10 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
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Every year, millions of people in the UK have prescribed painkillers. These potent drugs are specially designed to tackle severe pain, such as after a severe injury or a major surgical procedure. While the proper use of these drugs undoubtedly brings legitimate and favourable benefits, abusing them can also be equally dangerous and potentially addictive.

While many people abuse painkillers for recreation and develop dependencies, many who take them precisely as prescribed also end up acquiring addiction. If you or someone you care about is abusing painkillers or is addicted to them, joining a painkiller addiction treatment rehab can be highly beneficial to overcome the negative behaviours and restart a healthy life.

It can be pretty challenging to determine whether or not someone has a painkiller addiction. Even if they are using a painkiller prescribed by a doctor, the risk of dependency is still there. Some common side effects potentially indicating painkiller abuse include:

  • Constipation
  • Confusion
  • Feeling high
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Altered breathing

As the initial abuse progresses to become a full-blown addiction, changes to physical well-being and behaviour may begin to appear. Some of these changes to watch out for include:

Doctor shopping

This happens when someone uses prescription pills much earlier than scheduled refills. Hence, they visit multiple doctors, pharmacists, and pain management clinics to get their hands on more painkiller medication.

Excessive mood swings

A person knee-deep in painkiller addiction is likely to experience mood changes. They become more hostile and develop anger issues that negatively impact relationships with family, colleagues, and friends. Sometimes, it even results in a loss of a job or the end of a relationship.

Poor decision making

This includes engaging in risky behaviours and activities, such as reckless driving and acting impulsively.

To put it simply, if you are lying about your pain or are not honest about how you use your painkiller medication, you are likely to have an addiction.

High-quality treatment and rehabilitation services are available to people battling painkiller addiction at specified rehab centres. These centres have multiple specialist teams with highly qualified experts who are committed to helping their patients every step of the way towards an addiction-free life.

The experts running a painkiller rehab understand how difficult it can be to admit that you have a problem and seek help for it. This is why many of these facilities in the UK offer a free-of-cost addiction assessment at their designated clinics. These assessments allow everyone to meet with the expert team in a confidential setting and discuss their individual challenges in a supportive environment. These sessions also serve as an essential platform to understand more about the journey that can possibly lead the painkiller addictions toward recovery.

Irrespective of the type of painkiller you are addicted to, the first step toward recovery always includes undergoing a medically-assisted painkiller withdrawal detox. During this process, all traces of the medication that you have been abusing for a long will be removed from the system in a carefully controlled environment under the supervision of experts. The aim is to make the process easier and tackle any unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that you may experience.

A typical detox process at a high-end rehab for painkillers involves:

  • Round-the-clock care from a clinical support team comprising professionals who ensure client safety as their top priority
  • A substance-free environment to reduce the chances of a relapse
  • Use of controlled medication to alleviate any discomfort that might be experienced during the withdrawal process

The detoxification process aims to help clients become physically stable so they can be safely transitioned into more intensive addiction treatment therapy. These treatment plans use various evidence-based techniques to empower you to battle the addiction while addressing all underlying triggers leading to addictive behaviours.

Most rehabs offering treatment for painkiller addiction have a dedicated team of experts with extensive experience in treating the issue. These experts are dedicated and committed to delivering a comprehensive treatment experience to all clients. The expert approach adopted by these professionals ensures that the journey towards recovery is person-centred so that the best outcomes can be fostered for each client individually.

The experts on the addiction treatment team also remain up-to-date with the latest therapies and medical interventions being introduced in the field of addiction. It is also ensured that all treatment approaches adopted by them are supported by evidence and are in adherence to the robust National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. As a part of treatment, clients are offered a chance to overcome their physical symptoms related to painkiller addiction. Moreover, the experts also teach them to learn coping mechanisms so that they can practice sobriety and remain healthy for years to come.

A treatment team appointed to help you overcome painkiller addiction usually comprises the following:

  • Addiction specialist who performs initial assessments and maps out a plan of care according to individual needs.
  • Detox team to help flush out every last bit of painkiller in a safe and comfortable environment.
  • Substance abuse counsellor to help you identify triggers and sort them out so you can continue to live without relying on painkillers.
  • Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation teams to care for you round the clock. This may include social workers, nurses, doctors, addiction specialists, and mental health counsellors.
  • Medication specialists who may prescribe you controlled medication to control uncomfortable symptoms, such as during detox

Without the support from an experienced and well-trained specialist, your painkiller addiction carries the potential to worsen with time. Eventually, many untold problems emerge in all areas of life. It is also possible for untreated addiction to impose additional challenges, such as engagement in other addictive behaviours and mental issues like depression and anxiety. This is why it is important to ensure that you seek help and support in a timely manner. The sooner you reach out for help, the more likely you are able to fight the addiction along with all co-occurring problems.

Contact us now to take your first step towards a healthy future.

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