoms that you have to be aware of. If you have been predisposed to struggle with addiction or substance abuse, you are likely to have withdrawal symptoms. For instance, if you become dependent on tramadol, quitting it can come with serious withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, to treat tramadol withdrawal symptoms, one can embark on some rehab programs since they follow a monitored procedure. Although, it might take weeks the results may come satisfactorily. After detox is over, you can enter a rehabilitation centre for therapeutic support to understand and overcome this addiction or dependence.
To avoid dependency or addiction to painkillers, you have to use them according to what the doctor has prescribed. Now that you are aware of what painkillers can do, it is important you ensure that you take them only when necessary and in the right amount. You do not have to start abusing painkillers only for you to start giving cock and bull story or why you did it. Remember that this is your general health at risk and it is only wise to take necessary precautions to avoid addiction. Take charge of your health.