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Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

Last updated on: September 1, 2011 12:22 IST

Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

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Lifemojo.com

The very term will bring a feeling of discomfort or displeasure in your mind! And painkillers - Ah, they are the relievers of such discomfort! Pain often pays its "graceful" visit and we tend to give a damn in knowing what is causing the pain! Pain relief is what we require!

This is the reason why painkillers have become a part and parcel of our everyday life. One pill can give us relief for some period of time! And we tend to stay contented with this belief without making an attempt to know more about painkillers other than their pain relieving feature.

Result? Wrong conceptions and myths! Here are a few myths and facts about painkillers.

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Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

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Myth #1: I can easily get addicted to painkillers if I take them for a longer duration

Fact: You cannot get addicted to painkillers if you are taking them as per your doctor's recommendations. Addiction is more dependent on an individual's psychology. A responsible management will allow you to stay away from addiction.

Addiction is said to have occurred when a person is either consciously or subconsciously aware of the interrupting effects of the drug in his regular life and health but he still chooses to continue with the drug.

An addicted individual may wish to increase the medicine dosage without consulting the doctor. It's hard to identify a person who is becoming addicted to such drugs.

The most complicated part is when a person is in chronic pain and he needs higher doses. Then, it becomes very hard to figure out if this is a sign of addiction!

This may indicate two situations -- either the disease is getting worse or the person may be developing tolerance to the pain killer, which is inducing him to take greater doses of the medication. It is important to recognise the risk and to manage it well so as to avoid getting addicted to the drug.

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Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

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Myth #2: It is better to bear the pain than to take a painkiller, which is associated with the risk of addiction

Fact: Bearing pain is never the right option. And if you have been doing so, the next time you experience pain, you should visit a doctor.

Recurrent pain in any part of the body can be suggestive of a bigger health problem. And pain medications are meant for our rescue in such a situation.

If you are so much concerned about getting addicted to the medication, then you should note that proper management will keep you away from this issue.

Take the drug in recommended doses only. But this does not mean that you will go on suffering without addressing your pain! You should never be scared of taking any prescribed medication.

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Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

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Myth #3: I can take painkillers whenever I like

Fact: If you have a body part which keeps paining off and on, then don't just take a painkiller and regard it as an ultimate remedy. There is a chance that the pain is suggesting a bigger health problem.

For example, a dull persistent pain in the prostate gland can be suggestive of prostate cancer.

If you keep taking pain killers on your own and try to treat the condition at home, then you may be risking your life.

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Painkiller addiction: Six myths busted

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Myth #4: Easing pain is the most important thing

Fact: When a doctor prescribes a painkiller, he focuses on functional restoration, so that the patient can carry out his regular day to day activities. In some cases, the doctor may also target a symptomatic treatment.

Pain reduction without any improved function is not really good. If the function of the organ is not restored, then it may suggest the presence of a bigger health issue.

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Myth #5: I am Strong -E-nough to avoid getting addicted to painkillers

Fact: Being confident is good, but overconfidence can lead to failure.

Addiction is not only about willpower, and it's not a moral failure, but in reality, it is a chronic disease and some people are genetically more vulnerable to addictions.

A family history of alcoholism or addiction places a person at a higher risk of addiction for any substance.

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Myth #6: If I get addicted, it's no big deal for my doctor to help me overcome the addiction

Fact: Having faith in your doctor is very good. But you should not take addictions lightly as all doctors are not trained well in the fields of addiction and pain management.

They need to specialise in the field and such specialists are mostly deployed in the rehabilitation centres. It is important for the patient to share his fears and ideas with his physician.



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