Post Surgery Prescriptions and Addiction
A recent study at University of Buffalo showed that addiction to prescription meds develops easily after surgery –often unintentionally. This rising epidemic is real and is of concern. The study found that 31 out of 75 patients entering an opiate addiction detox clinic developed their addiction from a prescription they received post surgery for pain management. Further, although they began their addiction with a legal prescription, 92% of those individuals illegally purchased other narcotics when in the grips of their addiction.
Also disheartening in the study was the fact that out of 53 patients, 74% of their doctors prescribed narcotic medications without asking if a history of substance abuse existed.
Drug addiction to prescription meds post surgery can easily develop especially when there is easy access with no questions asked regarding addictive tendencies/behaviors. Sadly, many who develop prescription drug addiction had no intention of abusing their prescription. But, because of the highly addictive components of many painkillers prescribed post surgery, individuals who would not otherwise develop addictions to these substances end up with major drug abuse problems.
In identifying if an addiction is present, even if the medication was prescribed legitimately, look for the following warning signs:
- Continued use after the initial pain has ceased
- Seeing multiple doctors to obtain more prescriptions
- Illegally buying the prescription or other drugs
- Increasing dose without or against doctors recommendation
- Isolating from friends, family and society
- More interested in medication than treatment options
- Mood or behavior changes, such as becoming hostile, agitated, anxious or irritable
- History of addiction
- Withdrawal from prescription pain medicine
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