It begins innocently enough: A busy mom struggling with anxiety or post-surgical pain makes an appointment with their doctor. When pain is the issue, the doctor will often ask the patient to rate their pain level on a 1-10 scale. Problematically, there is no objective pain measurement tactic – it is all self-reported by the patient. The doctor will then typically offer a pain relief recommendation to help ease the symptoms – generally an opiate medication such as Oxycontin, Percocet or Vicodin.
However, the recent surge in pain-pill prescriptions has many worried. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, in 1990, there were 75 million opiate pain med prescriptions written nationally. By 2010, that number had nearly tripled to 210 million.
But why? Are Americans…and moms in more pain?
Though many theories exist, what is clear is that widespread opiate-based prescription accessibility has made “accidental addiction” much more common.
Patients prescribed medications for mild pain or anxiety may develop addiction issues, having not been properly warned about the highly addictive nature of these medications. Before long, patients may gain a tolerance, requiring additional doses of the drug to gain the same initial effect. Over time, patients may no longer take these medications for intended purposes, but to satisfy an escalating addiction.
“‘Accidental addicts’ may also have underlying issues that may make them more vulnerable to developing an addiction issue if they are prescribed pain or anti-anxiety medications by their physician, such as underlying mental health issues, childhood issues, trauma or certain temperaments,” says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras.
At the Dunes, our team of specialists offer addicts of the “soccer mom” variety the tools, education and resources necessary to help them understand, de-stigmatize and overcome their addictions in a healthy and effective manner.
If You Or Someone You Love Is Struggling With An Addiction To Prescription Drugs, Call Us Today – You And Your Loved Ones Are Worth It!