According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people dying from opioid-related drug overdoses every day.

Surgeries. Sports-related injuries. The aftermath of a car crash. An unfortunate fall. You throw your back out. Injuries and accidents are a regular part of life, and the last thing most people worry about is getting addicted to their prescription painkillers … until now.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130 people dying from opioid-related drug overdoses every day. So, the word is getting out about just how addictive opioid prescriptions are. The trouble is, what can be a precursor to other addictions including heroin are being doled out regularly for situations that don’t really fit prescription painkillers’ purpose.

What was designed for short-term postoperative pain relief or end-of-life illness such as cancer is often a quick fix for back pain, headaches — issues where meds like hydrocodone, oxycodone, Vicodin won’t help long term. And when the euphoric freedom from pain isn’t felt, more and more people are ditching the recommended dosage and reaching for an extra pill or pills.

Considering how prescription pills are often expensive or hard to get, even on the street, users may opt for a cheaper, readily available alternative like heroin once the bottle is empty. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of heroin users began by abusing prescription opioids.

The Perception of Safety

As large pharmaceutical companies touted their opioid drugs as non-addictive, prescription drug abuse reached unprecedented highs in the 1990s. As a result, these painkillers were considered far safer than street drugs with OxyContin prescriptions increasing from 670,000 in 1997 to 6.2 million in 2002, according to a 2018 study reported by

With oversight and regulation, prescription numbers have dropped significantly, but opioid misuse continued to be a problem. From adolescents to senior citizens, it hit every demographic so dramatically that in late 2017, the US Health and Human Services Department declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

How to Identify Someone Abusing Opioids

Prescription opioids are depressants, which relieve pain and flood the brain with dopamine, which provides a sense of euphoria, slowing breathing and your heart rate in the process. Along with the pain relief, however, comes a slew of side effects. Not only can they cause dizziness, confusion, and low blood pressure, but excessive amounts and long-term use put users at risk of cardiac arrest or severely depressed respiration. Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, anxiety, muscle pain, fever, diarrhea, and cold flashes.

Studies suggest that up to one-third of people who take opioids for chronic pain misuse them with more than 10% becoming addicted over time. But spotting someone who is struggling with prescription painkiller addiction isn’t always easy. It’s possible to maintain an image of stability while navigating responsibilities at work and home, but over time, prescription drug addiction will likely tip the scales in a negative direction. It’s impossible to keep going when a substance becomes a primary focus of your life.

Common signs of opioid addiction include:

  • Taking opioids even when you’re not in pain “just in case”
  • Mood swings and hostility
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors to ensure you never run out
  • Poor decision-making that might put you or others in danger
  • Borrowing medication from others or “losing” medications so more can be prescribed

Hope for Opioid and Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Addiction to opioids and prescription painkillers have serious implications for you or a loved one’s well-being and should be addressed immediately. At The Meadows Texas, comprehensive healing for every patient is the goal. Recovery from prescription painkiller addiction is possible, but treatment needs to be focused on restoring the whole person. The physical and psychological effects of opioids should be addressed safely in a setting where both physical and emotional healing can occur. This strategy, quite the opposite of a quick fix, helps promotes long-term recovery with an emphasis on overall wellness moving forward.

Opioid addiction

Get answers to your questions

If you or a loved one would like to know more about treatment at The Meadows Texas, please give us a call to speak to one of our trained intake coordinators for assistance.

Call 833-757-5697