The Long Term Effects of Painkillers Can Be Devastating

Legacy Healing Center Blog

Learn about the long term effects of painkillers and how to withdraw safely from these drugs.

We have all experienced physical pain at some point, and because we tend to reach for the medicine to control it, it is wise to know about the negative effects of painkillers.

Painkillers encompass a wide class of medication and can include over-the-counter options to prescribed drugs that target mild, moderate, and severe pain.

Over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen are good options when you have short term pain that is associated with a sore throat, headache, body aches, or when you need to decrease a fever. And while these may seem like benign medications, there are long term effects of painkillers like these that you should be aware of.

These over-the-counter medications can cause stomach problems such as bleeding, kidney or liver issues, allergic reactions, fluid retention, and can even elevate blood pressure.

Another negative effect of painkillers when it comes to over-the-counter options is the danger that can occur when these substances are mixed with alcohol or other drugs. This can cause side effects to be enhanced and can do increased damage to one’s liver and kidneys.

In addition to over-the-counter options, more intense pain may cause someone to seek out prescription painkillers that fall under a class of opioid analgesics.

Drugs under this class include oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl, codeine, and hydrocodone. These medications are often prescribed when someone is in moderate to severe pain, overcoming injury or surgery, experiencing cancer pain, or if they need to be treated for a chronic condition.

While prescription opioid drugs can be a great tool in the management of pain, there are negative effects of painkillers like these that are important to know. Opioids are considered one of the most abused drugs in America. They tend to be easy to get ahold of without a prescription and can be extremely addictive.

The reason why people are often drawn to opioids is that they control pain very well and are cheap. Negative effects of painkillers like these can include drowsiness, nausea, constipation, slow breathing, confusion, difficulty breathing, and respiratory depression.

When someone experiences negative effects of opioids and it affects their breathing, hypoxia can occur. This lack of oxygen can lead to long term effects such as permanent brain damage, coma, and even death.

When talking about long term effects of opioids, one has to also mention the physical dependency that can occur with these drugs. Addiction can happen to anyone, even when someone takes the medication as instructed.

When it is time for them to come off the medication or wean down, they can experience withdrawal symptoms and also have an urge to use the medication even though it is no longer medically required.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people taking long-term opioids struggles with an addiction to the drug.

In addition to this addictive quality, another negative effect of painkillers like opioids is an overdose. According to, it is estimated that 130 people die daily from overdosing on opioids.

If you or someone you love is experiencing long term effects of opioids, know that withdrawal treatment is available. By undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation center like Legacy Healing Center, detox, inpatient, and outpatient programs can help you safely withdraw under the care of medical personnel.

To learn more about detoxing and moving past the long term effects of opioids, call an addiction representative at Legacy Healing Center today at 888-597-3547. The road to recovery can be yours and it begins with a phone call!