Essay on How Painkiller Addiction Happens

Submitted By gigir79
Words: 865
Pages: 4

How Painkiller Addiction Happens
No one swallowing Doctor prescribed pain killers has the intention of becoming addicted. We take them for example, to ease the pain from surgery, or to deal with disease related pain, such as cancer and fibromyalgia. For some people with certain natures, and who use these medications for good intentional reasons, still run the risk of addiction. Some names of the most commonly abused painkillers are Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, and Morphine. Here are some facts that play into the start of an addiction.
Painkillers numb physical pain very quickly and effectively. You simply take the pill and soon thereafter the pain is eliminated. But what happens after you swallow a pain reliever? It doesn't go directly to your arm or leg, even though that's the spot that hurts so much. Pain relievers work with your cells, your body's nerve endings, your nervous system, and your brain to keep you from feeling the pain. Your body is full of nerve endings in your skin and tissues. Some of these nerve endings can sense pain, like from a burn or a blow to a body part. When cells in your body are injured or damaged, they release a chemical called prostaglandin (say: prass-tuh-glan-din).

The special nerve endings that sense pain are very sensitive to this chemical. When prostaglandin is released, the nerve endings respond to it by picking up and transmitting the pain and injury messages through the nervous system to the brain. They tell the brain everything about the pain, like where it is and how much it hurts. The brain then responds. When you take a pain killer, it keeps injured or damaged cells from making and releasing prostaglandin. Pain goes away or becomes less severe for as long as the cells aren't releasing the chemical.
Painkillers distance you from emotional pain. Some notice while under the influence of the drug they are distanced from emotions that once stressed, hurt, or bothered them. They then depend on the pill that “makes it all go away”. Pain killers induce relaxation. People in physical pain are often tense. Painkillers provide relief of pain and induce a physical relaxation. After a while some people come to rely on this method as a way of relief from tension. Tolerance builds up quickly. People who regularly take painkillers find they need a higher and higher dosage of the drug in order to get the same effect. Tolerance is one of the key signs that addiction is developing.
There are some key signs when someone is addicted to painkillers. Often, people who are addicted to painkillers believe they need more of the drug because their pain is getting worse. But the worsening is usually a result of the painkiller use itself. How you may ask? The ups and downs of a developing addiction cause physical behaviors such as overuse of an injured part of the body, poor posture resulting from a lack of sensation when in positions that would otherwise be uncomfortable, and a lack of moderate exercise that would otherwise strengthen the weakened area. Withdrawal is very unpleasant. As people become addicted to painkillers, they experience withdrawal when the drug wears off. Pain, digestive problems and feelings of being generally unwell are common. As soon as the drug is taken, the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms disappear,…