Painkillers: Dependency vs Addiction
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Painkiller dependency and addiction are not not quite the same things. Watch this video to learn more about the difference.
Transcript: Many prescription painkillers can be addictive, especially those that belong to the opioid family, like...
Many prescription painkillers can be addictive, especially those that belong to the opioid family, like codeine, morphine, oxycontin, demerol and vicodin. While useful as pain medication, these drugs have also come to be recreationally used and abused. Understandably, many patients who take prescription painkillers worry about their risk of addiction. If one has to be on a pain medication prescription for an extended period of time, like a few months or years, he or she may notice a development of tolerance to the drug. But tolerance is not the same thing as addiction. When one is exposed to substances like prescription painkillers on a regular basis, your body adjusts to them. The liver learns how to process the medication more efficiently. And the brain requires a greater amount of the drug in order to achieve the same pain-relieving results. But just because one needs a higher dose of pain medication does not mean that one is addicted. Having said that, some people are at a greater risk of addiction and medication abuse. That includes: people who have a history of substance abuse; people who have family members with addiction problems; and people with a history of mental illness. You should let your doctor know immediately if you fall into one of these high-risk groups. He or she may try to find a less-addicting alternative medication that works for you. Patients who take opioids for long periods of time will likely develop a tolerance to the drug, and may even develop a physical dependence. What that means is, your body is used to getting a certain amount of drugs, and depends on it for its day-to-day functioning. Abruptly stopping your medication could lead to physical symptoms of withdrawal, like anxiety, insomnia, flu-like symptoms and irritability. While it might sound scary, it's nothing to be alarmed by, so long as you are working with your physician and taking your medication exactly as prescribed. People who take prescribed narcotics are generally under close medical supervision, for good reason. Should you and your doctor decide to discontinue your medication, your physician will help you develop a tapering-off plan, to minimize any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. If you have developed a tolerance or dependency to your prescription, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Let your doctor know immediately, and don't increase your dosage without consulting your physician. It is extremely important to keep your doctor in the loop on any and all physical or emotional signs of dependence or addiction.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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Using a drug for recreation or pleasure is a big mistake. Watch this video to know about the most commonly abused drugs in America.
Transcript: People have been using drugs for pleasure or recreation for as far back as we can remember. In fact,...
People have been using drugs for pleasure or recreation for as far back as we can remember. In fact, records suggest that ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia used opium in 5000 B.C., while alcohol dates back to 3500 B.C. Today, in the U.S.A, about 12.8 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs on a regular basis. Though it's down 50 percent from the all-time high of 25 million in 1979, drug abuse is still a big problem. Today's most commonly abused drugs are alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. 90 percent of all people who have used illegal drugs have used marijuana or hashish. While marijuana does not usually lead to physical dependence, it can be psychologically addictive. Nicotine is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is, by far, the most heavily used addictive drug in the country. Nicotine can be absorbed into the bloodstream from chewing, inhaling or smoking a tobacco product. Quitting can be difficult. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, headaches, irritability, depressed mood, hunger and an intense craving for cigarettes. Approximately 8 percent of Americans abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. People who abuse alcohol might not be physically dependent on the substance, but could be on their way to addiction. Alcohol abuse is most rampant among young adults and teenagers. In fact, one in three 12th graders report having five or more drinks on at least one occasion within the past two weeks. Teens who drink are more likely to engage in sexual activity, have unprotected sex, or have sex with a stranger. Drinking excessively may also lead to the use of other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. Statistics show that 20 percent of people in the U.S. have used prescription medication, like painkillers, sedatives and stimulants, for non-medical reasons. And 15 percent of high school seniors abuse them. For teens, they are the second most popular drugs behind marijuana. Some experts believe that prescription drugs are edging out cocaine, LSD and other so-called party drugs because they are much easier for teenagers to come by. If parents have leftover pills sitting in the medicine cabinet, they might not suspect that their kids could want to try them. And kids don't realize JUST how addictive these prescriptions can be. The most common prescription drugs used for recreation are codeine, or hydrocodone-based painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. People using them recreationally may crush them up and snort them to get a high. And because their street prices are so steep, for instance oxycontin can go for $80 a pill, some people turn to cheaper drugs, like heroin. Because these drugs can be so prevalent, many people make the mistake of thinking that they are not dangerous or addictive. If you, or someone you know, may have a problem with one of these substances, or are having a difficult time trying to quit; talk to a medical professional, who can help you find the help you need.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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Addiction rehabilitation centers have served as a lifeline for many but picking the right one can be tricky. Watch thos video to for tips on choosing the right rehabilitation center for you.
Transcript: There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's...
There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's more on picking the right addiction treatment center for you! Getting sober is not a one size fits all proposition. There are a number of key questions to ask, in order to assess what the best approach, for that individual, might be. For a person attempting to recover without constant supervision may opt for an out-patient program, which requires meeting with them once a week to devise a recovery plan, or they may require daily, eight hour educational and therapy sessions, in addition to AA or NA meetings. Budget is also a consideration. How much money does the program cost, and how much can you realistically afford? In-patient programs can typically run about $7,000 per month. The longer a person remains in a treatment facility, the greater his or her chances are of remaining sober. People who stay in treatment for three months or more will have the greatest success. Find out what your health insurance covers for in-patient and outpatient programs. In general, health insurance companies pay for 30 days of treatment at an in-network treatment center. Out of network treatment options are covered at a lower rate, and must usually be paid for out of pocket first. Also remember that not all facilities take insurance, so make that one of your first questions. Sometimes there are long wait lists to get in to a particular program. Make sure that there is a spot available when you need it. A key question to ask: Is the program licensed and state certified? And what is the program's treatment philosophy? According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals." There are a lot of theories about what causes addiction, and what kinds of intervention will help prevent people from relapsing. Most programs rely to some degree on 12-step programs, along with various methods of counseling and therapy. Because there is no one solution that works best for everyone, it's important that you find a program that speaks to you. Consider visiting the treatment facility before you commit to it. Ask a family member or friend to go with you, and be prepared to interview the staff about its program. Here are a few questions that may help you decide whether the program is right for you: 1. How long is the typical stay? 2. Do you offer detox services? 3. Do you have a program for family members and loved ones? 4. How much contact will I have with friends and family? 5. What kinds of services and activities will I be participating in? 6. What is your success rate? 7. What kind of counseling and therapy sessions do you offer? 8. Are there staff members who have experience dealing with my specific addiction? 9. Do you provide follow-up care after I'm discharged and, if so, for how long? Choosing a drug treatment program may seem daunting and stressful, but every treatment center, regardless of its philosophies, has one goal: to help you get and stay sober.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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