Painkillers like prescription opiates such as vicodin and oxycontin are among the most dangerous and addictive drugs in the county. Addiction to opiates is steadily rising, and communities everywhere are struggling to find a solution to what has been referred to by many addiction health experts as nothing short of an epidemic.
One reason that dependency on opiates continues to be on the rise is that many people are prescribed opiates for legitimate needs such as pain management. Pain killers may be prescribed for issues such as recovery from surgery or for management of an injury.
Often. those who suffer from chronic pain may be at highest risk for developing an addiction to opiates. What, then, is the solution for those who suffer from chronic pain and who are sober?
Using Non-Mind Altering Drugs
Many people who suffer from chronic pain while maintaining their sobriety find some success in using drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin, which are non-addictive but can be used to manage pain. These drugs can often be taken several times a day as needed and do not cause fatigue or lapse in judgement in the way that opiates do.
It is a good idea to consult a physician before beginning an ibuprofen or other pain management regimen.
Using Topical Pain Killers
Pain may also be managed by way of topical methods, such as ice packs or heat packs. Some people who suffer from chronic pain also have success with pain killing creams. These types of treatments for pain management come with very little risk and can work very well to ease pain, particularly in certain areas of the body.
Other Homeopathic Measures
Many people seek out methods of pain management that are natural and do not require a prescription. Some people find that they have great success with methods such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, and even herbal remedies like teas.
Often, pain management involves getting to the root of what is causing the pain in the first place, so addressing the muscle group or joint area where pain is present can help to alleviate some of the painful symptoms associated with any one injury or syndrome. It is a good idea to seek medical advice before trying a new procedure, however, since not everyone respond the same way to certain treatments, and you do not want to jeopardize any work your doctor has done to help treat your condition.
Seek Help When You Need It
The reality of being any kind of addict is that you will hit challenges along the way. Addiction is a disease that lasts a lifetime, and triggers to use will always exist.
People with chronic pain may have an especially difficult time dealing with triggers they feel to use. Pain is not an easy sensation to deal with, and the desire to treat pain with a pain killer may be particularly strong.
It is crucial that any recovering addict who feels the urge to use reaches out for help when necessary. Twelve step programs and therapists exist for this very reason.
Knowing that struggling is normal can be a key factor in finding the strength necessary to overcome challenges. Do not feel guilt or shame around a moment of struggle. This is part of the process.
Be vocal about your recovery experience with the people in your community, and remember what a strong and capable person you are. Dealing with addiction and chronic pain is not easy, but with some patience and willingness to try new things, it is certainly more than possible.