Drug abuse of painkillers can result in harmful effects on your body, and they refer to both over- the- counter and illicit drugs. The narcotic painkillers carry the highest risk of addiction. Whether the painkiller is prescribed or illicit, it can cause serious changes to the user’s body.
Some damage can occur with short- term use and the dangerous changes occur with long- term use, which also increases the risk of physical dependency and addiction. The effect of painkillers is to block the brain’s perception of pain, and this interferes with the signals sent to the brain from the central nervous system .
Narcotic pain relievers have a depressant effect, i.e. they decrease the feeling of pain and at the same time increase the feeling of relaxation. Furthermore, painkillers cause the feeling of euphoria by binding to the opiate receptors. Using painkillers for a long period of time makes the body less capable of relieving the pain naturally.
The levels of neurotransmitters in the body decrease with increased tolerance to the painkillers, which means more substance is needed. The decreased neurotransmitters include natural endorphins that are the feel- good chemical which help also with pain. As a result, likelihood of addiction and chemical dependency increases due to the body’s inability to produce the natural pain reliever.
Painkillers depress the central nervous system, and this leads to a slurred speech, slower bodily reactions and slower breathing. Consistent daily use of painkillers over many straight days can also cause addiction that leads to extreme physical withdrawal symptoms upon stopping, and these symptoms occur 6 hours after last use.
Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, agitation, hot and cold sweats, vomiting, restlessness, nausea, sleeplessness, muscle aches, joint and bone pain, irritability, depression and emotional instability. Simply, the pain of withdrawal keeps the addict using for years.