Painkiller Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Prescription painkiller addiction is a serious condition that can profoundly damage a person’s life. Unfortunately, this is a far-reaching issue in society, and many victims may not appreciate the severity of their problem.

There are many prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, fentanyl, and codeine. If you notice someone has a large number of these pills, they may have an addiction. 

It’s important to get help as early as possible to enable your mind and body to get back to normal, although this is easier said than done.

Read on to find out more about painkiller addiction and its potentially devastating effects. 

Painkiller Addiction Signs

The signs of painkiller addiction aren’t always easy to spot, even for the person suffering from the condition. However, over time, the symptoms can become more pronounced, and others may start to have concerns.

There are several key symptoms that may suggest there is a serious problem.

Mood Symptoms

One of the painkiller addiction signs to look out for is a change in a person’s mood. They may become more irritable or even suffer from wild mood swings.

One moment they could seem sad, and the next minute, they may experience a feeling of intense happiness and energy.

Behavioral Symptoms

When someone becomes addicted to painkillers, they may begin to lie to others to cover their tracks. It’s possible they’ll become more sneaky, potentially obtaining prescriptions from multiple physicians. 

They may also begin to isolate themselves from society and withdraw from social situations.

Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of painkiller addiction can range from mild to severe and even be life-threatening.

Some people may feel nauseous or constipated. Others can suffer from breathing problems and cardiovascular issues. In some cases, the addict may experience seizures or even go into a coma

It is impossible to tell how any individual will react to their prescription painkiller addiction. This is one of the reasons immediate medical intervention is necessary.

Psychological Symptoms

Mental health can also deteriorate when suffering from prescription painkiller addiction. For example, addicts may find they are increasingly anxious or become depressed. 

Psychological and physical health can intertwine. This is why it’s important to talk to professionals who can address both of these areas.

Potential Effects of Addiction

The effects of painkiller addiction can reach just about every aspect of a person’s life. Aside from withdrawing from friends and family, a person could also lose their job and engage in risky behaviors.

They could begin stealing to fund their habit, potentially leading to legal issues and even going to jail. An addict may also stop looking after their health. They might not even notice when they are suffering from life-threatening conditions.

Unfortunately, not everyone comes through their addiction. It can be devastating for loved ones when a painkiller addiction leads to a loss of life.

Treatment Options

The first step on the road to recovery is to undergo a full assessment with qualified professionals. They can then create a painkiller addiction treatment plan.

Drug addiction may be present because of physical dependency or mental health issues. There may also be other important factors for a professional to consider.

Experts can then determine which therapy types are most likely to have beneficial effects. It may even be the case that a combination of several therapies is necessary to achieve the best results. 

There are also options to receive residential treatment, outpatient therapy, or a combination of both.

It’s important to discuss a patient’s individual circumstances openly and honestly. This allows professionals to find the most effective solution as soon as possible.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Professionals use CBT to help a patient identify negative thinking patterns. A person can then focus on changing these thoughts into positive behaviors.

This is a technique that people can continue to use after they have undergone therapy with trained staff.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

A sub-type of CBT, DBT encourages the addict to accept their self-destructive behaviors. This is the first step in changing them into more positive activities.

This method challenges an addict to regulate their emotions and learn mindfulness to help them destress. DBT is a therapy that focuses on improving a patient’s life long-term so they can avoid falling back into negative behaviors.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

When a person becomes addicted to prescription painkillers, they can lose interest in life. They may become ambivalent towards even the most serious of problems.

In order to help them gain motivation, trained professionals can use MI to help them find the desire to tackle their problems.


Neurofeedback therapy uses the principle that certain areas of the brain are not in balance. By using electroencephalography (EEG), experts can retrain these areas. The ultimate goal is to eliminate negative behaviors. 

EEG is non-invasive, so there is no surgery involved. A professional places sensors on your head, which allows them to see your current brain activity.

They can then play music or sounds to help you revert to a more desirable state.

Brainspotting Therapy

Brainspotting involves a therapist guiding the eye position of their patient. They aim to activate negative emotions or reactions. By working at a deeper level, they hope to retrain emotional responses. 

While this approach can increase motivation, it is also useful for tackling trauma and impulse control.

Contact Bridging the Gaps Today 

Overcoming painkiller addiction is not easy. However, you can increase your chances of success by asking for help and support to make your recovery more effective.

At Bridging the Gaps, our expert team offers a range of services to treat your prescription painkiller addiction. Our rounded approach can help your body and mind heal, and lessen the chances of suffering a relapse.

To discuss your rehabilitation needs, contact our friendly team today.

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