Painkillers Addiction Rehabilitation Services in Canada
A painkiller is any type of opioid or opiate used to treat varying levels of pain. These drugs are designed to interfere with the nervous system’s transmission of the nerve signals that cause us to perceive pain. Most painkillers stimulate the reward center of the brain, thus leading to repetitive use. Constant use of painkillers causes the opioid receptors to stop producing naturally occurring chemicals and be replaced with unnatural chemicals. When this happens, the person using these drugs has now developed a tolerance for them. Tolerance for pain medication leads to a dependency, which in turn can cause addiction. There are many different types of opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone, sold under the brand names Percodan, Percocet, Endocet, OxyContin, and Roxicet. There is also hydrocodone, with brand names such as Anexsia, Dicodid, Hycodan, Lorcet, Norco, and Vicodin. Meperidine, or Demerol, and hydromorphone or Dilaudid is as well commonly abused across Canada.
Painkillers being abused by Canadians include short-acting and long-acting drugs. Any opioid painkiller creates a euphoria, which is at the heart of the addiction and dependency. The long-term use of any type of painkiller will eventually cause addiction. When the body has developed a tolerance for these drugs, it becomes difficult and even dangerous to stop taking them. People struggling with a painkiller addiction in Canada require medical detox and long-term treatment. Withdrawal symptoms attached to painkiller addiction are difficult to go through. Medical detox will mitigate these symptoms, which include restlessness, muscle aches and pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, increased body temperature, and increased heart rate.
Painkillers are widely abused across Canada, and drugs such as fentanyl are responsible for thousands of overdose deaths. Between 2014 and 2019 the Federal Government spent $44 million on initiatives to address problematic prescription-drug use in Canada. $13 million was spent to increased pharmacy inspections to help reduce the diversion of prescription drugs. Another $13.5 million were spent to enhance access to prevention and treatment for problematic prescription-drug use within First Nations communicates. $6.9 million was spent to conduct a national marketing campaign aimed at parents and youth. $12 million was also spent on support research for new clinical and community-based interventions for preventing and treating problematic prescription-drug use.
Health Canada estimates that close to four million Canadians aged 15 years or older reported that they used one illegal substance in the past year. Illegal substances include painkillers that are illegally obtained, whether gotten online or sold illegally. Painkillers are strong medications and will lead to addiction, whether they are prescribed by a doctor or illegally obtained. According to the Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), painkillers are used by 13% of the Canadian population. Around 2% of Canadians reported using them for non-medical purposes. Hospitalizations because of opioid-related poisonings have also been on the rise, for example, between 2014 and 2015 there was an average of 13 per day.
Most of the prescription painkillers in Canada are classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. In 2018, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) estimated that the overall number of opioids Canadians are getting in their prescriptions has dropped. However, the number of prescriptions for opioids is rising. Between 2012 and 2016 the number of defined daily doses of opioids declined slightly to be roughly 5%. Within all the provinces and territories across Canada, however; the number of opioid prescriptions increased by around 7%. Essentially, the overall quantity of opioids being prescribed is going down, but the number of prescriptions is trending upwards. For example, in 2016 there was 21.5 million prescription opioids dispensed in Canada, which was up from 20.2 million in 2012. The proportion of strong opioids being prescribed increased by 9.4%. There were six prescription painkillers that accounted for more than 96% of all opioid prescriptions in Canada. This included hydromorphone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, codeine, and tramadol, with the first four being considered strong opioids.
If you are struggling with a painkiller addiction, there are numerous treatment options throughout Canada. It is important to find the right type of detox and drug rehabilitation. Medical detox will more than likely be needed, followed by inpatient long-term or short-term drug rehab. Recovering painkiller addicts should also attend aftercare treatment. Opioid addiction is one of the most difficult drug problems to treat and requires extensive help.