In many cases, narcotic tolerance occurs as a natural result of opioid drug use. Even if you are taking your medication as your doctor prescribed, it is likely that you will develop a tolerance to it over time, especially if you are on the medication for more than a few months. However, even though it …
Is Narcotic Tolerance Dangerous?
In many cases, narcotic tolerance occurs as a natural result of opioid drug use. Even if you are taking your medication as your doctor prescribed, it is likely that you will develop a tolerance to it over time, especially if you are on the medication for more than a few months. However, even though it is difficult to prevent, narcotic tolerance can be dangerous and should be monitored for any problematic effects.
What are the Dangers of Tolerance?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Tolerance occurs when the person no longer responds to the drug in the way that person initially responded.” They will need higher doses of that drug in order to feel the same effects they felt from the lower dose previously. This is normal and should be handled by your doctor during treatment. You may be placed on a different medication altogether, but sometimes, the dosage is increased to combat the issue. This can be a dangerous path.
Many times, when the dosage is increased, it is only a temporary fix. And, according to a study from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Journal, a person’s tolerance to the side effects caused by opioids usually does not increase with their tolerance to its analgesic effects. “It is the inability to tolerate these undesirable side effects that eventually limits dose escalations and analgesic efficacy.”
Nevertheless, the individual’s tolerance for the drug’s analgesic effects will often continue to grow steadily higher if they receive increased doses, and they will need more and more of the drug each time in order to feel its effects. If your treatment is being managed by a doctor, you are likely in good hands, but some individuals begin to feel that they should be able to choose their own dosage level in order to combat this issue. This is where the serious risks caused by narcotic tolerance usually come in.
Any time you start taking your medication in a dosage other than what your doctor has prescribed, you are abusing your prescription, and opioid abuse can lead to overdose, addiction, dependence, and possibly even heroin abuse.
How Can I Avoid the Issues Associated with Narcotic Tolerance?
Talk to your doctor right away if you begin to notice that your tolerance for the drug is increasing. Discuss with them that you are concerned about the way opioid tolerance can affect you. If it is safe for you to begin withdrawing from the medication, you may decide to do so, but some individuals do need to stay on pain medication for a longer period of time. No matter what, you must discuss the issue with your doctor, and you must never attempt to increase your dosage yourself. This can be very dangerous and leads many toward addiction.
Don’t Allow Your Tolerance to Control You
Tolerance in general is not an issue. But the behavior it may create can be extremely problematic if not kept in check. Always make sure to discuss with your doctor any problems you are having with your medication, especially if you feel that you are likely to abuse the medication to get your desired effects. This can only lead to serious problems and should be avoided at all costs. If you would like to learn more about narcotics, call (800) 407-7195.