Chronic pain can have a devastating impact on anyone’s life. It can affect the ability to sleep, work, socialize or engage in daily activities. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it can lead to substance abuse as sufferers desperately attempt to improve their condition.
And for individuals who already struggle with drug abuse or have a history of addiction rehab, addressing pain with strong painkillers (opioids) – which have a significant potential for addiction – is a double-edged sword.
There is a large variety of over-the-counter drugs available to ease chronic pain. The most widely used and prescribed ones are opioid analgesics. A few examples include hydrocodone, meperidine, morphine and codeine. These medications treat the pain upon intake by attaching themselves to different opioid receptors in different parts of the sufferer’s body, changing the way pain is left. However, as individuals repeatedly use an opioid to enter that pain-free state, it causes addiction.
That’s why a significant majority of healthcare providers are favoring a framework based on which fewer patients have access to prescription drugs and restricting the amount that can be purchased. They also fear that regular use of painkillers can increase the body’s sensitivity to pain and cause greater problems down the road.
Ending Painkiller Addiction
Painkiller addiction is a complicated condition. It includes dependent behavior to acquire opioid drugs and refusal to discontinue even though medication is no longer required for pain management. Fortunately, there are a few options to recover from opioid addiction.
The first thing sufferers can do is change their environment. This can mean surrounding yourself with positive things, experiences, and people. However, it’s not possible for everyone to bring a sudden change in their lifestyle.
That’s where prescription drug rehab facilities become a viable consideration. They offer recovery solutions within the presence of trained professionals who help patients feel at home. Individuals undergoing rehab also have the option to get customized treatment based on their level of addiction to opiates, benzodiazepines or stimulants. Facilities like these are known to arrest sufferers’ dependence to help them recover from a state of misery.
Patients should also be in good state of health. It’s not only about undergoing rehab for opiates addiction; it’s also about having your mind in a healthier place. Consider this as the first step towards chronic pain recovery; it’s much easier to address one condition than two at a time. If a person goes in with a positive state of mind, the chance of addiction rehab turning out successful increases manifold.
Alternatives to Painkillers for Treating Chronic Pain
There are opioid-free alternatives to treating chronic pain. For instance, patients can also be treated with physical therapies and exercises, as well as with massage and yoga therapy. And if only one area of the body is affected, sufferers can try using topical creams that are known to ease localized pain.
Holistic therapies like acupressure and acupuncture may also be helpful. They are known to be side-effect free, and may suit patients who’ve failed to achieve the desired results with conventional therapies.
At the end of the day, nothing clear-cut can be said about which opioid alternative works best for treating chronic pain. However, it’s a better approach to pain management than painkiller intake.