In the United States, the idea of taking painkillers for fun has been increasing over the years as more young people use and abuse these medications. Many decide to take painkillers for fun, to experience a high, because they think they are safer than illegal street drugs. Wrong. Many painkillers are highly potent, mind-altering drugs that can lead to dependence or addiction over time. Pill popping is a dangerous and misconstrued media popularization that can hurt you more than help you. Think again before you decide to take a trip to your local drugstore to buy a bottle of pain medications when there is no need to.
What Painkillers Are
Painkillers or pain medications, formally known as analgesic drugs, consist of any medications that relieve someone from pain. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, morphine, and aspirin all fall under this category. When taken, they can act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems. Painkillers can be over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil, while some are prescription opioid painkillers like oxycodone and morphine. In additions to opioid analgesic drugs, there are also paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDs.
What You Feel
Painkillers interfere with the nervous system’s way of transmitting nerve signals. This interference causes us to feel little to no pain. Painkillers act in a way that block pain and produce a high. They produce a sense of euphoria, but not in an overwhelming way. You will find that you feel good and all your worries will disappear. However, this feeling won’t last. It comes to an end eventually, but you will want that feeling back.
What It Leads To
Any kind of drug, even if a doctor prescribes it, can lead to addiction. The common notion is that painkillers help you heal, but in reality, they only serve as a temporary solution that wears off. Once the pain reoccurs, you want to pop another pill. It’s an ongoing cycle that may never stop. Once an addiction grows, it’s hard to stop taking the pills because of withdrawal symptoms. Addiction can also lead to taking higher doses of the drug because you build a tolerance after prolonged use. Pain medications can also create a physical dependency. That one time you decide to take painkillers for fun, can make you want to do it over and over again. Why take a drug if you never needed it in the first place? If you don’t need painkillers to begin with, don’t buy them just to have some fun.
Aside from dependence and addiction, pain medications also cause damage to the body, particularly to the brain. The affected areas dealing with cognition, learning and memory are disrupted. Painkillers cause chemical changes in the brain and destroy brain cells as well as affect nerve cells. They can also cause long-term heart damage and increase the possibility of a heart attack. Thousands of people per year experience liver and kidney damage (or failure) caused by Tylenol and NSAIDs. It has also been proven that painkillers contain cancer-causing toxins ranging from mannitol to iron oxides. A night of fun does not have to turn into a long-term problem.
Mental And Physiological Effects
Taking painkillers for fun can bring about other effects that we not present before taking them. Any drug is going to have a list a side effects a person may experience. With painkillers, it can range from vomiting, dizziness, and confusion to more serious effects like unconsciousness, respiratory depression, coma, and death. Teens and young adults have also noticed a change in mood to the point that they believe they’re bipolar. It might help with unwanted feelings in the beginning, but you will notice your mood and health change over time. Don’t trust medications just because they were prescribed by a doctor.
Dangerous Ways To Increase The High
Smoking, snorting, or injecting pain medications are common approaches at taking painkillers for fun, but are actually the worst ways of getting them into your body. Sure, you’ll have a stronger reaction and it might seem more thrilling, but this reaction is more dangerous and can interfere with your breathing. Normally, people swallow these types of medications to get through pain. Pain medications are not supposed to be used in ways that stray away from their purpose.
Mixing alcohol and other drugs with painkillers is the worst decision of all. It’s a mix that can ultimately lead to death. Taking a depressant like oxycodone with alcohol can slow a person’s breathing or completely stop breathing. Over-medicating the body is a daunting, harmful way to have fun. Think about all the side effects pain medications have before deciding to take them for non-medical use. The world of taking painkillers for fun is a dark path to go down, just for an exhilarating weekend. Some people who are prescribed them, medically choose not to take them. There’s no need to pump your body up with unnecessary medications. It may be easier to acquire pain medications, but it’s better not to.
Don’t take painkillers for fun, and unless you really need them for pain, try to avoid them altogether. You are putting your body at risk when it doesn’t need it. If you are a healthy teen or college student, painkillers are not for you. Now, more than ever, there is more controversy surrounding these drugs. It’s so easy to just pop a pill now, but it won’t be worth it later.
Have an opinion on using painkillers for fun? Comment below.
Featured image source: health.harvard.edu
Shereen Fustok graduated from the University of Miami in 2015. She is currently looking to pursue a master’s program in New York City. When she is not busy with life, Shereen enjoys learning about different cultures, fashion, yoga, and exploring her creative side with writing and art.