7 Signs You’re Addicted to Pain Medication


It’s easy to think that everything your medical doctor gives you is harmless; after all, he’s there to help you overcome health challenges. However, the truth is that pain medications you are taking could land you in a drug rehab for addiction treatment.

It’s not your fault if this happens. All you’re trying to do is manage your pain and get on with life.

You most likely didn’t know that pharmaceutical companies have been making these pain medications more potent – and addictive – and one of them received a hefty spanking from the powers to be for deceptive advertising to doctors in 2008. They didn’t disclose the addictive nature of the medications – and as a result, thousands of people have ended up in drug rehab for drug treatment.

One would think that the right thing to do would be for the American Medical Association to then have a convention with their brightest minds and decide what was right for the American public. Was it right to continue prescribing these medications that were causing people to become addicted, and become indebted to bill collectors for the huge costs incurred in drug treatment? Was it ethical?

Yet, this is not what happened – and according to some people, the medical profession backed down to the pharmaceutical companies, giving them the upper hand instead of their patients. When you were prescribed the pain medication, you became one of the millions who had to suffer the fallout. And really, it’s not fair.

What Pain Medications are On the List to Cause Drug Addiction

With this in mind, it’s important to know which medications are the ones that are addictive and whether or not you are on them. Here’s the list:

  • Oxycontin – this is the one syndicated radio show host Rush Limbaugh was addicted to several years ago.
  • Vicodin
  • Hydrocodone
  • Dilaudid
  • Morphine
  • Lortab
  • Percocet
  • Darvocet
  • Demerol
  • Methadone
  • Benzodiazepines

7 Signs You’re Addicted

What are the signs that tell you that you’re headed for addiction treatment at a drug rehab center? Here’s a list of some of them:

  1. Taking more and more pain pills because the effects are wearing off sooner. This is a sign that your body’s endorphin receptor sites are getting full of the medication, which binds to them. (At drug and alcohol rehab centers, there is a medication used to detoxify the painkiller from these sites.)
  1. You start shifting your daily priorities from responsibilities to pain relief.

Now, to an extent, this is very common and has to happen when you have pain. However, it should not continue for long periods of time, especially after you are healing from the condition causing you pain. It should also not involve setting up appointments with several different doctors to get the same painkiller.

  1. Withdrawing from others.

You weren’t a “shut-in” before, but now you decline invitations from friends to go places and spend time with closest friends. Again, to an extent this is to be expected, but when it continues happening over time even though there is some improvement in your condition, then something’s wrong.

  1. Personality changes

You aren’t the person you used to be. You seem to be irritable more of the time than not and you can’t get things done like you used to.  You may also becoming more secretive so that others may not find out you are taking more painkillers than usual. Also, you aren’t motivated for work or to do your favorite things anymore. The changes you see in yourself are not ones you like and they may remind you of the past if you had a drug or alcohol addiction and had to go to a drug treatment center or alcohol rehab for alcoholism.

  1. Changes in Personal Hygiene.

Although it’s true that pain can make you not want to do things that you normally do, personal hygiene should always be maintained. There are other reasons for not attending to hygiene needs, and one of them is drug addiction.

  1. You tried to cut back on painkillers but your pain increased.

You feel as if your life is getting out of control when this happens. Your pain increases because the drugs interfere with your body’s own endorphin production. The situation could get worse – or better, but only if you intervene and seek professional help.

  1. Lack of energy.

Pain medications interfere with your body’s mitochondria of the cells which produce energy and therefore cause tiredness.

Do you see yourself as someone who has a lot of these signs? If so, here’s the bottom line:  getting off pain medications on your own is really tough because it’s not just will power you are battling with. You’re also battling against the physiological changes that are happening inside the brain from the pain medications. The medications are altering your brain synapses, your neurotransmitter levels and also causing your body to hold back on its own production of endorphins.

You’re going to have to make your own decisions here. The people around you may not realize what type of trouble you’re in and not realize you need addiction treatment.

Don’t wait too long before you start checking into a drug rehab center for drug treatment. Many drug rehabs are also alcohol rehabs and offer alcohol treatment for alcoholism. However, drug rehabs see thousands of people for pain medication abuse each year simply because the medical doctors continue prescribing them, and people continue getting addicted to them.

You’ll get the professional support you need at the drug rehab center. But you’ll have to do your homework and select one that fits exactly what you need.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions that could make the drug/alcohol rehab process easier:

  1. Eat foods high in dopamine. This will help facilitate the withdrawal process. Read up on the Dopamine Diet; it’s your best way to influence your brain before treatment.
  2. Start a program of colon cleanses and liver cleanses. This also will help your body detox prior to addiction treatment at the drug rehab.
  3. And keep looking up – you WILL beat this.