Can an Acute Injury Cause Addiction?

Can an Acute Injury Cause Addiction?

Acute injuries can cause significant disruptions in a person’s life for a short period of time

An acute injury is defined as an injury that results from the sudden onset of a trauma. Most people will experience an acute injury at some point in their lives. Some acute injuries, such as a mild sprain of your ankle when slipping off a curb can be treated by basic first aid at home. Icing the ankle, keeping it elevated and resting might be sufficient to treat a minor acute injury. However, some acute injuries require professional medical treatment. Head injuries, for example, would require evaluation from a medical professional to ensure that there is no damage to the brain.

Acute injuries need to be taken seriously because if they are not treated effectively, they can lead to secondary issues such as infection, inflammation, tissue death, disfigurement and permanent muscle damage. Depending on the severity of the acute injury, your physician may prescribe pain medication to help you manage the pain associated with your injury.

Most Frequently Prescribed Pain Medications

According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, in 2010, hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen was the most prescribed drug in the United States with 131.2 million prescriptions. Hydrocodone is marketed under names including Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab, Tramadol, Tylox, and others.

Another commonly prescribed pain medication is oxycodone. When your doctor recommends pain medication, be sure that you fully understand how to use the medication properly and what symptoms you should look for to indicate a potential problem.

Side Effects of Hydrocodone

According to the Mayo Clinic, the side effects of hydrocodone can affect several systems within your body. Your gastrointestinal system may experience bloody stools, diarrhea, frequent urge to urinate or the inability to urinate, heartburn and stomach pain. Your respiratory system may experience a burning feeling in the chest, cough, fast or irregular breathing, lightheadedness or dizziness. And your skin may experience puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, skin rash, hives or itching.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common side effects of oxycodone include the following:

  • Feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling of warmth or heat
  • Flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
  • Headache
  • Sweating

Both medications have side effects that may be obvious, but they also have impact your body and mind in more subtle ways that you need to be aware of.

Painkiller Tolerance

Often, when people take painkillers as prescribed, they find that after several days, they are not getting the same amount of relief that they did initially. This may be a subtle indication of tolerance, which means that your body requires more of the medication to achieve the same effects. Unfortunately, many people believe that if they take the medication more often or increase the dosage, then they can better manage their pain. However, this pattern supports your body’s tolerance and may cause you to escalate the dosage or frequency, which can eventually lead to addiction.

Get Help for Painkiller Addiction

Addiction to painkillers is much more common than many people realize. Unfortunately, a person may not understand what led them to addiction and what they need to do to get healthy. Therefore, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for drug abuse and addiction.