Many people receive prescription pain relievers at some point in their life. When used as directed under the supervision of medical professionals, most pain relievers are effective and safe. However, many prescription painkillers can be abused for recreational purposes. They produce feelings of relaxation, calm, or sedation. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are opioid painkillers, sedatives, stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs.
When used outside of medical purposes or supervision, prescription painkillers can be highly addictive and cause short and long-term health problems. Some can impair judgment, cause memory issues, decrease motivation, and cause severe damage to the brain, nervous system, and heart. It is important to seek treatment for prescription drug abuse right away to prevent irreversible damage or death.
At Northern Illinois Recovery Center, we understand how quickly and easily addiction to prescription drugs can occur. We have developed programs and services specifically geared toward full recovery and life-long sobriety. If you or a loved one struggles with prescription drug use, do not wait to seek help. Reach out to the qualified, compassionate staff at Northern Illinois Recovery Center today by calling 855.786.1978.
What Are the Effects of Opioid Use?
Opioids are prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. They are commonly prescribed after surgeries to reduce pain and help with relaxation or sleep. Taken outside of their intended use, opioid use results in a variety of side effects that can include:
- Slowed breathing
- Poor coordination
- Increased Tolerance
Opioid use can easily lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction if left untreated. Substance use disorder, a serious mental health issue, although treatable, can have a life-changing impact on a user’s life.
What Happens When People Abuse Pain Relieving Drugs?
People usually only take opioids and other pain relievers to help them manage pain for a short time. Prescription pain-relieving drugs are generally safe when used the way they were intended. In addition to taking away pain, opioids can also give the user a sense of euphoria or well-being. These effects can cause people to take these medications in higher doses than their doctor prescribed. Some people may also take another person’s prescription medication, take it to get high, or think about taking the drug outside of the prescribed schedule.
Opioids are highly addictive. Symptoms of an opioid use disorder include:
- Being unable to control or reduce the use of opioids
- Spending a lot of time trying to get the drug
- Using opioids longer than planned to
- Needing more of the drug or needing to take it more often than prescribed
If someone shows signs of opioid addiction, they need medically supervised detox and treatment to avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms and later relapse.
What Are the Effects of Abusing Oxycodone, Codeine, and Morphine?
Oxycodone is a potent painkiller. It is also one of the most commonly abused prescription medications in the country. Addiction can occur quickly. In addition to relieving pain, oxycodone gives people a sense of euphoria and reduces anxiety. However, as tolerance to this drug grows, people need to take more of it to get the desired effect. Taking more than prescribed puts the person at risk of low blood pressure, seizures, or cardiac arrest.
Codeine is a medication prescribed to relieve pain. Codeine abuse sometimes starts after taking the medication with a prescription. The effects of codeine are euphoria, drowsiness, decreased energy, and a feeling of relaxation. Because it is an opiate, the risk of dependence is high. Tolerance can lead to taking more than you planned to, and there is a risk of overdose. In large amounts, codeine can cause coma, respiratory failure, and death.
Morphine is one of the most addictive prescription pain relievers. It is a powerful central nervous system depressant that can cause life-threatening problems if misused. Some symptoms of morphine abuse are drowsiness, dilated pupils, slowed breathing, nausea, itching, impaired concentration, and dizziness. If someone takes too much morphine, it can cause respiratory failure, coma, and death.
Learn More About Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
When people take prescription pain relievers or opioids differently than prescribed, they are at risk of dependence and can suffer life-threatening consequences. The experienced therapists at Northern Illinois Recovery Center take a holistic approach to recovery, offering a broad range of treatment options at the addiction treatment center located just outside of Chicago, including:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Sober living program
- Addiction aftercare
- 12-step program
- Extended care (90-day program)
- Medication-assisted treatment
We know the hold that prescription drug use may have over you or a loved one, and we are here to help. If you or someone you love struggle with opioid use, reach out today to learn more about our program and services by calling 855.786.1978 or using our online form.