Most often the path to addiction to painkillers is unnoticed by friends and family, and sometimes even by the person addicted. Painkillers are prescribed by doctors when a patient has a condition that is painful. The patient may continue taking the medication well after the prescribed duration and may continue to complain of the ailment. As such medication effectively combats pain it may be used extensively for all types of physical discomfort and used frequently. Some addicts report that the painkillers help them bear emotional pain too.
Some patients may continue to take medication that dulls pain as it also tends to relax them. Usually they dont realize the side effects of such a practice and the vulnerability to addiction. With regular intake of painkillers the tolerance to the chemicals build up and one would need to consume more medicines for the desired impact.
Some of the common symptoms of painkiller addiction include personality changes and irritability. Inability to focus on a task at hand or only thinking about the painkillers is often seen in addicts. They tend to avoid friends and family in order to avoid their addiction from being identified. Often, there are dramatic changes in ones sleep pattern. This may be related to the fact that the addiction makes one unnaturally sensitive to bright lights and sounds. The person may also stop eating properly and personal hygiene and grooming habits suffer. Many a time an addiction to painkillers can lead to forgetfulness and even blackouts.
Some painkillers are sold as over the counter medication or drugs without a prescription and this makes it easier for the addict to get them. In the long run this makes it difficult to detect the painkiller addiction and treat it. If a family member or a friend has an addiction to painkillers it needs to be treated at the earliest. Withdrawal symptoms from the addiction can be unpleasant and it is best to consult a medical professional or a de-addiction center for guidance and help.