fbpx Skip to main content

Chronic Pain and Pain Killer Addiction

La Jolla Recovery provides a caring and clinical attentive approach to pain killer addiction treatment in San Diego. Because chronic pain syndrome impacts a large part of the population in the United States, and many control their affliction with non-USP medication, we like to understand the background and needs of those seeking to stop the use of these prescriptions.

Medical professionals also treat a large number of people with chronic pain syndrome, with a short time of therapy with prescription painkillers. Some of the prescriptions are for narcotic opioid drugs like OxyContin or Vicodin and are very addictive. It doesn’t matter if the doctor prescribed the drug for a reasonable injury or not, people are at risk of developing an addiction if not properly managed.

Addiction to Painkillers

Why can painkillers lead to abuse?

Painkillers are Readily Available

A great portion of painkillers available through a prescription are opioids, such as Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Oxycodone, HydrocodoneXanax and Tramadol. These substances deliver a matching effect because of their equivalent chemical composition. Opioids decrease the human body’s sensitiveness to pain, and at the same time, they release a euphoric rush of dopamine, producing a feeling of pleasure and immediate reward. It is not uncommon to form a habit with prescription pain killers and later find it necessary to use illegal forms of the main opiate ingredient such as heroin in the black market.

The Brain Incentives of Pain Killers

One of the reasons painkillers are so addictive is because the pleasure sensations delivered by these drugs don’t last very long, it is short-lived. This could be the reason why some users plunge into a harmful cycle, where they consume the medication for the rush and not because of the pain. This repetition may rewire someone’s brain that this is normal and natural. Some of these prescriptions like opiates affect the pleasure reward system for the body and interrupt regular behavior requiring higher functioning as well as an everyday activity. It is important to understand that the body produces these chemicals naturally, thus having receptor for them that are targeted by these drugs. Usually, once someone has become used to the prescriptions and requires a higher level or dosage, it is tempting to try a street drug such as heroin.


There appears to be a Pattern Order:

  • Body resistance to the substance (tolerance): The human body is not static, adapting to changes, including substances. A dose of painkiller medication will cease to produce the same effect at some point in time, leading the user to increase the dose. The more the person’s brain adapts to the drug, the more doses are needed to produce a similar “high.” 
  • Dependence on the Drug:  Due to chronic consumption, the brain area that produces the pleasurable dopamine adversely morphs and “thinks” that it needs painkillers to function naturally. As the person ceases consuming the substance, unwelcomed withdrawal symptoms occur. Therefore, people begin feeling uncomfortable or sick if they don’t consume the drug; they depend on it to feel “normal.”
  • Addiction to the Drug: Addiction is a step further from physical dependence and implicates an emotional need for the substance with unmanageable cravings to use despite it causing problems in the person’s life (family, work, or other aspects of normal life).
problem chronic pain woman joint health knee ache arthritis chronic arthrosis addiction pain killers abusing medication detox
men with waist and back pain killer abuse chronic rehabilitation


Examples of some expected indications of prescription painkiller misusage:

  • Fixation with your medicine, constantly thinking if you have the next dose and enough amounts
  • Prolonged use over time
  • Using more than the amount originally prescribed
  • Attending more than one medical professional to obtain more than one prescription for the same medication
  • Buying prescription painkillers from unconventional sources, such as the online
  • Purchasing prescriptions or stealing them
  • Using the medicine when the person is aware they take it because of how it makes them feel and not to deal with pain relief  
  • Experiencing cravings and unnormal desires to consume
  • Developing a defensive or annoyed attitude when questioned about the way they use
  • Not behaving normally, in work, family, hobbies, hygiene 



If a medical doctor tells you to take this prescription medication, use it constantly as instructed. Over-prescribing with pharmaceuticals frequently happens with pain killers and chronic pain syndrome, and it is best to discuss the need for this medication with your doctor. It’s essential to research and consult with your medical professional about addiction.

Dependence on painkillers may appear in a short period, so if it becomes overwhelming, La Jolla Recovery can help answer any questions on how to begin the journey towards sobriety and what steps to take towards rehabilitation.

We frequently think, “it won’t happen to us,” a terrible mistake because it can happen to anyone. The best tool to know when you need help is to observe our conduct and life changes when using these medications. Another is to listen to friends and relatives when they call you out on the use of drugs. Be honest with yourself and use self-love. La Jolla Recovery in San Diego has years of experience helping people battle painkiller medication addiction. Our use of medication-assisted treatment is highly suitable for the withdrawal of prescription opiates and many painkiller cases of abuse. Medication-assisted treatment such as buprenorphine makes it possible to detox smoothly without hardships and increase the outcomes and reduce overdoses. Afraid of twelve-step programs or bad experiences with AA in the past? Don’t worry. Many of us had the same concerns. We’re here to guide you in the way you need without a cookie-cutter approach. 

A Personal Story on Abusing Prescriptions for Pain Killing Reasons

I will tell you a personal story about when I broke a rib while having a bad cough. Coughing with a broken rib hurts as you can´t imagine. My doctor prescribed Tramadol, however, she didn´t understand why I could not buy boxes with less than a hundred pills, they would not sell less at the drugstore in Germany. She said, “you need to take this only for a week, it is very addictive and dangerous”. She conveyed to me the same information I am sharing with you here, and this probably prevented me from taking the rest of the pills.

If you or someone you love believes that their uses of pain killers or prescriptions are beginning to spiral out of control, please reach out for help or contact us. There is a way free from pain medication abuse as well as a community that understands you in California.

Close Menu
Skip to content