An addiction to painkillers often begins after someone is prescribed the medication for pain following an accident or injury. Patients are given a prescription and specified dose from a doctor, with no intention of abusing the medication. However, over a period of time, a person may feel that the drug is no longer as effective as it was in the beginning. This feeling is caused by an increased tolerance to the painkillers, which means that the substance has built up within a person’s body.A tolerance can also cause a person to take larger doses than their recommended amount in order to achieve the effects they want. Increasing the medication dosage can lead to a physical dependence, whereby they need to continue taking the drug to feel normal. Eventually a physical dependence can lead to cravings, which are characterized by growing urges to continue using the drug – despite negative consequences that may occur.When a person’s drug-seeking behavior scales completely out of control and begins to compromise their physical and psychological health, a full-blown addiction is present. Addiction is far more serious than a strong desire to use drugs – it is a neurological disease that feels inescapable to the person suffering.An individual who struggles with a substance abuse disorder will often wish to quit but feels unable to do so on their own. The only way a person can fully overcome the grips of an addiction to opioid painkillers is by seeking treatment at a hospital or medical specialist nearby.
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