One of the contributors to the opiate epidemic that the United States has seen over the last few years is the over prescription of painkillers.
In fact, one Ventura County doctor was recently under investigation for handing out too many prescriptions for opiates. Opiates are the main ingredient in painkillers and can be used to alleviate pain for those who have suffered an accident and experience chronic pain. Although they can be a great way to manage pain, they are also incredibly addictive. In fact, many people who are addicted to painkillers end up resorting to heroin when painkillers become hard to acquire, either because they are expensive or because they no longer have a prescription. Sadly, there has been a large surge of addictions to painkillers in this country and the drug can be hard to break. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users almost doubled. In 2007, for example, 337 thousand people were addicted to heroin in America and in 2012 that number jumped up to 669 thousand.
This is precisely why it’s a big deal when there are doctors that are over prescribing painkillers. Doing so can contribute to opiate addictions in patients. One doctor in Simi Valley, CA, Dr. William Matzner came under investigation by the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes unit. He was recently served a search warrant where a number of his medical files were confiscated for review. At this time, there has not been a decision about whether to prosecute the doctor.
Speak to a Professional
If you’re taking painkillers you might want to investigate your doctor’s background and be sure that your prescriptions are legitimately managing your pain. If you feel you might be in danger of developing an addiction, talk to your doctor if you feel you can trust him or her. Otherwise, speak to a mental health professional.
Speaking to a professional about your pain prescriptions, such as getting a second opinion, can facilitate your overall health and perhaps prevent an addiction. Opiates are incredibly addictive. Opiod is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. If an addiction to opiates in the form of painkillers gets severe you might find yourself turning to heroin. Symptoms of using heroin include red or raw nostrils, needle marks or scars on arms, wearing long sleeves at inappropriate times, and medicinal breath. Long-term symptoms are loss of appetite, constipation, brain damage, and damage to the central nervous system.
Understanding Opiate Addictions
Opiate, whether in the form of heroin or a painkiller is incredibly addictive and can actually rewire the brain suppressing all instincts and slowing down the nervous system. In fact, opiates are one of the most difficult drugs to quit. Its dependence rating is high and the quickness with which you become you addicted is dangerous.
When you’re discussing painkillers with your doctor, be sure to ask plenty of questions so that you’re following the prescription as directed. On the whole, when taken according to how they were prescribed, painkillers will not cause an addiction. However, that doesn’t mean an addiction won’t develop. Be sure to talk frequently with your doctor as well as any other professional you’d like to support you to manage your pain. Doing so can keep you healthy and managing your pain without risk of addiction.