Addiction to prescription painkillers has become a much more prevalent problem in the U.S. in recent years as compared to 20 years ago. Narcotic pain medications and opiates such as Norco, Hydrocodone, OxyContin and Vicodin are common drugs that are prescribed by physicians in order to treat pain.
Patients often find themselves unwittingly dependent on the prescription they are prescribed after taking it for an extended period of time. This is a result of physical tolerance and other biophysical factors at work.
How to Help Someone Addicted to Painkillers
If you have decided to step in and help your loved one overcome this addiction, there are certain steps you should take in order for the process to be successful, which include:
Step 1: Become educated about painkiller abuse.
Take time to learn about the risks, causes and symptoms of pain pill addiction. You need to understand what has caused this addiction if you wish to truly help someone. There are many sources of good information to help you become educated about pain killer addiction.
Step 2: Gather a support system.
The fact is that you are not always going to be around to help the addicted person. You need to gather other family members and friends that can offer support and help to the addicted person when you are not able to be around. This is an important part of helping someone overcome an addiction.
Step 3: Confront the addicted person.
This is often referred to as an intervention and will be necessary if the person does not think that they have a problem. This will be when you gather the support network you have created in order to let the addicted person understand what they are doing to themselves, as well as others around them. This is a difficult situation, yet necessary if you truly wish to help them overcome their addiction.
Step 4: Seek the proper type of treatment.
The simple fact is that addiction to pain pills is a physical addiction that may not be able to be overcome simply by stopping using the medication. The person will experience, in some cases severe, withdrawal symptoms. As a result, you may need to seek professional treatment in terms of a rehabilitation facility to ensure that the symptoms are managed and that the addiction can be broken.
Step 5: Continue offering support and help.
It cannot be reiterated enough that anyone that is trying to overcome an addiction to pain killers needs constant support. This means that you are there to listen, help and be there throughout the entire process. Addiction is hard, overcoming it is harder and without a solid support system there are many people that are not able to overcome this serious vice.
Encourage Your Loved One to Get Help
If you find that you have a friend or family member addicted to painkillers, there are steps that you can take to help them overcome this serious addiction. Factually, when a person is addicted to pain medications, physical dependency presents serious withdrawal symptoms which can make it extremely challenging for the individual to quit using the drug on his/her own.
Experts do not recommend a “cold-turkey” approach to coming off of most prescription painkillers due to serious health risks. If you wish to help your friend or loved one, be sure to encourage that they get proper help and provide unconditional support while they work to overcome their addiction.