Hidden Dangers of Prescription Painkillers
Painkillers are prescribed by our medical doctors everyday, so we automatically think they must be safe. There is fault in this logic. In an attempt to help manage pain, doctors prescribe pain-relieving drugs, but there are many safety concerns associated with consuming prescription pain medications, even if they are prescribed to you. Common prescription painkillers include but are not limited to: Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl and Tramadol.
If you regularly consume prescription painkillers, you may want to think twice. Drug interactions, dependency, and the overall band-aid approach associated with prescription painkillers are usually considered second to relieving the pain, but can cause even more pain in the process.
Drug interactions pose a serious threat to the health of the patient. These interactions can be caused by combining prescription pain killers with a variety of substances, such as herbal supplements, minerals and vitamins, alcohol and other drugs, both legal and illegal. More patients die due to fatal drug interactions than from any other reason linked to prescription pain killers. Combining pain medications with alcohol is a dangerous cocktail, and you should take care to inform your doctor of everything that you are taking.
Dependency, Addiction, and Toxicity
All prescription painkillers pose serious risks of drug dependency and drug addiction. Patients with chronic pain get hooked quickly to their medications, because the base of most prescription painkillers have the same active ingredients as notoriously addictive drugs like heroin and morphine. There is no telling how many people in pain management programs stay there to get an easy supply of prescription pain killers, even after their initial problem may be resolved.
Drugs are generally toxic for your body and can lead to a downward spiral of health. Though many people think this is reserved for illegal drugs, it can also be true of legal prescribed drugs. Many patients who use prescription pain killers for extended periods of time will experience the same physical and psychological problems as common street addicts. The only concrete difference you would generally find is the legality and the economic state of the addict, as most people who get prescription meds have private health insurance. For those without health insurance, they often drift into legal troubles in order to continue their addiction.
Illegal street drug use has declined in the United States, but abuse of prescription pain killers is on the rise. Abuse of prescription drugs can describe several situations: when someone who is not prescribed the drug is taking it, or the person with the prescription is taking it to get high rather than for pain (they may snort, smoke, inject, chew, take more than the recommended dose or take them as a suppository). In extreme cases, those addicted to prescription painkillers may even shop their sob story around to any doctor who will give them a prescription. That's not to say all people taking painkillers aren't in pain, however.
Over 30 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Prescription painkillers can help to improve people's quality of life and allow them to function normally. However, this mindset may not work in the long run, as painkillers are not designed to treat the root cause of pain, so the patient may stay trapped in a vicious circle of pain and drugs, rather than seeking out holistic treatment that would eliminate pain and therefore the need for painkillers. Who needs more reasons to quell the need for painkillers?
Prescription painkillers give the false impression that because they are from a doctor, they must be safe. People may share them with their children in pain, not realizing that the exposure could lead their child to an addiction problem or drug overdose. Prescription pain killers in large doses can lead to breathing problems and death, but even in small doses can negatively impact a person's motor skills and judgment, especially when combined with alcohol.
Side effects from prescription pain killers can range from minor to severe and temporary to permanent. Though the warnings of side effects are listed on the side of every prescription bottle, patients are often unaware and ill advised as to the risks.
Discuss Your Options
Anyone with prescription painkillers should be aware of potential dangers to their health, and should thoroughly investigate the drug online and with the doctor. A doctor who offers only one solution, pills, may not be the best doctor for you. Find a doctor that can give you all of your options, one who suggests natural and safe methods before resorting to prescription pain killers. Remember, some doctors work indirectly for drug companies, and benefit from prescribing you pain medication.
If you do become addicted to prescription pain killers, whether they are yours or not, please seek professional help immediately to help you safely detoxify your body and restore your life. If you are considering or currently taking prescription painkillers, your safest option is to seek all natural pain relievers before risking your physical and mental health on toxic drugs, whether prescribed for you or not.