Note: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Opioid dependence, which can be opioid prescription painkiller addiction, or heroin addiction, is a chronic disease that affects more and more Americans every year. I believe people see painkillers as less dangerous, so their guard is down and it’s easier to gradually slip down the slope into addiction. After a while prescription painkillers can actually alter the brain chemistry by “resetting” the brain. They make a person feel (physically and psychologically) like they need the opioid prescription painkillers just to get through the day. I’d actually heard about how easy it is to get addicted to painkillers (Matthew Perry’s story was one that stood out to me) so when my kids were born I used ibuprofen for pain management rather than opting in to some heavier painkillers – I was probably being overcautious, but medicine has always really affected me and I didn’t want to take the risk.
Reset Reality is a public health initiative to help spread awareness about the prevalence of opioid painkiller addiction in the U.S. It shares the science and treatment of this addiction, and it encourages those living with prescription painkiller addiction to step back, reflect, and hit the “reset” button by working with a healthcare professional. This way they can work on finding a new “reality” without the need for the painkillers.
ResetReality.com is a valuable online resource that provides a lot of information and tools to learn about opioid dependence, including a symptom-screener and a way to find a doctor certified to treat the addiction. The site also shares “Words of Reality” – stories of people who have been addicted and have overcome their addictions. I read Cheryl’s story about how she decided to be the mother her son needed and reset her reality – it was very touching to see how that broke through the wall and got her to take a step toward recovery.
While on the site I discovered a list of symptoms, which was really helpful for me. With some drugs you hear about people having bizarre, obvious symptoms, and the ones for painkiller addiction are slightly more subtle so it’s good know what to be on the lookout for.
I hope you’ll go take a look at the ResetReality site and keep an eye out for any loved ones who might be dealing with opioid painkiller addiction. Let’s spread the word that there IS help out there!