Whether you suffered an injury or simply chalk it up to getting older, your struggle with back pain may affect you daily. While you tried treating your pain at home, it simply became unbearable over time. As a result, you went to your doctor in hopes of obtaining some kind of relief.
After your evaluation, your doctor may have prescribed you an opioid pain reliever. At first, you may have felt some sense of hesitation at taking the prescription, but after the relief it brought you, you felt comfortable taking it more often. While it may help your pain subside for a while, these drugs do come with risks.
More than pain relief
At first you may have been overjoyed by the relief your medication brought, but after an extended time, you may also have begun to notice signs of certain side effects or that the dosage the doctor told you to take no longer brings the same amount of relief. This issue is just one of the following effects that could impact you:
- Tolerance: When you take the same drug and dosage for a long time, your body may build up a tolerance, and as a result, you may need more of the drug for the same effect.
- Physical dependence: In addition to tolerance, you could also develop a physical dependence on the medication that leads you to take it even when you do not feel pain. However, not taking it could lead to withdrawal symptoms.
- Addiction: Some people may think it implausible to develop an addiction for a back pain medication, but opioids are highly addictive. If you feel unable to go without the drug and find yourself taking extreme means to obtain more, you may have a substance abuse problem.
- Overdose: You could also overdose on the substance, especially if it has acetaminophen. An excessive amount of acetaminophen can result in organ failure.
While responsible use of a prescription can bring much relief, the substance can also cause a number of problems if use gets out of hand.
More than health problems
An addiction to painkillers could also cause more problems than those to your health. You could also end up facing serious criminal charges if authorities suspect that you have tried to obtain the prescription through illegal means. If this happens to you, remember that you have legal options for defending against any allegations brought against you.