Taking care of yourself after undergoing a surgical procedure involves following all of your prescribed after care instructions. On top of making sure to take it easy while you heal, your doctor may also prescribe pain medication to help ease your discomfort and prevent inflammation. The problem with many post-surgery pain medications is that they tend to come with a high risk for you to develop an addiction. Hopefully, your physician has already taken steps to help you avoid becoming addicted.
For instance, they should prescribe the lowest dose possible, and it is common to limit the number of pills so that you can only get more if you continue to have severe pain. Knowing about the dangers of addiction to post-surgery pain medication can help you to see the importance of avoiding misusing your pills. Plus, you’ll need to know what to do if you develop an addiction and need help to recover.
How Does a Painkiller Addiction Affect Your Health?
Prescription opioids are strong. While they help to manage pain, they do so by impacting other parts of your health. Since the medication is designed to affect your nervous system, taking too much at once can cause slowed breathing and changes in your heart rate. Dizziness and nausea are also common. Painkillers tend to impact your coordination, and you might feel more fatigued than normal while you are taking them. Even people who aren’t addicted are often considered to be a high risk for falls, which could cause you to receive an injury that interferes with your healing after surgery.
Serious misuse of the pills could cause your heart rate or breathing to slow down enough to stop completely. People who use pain pills for long periods of time may also have a suppressed immune system and be at a higher risk for infections. Mood changes are also common when someone begins to misuse painkillers on a regular basis.
How Do You Know If Someone Is Addicted to Pain Medication?
When you’re taking a prescription drug, it can be hard to admit that you have a problem. After all, you’re supposed to be following your doctor’s orders. If you’re worried about yourself, then it is worth doing some honest introspection. If you’ve started using your pills off-label, then you’re misusing them.
You can also look for these signs of developing addiction in yourself or someone else.
- continuing to take the pills after the worst of the pain is gone
- lying to your physician about your level of discomfort
- going doctor shopping to get new prescriptions
- resorting to buying pills on the street
- experiencing physical side effects such as constipation regularly
- forgetting things that happen while you are under the influence
Is It Possible to Stop Misusing Prescription Pain Pills?
It’s not only possible to break the chains of a pain pill addiction, but it is also the only way to prevent having an overdose that could lead to death. If your surgery has led to chronic pain, then it is possible to find less dangerous ways to help you feel better. You might also be using the pills to deal with emotional trauma or anxiety about your health and other aspects of your life.
Opioid addictions do tend to be strong because of the way that the medication affects your brain. Seeking professional treatment is the best way to begin weaning off of your pain medications in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling too much discomfort. You’ll also start working on things such as natural pain management and emotional healing while you are in your addiction treatment program. Did a post-surgical prescription lead to you developing an addiction? If so, we have resources that can help you begin to recover. Give us a call today at 772-266-5320 to learn how you can stop relying on pain medications and start living a healthier lifestyle.