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Can an Acute Injury Cause Addiction?

Acute injuries, such as broken bones, sporting injuries or soft tissue damage, often require medical attention. If not treated properly, the pain from acute injuries can be long lasting. Even with proper treatment, these injuries can be quite painful. Doctors increasingly prescribe powerful painkiller medication for these injuries, and in some cases, individuals using legitimate prescriptions can become addicted to these substances.

Prescription Painkiller Addictions

Popular opiate painkillers have quickly become the leading addictions among Americans. Painkillers like OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet, Demerol and morphine are often prescribed for acute injuries. These drugs don’t actually impact the site of injury. Instead, they change the way our brain perceives pain. Opiate painkillers work on the brain’s pain receptors to alter the way we process and recognize pain. They alter brain chemicals and brain response to pain in a way that blocks the pain temporarily.

The problem with these drugs is that they can lead to painkiller dependence. This dependence can begin quickly. The brain can adjust to these medications within a matter of days or weeks, and soon requires more and more of these drugs in order to feel the same effects as before. If the user suddenly stops using these drugs, he or she can feel painful or uncomfortable withdrawal sensations.

As the prescription painkiller user begins to use more and more of these medications, his thinking will become fuzzy. The painkiller user will think that he is thinking and reasoning “just fine,” but decision-making abilities will be hindered. The substance user is likely to begin to make poor decisions, or to continue using these drugs more and more, even when he would never normally continue using such drugs.

Anyone can be at risk of developing painkiller dependence. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of an opiate dependence before it is too late.

Other Addictions After Acute Injury

Some injuries are painful or reactivate older injuries that can lead to complications and increases in pain. Sometimes acute injury is caused in an emotionally traumatic situation. In some cases, injury patients attempt to self-medicate these issues. Drugs like marijuana, benzodiazepines, sedatives, other opiates or even stimulants may be used without a prescription in an attempt to feel better. It is important to understand that acute injury in one place can impact the entire body and mind. In these situations, it is important to take good care of yourself or an injured person you love, instead of relying solely on painkillers.

Addiction Help after Acute Injury

No matter what the cause of addiction, there are reputable, reliable treatment resources available to you. We offer a toll-free helpline to get you back on track to wellness. Our addiction professionals are available 24 hours a day to help you find family interventionists, licensed rehab care, addiction counseling, help with painkiller medications and more. Please call us today.