Prescription drug use and overdose accidents: SLLiP (FILM REVIEW)

Each day, almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency departments for using prescription drugs in manner other than as directed. 44 of them will die. Here, we review the film that helps bring us deeper into this very important issue. Read more here.

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The reality of pain

Sometimes, our lives bring us to limits we couldn’t have imagined we could handle. But when facing serious pain, people are barely capable of continuing their lives as before. When faced with serious pain, we can’t see another way out other than finding any possible way to reduce or kill the pain.

Painkillers are broadly prescribed medicine in situations of serious injuries. But are we really aware of their side effects? Can we safely use prescription drugs in the dose limits prescribed by our doctor? How big is the risk of painkiller addiction?

This life story helps answer these questions. Read on for more about how SLLIP, The Film can help you understand the reality of the pain medication problem in the U.S. and why we think it’s worth watching.

Painkiller addiction – How hard can it get?

The writer of “SLLiP”, Ricky Russert, presents us with a typical story of pain killer drug addiction through the experience and the battle of one man. We all have different tolerance for pain. But, when we start to depend on narcotic pain killers, everything can falls apart. Through relating to the important areas of the main character’s life (family, friends, and job), he shares with us a touching story about a man who is struggling with his pain after he got injured at work.

Realizing that many of the activities he was responsible for or loved to do cannot be done because of his pain, he starts using prescription pills intensively. This leads him to lose control of his use over time. Eventually, his use of pain meds and addiction to them destroys the relationship with his wife and daughter, end friendships and results in his loss of work.

What happens medically when you take pain pills?

The story is a reflection of the reality of using pain killers medically. Long-term use of painkillers leads to physical dependence. The body build tolerance to any opiate or opioid drug, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect of relief.

As presented in the film, doctors often prescribe new pills or increase the dose of the previous prescription, to “help” people in their pain management, without considering all conditions they live in.  However, side effects of the drugs can take place in everyday activities. Some symptoms of pain killers can include:

  • apathy
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • flushing of the face and neck
  • inability to concentrate
  • lack of energy
  • nausea
  • pupil constriction
  • slowed breathing
  • vomiting

Even if you stop using the prescribed pain pills, the most common symptom is severe pain. It’s like a circle, where one thing leads to another. As pain becomes stronger, people take bigger doses. After a while, they don’t feel the same effect of the drug and try something stronger. Addiction in these situations is quite expected; symptoms of pain pill addiction can manifest after a few weeks of regular dosing.

Why check out this film?

This movie gives us real insight into the many possible problems that can arise if we use prescription drugs uncontrollably. It raises our collective consciousness on how to NOT be afraid to ask for help when needed. Relying only on ourselves or thinking that we have everything under control can take us even deeper into treating chronic pain in a cycle of addiction.

The one thing that we see that this movie is missing, is that it doesn’t provide us with solution about how to deal with this very issue. It raises the question. We suggest that perhaps the answer will vary by case, need, or options. However, we would have liked to have seen a “solution” focus at its conclusion, such as alternatives to pain killer narcotics, or a balanced chronic pain management program.

Who must see this film?

Parents – No matter the source of your pain, this is a great movie for every parent that uses painkillers on regular basis. There are hard times when the pain is unbearable. But some suggestions that the film offers include:

  1. Try to ask for help before serious symptoms of usage appear.
  2. Do not asking your partner or friends for help in setting coping strategies.
  3. Contact your doctor or even an addiction counselor if you notice that the dose prescribed is not affecting you as before and that you are carving your next pill.

Users – Every person that is currently using pain pills should view this film. If you find any of the symptoms described previously in the text present in your life, consider starting treatment for safe withdrawal under a doctor’s supervision. This can effectively lower your tolerance and make the medication(s) more  effective. Also, look into pain killer alternatives.

Psychiatrists/Psychologists/Counselors – Different stories open different paths for treatment. This movie will help treatment providers connect with how the actions in an addict’s life are connected. It will also help you to consider the many aspects of one person’s life before prescribing the next dose of medical treatment.

Questions about painkillers addiction management

We invite you to watch this film and learn more about the side effects of pain pills. Then, if you’d like to share your opinion on the film, or share a personal life story, please use the comments section below. We`ll try our best to respond to you personally and promptly, or to refer you to someone who can help.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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