Prescription painkillers are designed to treat medical conditions, and when taken as directed, they can provide safe relief from pain. However, because of these painkillers’ habit-forming properties, they can be misused and lead to dependence, addiction, and substance use disorders. These disorders create more medical problems and can even be life-threatening.
Fortunately, recovery from painkiller addiction is possible. At Evoke Waltham, our substance abuse treatment programs, such as our painkiller rehab program, help patients work towards mental and physical health as they progress in sobriety. To learn more about our rehab programs, call us today at 866.276.1920 for more information on how we can help.
The Facts About Painkillers and Addiction
Most strong painkillers are classified as opioids, a type of drug that comes from the opium poppy plant. Opioids include drugs like codeine and hydrocodone and brand-name medications like Vicodin, Dilaudid, and OxyContin. Opioids disrupt the pain signals between the brain and the body, and they can dull the body’s perception of pain.
People who are suffering from chronic pain or injury can find relief. However, the chemicals in opioids also attach to receptors in the body associated with pleasure and reward. Opioid painkillers increase the body’s release of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical that signals rewards to the brain. This connection leads to the relaxing, pleasant effect many people experience when they take painkillers.
Taking painkillers that have not been prescribed to you, or obtaining painkillers illegally, is a warning sign for misuse and addiction. But it’s possible for someone who has a legitimate prescription for painkillers to develop an addiction as well. Someone may take a higher dose than they are prescribed to achieve a greater effect or take more doses than prescribed. This sometimes happens after they develop a tolerance, meaning they need more of the drug to achieve the same effect.
Eventually, repeated painkiller use may lead to dependence, where someone requires painkillers for their brain and body to function at all. They may experience strong, disruptive cravings for painkillers. Or they may continue to abuse painkillers despite the consequences.
Signs Someone Needs a Painkiller Rehab Center
Not everyone who takes painkillers will develop an addiction. But if you or someone you love is displaying many of these signs, they may need to pursue painkiller addiction treatment for a substance use disorder:
- Consistently increasing their dose without the doctor’s supervision
- Using painkillers for longer than intended or taking more than intended
- Having painkiller use causes problems at school or work or in relationships
- Seeing multiple doctors for painkiller prescriptions or “doctor shopping”
- Spending a lot of time getting and using painkillers
- Using painkillers in dangerous situations, such as while drinking alcohol
Getting help for addiction as early as possible is important. A painkiller rehab center can help patients withdraw from painkillers safely and begin a plan for treatment.
How a Painkiller Addiction Treatment Program Can Help
Each treatment plan is tailored to the unique needs of the individual patient. Staff members work with patients to come up with treatment goals that address the patient’s physical and mental health needs. For instance, if someone began taking painkillers for chronic pain but developed an addiction, doctors and nurses will find a safe, effective way to give the patient pain relief while they are in recovery.
Patients can choose between a variety of residential programs, where they live at a treatment center or in a sober housing facility, and a range of outpatient programs, where they live at home and commute to treatment. Each option offers the same high standard of care. The right path for each patient depends on several factors, including their existing support system and the severity of their addiction.
Understanding Our Evidence-Based Treatment Options
All forms of treatment include evidence-based methods of therapy and counseling. If clients have a co-occurring mental health condition like depression or anxiety, they’ll receive treatment for that condition along with substance abuse treatment. When painkiller rehab centers address patients’ mental health issues, they set patients up for greater success in long-term recovery.
During individual counseling sessions, patients develop a rapport with a counselor as they discuss the challenges that contribute to their addiction and practice healthy coping strategies for the future.
Group counseling sessions allow patients to form a support network with others at the rehab center. Skills-based education also happens in group therapy, where a trained facilitator helps group members develop productive behavior patterns that lower their risk of relapse.
Motivational interviewing, where patients work with care providers to discuss their motivations and reasons for pursuing recovery, is another treatment option that can lead to powerful improvements.
In some cases, medication is part of a patient’s treatment plan. This may include medication to help with the symptoms of a mental health condition or maintenance medication designed to ease the unpleasant symptoms of painkiller withdrawal without the harmful effects of addictive painkillers.
Whatever your treatment plan looks like, you’ll be supported by an educated and compassionate staff who are rooting for you to stay sober and thrive.
Your Recovery Journey Starts at Evoke Waltham’s Painkiller Rehab Program
Our painkiller rehab in Waltham, MA, treats patients with respect and dignity and supports them at every stage of recovery—from intensive healthcare at the earliest stages to lifelong connections with a broader recovery community. We focus on nurturing our patients’ mental health and caring for their physical, social, and emotional needs. If patients opt for inpatient treatment at our luxury Waltham facilities, they’ll receive round-the-clock support for their mental health needs. Our many outpatient programs give patients access to a wide range of therapy methods, so they can find the style of therapy that works best for them.