Pain Killer Dependency: Risk of Addiction
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What is the Risk of Developing a Dependency/Addiction to Pain Killers?
While pain killer addiction is a real and recurring problem, it should be noted that there are some high risk factors that may indicate more susceptibility to the addictive tendencies with any substance of abuse. Those are as follows:
- Those with a history of substance abuse (related to anything from alcohol, heroin, marijuana) are far more likely to develop an addiction to pain killers when prescribed. The reason for this is that the addictive thought and biochemical processes have already been triggered. The thinking here is that once one's body has been altered by chemical dependency/addiction, he/she will return to those processes once any addictive substance is consumed.
- Family history of substance abuse
- Recent history of psychological and/or emotional problems that may lead to desire to "escape" feelings.
This being said, it is important to note that no one should determine your need for pain killers other than you and your medical doctor. It is crucial that you look at your history of use and abuse, as well as your motivations for consumption, and be perfectly open and honest with your health care team prior to consumption.