The Painkiller Addiction Problem
More than 12 million people in the United States regularly use painkillers. From a twisted ankle to a trip to the dentist, short-term pain medications are the most commonly prescribed cure. That cure, however, is too often becoming a disease: Painkiller addiction.
Abuse of prescription painkillers is at epidemic levels. In fact, after marijuana, prescription painkillers are now the most abused group of drugs in the nation, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
The problem often begins when people take additional painkillers to relieve stress and depression, even though their medical condition hasn't worsened. If you begin combining prescription painkillers with alcohol, marijuana, sleeping pills or amphetamines, the risk of overdose and premature death rises dramatically.
Signs & Symptoms of Painkiller Addiction
Given the widespread abuse of pain medications, you may have a friend or family member who is suffering from this problem. Here's how to tell if someone in your life may be abusing painkillers:
- They start missing work or social engagements. They have a hard time maintaining a normal schedule.
- They show a change in speech and behavior. They may seem over-stimulated or inattentive, overly talkative or slow and impaired.
- They start going to multiple physicians (a podiatrist, a dentist, the ER) to get multiple prescriptions.
- They begin purchasing pain medications without a prescription on the Internet or the street.
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Programs to Help
Mills-Peninsula Health Services offers two programs to help people with pain medication problems: an outpatient detox and treatment program and an inpatient stabilization program for people who need full-time care.
At Mills-Peninsula, our intake department accepts referrals from primary care providers as well as concerned family members. You can get help the same day you call.
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Contact Us:Drug & Alcohol Treatment
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mills Health Center
100 S. San Mateo Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
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