Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Painkillers and Injuries

Injuries can be painful and mentally difficult to endure. Often times the pain is so severe that people will take moderate to strong pain relievers to help them bear the pain through the healing process, especially after recovering from surgery. While many people never have an issue with taking prescription drugs properly, others will continue taking them beyond the recommended time and correct dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),in 2010, about 12 million Americans (age 12 or older)reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year. General painkiller names are known as vicodin or hydrocodone, oxycontin, dilaudid, oxycodone, percocet, codeine and morphine.

How People Misuse Prescription Painkillers

 Most doctors and pharmacies follow strict laws regarding prescription pills and will not continually prescribe patients painkillers for months and months after surgery. Every state is different, but most pharmacies follow a best practice when it comes to filling prescriptions which helps prevent excessive use, and stock piling of medications. After the last dose runs out the person will not be able to refill a prescription without the doctor’s consent.  Some people try to stock-pile pills by filling their prescription early each month, this is a trend that pharmacies will watch and may make future prescriptions ineligible to be filled.

 These strict laws, however, do not stop drug users who feel "addicted" to painkillers from obtaining prescriptions from several health practitioners at one time, which is referred to as "doctor shopping." There are state-by-state laws that are enforced to prevent this type of fraud, but in some cases it will still occur without each medical professional knowing that the patient already has several prescriptions from other doctors. Lastly, if a person is really desperate to maintain their high, they will illegally purchase these drugs off the street.

It is important to know that when taken as prescribed, painkillers and other prescription drugs can be used safely. In the case of opiate painkillers, your body may build a tolerance to the drug overtime which may require an increase in dosage to remain comfortable. Consulting with your physician is recommended prior to making any adjustments to dosage. People who suffer from chronic pain from injuries or illness may need to take a pain relief medication for years at a time, but these are extreme cases. Even with long-term use these pills do not need to be abused and most people do not experience problems.

Discontinuing The Use Of Painkillers

If you are ready to stop using painkillers, speak with your doctor about a plan to safely wean you off the drugs. This is the best way to come off of a high dose prescription pain reliever without feeling withdrawal symptoms. A complete wean-off may take several weeks. It is also important to avoid completely stopping use of the drug without your doctor's consent.

Painkillers are sometimes necessary for athletes, or just regular people to function daily after a traumatic injury or surgery. They will help to keep you comfortable and pain free so you can function more comfortably. When people misuse their medications and take high dose of pills, it may be because they are trying to mask other pain in their life with prescription pills, or perhaps they simply enjoy the pain free experience and do not want it to stop. Prescription pill and painkiller addiction can be stopped with the right medically supervised detox and a non treatment drug program. It is important to avoid rehab programs that use long term replacement therapy medications such as suboxone or methadone to stop cravings, as this is simply substituting one drug habit for another. Through self-control, discipline and the right education it is possible to stop problematic prescription painkiller overuse.

Source:

 http://www.cdc.gov/Features/VitalSigns/PainkillerOverdoses/index.html

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