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Painkiller addiction is a real problem for many countries around the world. It affects people from all walks of life. Many times, people don’t set out to become addicted to painkillers, but rather they start out using them as a way to manage pain related to an accident, injury, or surgery.

Countries are working to deal with the growing epidemic, and Britain has been talking about its painkiller addiction problem for some time now. It has been struggling to get the drug problem under wraps for years, and recent estimates put the drug habits at about 4 times the national rate that they were 30 years ago.

If you or someone you know is taking prescription painkillers, it might only be a matter of time before signs of addiction start to set in. It can be difficult for people, if not impossible in some cases, to wean themselves off of prescription painkillers. Many rehab programs focus on providing support and counseling while people try to get off painkillers in a way that keeps them from depending on them for the rest of their lives.

There are a number of signs and symptoms to watch out for related to painkiller addiction. If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms while taking prescription painkillers, speak to your doctor right away.

  • Do you take more pain medication than is prescribed on a daily basis?
  • Do you find yourself watching the clock until your next dose?
  • Do you find yourself feeling guilty about taking prescription painkillers?
  • Do you go out of your way to get prescription refills or have you tried to get more refills before your prescription was used up?
  • Have you continued to use prescription painkillers even though your condition has improved?
  • Do you avoid activities you used to like because of your injuries or condition?
  • Have you continued to use prescription painkillers even though they have caused you some side effects such as headaches, rash, nausea, vomiting, confusion, or any other symptoms that weren’t present before you started taking prescription painkillers?
  • Do you find that you prescription painkillers do not “work as well” as they used to?
  • Have you asked your doctor to increase your dose?
  • Do you experience withdrawal symptoms when you have missed a dose or have tried to stop taking the medication before?

There are also a number of physical symptoms associated with prescription painkiller addiction and abuse including headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, lack of sleep, trouble resting, seizures, shaking, sweating, disorientation, confusion, loss of balance and more. Ongoing use can lead to cardiac problems, lung issues, musculoskeletal conditions, paranoia, and more.

If you are taking prescription painkillers, be sure to see your doctor on a regular basis and discuss all of the signs and symptoms related to painkiller addiction. If you think you might be addicted to painkillers, seek professional help as soon as possible to reduce the risk of further addiction and to begin to work toward getting off prescription painkillers as soon as possible.