Addiction to prescription painkillers is a disease that has become increasingly prevalent in the United States and elsewhere (Patients with Opioid Dependence).
Opiate, or narcotic pain medications such as Vicodin, OxyContin, Norco, and Hydrocodone are commonly prescribed by physicians to treat pain.Most Popular e-pill Dispenser for Pain Pills
Patients often continue taking their medication as prescribed and become physically dependent upon the drug.
Physical dependency means that even if they want to stop taking the medication, it becomes extremely uncomfortable due to symptoms of withdrawal. This happens because of the following physical processes: The brain responds to the presence of the pain medicine by increasing the number of receptors for the drug. As a result the nerve cells in the brain cease to function normally.
The body stops producing endorphins (the body's natural painkillers) because it is receiving opiates instead.
The degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain cause a physical dependency on an external supply of opiates, and a reduction of the drug causes a painful series of physical changes (called withdrawal syndrome).Learn more: Pain Killer Addiction Treatment | Pill Dispensers to Control Pain Pill Intake