Painkiller addiction can start in several ways. It can begin with a legitimate prescription for painkillers, which the person then becomes dependent on and continues to use even after the pain has subsided. Alternatively, it can start with recreational use of painkillers, such as taking them to get high. In some cases, people may also turn to painkillers as a way to self-medicate for emotional or mental health issues, which can then lead to addiction. Addiction to painkillers often begins with the person feeling a sense of euphoria or relief from their pain, which can be a powerful incentive to continue using the drugs despite the negative consequences.