Addiction to painkillers has been hitting the headlines in London and across the UK for some time now and there’s been considerable research into this growing problem. They are usually prescribed for long-term pain. Although painkillers are usually safe when taken correctly, it’s possible to become dependent on them and they can cause worrying side effects.
The painkillers in question are opiate (or opioid) painkillers. They work in a similar way to opium by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system. There are many types of opiate painkillers being prescribed. Some of the most common include codeine, morphine, dihydrocodeine, oxycodone, tremadol, co-codamol (paracetamol plus codeine), buprenorphine and pethidine.

Painkiller risks

Opiate painkillers are intended to be used for a limited period of time. They are usually prescribed when standard over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and paracetamol aren’t effective. Different types of opiate painkillers have different strengths, but they are all sedatives. That means they depress the nervous system to slow down body functions to reduce physical and psychological pain.

Constipation, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, mood swings and constant tiredness are all potential side effects. And addiction (and in turn, overdose) is a potential risk for some people taking opiate painkillers regularly over an extended period of time.

Painkiller addiction signs and symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms to look out for. It’s important to get help right away if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, as painkiller addiction can have terrible effects on both your health and your life. Physical risks include liver damage and bleeding from the stomach. Symptoms include:
• Strong and persistent cravings to take your painkillers
• You can’t cut down on painkillers or stop taking them altogether
• You hide how may painkillers you’re taking from friends and family
• You lie (or are economical with the truth) when talking to your GP or other medical professionals to ensure you’re prescribed more painkillers
• You take more time off work and from other commitments. You seem to spend less time with friends and family
• You buy painkillers online
• Your mood is darker, gloomier and even suicidal

Finding the right rehab centre for painkiller addiction

It’s clear that painkiller addiction is a serious problem that needs expert treatment. Many people struggle alone with painkiller addiction and like all forms of addiction, it’s a complex condition that’s difficult to come to terms with. At Step One Recovery, we’re highly experienced in helping people from London and across the UK overcome painkiller addiction. Our exclusive rehab centre is based on Spain’s Costa Blanca in a private estate. It’s the perfect sanctuary for treating painkiller addiction in privacy and comfort.

Our treatment programmes are completely tailored to your individual needs.

Your bespoke programme will include daily therapies, activities and appointments with your treatment team including your psychotherapist, medical staff, counsellor and personal trainer. All treatment is on a one-to-one basis and you can be certain you’re in the safest of hands during the withdrawal process. After withdrawal, we’ll help you build strong coping mechanisms for a future without painkiller addiction.

We take a holistic approach to healing at our rehab centre. We don’t believe in quick fixes so we take the time to work through any underlying issues with you. Lengths of stay are flexible but the average is around 28 days. This kind of longer-term treatment provides a wonderful opportunity to really get back on track, resolve issues and look forward.

However, we understand that professional and personal commitments could mean you can only stay for a shorter time. We’ll work with you to make sure you have the very highest chance of overcoming your painkiller addiction.

However long you’re with us, you can be certain of complete confidentiality at all times. From your initial contact through to arriving at our rehab centre and completing your treatment – all information is classified and your privacy is of paramount importance.