If you are taking an opioid pain medication for chronic pain, then you are in a sticky situation. You want to be aware of a few important things. For one thing, you want to understand that even though you have been given a valid prescription for the medication for a valid reason, you are just as at risk of becoming addicted as anyone else. Also, you can have a hard time recognizing that you have a problem with addiction to the medication because you are taking it regularly. Another thing you want to know is that there are many red flags you can watch for in order to help you to determine whether or not you may have a problem with addiction to the pain medication you are taking. You can learn more about being addicted to opioid pain medication by reading the information detailed for you below:
There are dependence and addiction, and they are two different things
It can be scary to find that you are caught without your pain medication then start to feel the effects of your body telling you it needs more. Along with the pains that you already have and are taking the pain medication for, you may also start to feel a lot of other things due to missing the regular dose of medication your body has become accustomed to having regularly. While you always want to be honest and aware of the risk there is of you becoming addicted, you also want to truly know where you currently stand. Your body can have a lot of aches and pains, as well as other withdrawal symptoms as your body goes without the medication. However, if you don't find yourself mentally craving or longing for the drug and it really is physical, then you are dealing with dependence.
There are many warning signs of addiction
When you are taking opioid pain medication, you want to stay as honest with yourself as possible in order to know you don't have an issue with addiction to your medication. If you see that you may have a problem, then you want to be honest about this and seek help. Here are some of the warning signs that you have a problem:
Watching the clock — If you aren't in pain yet, but you are still finding yourself watching the clock to see if you can take another pain pill, then you may have a problem. You should only be thinking about taking another pill because your pain came back.
Trying to have your medication increased — If your current dose controls your pain just fine, but you still find yourself trying to get your doctor to increase it, then you should admit to yourself that you have a problem. There is no valid reason to even try to have your medication adjusted when it is already doing what it is supposed to do.
Running out of your prescription too soon — Even if you think you have been taking your pills according to the prescription, the truth is when you have a problem with an addiction, you may be taking more than you realize. If you find yourself running out of your pills before your next prescription is due, then you know you haven't been taking them correctly after all, and it is highly likely that you have a problem, unless there is another reason, such as someone else taking some of your pills. This is one reason why you should keep them where no one else can get at them. If there is a chance someone has gotten in them, make absolutely sure to lock them up and watch yourself carefully the following month. If you end up running out too soon again, then you know you have a problem.
If you exhibit any of the warning signs of benign addicted, then you are going to want to get help from an opioid addiction professional.