Pain management strategies often involve taking prescription medications that can lead to addiction. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to begin using pain medications without fully understanding the detrimental side effects that can occur over time. In fact, you may have initially started out trying to cope with your pain without turning to drugs. While opiate addiction is a serious problem, you can rest assured that you have many options for finding healthier ways to address your pain.
Understand the Dangers of Opioid Addiction
Opioids can range from prescription pills that you take under the advice of a physician to street drugs that people turn to because of their availability. Today, chronic pain and the prevalence of opioids have led to a major epidemic that includes people from a variety of different backgrounds who deal with addiction. Sadly, the effects of opioid addiction tend to get worse over time.
One of the biggest problems with opioids is that they tend to become less effective as your body develops tolerance to the drugs. When this happens, you may experience the following signs of a developing addiction.
- Needing more of the drug to alleviate pain
- Physical withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut down
- Cravings for the pain medication
The increasing use of opioids also causes physical changes to occur in your body. In addition to the pain that you feel from a chronic injury or illness, you may also discover that you experience symptoms such as nausea, abdominal cramping and lethargy. Emotionally, you may find that the initial euphoria generated by the drugs leaves you left dealing with feelings of depression once it fades. It is also common for people who struggle with opiate addiction to experience problems with their relationships as the need for more drugs escalates.
Learn to Cope With Pain Without Getting Addicted to Opioids
Although the medical field is trying to take steps to reduce opioid addiction such as reducing access to multiple prescriptions, you must still take precautions to protect yourself from overusing pain pills. However, you should know that learning how to cope with pain is a very individual process that often requires the assistance of professionals who understand the cycle of addiction.
At first, your main priority may be finding a way to wean yourself off of the drugs in a safe manner. Withdrawal from opiates can generate serious physical symptoms that place your health at risk if it is not done with professional care. If you experience serious side effects from withdrawal such as severe pain, vomiting or respiratory distress, then make sure to seek professional treatment right away.
You should also know that you may be vulnerable to developing a dependence upon opioids if you have struggled with any other type of addiction in the past. Additionally, people with underlying mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety are also more likely to develop an addiction to opiates. For this reason, learning how to cope with pain in a healthy manner may also require you to seek counseling that addresses these underlying issues.
Ideally, you should choose a pain management strategy that helps you alleviate the emotional and physical distress that occurs with chronic pain. In drug addiction treatment programs, you will be provided with access to professional counselors along with a support network of people who all understand addiction. You will also learn therapeutic strategies for learning how to overcome pain naturally such as through practicing mindful meditation or journaling about your struggles.
Choose a Treatment Program That Fits Your Lifestyle
At times, you may find that you need to seek treatment for an addiction to opioids that began when you first tried to treat your pain with medications. While coping with addiction is always challenging, the good news is that you have several options for finding a way to make treatment fit your lifestyle. For example, you could choose to attend a residential treatment program if you worry about how you can end your addiction in your current home. In this type of program, you will live on-site where you can attend therapy sessions and receive around-the-clock support that helps you avoid falling prey to temptation. You might choose this type of treatment if you have been dealing with addiction for a long time or live with people who are not ready to stop using opioids.
While residential treatment programs are effective, they may not be the best fit for everyone. For instance, you might prefer to continue working or caring for your children at home. If this is the case, then you can look into partial or intensive outpatient treatment programs. In these programs, you will only need to attend therapy sessions for a portion of the day so that you are free to manage your other responsibilities.
Outpatient and partial programs are an effective way to address addiction without disrupting your current routine. This allows you to continue to work so that you avoid concerns about your finances, and you should also know that it is possible to combine treatment strategies. For instance, you may choose to initially attend a residential treatment program and follow it up with outpatient therapy sessions that help you prevent relapse.
Naturally, your best treatment option depends upon a variety of factors that include how much opioids you currently take and your ability to cope with your pain. For this reason, it is best to seek advice from professional counselors who can conduct an assessment to make sure that you end your addiction safely and with the support that you need to enjoy the best recovery possible. Since chronic pain increases the possibility of relapse, it is best to follow all of the recommendations that are provided to you after the assessment is complete.
At Just Believe Recovery Center, our staff understands the importance of avoiding opioid addiction. Contact us today at 877 813-9235 to learn effective strategies for coping with life’s challenges as well as your pain.