A very real danger of abusing a pain medication is the potential it presents for a life-threatening addiction. Records show that the abuse of drugs that are prescribed to treat pain currently rival that of some illicit substances. These statistics are further supported by the fact that overdose deaths caused by painkiller abuse, in some cases, exceed fatalities directly attributed to the combined use of most illicit street narcotics. Although when used appropriately, painkillers are safe and helpful in mitigating the pain and suffering of patients, there are a number of variables that makes the development of dependence and addiction to pain pills possible.
Experts say a major problem with stopping this addiction at the onset is the misconception that it is safer than illegal drugs. This belief often causes many to ignore the obvious indicators that someone has become trapped in the cycles of addiction. Another problem is having insufficient knowledge about the inherent danger of using these drugs to recognize and be proactive about getting timely treatment to address the following signs of addiction.
Painkiller stimulate the same centers in the brain as illicit drugs. Studies indicate that over 15 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. Frequently consuming more drugs than is recommended has resulted in a fatal drug overdose. The Mayo Clinic describes painkiller abuse as using these substances in ways that were not intended by the prescribing doctor such as sharing the drugs with friends or family and for other purposes other than to mitigate pain.
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