When you are in pain, you want the discomfort to stop as soon as possible. Both opiate and narcotic drugs are often prescribed as an antidote to deal with chronic pain. The number of these types of prescriptions has increased, and so has the number of hospitalizations from overdoses, deaths, and injuries. Before you fill that next prescription for pain killers, there are some things that you need to know.
- Prescription Pills Are The Gateway To Street Drugs
Prescription pills can be just as dangerous as anything you get from the streets. The problem is that the pain killers either stopped working or your doctor may refuse to give them anymore. Heroin is way cheaper than any prescription medication, and it is easy to find in most towns in America. That’s why prescription painkillers are known as the gateway drug to stronger and more addictive substances.
- Addicts Don’t Always Fit The Stereotypical Mode
Most people have a preconceived notion of what drug addiction is and what it is not. They see a person that begs, steals, and borrows to get their next high. However, you will be surprised to know that most addicts are just like you. Most people get started on medications because they were injured and needed painkillers, then they became addicted. No one is exempt. An addict can be a lawyer, judge, police officer, even a medical professional.
- Prescription Painkillers Cause More Deaths Than Street Drugs
There are 45 people that die every day from prescription painkillers. In fact, there are more deaths from prescribed drugs than cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. If that isn’t alarming enough, in 2010, doctors wrote enough prescriptions for painkillers that could have medicated every person in America for an entire month.
- Prescription Medications Alter The Brains Natural Processing
Did you know that all drugs, either directly or indirectly, flood the brain with dopamine? This disrupts the way the nerves send, receive, and process signals. When you take a prescription medication, it will either “fool” the brain’s receptors and send abnormal messages, or it will cause the nerve cells to release an abnormal amount of neurotransmitters. Thus, normal communication patterns are disturbed, and it “teaches” users to repeat the actions of abusing drugs. Your body depends on these substances and your brain needs them to function properly.
- Teens and Young Adults Aren’t The Most Common Addict
Most people are surprised to find out that middle-aged men and women have the highest prescription painkiller overdose rates. Since 1999, the death rates in women who abuse illegal drugs have increased over 400 percent.
- Painkiller Use Among Teens Is Rising
The number of teens using prescription painkillers as recreational drugs is on the rise too. One in eight high school seniors has admitted to using these medications. Plus, 70 percent of those teens admit to getting the pills from friends or relatives.
- Addiction Usually Ends In Criminal Behaviors
It is estimated that at least half of all major crimes committed in this country are drug related. These crimes include homicide, suicide, robbery, and assault.
- Drugs Can Rule Your Life
Being addicted to prescription painkillers is no different than taking heroin or cocaine. It will give you uncontrollable cravings that make it more important than anything else in your life. It will be more important than friends, school, job, health, or even happiness.
- Your Doctor May Inadvertently Be A Dealer
Did you know that only about 5 percent of addicts got their painkillers from a drug dealer or from the internet? As stated above, 70 percent get them from friends and relatives, and the other 25 percent get them from their doctors.
- Painkiller Deaths Are On The Increase
Since 1999, the number of prescription painkiller deaths has increased by more than 300 percent. Heroin overdoses receive a great deal of media attention, but deaths by prescriptions barely get mentioned.
- Opiates and Narcotics Aren’t The Only Prescriptions Responsible for Addiction
Though medications for chronic pain have the highest rate of addiction, prescriptions for anxiety or sleeplessness can also become addictive. Benzodiazepines are one of the most addictive prescriptions around. They are prescribed for anxiety and panic. They carry nominal values on the streets. You may know them as Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.
- Your Chances Of Moving On To Other Drugs Is Greater
A recent study shows that people who abuse prescription medications will likely try a stronger drug, like heroin, within the next few years.
So, before you fill that next bottle of pain killers, sleep or anxiety medications, stop and think of all the risks involved. If you are not addicted yet, thank your lucky stars and be proactive. Walk away now while you still can!