Prescription Drug Use

When a prescription is needed for medication, the strength can be a lot higher than what you get over the counter. The dosage can be what the doctor believes it needs to be to help you overcome your pain or injury. Refills are given that correspond with how long it should take you to recover.

What you might not know is that many of the drugs classed as opioids are called narcotics for a reason. They can be habit forming over the long term. This means that once you start taking them for an extended period of time, you begin to believe that you need them even after the pain is gone.

Opioid drugs have the characteristic of acting upon the pleasure centers of the brain. It’s much like eating comfort foods or exercising. A certain part of the brain is stimulated, resulting in the release of endorphins that give you a “high.” We like that feeling so we perform the activity more. With drugs that means taking them even when the pain is not present.

Another adverse effect is the fact that your body becomes used to the medication, which therefore becomes ineffective. If the doctor prescribes a dose of 50 milligrams, over time, your body may adjust and then that dose won’t even touch your pain level. You will need a higher dose to be effective. Dosages that are too high can compromise your health.

When the drug is stopped by medical intervention or by the person taking them, withdrawal symptoms are present just like with illicit drugs. It is not uncommon to experience diarrhea, dizziness, irritability, tremors, cold flashes, vomiting, pain and insomnia. These are scary and can force the person back on the medication. Unfortunately, the only way to clear the drugs from the system is a detoxification process.

Using prescription drugs for long periods of time can have devastating side effects. Discuss the possible effects with your doctor before accepting such prescriptions.