Every day across the United States, millions of Americans of all ages struggle with pain – whether it be from an accident, a critical health situation, a sports injury, or something else. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 50 million American adults experience chronic pain. That’s over 20% of the U.S. population.

Prescription painkillers can relieve pain and make a person feel so much better – but if they aren’t watching their medication use closely, it can become a slippery slope. The opioid epidemic has shown us just how easy it is to become addicted to these drugs. The feelings of relief and relaxation they provide can be hard to give up, especially for people who live with constant pain.

But all that relief comes at a price. People who battle prescription opioid addiction often face many other health challenges as well.

Related Health Issues

Research studies have found that people who battle addiction and/or mental health issues – also known as co-occurring disorders when they occur simultaneously – tend to experience more physical pain than those who don’t. People who battle prescription opioid addiction are also more likely to face:

  • Chronic pain
  • A co-occurring substance use disorder
  • Addiction to nicotine
  • Major depressive disorder
A Downward Spiral

When these other health complications present themselves, it becomes even harder to manage pain and other symptoms. With nowhere else to turn and no other ways to cope with the pain, the medication becomes even easier to abuse. Without treatment, it can be incredibly hard to make life better amidst the pain we’re constantly trying to numb.

The connection between prescription opioid addiction and heroin use is alarming as well – about 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. Treatment for prescription opioid addiction typically starts with detoxification, which is the body’s natural process of dispelling toxins acquired from the abuse. And from there, recovery truly begins.

If you’re ready to seek help, speak with a professional from Alta Loma today.

Alta Loma treats residents who are struggling with a wide scope of addictions and psychiatric concerns. Substance abuse and mental illness lead to a destructive cycle that causes a tailspin of worsening symptoms and increased drug or alcohol use, emphasizing the importance of treating them concurrently. It’s never too late to begin healing. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.