Prescription pain medications can be highly beneficial for individuals who are using them responsibly and under the supervision of their doctors. However, prescription painkillers are highly addictive, which means they are easy to abuse.
Understanding Withdrawal from Painkiller
Misusing prescription painkillers directly impacts the central nervous system by blocking the brain’s pain receptors. This use also leads to a heightened sense of euphoria. These desirable effects are often what keep individuals continuing to abuse prescription painkillers in a deadly cycle.
As soon as a physical dependence to prescription painkillers has developed, an individual is no longer able to stop using on his or her own without experiencing a significantly painful (and potentially deadly) withdrawal period. If an individual stops using painkillers suddenly, or decreases their intake, then the withdrawal period will begin.
For some, withdrawal will begin as soon as their last dose has worn off. For others, it might take a few days for withdrawal to begin.
Symptoms of Withdrawal from Painkiller
The symptoms that develop in response to painkiller withdrawal will vary based on a number of things, including the user, the types of painkillers he or she has been using, and how much he or she has used. In addition, withdrawal symptoms can also be dependent on how long a painkiller addiction has lasted, as well as various biological factors. Physical and psychological effects are to be expected during withdrawal, and can be incredibly painful.
The physical symptoms that can occur during a prescription painkiller withdrawal period can include the following:
- Sudden loss of energy
- Cramping and aching of muscles
- Diarrhea/gastrointestinal issues
- Bone and muscle pain
- Profuse sweating
- Cold flashes
- Decline in appetite
- Restless leg syndrome
- Flu-like symptoms
Painkiller withdrawal can also produce psychological symptoms. These symptoms include, but are not limited, to the following:
- Intense irritability
- Excessive agitation
- Heightened levels of anxiety
Dangers Associated with Painkiller Withdrawal
The nature of painkiller withdrawal is complex and upsetting. It is for these reasons that it is recommended to obtain professional, supervised care for the withdrawal process. Trained experts in this field will monitor an individual’s health throughout the withdrawal process so that any and all complications can be addressed immediately and professionally. In addition, receiving this kind of supervised care can help individuals receive relief from the discomfort that they would have otherwise experienced.
Because the withdrawal process can be both physically and psychologically uncomfortable, users who abuse prescription painkillers often find themselves using again in order to dodge these symptoms. Once these behaviors begin, it triggers the deadly cycle that is painkiller addiction. The individuals participating in this use are now putting themselves at an increased risk for overdose. An overdose can occur when an individual consumes more of a substance than his or her body can handle. Overdoses are potentially deadly and should always be treated as a medical emergency. If emergency care is not received for an overdose, an individual can easily lose his or her life.
Being aware of how upsetting prescription painkiller addiction can be, we, at Central Virginia Comprehensive Treatment Centers, offer customized treatment options that are safe and effective. All of our approaches help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and serve as a catalyst for the development of a sober lifestyle. Let us help you or your loved one get the help needed to make a prescription painkiller addiction a part of the past.