Cliffside Malibu - Hazy Beach Cliffs

Prescription Painkillers

Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Surpass Cocaine And Heroin. If you find yourself addicted to the painkiller medication prescribed by your physician, you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15,000 Americans die each year from overdoses of prescription painkillers.

More people die from painkiller overdoses than from cocaine, heroin and all other illegal drugs combined. Drug overdoses are now the single largest cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing traffic accidents in 2009 (the most recent CDC data available in Jan. 2013).

And the risk is not only to the user. Mothers using prescription painkillers frequently give birth to drug-dependent babies.

The most prescribed drug in the U.S. is the generic version of Vicodin, a blend of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. Acetaminophen increases the effect of hydrocodone. Many over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications contain acetaminophen. If Vicodin users combine an OTC medication containing acetaminophen with Vicodin they risk damaging their liver and even death. Other hydrocodone/acetaminophen combinations include Lorcet, Norco, Lortab and Percocet.

Additional prescription pain medications are Demerol, Percodan, Oxycontin, Dilaudid, Palladone, Opana, Oxycodone and Roxycodone.


The latest research suggests that drugs such as opioids (opiates) cause long-lasting changes to the brain. Opioids rewire some areas to crave more drugs and at the same time damage parts of the brains that control those cravings. Opioids damage the brain’s ability to feel pleasure. Regular users will eventually come to need them to simply feel normal. This is when drug addiction takes hold.

How Can I Stop Using Painkillers?

Detoxification, commonly referred to as “Detox”, is the process of physical withdrawal from the painkiller. It is essential for detox to be professionally supervised because of the serious physical consequences that may occur during withdrawal. Withdrawal can be life-threatening depending on the substances used, length of use, and amount used.

We view detox as a biological issue. Each client has a personal physician who manages the detox process. Factors considered include the client’s personal medical history and current overall health, length of use, and amount used. Making detox as comfortable as possible helps addicts successfully transition to the next phase of his or her drug treatment program.

What Next?

Complete physical recovery will take time. Our team of psychotherapists, psychiatrists, nutritionists, personal trainers, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others will create a program tailor-made to you. Other resources include equine-therapy, brain mapping and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Getting your body healthy helps you do the additional healing work necessary for addiction recovery.

Cliffside Malibu uses a holistic – mind, body, spirit – approach. We use both Eastern and Western medical approaches as well as alternative medical practices. You will be assigned a psychotherapist chosen especially for you. You will come to discover the root of the emotional pain that you have been attempting to relieve with painkillers. Having done so, you will work with your therapist to heal and to learn new coping strategies.

Cliffside Malibu - Sunset


Spirit is often used to describe a religious tradition or transcendental experience. At Cliffside Malibu we use spirit to describe the sense of hope manifested in the belief that you are capable of having the life you imagine, the life you deserve.

If you have a religious tradition you find fulfilling, we will make clergy and services available. If not, a Twelve Step Program may be of benefit for you. You may be someone who finds nature to be healing. Our Malibu location provides breath-taking views of the ocean and the spiritual cleansing that nature can provide. Or perhaps you may find tranquility in meditation or through yoga with one of our yoga instructors. Whatever benefits your spiritual path, we will help you develop that aspect of yourself.


Call (424) 320-3061 anytime, day or night. Our intake team at Cliffside Malibu is ready to start you on your journey to health, happiness and the life you deserve.


Call now to speak confidentially with an admission counselor.

(424) 320-3061