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How An Injury Leads To Opioid Addiction

How An Injury Leads To Opioid Addiction

At this point in the opioid epidemic, the stories of addiction to painkillers, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have become all too familiar. Though the stories vary in their details, the trajectory of addiction is generally the same. Numerous investigative reports and exposes have uncovered the underlying web of manipulation and marketing which has contributed to a widespread epidemic of life threatening addiction. For more than 100,000 people over the last three years, an opioid addiction started in the doctor’s office.

Injuries are one of life’s more unpleasant surprises. We can become injured unexpectedly, or with some kind of warning. Athletes, exercise fanatics, and other people who knowingly put their body through rigorous work on a regular occasion are prone to injury. Other people are injured in strange circumstances. Freak accidents happen on the job. Car accidents happen out of nowhere. Water gathers on a tile and causes a devastating slip. Traumatic injuries can result from invasive surgeries. Whatever brings someone into their doctor’s office to be treated for pain, the story is the same: something happened. Something happened which necessitated pain management. As the stories of the opioid epidemic have revealed, pain management has meant an prescription to a narcotic opioid painkiller.

Being prescribed a painkiller is innocent enough. However, doctors have been shortsighted on the highly addictive qualities of opioid painkillers for many years. Without much question, doctors have increased dosages, extended prescription times, and administered injections all in the name of their hippocratic oath- doing no harm. Unfortunately, these addictive substances can create quite a bit of harm when they cause an addiction.

Within just a few short days, a patient can build a tolerance to their pain medication. Opioid painkillers work with opioid receptors in the brain, which are responsible for helping regulate pain in the body and release chemicals which soothe pain like an analgesic. Even taking an opioid painkiller as prescribed can lead to sensations of warmth, relaxation, and euphoria, which are highly sought after when someone is in tremendous pain. Problematically, a tolerance builds and a patient needs just one more pill, one more time a day, to get the same relief. Quickly, this routine escalates, turning into a situation of chemical dependency and painkiller abuse. What has proven to be most dangerous about opioid painkillers, on the other hand, is that abuse isn’t required for developing chemical dependency. After regularly taking a prescription as prescribed, attempting to suddenly stop an opioid or ween off of opioids present treacherous symptoms of withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is notorious for being one of the worst set of symptoms in drug withdrawal as well as one of the most dangerous. While the brain and the body fight to regulate and heal, they crave what they have become dependent on: more opioids. Should a patient go back to pills, or worse, turn to street grade heroin or synthetic opioids like fentanyl, they risk a greater addiction or the worst case scenario: an overdose.

Addiction to opioid painkillers can happen quickly and quietly. If you are a medical practitioner and realize a patient has become chemically dependent on opioids, it is critical to partner with a professional, proven detox like Serenity Detox in Encino, California. Detoxing from opioids safely requires the care and watch of a highly trained professional clinical team like the one we have at Serenity. Detox is the first step to recovery and living a life in better health. For information on our detox programs for opioid addiction, call us today or refer our services to your patient in need. 866-294-9401