“In a society where we often gravitate toward a ‘quick fix,’ it is disheartening to see that prescription drug abuse is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Sadly, thousands of lives are being lost annually that could be saved with better preventative measures and more education regarding the dangers of these drugs. To truly gain control over this widespread outbreak sweeping the nation, we need a societal shift in how we view and prescribe these medications and the way we treat drugs, addiction, and pain with the goal of taking action to stop this vicious cycle from continuing to occur within our society.” — Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, Waismann Method® Medical Director
Prescription Painkiller Addiction
Understanding prescription drug abuse starts with understanding the physical dependence that developed from the drug use and then addressing the underlying reasons for the drug abuse. Here is an example of how prescription painkiller addiction can develop:
1. You suffered from traumatic, acute, or chronic pain.
Dependency on prescription painkillers often starts with a standard injury, surgery, anxiety, depression or other conditions that result in physical or mental pain, such as:
- Car accidents
- Anxiety issues
- Back or neck injuries
- Fibromyalgia or severe arthritis
- Recovering from an operation or cancer treatment
Dependency also can develop from a response to the drug. For example, if you experience increased energy when you take opiates, you might become dependent on them for that sensation.
2. You were prescribed prescription opioids for pain management.
First, your physician prescribed a painkiller to help you manage the pain. Then, weeks or months after the initial injury has healed, you still take opioid painkillers like Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet. If you develop a tolerance to the drug, you might even start taking a higher dosage than you took when you first were prescribed the medication.
3. You suddenly realize you cannot do without the prescription painkiller.
The drug meant to help you now hurts you. In addition to your pain from the initial injury or a fear of medical treatment for drug dependence, you now experience the painful discomfort of withdrawal. Also, your pain has not eased but intensified. We see patients who had a level 2 or 3 pain, but after one year using painkillers, it jumped to level 8 or 9.
Prescription Painkiller Addiction Treatment Starts With Knowing You Are Not Alone
Approximately 75% of our patients suffer from a dependency or addiction to painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and hydrocodone. We recognize that patients became physically dependent on prescription painkillers or other opiates through no fault of their own. Therefore, we help change the painkiller addiction story. This chemical imbalance requires expert medical treatment in a safe, humane and effective environment.