In the past fifteen years, physicians in America have been accused of prescribing opiate painkillers too often without enough concern about the physical addiction potential of these drugs. The most prescribed opiate painkiller is Vicodin, an opiate analgesic (hydrocodone) for moderate to severe pain. The generic for this drug is usually prescribe for anything from headaches and muscle aches to post dental work.
Many patients will joke that the only reason that they enjoy their visit to the dentist is the prescription they get for their “pain”. In years past, this amount of pain was never thought of as needing narcotic pain relief, but with the marketing push from pharmaceutical companies, most physicians and dentist are only too agreeable to give this level of opiate pain relief.
Most people don’t recognize that pain is a vital and useful part of our physiology. Pain is the communication system whereby the injured part of the body communicates with the whole system to call attention that this injured area needs special consideration. Those people that take painkillers are hampering a communication system that will lead to healing their painful area.
People that have muscular skeletal pain, in particular, are doing themselves a disservice by blocking this communication line. In fact, there is a therapeutic process known as prolotherpay that actually accentuates the pain in an injured area to promote healing. Research has found that the body produces specialized cells that will rebuild an injured area when this communication system is allowed to send its messages. When painkillers block these messages, you find that the injured area begins to deteriorate and, of course, the pain is then increased.
Another problem associated with taking painkillers is there strong addictive potential. All opiate painkillers, such as hydrocodone and Oxicontin analgesics will cause physical addiction in a matter of a few weeks. Withdrawals from this physical addition becomes a unpleasant surprise to the uninformed patient that has been using these drugs to end pain that is less severe then that coming from the withdrawals.
Opiate withdrawals are usually described as a severe case of the flu, but what isn’t mentioned is that along with the physical symptoms come a heightened anxiety level and later depression. These symptoms will soon lead to a psychological addiction since no one wants to tolerate this level of discomfort when they know that one more pill will make them feel normal again.
Taking opiates painkillers analgesics causes the body’s natural pain relieving system to suppress its normal production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, and when a person stops taking the pain medications, their perception of their pain will be increased, leading them to need more analgesics.
Most people that are addicted to the pain medications are caught by surprise when they experience the withdrawal symptoms and the emotional depression that follows after one quits taking these drugs. Physicians are not educating their patients about the downside of taking these opiates analgesics so patients are not making informed decisions when given the choice how they are going to deal with their pain.
The addiction to these opiates is literally so powerful that many patients deliberately hamper their healing process to ensure that they doctors will continue prescribing their drugs. There are many reasons why personally and medically, one needs to be very cautious before deciding that