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How do Painkillers’ Classifications Affect Addiction?

How do Painkillers’ Classifications Affect Addiction?Though painkillers have medicinal value and can change the lives of those suffering from pain, these substances are dangerous when misused. When painkillers are used by someone other than the prescription holder or in a way that is not recommended by a doctor, the user can develop tolerance, dependence, and eventually, addiction. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) tries to limit the spread of painkiller abuse and addiction by classifying painkillers according to schedules and limiting the amount of painkillers produced each year.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the most commonly abused painkillers in the United States include the following schedule II substances:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl

Hydrocodone’s classification differs slightly from the other painkillers listed, because when combined with other medications such as acetaminophen, hydrocodone is considered a schedule III substance, meaning it has less potential for abuse in this state than schedule I and II drugs. However, some lawmakers are seeking legislation to classify all drugs containing hydrocodone as schedule II substances.

Schedule II narcotics are considered to have a high potential for misuse, despite having legitimate medical value. Schedule II substances are closely monitored by the DEA in order to limit diversion or misuse. Though the DEA’s efforts have significantly lowered rates of painkiller abuse and addiction in some areas, the problem of prescription drug abuse persists throughout the United States. However, treatment for painkiller addiction can help drug users achieve recovery and create a lifestyle free from substance abuse.

What Happens in Treatment for Painkiller Addiction?

As long as narcotic painkillers are available to the public through prescriptions, people who misuse these substances will be at risk for developing an addiction. Those suffering from painkiller addiction may find that treatment from a rehab center is a viable solution to their addiction related problems. Addiction treatment leads many drug users to a long lasting addiction recovery by combining various methods to create a comprehensive treatment model. After joining a treatment program, patients may receive the following types of care:

  • Detoxification. Treatment typically begins with medical detox. During this process, patients are supervised as they withdrawal from painkillers. Withdrawal symptoms are often treatable, and the process is made to be as comfortable as possible. Detox helps eliminate physical drug cravings.
  • Individual, group, and family counseling. After detox, patients focus on recovering from the psychological component of addiction by attending counseling sessions. Individual counseling helps patients understand the root cause of their addiction, group counseling provides support from others in similar situations, and family counseling helps restore family relationships.  
  • Education. Throughout rehab, patients are educated about drug abuse and addiction. Understanding the science of addiction can help patients stay clean in the long term. Family members are also offered educational tools, so they can be empowered to support their loved one in a more meaningful way.
  • Holistic therapies. Other activities such as yoga, acupuncture, or equine therapy help patients restore clarity. Holistic therapy works to heal the whole person, not merely a medical or psychological condition.
  • Aftercare. To ensure a long lasting recovery, at the conclusion of the treatment program, patients continue to attend counseling sessions or group meetings. Aftercare provides ongoing support to recovered users and helps prevent relapse.

Painkiller addiction treatment offers a new beginning to those who feel hopeless against their addiction problems. Though painkillers are highly addictive, with professional treatment, there is always hope for addiction recovery.

Need Help Finding High Quality Treatment for Painkiller Addiction?

If you or someone you love is addicted to painkillers, we can help. Please call our toll-free number for assistance from a drug rehab admissions counselor. We are available 24/7 to take your call and connect you to a treatment center. Please don’t hesitate to call now.

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