When men get injured at work, in a car accident, or playing sports and are prescribed pain medication, there is a risk of dependence. Eventually, this can lead to pain medication addiction as these medications are only meant to be used short-term to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Sadly, many men discover they like how they feel when using pain medications, so quitting can be difficult. These types of drugs mask physical pain while causing euphoric feelings often associated when abusing opioids like heroin.
How Does Addiction to Pain Medication Develop?
At the onset of starting pain medication, the chemical nature of the brain is altered. Part of this alteration is the numbing of nerve endings and pain receptors. To accomplish this, the medication triggers the brain to increase the release of dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are referred to as the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals.
As one starts to enjoy the feelings brought about by the pain medication, tolerance is building in the body. As a result, the initial sensations experienced by the medicine begin to lessen, even though the drugs are still working.
Unfortunately, it does not feel this way for the person taking the medication. As a result, it is very common to start self-medicating and increase the dosage to achieve euphoric sensations and alleviate the perceived pain.
Sadly, the body only continues to increase its tolerance to the drugs. As such, it is easy to fall into the trap of continuing to self-medicate and increase the dosage, which will eventually lead to addiction.
Signs and Symptoms To Be Aware Of
In general, the signs and symptoms of abusing pain medications can vary depending on the drug being taken. However, several common signs and symptoms to be aware of indicating you could be developing an addiction include:
- A sense of feeling like you cannot function without the drugs.
- Attempting to get multiple prescriptions of the drug from different healthcare providers.
- Looking forward with anticipation to the next time you can take your next dose.
- Adjusting your dose to enhance or extend the effects of the medication.
- Lying about your level of pain to attempt to get your healthcare provider to increase your dosage or number of pills.
- Feeling a sense of anger, frustration, or irritation if someone mentions they think you are abusing your medication.
- Experiencing panic attacks from thoughts of not having access to the drugs.
- Feeling like you are being personally attacked if your healthcare provider wants to start reducing your dosage.
- Not wanting to participate in social outings, activities, or hobbies you used to enjoy.
- Ignoring your personal hygiene.
- Stealing drugs from someone else who is also taking prescription pain medication.
- Problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Changes in your eating habits and patterns.
- Feeling a sense of disorientation or confusion.
- Making impulsive decisions.
- Engaging in risky behaviors you would normally not consider.
- Experiencing emotional mood swings from intense highs to extreme lows.
- Increased sweating, including night sweats.
- Inability to focus or concentrate on tasks for long periods.
- Frequently counting the number of pills you have left.
- Attempting to create a secret stash of pills using various means, like telling your doctor you lost your prescription or the number of pills in the prescription was shortened.
- Not wanting to be weaned off the medication when you no longer need it.
- Socially isolating yourself away from family and friends.
- Losing all interest in your spouse and children.
- Not wanting to go to work, showing up late, leaving early, and failing to perform your job duties.
- Attempting to justify your drug use to others as a means to overcome your pain just to function.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and cravings for your medication.
- Seeking out illegal substances to supplement your prescription or when you can no longer get it refilled.
- Mixing alcohol or other drugs with your pain medication to enhance its effects.
What Should I Do If I Notice Any of These Signs?
You should first talk to your healthcare provider if the signs and symptoms are only mild to determine potential options. However, if your signs and symptoms are moderate to severe, you should consider a pain medication addiction treatment program.
Pain Medication Addiction Treatment for Men in Dallas
When selecting a pain medication addiction treatment program, it is crucial that your program include supervised detoxification. This process can involve using other non-addictive medications to help wean you gradually off of your current prescription.
Furthermore, the process must be supervised to help you avoid severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. At Casa Colina in Dallas, we can assist with your detoxification process from your pain medication.
We also offer custom-tailored treatment program options to help you overcome your pain medication addiction in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. Our goal is to help you quit abusing pain medication using our expertise in prescription drug abuse by creating a treatment plan that meets your needs and objectives.