The topic of painkiller use is fraught with myths and misinformation. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to solve your back pain issues or looking to read the latest gossip on celebrity addiction, it is difficult to tell apart facts from fiction.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most widespread myths about painkiller use.
More Means a Better Effect
Gulping down a twice the prescribed dose will not give you a faster or better result. It is true that a short term increase after a serious injury will work towards alleviating the pain, continued excess intake is going to have the opposite effect. You can read about that at Addictions.com. How so?
If your body receives high doses of pain medications over a long period of time, the central nervous system gets desensitized, and your brain alters its perception of pain. This means that the painkiller will get less and less efective and your pain might actually get worse.
If You Are In Pain, You Can’t Get Addicted
There is a dangerous assumption that if you start taking prescription pain relief medications for a valid reason, you are not at risk of getting addicted. This cannot be further from the truth.
Painkillers are highly addictive substances, because they bind to opioid receptors in the body in order to provide relief. When a person is in pain and they have access to a drug that not only eases the discomfort but also provides a state of relaxation, the patient might easily succumb to the natural desire to feel good all the time and cross the thin line between drug use and abuse.
Everyone Gets Addicted
There is also the opposite assumption that is also made by many – that if you start to medicate for pain, you are bound to get addicted.
People are dirrerent. The likelihood of addiction is down to their individual risk of getting hooked on the drug. Specialists who screen for that list various factors, such as family history, personal history of drug and/or alcohol abuse, and other health issues, such as mental health disorders for example.
When the patient asks for pain relief, it’s the doctor’s task to find out if they are recreational drug takers. If yes, that makes the person susceptible to getting addicted to the pain medication they request.
In short, there is always the risk of addiction due to the withdrawal symptoms that go together with long-term painkiller use. That does not mean, however, that short term, targeted application, paired with due diligence and care on the part of the patient to stick to the amount and frequency prescribed, would still lead to physical dependence on the drug.
Painkillers will Fix your Pain
This is likely the greatest of all painkiller myths. This kind of medication only works to mask symptoms, it does not treat the underlying condition causing the pain. That is why it is imperative that the condition is properly diagnosed and treated, rather than suppressing the symptoms with drugs.
Making an effort to feel better is the real goal that should be pursued.