Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

Pain management through prescription medication is becoming the norm when treating any kind of pain. It’s an easy fix to simply write a prescription and take pills to cope with the pain. Unfortunately, many prescriptions, such as opiates, are highly addictive if not monitored closely. The body develops a tolerance to the medication thereby requiring an individual to take more to achieve the same initial results. Physical dependence, however, does not necessarily mean someone is addicted.

Nonetheless, withdrawal symptoms are still likely to occur even after a relatively short term of use. Because the process can be brutally painful and difficult to manage, many people avoid seeking help. Withdrawal happens when the body is detoxing from drugs and alcohol. The symptoms that accompany prescription painkiller withdrawal are notoriously challenging.

Though it can be intimidating, it should not keep you from getting help for prescription painkiller addiction. Opiate painkillers are typically used to treat moderate to severe pain, and in some cases chronic cough and opiate addiction. They can be extremely useful in the management of painful conditions, injuries and illnesses but can lead to physical and psychological dependence and addiction.

Addressing Painkiller Dependence/Abuse

The success of painkiller abuse treatment varies from person to person. The more committed a patient is to overcoming their addiction, the more effective their treatment is likely to be. Support from family, friends, and doctors helps a recovering addict stay away from painkillers. Joining a support group can also help a person to avoid relapsing following painkiller abuse treatment. (See our painkiller addiction video).

If you think a family member might need painkiller addiction treatment, start counting pills. Keep track daily. You may want to take charge of doling out medication. Ask them, “Are you just forgetting you get it only three times a day?” Ask about the pain: “Has it gotten worse?”

See the doctor. Talk about the increased pain. Chronic pain is one of the primary reasons for visits to your doctor. And chronic pain is a very common reason for dependency to prescription medications. Discuss the possibility of addiction. If it’s a family member who may be addicted, go along on the doctor visit. This requires moral support.

Talk about detox programs. Getting past painkiller abuse requires a doctor’s supervision. These detox programs help to deal with the withdrawal symptoms of coming off of the medication. It’s this process that can be the most overwhelming for most users and can cause them to relapse due to the extreme physical and mental attacks from addiction.

Painkiller Withdrawal

Trying to end a painkiller addiction on your own can be very difficult because of the intensity and extreme discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms. The best way to treat a painkiller addiction is through attending a drug rehab program.

The first step in a drug rehab program is going through the detoxification process. During the detoxification process, the drug has to be completely cleared from the patient’s body. Another medication may be prescribed to substitute the painkiller. However, substituting the painkiller with yet another drug is not an acceptable treatment for many people because physical dependence on a drug continues. Abstinence is the ultimate goal of treatment for painkiller addiction.

Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are physically dependent on prescription painkillers such as Percocet, OxyContin, Darvocet, Vicodin or Lortab, withdrawal symptoms will likely set in, sometimes a few hours after the last dose is taken. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can last weeks or months and should be medically managed to avoid serious medical issues such as seizures. Depending on the painkiller and the severity of the problem, withdrawal symptoms can vary widely. Any of the following can be experienced:

  • Depression
  • Lack of energy
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Pain (Muscle aches and pains)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Extreme Irritability
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Gastrointestinal issues

Painkiller Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know is struggle with an addiction to prescription drugs, please call our toll free number at 888-371-5713. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about prescription drug addiction and treatment.

Read More Painkiller Addiction Treatment Articles