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Painkillers Addiction: Oxycodone, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Codeine

Prescription Painkiller Addiction: Signs, Symptoms & Effects

The problem with painkillers is that some of them can be addictive: it is estimated that painkiller addiction affects at least 100,000 people in the UK.  

People who are addicted to painkillers do not fit the typical profile of a drug addict and many are perhaps unaware that they are psychologically dependent on the drugs.

Others go to illegal suppliers (drug dealers) to buy opiate-based painkillers (such as VicodinHydrocodoneMorphine and OxyContin) as mood-altering drugs.

Painkiller addiction overview

Prescription drug addiction kills up to 350 people a year in the UK. 

We understand

The road to recovery is going to be tough, but you’re not expected to go through it alone. Get in touch with us here, we can help advise on the best place for your recovery and funding as well as just being a friendly face whenever you need one.

Schedule a free drug addiction assessment here, or call to find out more about rehabs across the UK, how to fund residential treatment and how to access it!

How to spot an addiction?

  • Using alone without other people knowing
  • Hiding your usage
  • Memory loss
  • Lying about the amount you take
  • Using it to shut out negative thoughts or calm anxiety
  • Trying to forget memories or past traumas
  • Trying to numb any pain – physical or psychological
  • Using it to turn down thoughts of guilt and rejection
  • Others being concerned about your behaviour
  • Turning into someone friends and family don’t recognise or trust

Treatment: Prescription drug rehab

  • Treatment programmes that last from 28-90 days
  • 1-week detoxes
  • Identifies any co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Outpatient sessions
  • Inpatient “life-changing” programmes

The recovery process usually includes:

Seeking medical support and considering rehab treatment options is an important first step to regaining control of your happiness and health.

  1. Free drug addiction assessment
  2. Detoxification
  3. Residential rehab treatment
  4. Daycare/outpatient aftercare plan

Detoxing from painkiller addiction also has very high risks and requires constant clinical monitoring due to a higher risk of seizure and anxiety. 

Specialist drug rehab clinic; Castle Craig. Visit website.

Types of therapy for prescription addiction

Like addiction to any substance, the long-term treatment pathway involves physical detox and withdrawal.

Therapeutic settings like group therapy and psychological treatments undertaken in a residential rehab facility, like Castle Craig, for example are proven to be effective.

Therapy is going to aim at helping you build a better, stronger relationship with yourself so that you can cope with whatever life throws at you reasonably.

Detox and therapy benefits

  1. Be in a secure and safe environment
  2. Medically managed detoxes with round the clock, 24/7 care and support
  3. Opens you up to a life-changing diagnosis that ensures you receive the correct help
  4. Experienced team of doctors, nurses and therapists (note, not all facilities will have onsite medical staff – ask us to see who does)
  5. Personalised rehabilitation and aftercare programmes (some facilities)
  6. Work on strategies to prevent relapse

Getting help

Drugs can make you feel like everything is just fine, momentarily.

Hence, why you might continue to use them.

Today, you might feel like you have a problem and need help, tomorrow the drugs might be in control.

It’s not just your addiction in the driver’s seat, but what drives the addiction in the first place.

Without treating your mental health and learning how to manage and regulate your emotions, you may always fall victim to a cycle of abuse and addiction.

"I knew in my heart that this would be a place of hope, for people and families whose lives are ravaged by addiction who are hopeless and helpless, even though they don't realise it sometimes, and that this place would be a sanctuary for them to find the help and healing that they needed."



[1] GOV.UK Research and analysis, United Kingdom drug situation 2019: Focal Point annual report, Updated 31 March 2021. 4.5 Ketamine.,2017%20to%202018.

[2] Home Office, Drugs Misuse: Findings from the 2018/19 Crime Survey for England and Wales, Statistical Bulletin: 21/19, 19 September 2019