(article from Bottom line health)
New research drives home the startling fact that opioids…once introduced…are habit forming. A 2017 study involving 1.3 million non-cancer patients showed that 12% of people prescribed an initial six-day supply of opioid painkillers were still taking the drug a year later. The odds doubled to 24% if a 12 day supply was prescribed. When a month-long course of opioid medication was prescribed, 30 % were still taking them a year later. It is surprisingly easy for a person to inadvertently become dependent on these drugs…or even addicted.
- As time passes, do you find yourself needing to increase the frequency or dose of your medication?
- Are you increasingly preoccupied by thoughts of taking the painkiller between doses??
- Are you experiencing mood changes or changes on your motivation level??
- Are you experiencing new sleep disturbances, such as the inability to stay asleep??
- Are you noticing problems with your ability to think, concentrate or remember things??
- Have you gone to another doctor because the first would not renew your prescription for more medication or increase your dose.
- Have you ever lied to anyone about how much medication you are actually taking.
- Have you ever run out of a prescription before you were supposed to because you used more than was prescribed.
( The more questions you answer “yes” the greater the odds you have a potential problem and should see a medical professional )
No one wants to be labeled a “addict”, but fear of that diagnosis should not keep you from seeking expert help.
To find an addiction specialist consult the American Society of Addiction Medicine at ASAM.org.