A pain medication that lasts longer than the pain you experience after a surgery may put you at risk of addiction. Dangerous prescription medications, in fact, are the first step to what can be a slippery slope to a craving for more and more drugs, eventually slipping into a life leading to illegal substances. As more and more individuals and families deal with the devastation of addiction that begins with a legal prescription, there are also an increasing number of people who are searching for a solution. In addition to the emotional and financial stresses that these addictions cause for families, there are entire communities that are struggling to deal with drug overdose cases at hospitals.
Losing a home or a family are just two of the consequences of this kind of devastation that is caused by addiction. The fear of losing a life, however, is an even worse situation. Unfortunately, changes to government recommendations and aggressive pharmaceutical company marketing have led to a dramatic increase in the last 25 years in prescriptions of oxycodone for long-term use in patients with chronic pain. As a result, more than 2 million Americans each year are affected by prescription opioid misuse. The danger of these medications is increased when the threat of fentanyl pills are involved.

Cocaine Overdoses Increase as Fentanyl Pills Are Mixed In
In addition to threatening the lives of those who are seeking pain relief but have no previous addiction, there is an even greater threat for addicts who have gone sober. A recent report from Cincinnati, for instance, provides the tale of a woman who had been clean since 2008 fearing that a legal prescription for pain pills to deal with nerve damage would send her on a fast downward spiral. Her earlier addiction had been frightening, but she now explains that a revived addiction could be deadly.

The contents of powerful fentanyl pills are now often mixed with cocaine, turning this substance into an even bigger killer than what may have been used in the past. Fearing that her prescribed pain pills would trigger her addiction, however, this time the woman interviewed in the story from Cincinnati knew that she needed to get help immediately to avoid opioid dependence.

The fact that overdoses related to cocaine increased to nearly 14,000 Americans in the year 2017 alone is an indication of that this 34% increase will cut a wide path in finding victims. Both former addicts and non addicts alike are at risk when it comes to the powerful pain medications that are available.

Simply ignoring or avoiding these medications, however, is not the answer either. Pain that keeps you from resting will keep you from healing, and pain that keeps you from doing the needed exercises after a hip surgery will limit your future mobility. Finding a way to balance the need for pain relief and avoiding addiction, however, is not always that easy.

As more than 30 states have seen cocaine deaths rise since the year 2010, the problem extends beyond the state of Ohio where those rates are the highest. And while everyone is a potential risk, the fact of the matter is there are some groups that are wise to be even more careful. For instance, studies indicate that African Americans, who are more likely to use cocaine than whites, are at an 80% higher risk of overdosing. When this overdosing involves cocaine that has been laced with the contents of fentanyl pills the problems are much worse.

What starts as a one time prescription to pain medications can lead some people down a slippery slope ending in addiction, and sometimes death. Working closely with a health care provider will allow you to ge the help that you need in managing your pain, without putting yourself at risk of addiction. Knowing that there are other avenues for pain relief is also important. The use of meditation, yoga, or many kinds of physical and occupational therapy and exercise can help people manage their pain without risking the threat of deadly addiction.

Make this New Year your best one yet and do everything you can to live a life that is free from addiction and avoid becoming part of the nation’s opioid epidemic.