According to most published research studies and statistics, millions need their prescription pain medications and the addiction/dependence on opioids is only increasing worldwide. It is estimated that around 25-36 million people worldwide abuse opioids such as morphine, heroine and prescription pain relievers. In the US alone, the number is 2.1 million. Prescription opioids for pain relief are currently among the top three broad categories of drugs liable to abuse.
Why the increased need for pain relievers?
Most pain relief medications affect neurotransmitters and result in a sedative calming effect that reduces anxiety while increasing “good moments.” This makes them liable for abuse as users find themselves craving the good moments from time to time. Pain relievers are prescribed to patients suffering various levels of pain from injuries, surgeries, illnesses and chronic conditions such as joint pains. These drugs are helpful as they reduce pain and help patients relax, forget and focus on other things. However, many users continue using the pain relievers long after the pain has gone. The usage quickly develops from pain relief to leisure which is quite dangerous as it creates dependence especially if they are opiates.
Increased injuries and diseases
Although addiction and dependence are vivid reasons for increasing need for painkillers, they are not the only reason. The number of people suffering accidents, illnesses, diseases, chronic pain medical condition and trauma has increased over the last few years. This understandably makes painkillers some of the most demanded meds in the market. From road accidents to workplace injuries, deficiency illnesses to age-related diseases and pain, there are many possible situations that call for painkillers. For the modern generation faced with tightening economy, double working shifts, sedentary lifestyles and reducing time for workout activities, taking pain relieving pills seems like the easiest option to curb frequent headaches and muscle exhaustion.
For healthcare providers, helping patients relieve chronic pain is just as important as preventing addiction. Although opioids are very effective in reducing chronic pain, patients know little about the addiction potential. In recent research a relationship has been identified between pain relievers and the ultimate potential of heroin addiction. Many previous users of opioids painkillers end up abusing other hard drugs. Prescription meds are also associated with increased negative impacts to the brain, body and social development.
While millions need their prescription pain medications for various reasons, the healthcare bodies continue to seek more effective ways of reducing deaths from overdose and lowering addiction potential. It is advisable to stick to the exact quantity prescribed and find help in case of any withdrawal symptoms or addiction signs.