Here are a few guidelines to help you manage your pain without becoming addicted:
Managing Pain With Prescription Drugs
No one begins taking pain medication expecting to become addicted. For most prescription drug addicts, it’s something that completely takes them by surprise. Before they know it, they find themselves continuing to take painkillers to chase their first high rather than to alleviate pain. But painkiller addiction isn’t necessarily a danger for everyone, and the risk of becoming dependent on pain medication can be minimized through a few simple precautions.
First, it’s very highly recommended that you manage your pain through one doctor. Many prescription drug overdoses occur when an addict mixes medications that were prescribed by multiple doctors. Coordinating your care through one source won’t completely eliminate the chance of dependency, but it will ensure that your medications will be prescribed safely.
Secondly, there’s nothing stopping you from educating yourself on pain medication. The more you know about the painkillers your doctor prescribes, the more power you have to regulate yourself.
The single best thing you can do to keep from becoming addicted to painkillers is to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of addiction. Opioid dependency and tolerance building can occur after only a few days of use. If you find yourself increasingly unwell when you don’t take your pain medication, be honest with yourself and your physician. You can learn more about how to look out for signs of addiction here.
Managing Pain for Recovering Addicts
Opioid-based pain medications are usually out of the question for any recovered drug addict; however, this doesn’t meant that successful pain management is unattainable. The first step is to be upfront and honest with your doctor about your history. The more you tell them about your addictions, the more able they are to access how to manage your pain without risking relapse. Instead of managing pain through traditional opioid painkillers, your doctor may prescribe non psychotropic pain medications, or bring a certified addiction specialist on board to make sure your medications don’t result in cross tolerance with drugs that you’ve been addicted to in the past. They may be able to prescribe massage therapy or acupuncture to alleviate pain, or they may recommend a variety of mental and physical exercises.
Even doctors and surgeons will tell you that your personal support system is your greatest advocate in making sure you get the care you need. Keeping the same people who made up your addiction recovery support system involved in your physical recovery can make all the difference in finding a pain management plan that alleviates you safely. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the advice of your family and friends should take precedence over what your doctor prescribes, but it does mean that your doctor will be better equipped to manage your pain with their insight.
Living with Chronic Pain
Conditions that are accompanied by chronic pain are incredibly difficult to live with if traditional painkillers are not a safe option. But there are alternatives that can, at the very least, minimize your pain symptoms. Many patients today report that a simple change in diet makes a huge difference in reducing their chronic pain. There are also many over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen that usually prove helpful when combined with a strong diet plan. Its always a good idea to consult with your physician and see what type of healthy eating habits might help.
Another way to decrease chronic pain without the help of opioids is exploring comprehensive treatment plans with your doctor. If you’re entire medical history is taken deeply into consideration, it will be easier to prescribe non-opioid treatments and long term rehabilitation plans. It’s also very important that you proactively educate yourself continually on alternative pain management options. When it comes to managing your pain successfully, knowledge truly is power.
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Guest Author Bio
Andy Andersen is a writer who explores his craft through a wide variety of mediums. When he’s not working on various writing projects, he’s probably working on his music, listening to stand-up comedy, delving into the pantheons of American and English literature, or enjoying anything sci-fi with his wife. Andy believes in the aesthetics and beauty of the written word, and strives to provide well-written, useful content for his readers.