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Many people are confused by the fact that pain killers, which are often initially prescribed to alleviate discomfort or pain, can become addictive to the body. The most commonly addictive pain killers are the opioids (like morphine, codeine). To give you an idea of how addictive opioids are, heroin is a street drug version of an opioid.
While these pain killers do work to change the way that the body responds to pain, they also begin to achieve a feeling of lightness and/or euphoria in the user. If a person becomes attached to this euphoria (not hard to do with a body full of a pain and a life full of stress), then he/she will begin to take the medication over a long period of time and even begin to deny to him/herself that this is not the proper use of the medication.
After prolonged use of pain killers, the body chemistry is altered and a physiological dependency develops to the particular pain killer(s) being consumed. Once the body chemistry is altered, the person becomes in danger of major symptoms of physical and emotional withdrawal and in need of a reputable detox and recovery program.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|