Over recent weeks, an interesting storyline has unfolded in Emmerdale. Many television dramas often have story lines based on alcoholism or drug addiction but this is one of the first to demonstrate the power of addiction to prescription drugs or pain killers. At The Providence Projects, we have unfortunately seen a huge growth in addiction to painkillers over the last two years.
These addictions can start in various ways and here are just a few examples:
a) After an injury, trauma or operation, opiate based painkillers are commonly prescribed. Normally, these are taken by the individual without realising the risks of possible addiction. As the individual recovers from their injury, they find that they are unable to stop taking the drugs due to withdrawals and therefore continue to take them. On some occasions, due to an increased tolerance, they may exaggerate the symptoms to their doctor to get more, find a private doctor or look to buy drugs on the internet.
b) Addictive painkillers are also sold over the counter. The myth that if you can buy something over the counter it must be safe is really not true. In the stronger painkillers, there are varying levels of opiates, often codeine. If these are taken regularly for more than 3 days it is possible for an addiction to form. As the person’s tolerance increases, they find they need more medication for the same effect often causing terrible damage to their organs as the addiction progresses.
c) The internet. More and more often, people are self-diagnosing and choosing to buy medication on the internet. This is clearly a recipe for disaster as on most occasions you cannot be sure of a reputable source, or even be sure what you are taking.
The withdrawals from opiates and/or benzodiazepines can be very difficult and are often one of the main reasons why people find it so difficult to break the cycle of this addiction. When this happens, inpatient detox and rehabilitation is often the best answer.
To find out more about detox and rehabilitation, please call us on 0800 955 0945 or 01202 393030 and one of our addiction specialist counsellors will be available for free, professional and confidential advice.