Although many medical professionals may prescribe painkillers for chronic pain or an autoimmune disease, it can be easy to develop an addiction when you want long-term relief. If you want to manage your pain without putting yourself at risk of addiction, there are a few critical tips you should consider.
The Epidemic of Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction crisis started developing in the 1990s in Canada and the U.S due to a rapid increase in prescription and non-prescription opioid use. The epidemic has slowly begun to contribute to heroin addiction and rising overdose rates. One of the most commonly prescribed opioid is fentanyl, which is frequently given to cancer patients to relieve severe chronic pain. Unfortunately, long-term use often leads to fentanyl addiction. As a society, it is necessary to limit prescription dosage and monitor patients usage when managing their pain. Discovering other ways to control the pain is also necessary to limit the dependency on opioids.
Avoid Opioids, Narcotics, and Depressants, if Possible
One of the best ways to avoid putting yourself at risk of an addiction is to avoid using opioids, narcotics, or depressants. Although the medication may offer relief, it can cause you to form a dependency over time without having the strength or motivation to find other forms of treatment that are available. There are other types of healthy pain management treatments that have a lower risk of addiction. You should talk to a medical professional about pharmaceuticals or alternative treatments and strategies you can try.
Never Use Painkillers Recreationally or to Mitigate Emotional Pain
New research shows that addiction is linked to brain chemistry rather than chemical properties of opioids. Connection is the direct opposite of addiction, which means that the brain will need a dopamine shot due to its nucleus accumbens region. If the individual is not capable of obtaining the reward response from exercise or meaningful relationships, then they are going to try and get it from an unhealthy source. You are more likely to develop a habit-forming addiction if you can't feel fulfilled in other areas of your life. If you are experiencing emotional pain, get in contact with behavioral health specialists who can help you overcome your pain.
Consider Alternative Therapies
Non-pharmacological therapies are available and can be just as useful when managing pain if you want to avoid using medications. Consider acupuncture, which can reset the nervous system and offer relief for pain by inserting sterilized needles into specific points on the body. Massages can also help the blood to circulate in the body and relieve tension in the muscles or joints. Practicing yoga has also proven to be effective with stretching techniques that can ease the discomfort that you may experience throughout the body. Although it can be extremely challenging to deal with pain on a consistent basis, there are ways to find relief without having to resort to a dependency on opioids. Working with a professional to find different treatments that are available and having accountability can make it easier to protect yourself as you heal and recover.