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What Are the Risk Factors of Painkiller Abuse?

a woman sits on a chair and is distraught when learning about the risk factors of painkiller abuse

Painkillers are one of the most addictive prescription drugs. Most often found in opioid and opiate forms, painkillers temporarily numb physical and psychological pain. Unfortunately, the more often someone takes a painkiller, the less effect the dosage will have. This leads many people to combine medications, crush pills, and seek stronger, illicit options to soothe their pain. A painkiller abuse treatment program is the safest way to stop painkiller abuse and help people uncover the root cause of painkiller addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with prescription painkillers, know you are not alone. At A Better State, we provide clients across New Hampshire with trauma-informed outpatient treatment for painkiller addiction and mental health issues. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the risk factors of painkiller abuse and get started with treatment at our Hudson, NH, clinic.

The Risk Factors of Painkiller Addiction

Doctors prescribe painkillers for various forms of pain every day. Unfortunately, many people take a painkiller after an accident or surgery and quickly become addicted. While medications like Vicodin and OxyContin are made of highly addictive opioids, other risk factors lead some people to develop an addiction more quickly.

Unprocessed Trauma

Trauma occurs when someone faces a life-threatening situation. During high-risk situations like accidents, natural disasters, and violence, the brain releases chemicals to help the body fight, fly, or freeze. The event becomes an unpleasant memory if these chemicals are processed at the moment. If they aren’t, it becomes a stored trauma. Trauma is reactivated, causing many people to live with constant fear, uncontrollable emotions, and a range of other symptoms. Painkillers often help people numb the effects of trauma and are highly addictive for those looking to dull painful memories.

Chronic Stress

People across the United States struggle with chronic stress. Stress affects every aspect of a person’s health. Many people use painkillers to self-soothe from stress and reduce anxiety. However, when the effects of these painkillers dissipate, the stress often returns and can be worse than before. This causes many people to develop addictions to pain medication.

Co-Occurring Disorder

Currently, at least half of people who suffer from addiction also have co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and bipolar disorder. Those struggling with mental health find temporary symptom relief with painkillers. Mental health conditions can lead to addiction and substance abuse if left untreated.

These are only a few risk factors of painkiller abuse. In most cases, treating physical pain is only one reason someone wants the effects of painkillers. There is often a deeper underlying desire to self-soothe with medication. A painkiller treatment program can address the mental and emotional reasons for painkiller abuse.

Holistic Approaches to Painkiller Abuse Treatment

Addressing the root causes of painkiller abuse is the first step in recovery. A dual diagnosis program assesses a client’s mental health and treats mood disorders alongside addiction. Unfortunately, many live with untreated mood disorders and trauma without knowing it. Diagnosing and treating mental health and trauma can relieve addiction triggers and cravings.

For many people struggling with painkiller abuse, addiction therapies that combine individual and group counseling alongside alternative expressive therapies like art and yoga help them find new ways to manage physical pain and process emotional pain without medication.

Learn More About the Causes of Painkiller Abuse at A Better State

If you or someone you love is experiencing prescription painkiller use, we can help. The team at A Better State provides flexible, trauma-informed treatment programs. With daytime and evening intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) or partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), our clinic makes painkiller abuse treatment accessible, no matter your schedule.

A Better State combines evidence-based and alternative therapies to help people reduce stress, process trauma, and heal from substance abuse and addiction. We offer a range of programs, from family therapy to yoga for addiction treatment, to find the one that best meets your needs. Contact A Better State now at 781.412.1488 to learn about the risk factors of painkiller abuse and get help finding a suitable addiction treatment plan.