Panadol, also known as Paracetamol, is an over-the-counter drug for pain relief, fever, cold, and flu. While Panadol doesn’t lead to physical tolerance or dependence, it can result in psychological dependencies leading to an addiction.

If you are concerned that you may have a Panadol addiction or think a friend or family member has a Panadol addiction, it’s essential to speak to a medical professional. Alternatively, the Ocean Recovery team has helped many people like you, so why not call us on 0800 880 7596.

What is Panadol?

Panadol is a painkiller used to treat a range of mild to moderate conditions. It’s available over the counter and as a prescription and is commonly taken in tablet or IV form. While it is relatively safe, there are some risks associated with it, and it can cause psychological dependence.

It can also affect individuals differently – depending on their size, health, weight, tolerance, dose and whether other drugs have been taken too.

Is Paracetamol Addictive?

Any drugs, including the ones available over the counter and from GPs, can result in addiction. People assume they are safe to take and build a tolerance and dependence on them, resulting in higher doses and a vicious cycle.

While Panadol isn’t believed to build tolerance or dependence in an individual, it is possible to create a psychological dependency whereby the brain and body believe they can’t function without Panadol.

Painkillers like Paracetamol work by intercepting the brain’s receptors. These are the same receptors responsible for pain, pleasure, and reward. By reducing the pain, painkillers make the brain feel happier and calmer. These feelings can be highly addictive.

Like other addictions, painkiller addiction can soon take its toll on your health and wider areas of your life. For this reason, it’s so important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Panadol addiction and that you’re only taking the medication as it’s been prescribed. If you are worried about painkiller addiction, however, the team at Ocean Recovery is here to help.

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Am I Addicted to Panadol? Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a Panadol addiction depend on the individual, and there isn’t a list that means you need to go to drug rehab. Instead, there are a few factors that indicate you could need help, but if anything is making you question your behaviour, it’s worth getting in touch.

Some common symptoms of Paracetamol or Panadol addiction include:

  • Wanting to stop taking them but not being able to
  • Forging, stealing, or buying prescriptions to get more drugs
  • Going to multiple pharmacies to get a higher dose
  • Using the drugs despite the negative effects, it’s having on your health and lifestyle
  • Experiencing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the drugs
  • Using the painkillers even though legitimate symptoms have gone

At Ocean Recovery, we believe the first step towards recovery is admitting or recognising that you need help. This isn’t always easy, especially where Panadol addiction is involved, as many people believe you can’t get addicted to over-the-counter drugs. Our team is here for you and can answer any questions you may have or even just listen to your concerns.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a hugely debilitating health condition that requires medical intervention and support. For starters, it requires a drug detox, where you do not take any more of the drug, and it leaves your body. During this process, which can take up to a week, you’ll likely experience side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

This can be challenging and uncomfortable, so we offer medically supervised detoxes at Ocean Recovery. You will be regularly monitored and supported, mentally and physically.

Our team of doctors and nurses can also prescribe medication to help ease any side effects. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be one step closer to recovery and ready to start treatment and therapy.

At Ocean Recovery, our leading rehabilitation centre combines a range of evidence-based treatment and therapy to help you fully understand your addiction. You’ll mitigate the physical addiction, learn about your emotional dependency, and be supported to create new coping mechanisms.

When you’re not involved in treatment, we encourage you to make the most of our beautiful grounds and get involved with the range of wellbeing and holistic activities we offer. We believe this is essential for helping you to carve out a new and improved lifestyle.

A huge part of your rehabilitation programme will be building resilience and motivation for when you’re in the outside world. A specialist team will ensure you’re ready to leave, with personalised aftercare and relapse prevention. Our telephone line is always open, and we’ll also give you the details of local support groups.

Addiction can be a very scary part of your life, and going to private drug and alcohol rehab can feel like a huge decision. But, often, it’s the only choice if you truly want to recover – and give your body and mind a chance to heal.

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If you’re worried about your Panadol usage and think you have an addiction, why not pick up the phone and start the conversation? We won’t pressure you into anything. The first step is just to chat, get to know each other and talk about what your future could look like.

Alternatively, our team is here to lend a hand if you are watching a loved one struggle with painkiller addiction. Ocean Recovery is here for everyone affected by addiction, whether you want to arrange an intervention or just want someone to listen.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Adel Ghaly

    Dr Adel Ghaly - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 19, 2023

    MB BCh, Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) from 2002

    Dr Adel Ghaly is a registered Doctor who is a specialist psychiatrist. Dr Ghaly gained an MB BCh in 1982 from Assiut University and has since become a substance misuse specialist and psychiatrist. After gaining his qualification in Psychological Medicine (Substance Misuse Psychiatry) in 2002, Dr Ghaly has worked in hospitals and as a specialist trainer recognised by the GMC.