By now you know that prescription painkillers are potent and highly addictive. In addition to a high risk of overdose, the abuse of opioids can lead to both short- and long-term negative health effects. And this includes damage to many of your vital organs, including:
- Your lungs: Opioids have been found to put people at greater risk of pneumonia and shortness of breath. This is because painkillers interfere with normal lung function by suppressing the body’s ability to breathe.
- Your liver: Acetaminophen, an ingredient found in many painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet, can cause liver failure when taken in high doses.
- Your kidneys: Evidence suggests a link between opioid use and kidney disease, especially in individuals who don’t have optimal kidney function. This is because the effects of the drug are magnified and the kidneys are more likely to be damaged from the toxicity of that drug.
- Your stomach and intestines: Painkiller abuse can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing constipation and narcotic bowel syndrome (NBS), which results in the slowing down of the bowel function.
- Your muscles: An opioid-induced comma (after an overdose) can result in “rhabdomyolysis,” which is a condition in which muscle and tissue begin breaking down and then proteins are released into the blood. This condition can also lead to kidney and heart damage.
Intervention for Opiate Addiction
If you or someone close to you is abusing painkillers, it’s essential to reach out for help. At NorthStar, we can help before opiate addiction results in severe mental and physical damage. To learn more about our opiate/heroin addiction treatment program, call today: 303-558-6400.