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Painkiller Information: High Risk For Dependence

Painkillers are being prescribed more and more after surgeries, accidents and to treat illnesses. As a result more and more people are becoming addicted to them. Use of painkillers can cause an individual to develop both a tolerance and physical dependence to the drugs. A drug tolerance is when a person has to take more and more of the drug to achieve the desired effect, while physical dependence happens when the individual experiences physical withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking painkillers.

When an individual takes painkillers, they do not stop the pain that the person is having but rather block the pain signals that are going to the brain. And, because of their euphoric effects, many will continue to take then even after their pain is gone.

There are currently two categories of painkillers – narcotic and non-narcotic. Non-narcotic painkillers are those that also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Examples of non-narcotic painkillers are acetaminophens which are over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol and Advil and are taken for mild to moderate pain.

Narcotic painkillers are found in opiates, or opiods, and are often prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. These types of drugs carry a high risk for dependence and many side effects which include dry mouth, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, miosis (contraction of the pupil), constipation, itchiness, confusion, hives and flushing.

Some examples of narcotic painkillers are Vicodin, Oxy Contin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Ultram, Morphine, Darvocet, Percodan and Percocet. 

For more painkiller information call Narconon Arrowhead Drug Rehab at 800-468-6933.

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