Our story starts with pain. Everybody experiences pain. Truthfully, everybody runs from pain. Basic Buddhist principle teaches us that much of life is pain, mostly due to our deep clinging attachment to things we desire. Primarily, in fact, primitively, we desire to not be in pain. Yet the more we run from it, the more we cause it. Such is the cycle of opioid addiction.
Typically, the source of pain resembles an injury, accident, or surgery. To treat the pain, doctors prescribe opioid painkillers. Obligingly, the patient follows doctor’s orders. The secret snare of opioid addiction lives somewhere between the start and end of a prescription. Perhaps since the pain has been reduced, a patient decides to skip a dose. Not having once taken more than prescribed the patient is horrified to discover the instant appearance of withdrawal symptoms. Back in severe pain, they continue taking the drug as prescribed. The patient notices that the drugs aren’t treating the pain as well as they used to. Also noticeable is how difficult it is to get through the day without the painkillers. Opioid addiction doesn’t have to start with abuse. Stemming from the necessity of relieving pain, however, it often does.
In 2012, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 10 million adults abused prescription painkillers. Drugs like Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin are opiate drugs. Each contains a synthetic version of morphine which is derived from the opium plant. Opiate drugs stimulate naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain. Our brain’s opioid system works to inhibit pain. When we experience pain, our brain blocks the opioid receptors. As a result, our heart rates decrease which then signals the nervous system to help muscles relax. Prescription painkillers magnify this effect in regular doses. Consuming prescription painkillers in high doses enhances this process to a greater degree, causing euphoric sensations.
Unfortunately, the more we take opiate drugs, the more our brain becomes dependent on them. Eventually, our brain is unable to fight pain on it’s own. Consequently, we feel more pain, we are in more pain, and we face painful symptoms of withdrawal. Simultaneously, opiate drugs cause us and relieve us from pain. With every dose, we perpetuate the cycle.
Enlightened Solutions understands the challenge in breaking free from the cycle of opioid addiction. You do not have to suffer any longer. We have a solution. It starts with hope. Start your journey to recovery with us. For more information on our treatment programs for men and women call 833-801-5483.
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