Many people experience physical pain after surgery, and it is common for them to use prescription pain medications in order to minimize the pain. Unfortunately, addiction to these drugs is a growing problem as patients often become addicted after using them for several days following their medical procedures. While many types of post-surgery pain medications can be addictive, two examples of commonly prescribed drugs are hydrocodone and oxycodone (Vicodin), which are both pharmaceutical opioids. The dangers associated with post-surgery pain medication are real. This article discusses the five most common post-surgery pain medication addiction risks.
The breathing problems that occur as a result of addiction to post-surgery pain medication can be manifold. The most common cause is the long-term use of narcotics, with or without nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications can cause damage to the respiratory system in a number of ways. Narcotics can lead to the development of a cough and respiratory infections, while NSAIDs can result in increased mucus production in the lungs that blocks airways. Both conditions can eventually result in scar tissue formation within the airway passages following surgery. An overdose on narcotics or NSAIDs may also lead to death by asphyxiation if respiration becomes too shallow or irregular.
The risk of infection occurs after getting addicted to Post-Surgery Pain Medication for several reasons. First, the type of medications used as pain relievers can kill good bacteria in the belly and lead to infections. A second reason is that people usually use more of these medications than what their doctors prescribe. The surplus of these medicines increases the risk of infections throughout the Post-surgery pain medications help to relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation in the body. However, taken for too long or in large amounts, these medications can cause excessive sweating and dehydration, resulting in increased susceptibility to infection.
Some of the most common complications that can occur with pain medication addiction are mental confusion and delirium. The risk of falls occurs when a person has taken too many opioid medications for their pain or for longer than is recommended by the doctor. Individuals who have been treated for surgery often do not feel the same pain after surgery, which can lead to medication overuse. These falls reduce patient quality of life and may lead to injury, prolonged hospital stays, and increased healthcare costs.
The risk of electrolyte imbalance as a consequence of addiction to post-surgery pain medication can be extremely serious. As people get more and more addicted to post-surgery pain medication, the risk of electrolyte imbalance increases. They are especially at risk of electrolyte imbalance if they are on other prescription drugs or other addictive substances while taking these. Some people may also have problems absorbing certain nutrients into their bodies when using certain drugs. This can make it difficult for them to get enough nutrients in order to support their electrolyte balance. The complication manifested by an electrolyte imbalance causes nausea, vomiting, and fatigue identical to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may result in sudden death if not addressed immediately after initial onset.
The risk of overdose secondary to flushing as a risk of addiction to post-surgery pain medication is possible. This can occur if an addicted person does not take the prescribed amount of medicine for their pain level but instead takes more than what is recommended by the doctor. The higher dose increases metabolism, which can cause flushing and potentially lead to an accidental overdose. The sheer amount of the chemical in your bloodstream could become too much for your body to handle and cause an overdose that ends in death. This occurs when a person continues using opioid pain killers after their surgery because addiction often leads to higher doses and longer durations of use.
The guidelines for the use of pain medications after surgery vary depending on the type of surgery. If you are at risk of becoming dependent on pain medication, talk with your doctor before and after surgery. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to pain meds, contact our counselors today. They’re available 24/7 for one-on-one support and advice. Call 833-680-0165.