Painkillers can help many people to live more comfortably with painful conditions. However, painkillers can also be easily abused. Below are a few signs that your painkiller usage may have become a problem.
You’re taking painkillers, but you’re no longer in pain
A clear sign that you’re abusing painkillers is taking them when you’re no longer in pain. At this point, you’re no longer using them for their intended purpose and are likely only using them for the ‘high’ they may provide. If you’ve been using painkillers for a while and you don’t suffer from a chronic condition, consider whether you’re still experiencing enough pain to justify painkiller usage.
You experience withdrawal symptoms when cutting down
A lot of people get addicted to prescription painkillers and experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down. Opiods are the worst for this – they can cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, nausea, belly cramps and even seizures. A doctor will usually recommend weaning yourself off by using another form of medication to help – going cold turkey is often too difficult and may even be dangerous.
You’ve been lying or exaggerating pain to get a prescription
Many painkillers can only be obtained by having them prescribed by a doctor. Some people will lie or exaggerate pain just so that they can get access to these painkillers. At this stage, you know that you are likely addicted and that your painkiller usage has become a problem. Be honest with your doctor about your needs and work with them to help you wean yourself off.
You’ve started acquiring painkillers through illegal means
Certain painkillers may be obtained illegally. You could get into trouble for possessing these painkillers without a prescription – in some cases you may even face the possibility of jail time and may have to hire a criminal attorney to defend you. Don’t allow your painkiller usage to get to this stage. Avoid taking anything you haven’t got a prescription for unless it’s legally available over-the-counter.
You take painkillers without any regard to recommended dosage
Recommended dosages are in place for a reason. Taking the wrong dose could be dangerous in some cases, so it’s important that you stick to what is recommended. Over-the-counter medicine will come with instructions on the back, while a doctor can recommend to you how much to take when it comes to a prescription. If you are forgetful, you may want to consider using an app or diary to help. Remember that on top of getting the dosage right, only certain types of medication can be mixed.
You’ve started to experience unhealthy side effects
Some people experience bad side effects when taking certain painkillers including nausea, unwanted weight loss, drowsiness and severe constipation. Some people even experience an allergic reaction – which can be fatal in some cases if not treated fast enough. You should avoid using such painkillers if these side effects persist or become severe. A doctor may be able to recommend other options.