What Types of Medication Cause Pain Pill Addictions?

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and frustrating. Individuals who wake up each morning and spend their entire day in pain often turn to medication for relief. Unfortunately, many take it too far and find themselves addicted to their pain pills. Even though many don’t consider this a valid form of addiction, mainly because it is a doctor prescribed medication, it is very real and is changing the lives of many people in a negative way.

There are several types of medication that are more addictive than others. If an individual has a history of addiction to alcohol or street drugs, they need to be aware of the pain medications that are prone to addiction. Two of these that are regularly prescribed for severe pain are Oxycodone and Codeine. Once a person has been prescribed these medications to treat a chronic pain condition they may feel an almost immediate dependence on them. As their body adjusts to the strength of the medication, they may feel the need to take more than the recommended dosage to find relief from their pain. Thus begins the downward spiral into the world of addiction.

Other narcotics that are often given after surgery or an injury are Morphine and Meperidine. These are often given generously in a hospital environment, and the patient can feel the need to ask for more to relieve their pain as their body absorbs it. Physicians will wean patients off these medications by prescribing weaker, less effective drugs. Unfortunately, in some cases, the prescribed medications, which the patient continues to take once they leave the hospital environment, contain Codeine, which is another highly addictive pain reliever.

Once an individual, or their physician, begins to recognize the symptoms of a pain pill addiction, their medication regime will be adjusted. Quite often, in the case of someone addicted to pain pills, they will find weaker, non-narcotic pain relievers to not be as effective. This will leave them not only in pain, but distraught as well. Doctors will likely suggest the individual undergo further examinations to determine what, besides medication, may be done to help relieve the pain.

In some cases, the best way to beat a pain pill addiction is to not take these addictive medications at the onset of an injury or illness. There are many pain relievers available today that provide substantial relief without the added complications associated with narcotics.

Even though the doctor is the expert when it comes to medical care, patients have a right and responsibility to make decisions regarding their care. If there is reason to believe that the individual may indeed become addicted to pain pills, because of past experience, it is their duty to discuss this with their physician in order to find an alternative treatment.

Codeine Addiction: Relevant Facts

Codeine addiction is a form of addiction that often sneaks up on the person involved in its use. This is because codeine is a medication that is prescribed to help alleviate pain. This makes it easy for a person who takes codeine to develop a codeine addiction, because he or she thinks codeine is the only way to cope with their pain. Eventualyy the mind shift is that it is OK to take it to prevent pain from happening whether needed or not.

Since it is easy to develop a codeine addiction when taking prescription codeine, it is important to follow the doctor’s directions closely. To avoid codeine addiction, make sure to only take the prescribed dosage and to only take the codeine for as long as it is prescribed. Prolonged use reduces it’s effectiveness and thus means you have to start taking more and more. Failure to follow the doctor’s directions makes it more likely for a person to develop a codeine addiction.

Codeine addiction is potentially life threatening. Furthermore, codeine addiction drives a wedge between personal relationships, as it is difficult for loved ones to cope with someone suffering from codeine addiction if they are zoned out most of the time. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that a person with a codeine addiction receives help.

To get help for codeine addiction, the person coping with the codeine addiction needs to first accept that fact that he has a problem. Then they must be willing to get appropriate help and treatment for his addiction. Most research indicates that a three-month codeine addiction treatment program is ideal.

A critical phase of recovering from codeine addiction is physical detoxification. This is where the body readjusts to not having the drug in it’s system. But, even more so, recovery from codeine addiction requires learning new skills. Sites, sounds, and certain situations can cause psychological stress for the person suffering from codeine addiction. These are called triggers and cues. Therefore, the person suffering from codeine addiction needs to anticipate and learn how to react when he encounters these triggers.

It is important for a person suffering from codeine addiction to seek professional help. Research has shown that a person who attempts to beat codeine addiction without professional help are less likely to be successful in recovery. This is because recovery from codeine addiction takes more than just will power. It also involves changing the way the brain works and learning new skills for coping with pain.

Pain Killer Addiction Guide

If pain killers are taken exactly as prescribed, they are safe and will rarely cause addiction. And yet addiction to prescription pain killers is growing. The most common medications that can cause this are opiods (sometimes called narcotics) and include morphine, codeine and others in the same group.

Research shows that every year, almost 2 million Americans use prescription opiod painkillers. In some communities, addiction to painkillers has now overtaken the use of cocaine and marijuana. 9% of the population admit to having used pain killers illegally.

Morphine is often used after surgery for the control and alleviation of severe pain. Codeine is more common and can deal with milder pain. Opiods work by attaching to proteins in the brain, spine and digestive tract. These proteins are called opiod receptors. When an opiod attaches to a receptor, they can change the way a person feels pain.


They can also affect how pleasure is experienced and this is why many opiods give a feeling of euphoria when they are taken.

People who become addicted start out by taking pain killers for longer than they should do, to get this initial euphoria. The problem is that if pain killers are used for a long time, the body can become tolerant to that medication. This means that higher and higher doses must be taken to get the same effect. It also means that the body has adjusted to operating normally with that level of pain killers, and so if the pain killers are stopped, or reduced, withdrawal symptoms can occur.


Symptoms of drug withdrawal ae extremely unpleasant and can involve restlessness, pain in the bones and muscles, insomnia, diarhea, vomiting and involuntary leg movements. Withdrawal is called ‘cold turkey’ because another major symptom is cold flashes with goose bumps on the skin.


If these drugs are used for a long time, they will eventually change the brain in fundamental ways. They take over the normal pleasure and motivational systems of the brain – pushing the need for drugs up to the highest priority. The need for drugs therefore overrides all of the person’s previous motivations, behaviours and drives. This is the domineering compulsion to find and use drugs, and what is called addiction.

Once addicted to drugs, people feign illness and visit different doctors to obtain prescriptions, buy drugs on the street, steal and lie to obtain their ‘fix’. It is not a personality choice – it’s a medical need or craving, generated by the affect that the chemical has imposed on the brain.


Celebrities seem to go into rehabilitation {rehab) with alarming frequency. Rehab is a place where people are medically supervised to come off their addiction, in an effort to reduce or avoid withdrawal symptoms. The addiction can be to pain killers, recreational drugs or alcohol.

The client is medically detoxified – which means that medications may be given to help them through the withdrawal phase. Detoxification is not a treatment for addiction – it simply removes the addictive substance from the person’s system so that they can start thinking clearly again. Detox is usually followed by counselling and behavioural therapy to try and help the client to avoid returning to the addiction.

Celebrities and their alleged pain killer addictions:

* Kathleen Turner – pain killers and alcohol.

* Daniel Baldwin – pain killers originally for a back problem.

* Anna Nicole Smith – vicodin.

* Matthew Perry – vicodin.

* Jerry Lewis – allegedly went into rehab for prednisone addiction at the age of 77!