If you have a serious medical condition, or if you’ve had surgery, your doctor may prescribe an opioid medication to help control your pain. Taking an opioid pain medication can help you feel better during the healing process, however if not controlled carefully, it may also lead to opioid addiction.
Opioid addiction has become a major problem in our country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 115 people overdose and die from using opioids each day in the United States. The opioid addiction crisis includes prescription pain relievers and non-prescription drugs such as heroin and synthetic forms of opioid.
No matter how you begin taking an opioid—through a prescription or otherwise—your body will become dependent on the drug after prolonged use. This is because it is easy to build up a tolerance to opioids, causing you to need more and more to achieve the same level of pain relief. When you try to stop taking the opioid, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, muscle pain and irritability, making it difficult or impossible to function without it.
Having an opioid addiction can make it challenging to do your job, take care of your family and can have a negative impact on your relationship and your finances. Overdosing on opioids can even lead to death.