Muscle relaxers are a type of drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. These drugs affect skeletal muscular function and decrease muscle tone. Despite the name, muscle relaxers do not act on the muscular system; rather, they act on nervous system. Muscle relaxer addiction can develop overtime after someone is prescribed them or obtained illegally and abused. Learn about muscle relaxers, muscle relaxers addiction and possible treatment options.
About Muscle Relaxers
There are two main types of muscle relaxers: spasmolytics and neuromuscular blockers. Spasmolytics are most commonly used to alleviate pain associated with spasms and a variety of other neurological conditions. Neuromuscular blockers are used in surgical procedures and are often used in emergency situations to cause temporary paralysis.
Muscle relaxers are not always recommended as the first method of treatment for back pain and are primarily used to treat more severe neurological conditions. Due to their side effects, an initial assessment is required to evaluate the need for the drug and the length of time for which it is required. Generally, muscle relaxers are not prescribed for long-term use and individuals using these drugs should be under the care of a physician.
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About Muscle Relaxer Addiction
When taken exactly as prescribed, the drug, while producing some mild side effects, does not become addictive and can improve an individual’s pain experience. Individuals who suffer with arthritis, for instance, find a great deal of relief with these drugs.
Muscle relaxer addiction often develops when the drugs are used habitually for pain relief. The fast-acting nature of these drugs can cause an individual to become dependent on them whenever they experience any degree of pain. The drug quickly becomes the primary method of relaxation and disconnecting from stressors, both physical and mental.
Even more problematic is when muscle relaxers are used in combination with other substances. When this occurs, the side effects associated with abuse are exacerbated. With prolonged use, individuals who abuse muscle relaxers can experience withdrawal symptoms when they are no longer using them.
In short, muscle relaxers are highly addictive and very dangerous when they are not used as prescribed or intended. Since these drugs suppress the nervous system, it is important to use the drugs as they are prescribed: Usually with small, controlled doses that may increase gradually or decrease over time.
While abuse of and addiction to muscle relaxers is not as common as other controlled substances, the increased use of these drugs to control pain makes them more readily available in many households and, as a result, easier to abuse.
Is someone you know struggling with a muscle relaxer addiction?
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Muscle Relaxer Addiction Side Effects
Muscle relaxer abuse can cause a number of adverse side effects that can impair normal functions. Incidents of drowsiness, dizziness and sedation are commonly reported. In more severe cases, muscle relaxers’ high can cause heart failure and paralysis. Due to the side effects associated with use of these drugs, individuals are advised to not drive or operate machinery after use and it is often recommended the drug be taken prior to going to bed.
The effects of muscle relaxer abuse on the nervous system make them appealing to individuals looking to get high. Muscle relaxers are often abused in combination with another substance to produce greater highs and experiences of euphoria. Some types of muscle relaxers, especially when taken in excess or in combination with other substances, can cause hallucinations, an irregular heartbeat, as well as severe allergic reactions. Since these drugs are designed to suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS), the dangers associated with abusing muscle relaxants can be life threatening.
If you are worried your son or daughter may be abusing muscle relaxers, it may be time to get them to treatment. Learn more about having that conversation with our young adult intervention tips to get a better understanding of how to give your child their life back.