Prescription Painkillers Might Actually Cause Chronic Pain

A new finding could help explain why painkillers are so addicting.
Prescription Painkillers Might Actually Cause Chronic Pain

Prescription painkillers might actually do more harm than good, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder tested opioids, like morphine, on rats and found a few days' worth of doses caused months of chronic pain.

The painkillers were found to spur a "cascade" of reactions that led to more pain signals being fired from nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.

One of the researchers said, "This is a very ugly side to opioids that had not been recognized before."

One Forbes contributor points out if painkillers work the same way in humans as they do in rats, it could help explain why they're so addictive. Using them could cause more pain, which, in turn, leads people to use them longer, leading to a vicious cycle.

Using relatively new technology, the researchers have also blocked specific receptors on cells that recognize the painkillers, which could prevent some chronic pain.

This video includes clips from CBS and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music. 

Featured Stories
Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin speaking to Mary Mitchell about their new book.

5 Years After His Death, Trayvon Martin's Parents Speak Out

Trump in Oval Office

Leaked Government Document Seems To Be At Odds With Trump's Travel Ban

Then-Labor Secretary Thomas Perez addresses the 10th annual Make Progress National Summit

Democrats Vote For Tom Perez To Make Their Party Great Again

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Medicine Coverage