Opiate painkillers are widely used and highly helpful in managing pain. However, there’s the risk of addiction. Case in point: the opioid addiction problem that is considered epidemic in Western countries, particularly in the United States. Here in the Philippines, there are many who take opiate painkillers, and some may become dependent or addicted to the drugs.
While shabu or meth remains as the number one drug of choice for many in the country, there’s no denying that there are those who are also addicted to opiate painkillers such as Fentanyl, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, and many more. And as such, there are also myths surrounding opiate painkiller addiction, which makes it hard for people struggling with it to get the help they need.
Let’s take a look at these myths.
7 Opioid Myths Debunked
Myth #1: I’m addicted when my tolerance to opiate painkiller increases or when I get withdrawal symptoms. Truth is, many people can become tolerant and dependent to certain drugs, even caffeine. However, this does not readily equate to addiction. Addiction happens when the drug use becomes compulsive and dysfunctional. This comes to the point when you take the drug or go through all means to obtain them, even if it means harm to yourself or others.
Myth #2: Long-term use can cause addiction. Many people take prescription opiate painkiller for a long time without getting addicted. Responsible management is part of the equation, and physicians can detect early warning signs of addiction should these develop.
Myth #3: I can take opiate painkillers without getting addicted so I can use them as I please. Prescription painkillers must be taken responsibly. Such drugs are not something that people can take without consulting with a doctor because addiction can still be a risk. Aside from that, there’s also the risk of overdose or mixing with other drugs or substances, which can be dangerous.
Myth #4: It’s better not to take any opiate painkiller than get addicted to it. Not treating chronic pain can cause needless suffering. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about your pain and be sure to air your fears about addiction too. Such concerns are valid, but with proper pain management, chronic pain can be eased and you have a better quality of life without worrying about addiction.
Myth #5: I won’t get addiction like the others. Addiction isn’t a character flaw or a weakness in as much the same way as not getting addicted is just a matter of willpower. Addiction is a disease and there are people who are more genetically predisposed than others. So it’s still better to be a responsible user. Also, don’t hand out your prescriptions to others or just leave your medication where other people can easily have access to them.
If you have problems with your opiate painkiller use or you know anyone who you think is abusing his or her opiate pain medication, call or text us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826. Our rehab is based in the Philippines and can treat drug, alcohol, and behavioral addictions.