The risk for addiction is greatest when an opioid produces a great deal of pleasure through the release of dopamine in the brain. If the release of dopamine is small or non-existent, there is little to no enticement to use more. In fact, the enticement is just the opposite—to use as little as possible because side effects, such as constipation, difficulty starting the urine stream, dizziness, and nausea are problematic. Here, the adverse side effects are a barrier to developing an addiction. These individuals, who represent the majority of users of painkillers, have a very low risk of developing an addiction to painkillers.
There is also evidence that genetics …show more content…
Other cities face the same invasion, spreading the “virus” of opioid addiction across all of America. Education to prevent addiction is the only effective way to reduce demand. It must start in middle school because substance abuse often begins at a very early age. The only way to effectively stop substance abuse is to prevent it from starting in the first place.
Valuable programs are emerging. These include improving education to physicians about the dangers of over-prescribing painkillers, expanding the use of Opioid Overdose Rescue Kits, and increasing access to treatment for persons addicted to opioids.
My doctor told me that withdrawal takes about four to seven days and then I would be all right. It’s now two months, and I still don’t feel like my old self. What is wrong?
Your doctor was mostly right. There can be a complication know as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome or PAWS (http://bit.ly/1cAP6uB). We don’t know why PAWS develops. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, restless legs, fatigue, depression, and difficulty with concentration. Symptoms gradually fade over time, but can last six months or longer. Most addicts do not experience …show more content…
If, on the other hand, they were to be used indefinitely, then I would reclassify them as harm reduction strategies.
Do physicians over-prescribe painkillers?
Yes. The problem has been developing over the past twenty years and is now at its highest and most dangerous level. In part, it’s due to the dilemma of how best to treat and chronic pain. Long-acting painkiller formulations, usually dosed twice daily or applied as a skin patch, are now a medically accepted treatment for chronic pain.
Accessibility to painkillers is greatest in communities where the principal industries are physically demanding and are more likely to lead to injuries. In North Carolina, these include logging, farming, and textiles. In West Virginia, the principal industry of coal mining is physically demanding and prone to injuries.
When patients have access to opioids, some may choose to sell part or all of their medication. OxyContin® sells for about $1 per mg, and Opana® sells for $3 or more per