You can barely look at the headlines without seeing a mention of the opioid crisis in the US, but you may not realize that the pain pills you are taking are opioids. If you or a loved one are taking prescription pain pills, you may find yourself wanting to know the signs of being addicted to pain pills. At Thrive Treatment, we can help you understand what to look for and what steps to take if you or a loved one have become addicted to pain pills. 

Are Pain Pills Addictive?

While not every person who takes pain pills will become addicted, pain pills can be addictive.  Most, if not all, pain pills are opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription medicines such as oxycodone, codeine, dilaudid, fentanyl, and morphine. Although illegal, heroin is also an opioid. Opioids can be addictive because of how they work.  The oxycodone prescribed because of your shoulder surgery will do more than relieve the pain; it will also cause your brain to release dopamine, which will produce feelings of pleasure. These feelings of pleasure can inadvertently serve to reinforce taking the drug, which can lead to addiction

Pain Pill Addiction Signs to Watch For

Whether you or a loved one were prescribed pain pills, you may be wondering what the signs of being addicted to pain pills are.  Some symptoms can be subtle, and others can be more obvious.  One of the most obvious signs is constricted pupils. However, you may notice you or your loved one being anxious about when the next pill is available to be taken.  Or, you may see you or your loved one becoming agitated when you are nearly out of pain pills. 

Opioid use affects the entire body. Opioids slow the gastrointestinal system down, causing constipation, cramping, discomfort, and nausea. Additionally, the heart and lungs are affected; the individual may experience low blood pressure, which may show up as paleness, clammy skin, or even blue fingernails and lips. Opioid overuse also reduces our ability to feel pain.  While all of these point to overuse or addiction, it is also essential to know the signs of an overdose.  Opioid overdose has three key indicators – unconsciousness, pinpoint pupils, and slowed breathing.  If you suspect that someone has overdosed on opioids, call 911 immediately. 

How to Get Help With a Pain Pill Addiction

Getting help with a pain pill addiction begins with admitting that there is a problem and that help is needed.  If you or someone you love has an addiction to pain pills, there are many paths to recovery.  Whether you attend rehab on an inpatient or outpatient basis may depend on many factors, including how long you have been taking pain pills and how many you have been taking. The good news is that much work has been done in the area of opioid addiction. While it may seem ironic, there are prescription medicines available to help you taper off opioids so that you can do the work of recovering your mind and spirit while your body is healing. Beyond rehab, there are also groups such as Narcotics Anonymous that you can attend on a long-term basis. 

Get Help Today at Thrive Treatment

At Thrive Treatment, we blend different modalities of treatment to help you succeed in sobriety.  We integrate relational and behavioral therapies, along with holistic, medical, and psychiatric interventions, to put you on the path to sobriety, emotional health, and overall well-being.  If you find yourself or a loved one facing a pain pill addiction, we’re here to help. Located in beautiful Santa Monica, we can provide you with an individualized plan that blends modern and traditional practices. Contact us today and let us help you with your addiction!  

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