Acetaminophen. It is in Tylenol. It is an over the counter medication.
Not such a need for concern, then, right? Wrong.
Acetaminophen addiction is more common than you would think. It is also a source that has been linked to some suicides. A person can damage his or her liver permanently by taking an excessive amount of acetaminophen. Taken with alcohol? Ouch, double trouble for the liver in those cases.
Homeless people, teenagers, working mothers. They can all find themselves overdosing on acetaminophen by taking excessive doses of Tylenol or Vicodin. Sometimes, acetaminophen is taken in order to commit suicide. Perhaps the person is scared to try something more violent like a self-inflicted gunshot or hanging. Perhaps he or she just wants to take so much acetaminophen that he falls asleep, never to wake up again. Suicide without pain.
The truth is, someone who takes acetaminophen for that reason is in a great deal of pain emotionally. Acetaminophen addiction can lead to health problems and yes, it can kill you, even if you did not intend for it to.
Teenagers can be at great risk for acetaminophen addiction. Boys take them to alleviate the pain from football practice because they don’t want the coach to think they “can’t handle it”. Girls take them for cramps. No problem in either case except when they are taking acetaminophen like it’s a bag of candy, not aware of the fact that they are causing damage to one of their most vital organs, their livers. Add to it the fact that they are regulars at the Friday night lake party after the game and drinking some beer and a few months down the road, their parents and doctors are puzzled by tests showing permanent liver damage.
Acetaminophen Pills Addiction
Acetaminophen addiction troubles can last a lifetime and unfortunately, can cost a life, too. Parents, you warn your teenagers about drugs and alcohol and unsafe sex, right? Pull that bottle of Tylenol out of the bathroom medicine cabinet and spend some time telling them about the dangers of acetaminophen addiction as well. If they feel the need to take it for cramps or pain, tell them to come to you and make you aware of what they are feeling. Just as a lot of parents let their kids know they can call them from a party if there is trouble or drinking without fear of grounding till they are 40, let them know there is nothing embarrassing about keeping you aware of their over the counter acetaminophen intake. Conversations such as this can save a teen’s liver and his life.