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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-prescribed medication, at La Jolla Recovery, we like to understand the background and needs of those seeking to stop using these prescriptions.

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

Addiction to Painkillers

Why can painkillers lead to abuse?

Painkillers are Readily Available

Many 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 sensitivity to pain, and at the same time, they release a euphoric rush of dopamine, producing a feeling of pleasure and immediate reward. It is common to form a habit of prescription painkillers 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 that the pleasure sensations delivered by these drugs don’t last very long; it is short-lived. This could be why some users plunge into a harmful cycle, consuming 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 normal behavior requiring higher functioning and everyday activity. It is essential to understand that the body produces these chemicals naturally, thus having receptors for them 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. The more the person’s brain adapts to the drug, the more doses are needed to produce a similar “high.” a dose of painkiller medication will cease to have the same effect at some point, leading the user to increase the amount. 
  • 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, unwelcome withdrawal symptoms occur. Therefore, people begin feeling uncomfortable or sick if they don’t drink 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 everyday life).
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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 prescribed initially
  • 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. When using these medications, observing your conduct and life changes is the best tool to know when you need help. Another is to listen to friends and relatives when they call you out on using these pain prescriptions. Be honest with yourself and use self-love. La Jolla Recovery rehab programs in San Diego have years of experience helping people battle painkiller medication addiction. Our 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, increase outcomes, and reduce overdoses. Are you afraid of twelve-step programs or bad experiences with AA in the past? Stigma with opiates or developed a heroin addiction after misusing prescription opiates? It is widespread in communities, from youth to veterans, so we will not judge you. It may have started with back pain and can shortly become a substance that is hard to quit. Many of us had the same concerns. It can be challenging with stigmas or a belief that few can understand us, like being a veteran or being from another culture. 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 once broke a rib while battling a severe cough. Trying to cough with a broken rib can be excruciatingly painful, so my doctor prescribed Tramadol. Surprisingly, the pharmacy wouldn’t sell me less than a hundred pills – something I certainly didn’t need! Then, my doctor informed me of the drug’s potential for addiction and its dangerous side effects if consumed excessively. Thankfully she encouraged me to use only what I had to, which probably saved me any unfortunate consequences.

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.

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