One of the fastest-spreading epidemics in the U.S. is prescription painkiller abuse. The proliferation of synthetic pain pills being prescribed for all kinds of medical reasons has made these pills widely available.

Oftentimes abuse begins as a legitimate need to manage pain and transforms into addiction over time. Even with doctors proactively trying to ween people off of these dangerous drugs, many people grapple with the reality of hidden abuse.

Which Painkillers Are Most Commonly Abused?

There is a long list of prescription painkillers that are now commonly abused. Morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl and codeine are at the top of the list, but they also give way to many derivatives that have been assigned creative street names.

Painkiller Abuse in Minnesota

Minnesota is not exempt from the widespread abuse of painkillers that has been sweeping across the nation. According to Minnesota’s Dose of Reality program, more than 2,700 Minnesotans have died from opioid abuse in the last 15 years, and more than 80 percent of those deaths were related to prescription drugs.

Symptoms of Painkiller Abuse

The most common symptoms of painkiller abuse are slowed breathing, drowsiness and nausea. In withdrawal, patients may experience insomnia, bone and joint pain, cold flashes and vomiting.

Risks of Painkiller Abuse

The biggest risks associated with prescription painkillers are a dangerously slowed breathing rate and heart rate. In addition, prescription painkillers often react negatively with one another and with alcohol to create deadly effects. For those of advanced age who have numerous prescriptions, the danger often presents when a patient is unsure of how many pills they’ve taken.

Getting Help at the Anthony Louis Center

There are ways to overcome prescription painkiller abuse and get back to a healthy life free of pain. The Anthony Louis Center is here to help you or your loved ones cope with the realities of prescription drug abuse and learn to live without the help of painkillers long term.

We understand that prescription painkiller abuse often occurs as an unintentional side effect of medical treatments and can be difficult to face on your own.

We are here to help you take a stand against the crisis that is facing Americans from all walks of life. Contact us today to speak with an addiction specialist now!