In the fast-paced, technology-driven Bay Area, it’s all about staying on top of your game and pushing through the pain. For many individuals, pain that comes after a sports-related injury or surgery is treated with opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or fentanyl.
While these prescription medications are effective in treating acute and chronic pain, they are also highly addictive. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly two million individuals in the United States are currently addicted to narcotic painkillers. Many of these individuals innocently start using these drugs to treat a pain condition, but quickly find themselves unable to quit.
Painkillers And Heroin Going Hand-In-Hand
Heroin, like opioid-based prescription pain killers, are processed from morphine and extracted from the poppy plant. Addiction is very similar in painkillers and heroin, and many users of prescription narcotics move on to heroin to feed their addiction.
Bay Area Doctors Overprescribing Prescription Painkillers
Unfortunately, over the past several years, those specifically in the Bay Area who have died with opiates in their system, have dramatically increased, according to MercuryNews.com.
This jump is driven by many causes, but easy access to prescription drugs by doctors who are overprescribing, is a main contributing factor. And when tolerance builds and the prescription ceases, many individuals turn to chemically-similar heroin, to seek the relief they need.
Sadly, many doctors are unaware of the risk they are contributing to by giving certain individuals prescription painkillers. Those who have a history of substance abuse, an underlying mental illness or even a mix of psychological and environmental factors are at a substantially higher risk of becoming addicted to these medications. Even those who do not fall into any of those categories need to use caution when taking opioids. Once an addiction has set in, it can be very difficult to treat.
Are You Struggling With Painkiller Addiction?
Many people ask this question once they’ve habitually started taking painkillers prescribed by their doctor. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, someone who has two or more of the following 11 signs can be clinically diagnosed with an addiction.
Signs Of Prescription Drug Abuse And Addiction
- Excessive or extended use
- Unable or unwilling to reduce or stop use
- Cravings for the drug
- Obsessing over or spending an excessive amount of time obtaining, using or recovering from the drug
- Increasing tolerance
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Continued usage despite experiencing physical or psychological damage
- Hazardous behaviors while using the drug
- Retreat from social activities or work
- Continued usage despite conflict with others
- Problems at home, work or school due to use
Getting Help For Prescription Drug Or Heroin Addiction
What may have started as a solution to treat chronic or acute pain can quickly become a life-threatening addiction. Whether you or a loved one are abusing prescription drugs or are already struggling with heroin addiction, help is available. Get answers to your questions by calling our 24/7 addiction specialists at Summit Estate now.