Prescription drug over use, especially of narcotic painkillers, is becoming a major drug use problem in the United States type of drug use. Making the decision to seek assistance for narcotic painkiller use is difficult, but is a major step toward getting better and taking back control of your life.
Narcotic painkillers such as oxycodone, morphine, dilaudid, fentanyl and vicodin are opiates. Opiates affect the central nervous system by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain that affect the sensations of pain and pleasure. These drugs block pain and leave the individual with a euphoric feeling of contentment and well being. When taken as directed, opiate narcotics can help relieve pain; however when taken incorrectly and over used, they carry the risk for physical dependency.
Increasing the amount of narcotic painkiller you are taking and decreasing the length of time between doses can build up a tolerance to the drug. Once a tolerance is created, each time you take the opiate you will have to take more of it in order to achieve the same euphoric sensation. Overdose is not uncommon. In fact, in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 15,000 people in the U.S. died from oxycontin overdose alone.
Side effects from using narcotic painkillers usually include nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, loss of consciousness, seizures, and coma. Taking opiates with alcohol is especially dangerous and can be fatal.
Opiate withdrawal can be painful and frightening. While not everyone needs detox, it typically depends on the amount of the drug that you have been taking and how long you have been taking it; many individuals do need to detoxify. Intravenous (IV) therapy medical detox is seen by many doctors as the safest and most effective method for detoxing from narcotic painkillers.
IV therapy medical detox is administered under the care of a board certified licensed physician. This is important because it allows the doctor to make changes to the medication protocol to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to keep the patient comfortable. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates can be physical and can include severe abdominal pain, sweating and hot and/or cold flashes, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, agitation, anxiety and flu like symptoms. Ensuring the comfort of the patient will increase the chances of a successful detox.
Once detox is complete, many people seek assistance in rebuilding their lives after narcotic painkiller use. St. Jude Retreats offers a non 12 step, non-treatment program that uses Cognitive Behavioral Education to teach guests how to use self-evaluation to bring positive change to their lives. Guests learn how to make choices that are more productive. They learn to develop behavior patterns that help them achieve their personal goals and discover that they are more self-confident and empowered to enjoy a life that is permanently free from the use of narcotic painkillers.