Pain Killer Addiction Guide

If pain killers are taken exactly as prescribed, they are safe and will rarely cause addiction. And yet addiction to prescription pain killers is growing. The most common medications that can cause this are opiods (sometimes called narcotics) and include morphine, codeine and others in the same group.

Research shows that every year, almost 2 million Americans use prescription opiod painkillers. In some communities, addiction to painkillers has now overtaken the use of cocaine and marijuana. 9% of the population admit to having used pain killers illegally.

Morphine is often used after surgery for the control and alleviation of severe pain. Codeine is more common and can deal with milder pain. Opiods work by attaching to proteins in the brain, spine and digestive tract. These proteins are called opiod receptors. When an opiod attaches to a receptor, they can change the way a person feels pain.

SO HOW DO PEOPLE GET ADDICTED TO THEM?

They can also affect how pleasure is experienced and this is why many opiods give a feeling of euphoria when they are taken.

People who become addicted start out by taking pain killers for longer than they should do, to get this initial euphoria. The problem is that if pain killers are used for a long time, the body can become tolerant to that medication. This means that higher and higher doses must be taken to get the same effect. It also means that the body has adjusted to operating normally with that level of pain killers, and so if the pain killers are stopped, or reduced, withdrawal symptoms can occur.

COLD TURKEY

Symptoms of drug withdrawal ae extremely unpleasant and can involve restlessness, pain in the bones and muscles, insomnia, diarhea, vomiting and involuntary leg movements. Withdrawal is called ‘cold turkey’ because another major symptom is cold flashes with goose bumps on the skin.

WHY DO PEOPLE NEED HELP TO QUIT – CAN’T THEY JUST STOP?

If these drugs are used for a long time, they will eventually change the brain in fundamental ways. They take over the normal pleasure and motivational systems of the brain – pushing the need for drugs up to the highest priority. The need for drugs therefore overrides all of the person’s previous motivations, behaviours and drives. This is the domineering compulsion to find and use drugs, and what is called addiction.

Once addicted to drugs, people feign illness and visit different doctors to obtain prescriptions, buy drugs on the street, steal and lie to obtain their ‘fix’. It is not a personality choice – it’s a medical need or craving, generated by the affect that the chemical has imposed on the brain.

WHAT HAPPENS IN REHAB?

Celebrities seem to go into rehabilitation {rehab) with alarming frequency. Rehab is a place where people are medically supervised to come off their addiction, in an effort to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms. The addiction can be to pain killers, recreational drugs or alcohol.

The client is medically detoxified – which means that medications may be given to help them through the withdrawal phase. Detoxification is not a treatment for addiction – it simply removes the addictive substance from the person’s system so that they can start thinking clearly again. Detox is usually followed by counselling and behavioural therapy to try and help the client to avoid returning to the addiction.

Celebrities and their alleged pain killer addictions:

* Kathleen Turner – pain killers and alcohol.

* Daniel Baldwin – pain killers originally for a back problem.

* Anna Nicole Smith – vicodin.

* Matthew Perry – vicodin.

* Jerry Lewis – allegedly went into rehab for prednisone addiction at the age of 77!

An Addicts Guide To Recovery

No Mountain Too High – No Problem Too Big!

I know first hand of many of life’s adversities and of trials and tribulations, which at that moment seem to be so overwhelming and impossible to face. At times there seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes we are so in the dark that we can’t even see a tunnel in sight at all. We often feel that we’re in to deep, helpless, hopeless, and alone. We may wonder, how in the world did this happen to me? Where did I go wrong? We may even start to believe that God is mad at us or punishing us, which I can assure you is definitely not the case, in fact it is quite the contrary. God is not our problem my friend, you see, God is our solution. It’s when we ignore his will for us and try to do things our way that we find our lives in disarray. This is in no way a religious belief, it’s a spiritual reality that all of us can identify with if we just take a look at our emotions and identify some of the things we do that give us a feeling of joy unrelated to things which are material.

1) Helping Someone Else – Why is it that we feel so good inside when we help out another person while expecting nothing in return? It’s a wonderful feeling to give to another and the reason we feel so good is because we are doing God’s will, or if you prefer, we are doing something that agrees with our very being, so natural, so intentional, and so in line with who we really are and the very essence of how we were intended to live our lives. Perhaps the best short term remedy for depression, self-pity, loneliness, or whatever may be troubling you, is to force your self to get up, get dressed, and go out of your way to help someone else who is struggling with their own problems. You can visit a nursing home, a children’s hospital, or just volunteer your time. I promise you that you’ll be feeling better in no time. If only for a short time you’ll be able to take your mind off of the things you need and find a beautiful gratitude for the things you have. You will have a feeling of worth and purpose. You will feel an unselfish empowerment as you put a smile on the face of another. This is whom you really are, a loving, caring, and giving beacon of light. This is the real you! This is who and what you were intended to be. The feeling of joy is so rewarding when we can take the focus off of our worries and fully place our hearts on our gratitude.

2) You Can Win Any Battle – In my life I have faced many battles that seemed impossible to overcome. I struggled for many years with a terrible drug addiction that took me to the depths of my own personal hell. I felt totally helpless and surrendered to the fact that I was an addict and I would always be an addict. Because I accepted that to be the truth, I actually manifested it into becoming the truth, and so I existed in a lonely and very dark world of hopelessness. In time I lost every thing that was dear to me. The more I lost the less I cared about myself. The less I cared about myself, the more I suffered. One day I was holding my beautiful infant daughter in my arm and crying out to God with joy, and suddenly one day I was homeless and hungry and crying out to God in pain and despair. I lost custody of my daughters and they were living in foster homes for 2 years and were being placed for adoption. My wife was caught up in her own addiction and it seemed inevitable that I would never see my girls again. But from deep within me came a force more powerful than my addiction, courage stronger than all my fears, and a love so pure that not even the darkest of circumstances or the voices of despair could ever defeat me. The love for my children became my strength and my hope. Nothing in this world was going to stand in the way of my love for my children. Nothing!

But let me make one thing perfectly clear, this was not something that I could accomplish be mere will power alone. After all it was my will that led me to drugs, homelessness, and despair in the first place. I had to be honest with myself and admit that there was no way that any human could just miraculously wake up one day and say “okay, I’m not going to take drugs ever again, period. I’m going to stop living on the streets and going hungry all the time and clean myself up and get a job and an apartment”. We all know that just isn’t going to happen. If it were that easy than there wouldn’t be so many lost souls living in such hopeless existences. I had to ask God for his help. I had to surrender and become willing to do whatever it took in order for my life to be completely turned around. It requires a tremendous faith, which in our darkest moments seems so very difficult to summon. I found my faith when I realized that this was not the life that God intended for me, this was the life that I had made for myself. There were people out there who loved me, just as there were people out there that I still loved even though I had stopped loving myself so very long ago. Love may not conquer all, but never underestimate just how powerful it truly is.

3) This Too Shall Pass – So many times in our lives we face such adversity that at the time seems to us like it’s the end of the world. We hurt so badly that we feel as if the pain will never go away. But God never gives us more than we can handle and we find that eventually the storm does pass and we make it safely through to the other side. This is where we need to find our strength and our hope, knowing that whatever we are going through right now, this too shall pass. Although this may seem to be little consolation when we’re facing seemingly impossible circumstances, the truth of the matter is that our past experiences and the situations of others who have overcome far more serious battles than most of us, are a living testimony to us that anything is possible when we allow God to fight our battles for us. We are still responsible for doing the foot -work, but nothing can stop us now except our selves.

We don’t have to do this on our own, in fact that would be a terrible mistake on our part. You are not hopeless, you are not helpless, and you are definitely not alone. Your purpose in this life is to love and be loved, to be happy and to bring happiness to others, to be free and to know true peace.

There will come a day when you will have everything you that you felt was beyond your reach, when you needed a miracle to save you and a miracle is exactly what you received. I can assure you that you will want to tell everyone your story. You will search for the words to explain how dramatically your life was turned around. You will try to express the peace and happiness you’re experiencing. Try as you may my friend, but I don’t believe there are any words to describe the joy that one feels when they are finally free from the pain that held them captive or alive again with the faith and hope at last.

Try to visualize the life that you dream of living and the joy that has eluded you. No matter how tall the mountain may appear to you right now, the happiness that awaits you begins with a single step called faith. It’s time now for you to begin the most rewarding journey of your life. I have faced that mountain, I have climbed that mountain, and I live in peace now on the top of that mountain. I invite you to join me in living the wonderful life that you were intended to live.

For the past 5 years I have lived a wonderful life filled with hope and promise. I have raised two beautiful daughters as a single father. I have never gone homeless or hungry. I have never had to use drugs to hide from problems, instead I give them to God every day and allow him to guide me, and he never let’s me down. My secret remedy when dealing with life’s adversities can be summed in one word: GRATITUDE

On the day that I honestly surrendered my will to God, I was feeling very sick and I was absolutely terrified of the notion of going through even 1 day with out the help of any drugs. I was trembling and so very confused, but I knew that at that very moment it was possible for my life to be changed and perhaps this would be my last opportunity to ever find happiness and surely the only hope of ever seeing my daughters again. I will not lie to you and tell you it was easy, but if knew how awesome the rewards would be, then I would make the same decision in heartbeat. If I had any clue to the happiness and peace that awaited me, then I would have climbed that mountain a long, long time ago.

Remember this my friend. I am not a doctor, I am not a self-help guru, and I’m mot trying to sell a book. I am a person who is so filled with gratitude who only wants to share his victory with others who still suffer. I am the homeless addict who lost everything he loved. I am the depressed and anxiety filled wanderer seeking peace and serenity. I am the hopeless father who lost custody of his daughters. But today my friend, I am no longer any of those things. I have found peace through even the weakest of faith. I have found a life rather than a mere existence. I have been blessed by miracle after miracle, and every time I look at my daughters I am reminded of just how much God really loves me. I am overcome with tears of gratitude each time I tell my story.

Sometimes I can barely speak the words through my emotions, because I remember where my life once was and I remember how hopeless everything once seemed to me. It’s not too late for you, your problems are never too big for God to handle, and that mountain is not nearly as big as you may think. Do you feel like you need a miracle like I did? Well, you’re in luck my friend, because I have faith that there is a miracle about to happen in your life and it all begins by surrendering your will to God. Just say “I can’t do this by my self God, I need your help”. Remember, this requires no religious beliefs, only an understanding that our problems are bigger than ourselves and we cannot do this on our own. The beauty of it all is that we don’t have to do this on our own. Today you have a choice to make that will affect the rest of your life and the lives of those whom you love and those who love you. Do you want to change your life?

Do you want to be happy and at peace? Let’s do this! Let’s climb that mountain! Let’s ask God to help us and let’s watch the miracles begin to happen. And when you’re sitting at the top of that mountain looking back at where you once were, I challenge you to tell others of your victories and see if your gratitude allows you to tell it with a dry eye. Now doesn’t that sound nice?

Your happiness awaits you. Don’t ever believe that it’s out of reach or that you don’t deserve it. You were not given life so that you would suffer; you suffered so you could appreciate all the happiness that life has in store for you. Your victory will be a beacon of hope for others who have lost faith as they see you smiling with gratitude looking down at your old life from the peak of mountaintop. Go forward and let nothing stand in the way of your happiness.