Prescription Pain Medication When You’re Overcoming An Addiction to Opioids
For many who are overcoming an addiction of any kind, prescription pain medications can be a pretty scary proposition. Most people who are in a solid addiction recovery understand that opioids can be a trigger to relapse, and this can be terrifying. In fact, for many who are overcoming addictions, the lack of desire to put themselves at risk of relapse can actually keep them from seeking relief from pain when they desperately need it.
So, what are you supposed to do in this situation? Is there any type of alternative to prescription pain medication that will help to ease the pain you’re experiencing? How can you heal successfully without having to worry about developing a new addiction?
Understand Your Personal Addiction
The first thing you need to do when considering if you should take prescription pain medication is what your personal addiction is, and if you ever took painkillers without getting hooked before. If you are overcoming an addiction to opioids, you know you’re likely to have some issues, since most painkillers are opioids.
However, you still need to understand your addiction, as different opioids have different effects, so while we might have been hooked on one type of opioid, others might not cause us to feel the same way, so we might be okay taking it for a bit.
It’s also important to think back to how you felt when your addiction first developed. You knew when it happened, and if you’re going to be exposed to these drugs again, you’re going to need to know what to look for in yourself and your feelings so you don’t get to the addicted point again.
Talk to Your Doctor
It’s also essential that you be open and honest about your addiction and recovery with your doctor. Many healthcare providers might seem like they don’t want to bother with these details, but ultimately, they are usually grateful for the information and will do all they can to help you get through your need for pain management comfortably, without causing you to relapse.
So, before you’re in need of that prescription pain medication, make sure that your doctor knows what you’re addicted to, how you’re recovering, and if you ever even dappled with opioids. The reason for this? Much as you need to understand your addiction and the effects that any and all opioid abuse had on you, so does your doctor, because he understands which ones react like your drug of choice.
For example, many people who start out abusing Percocet move onto heroin, but other painkillers might not have such an intense effect. While you might have been addicted to Lortab, if your doctor knows this, he will typically prescribe you something other than that particular medication to help you fight pain.
Now, you might have told your doctor about your addiction, and you may not have to worry about what he will prescribe you, but what happens if you wind up in an accident or need an emergency surgery? Make sure that your loved ones know to tell your doctors about your recovery, and as soon as you are able, you should discuss your pain management options with your health care providers.
Understand Why You Need to Manage Pain
In cases of trauma or injury, especially surgery, our bodies need something to help ease the pain so that we can rest. When we aren’t able to rest and have had surgery or severe injuries, our bodies cannot heal. Sometimes, pain is so intense that resting without it is nearly impossible. In this case, opioid pain medications are simply the most effective option there is.
Understand this, and resolve to allow them to be administered by your doctor only and only while you are under the active care of a medical staff, such as nurses and doctors in a hospital setting. This will ensure that you don’t wind up abusing these medications that you really do need.
Once you are able, talking to your doctor about finding alternative ways to manage your pain while you are continuing to recover is essential, as there will come a time that you are on your own and won’t have the supervision of a team of healthcare professionals to monitor your medication use.
If You Find You Still Need It…
For many people who are in a situation that they still need to take prescription pain medication when they are back at home, the only solution is to be extremely careful and have a loved one that they trust administer their prescribed dosage of medication and then hide the rest until the next time they need them.
This is scary, and often causes many people who are in recovery from an opioid addiction to stop taking the pain medications that they need earlier than they should because they simply are not willing to take the chance that they will relapse or become addicted again.
However, we still need to treat pain, and this is where the problem comes in. You might find that natural alternatives can be beneficial. Some teas, like ginger, can help to reduce inflammation and actually fight pain. Foods like pineapple have been shown to help ease pain almost immediately when you eat them. Being armed with this knowledge can help you when dealing with long-term pain, but might not be effective for the acute pain that comes with healing injuries and surgeries.
It’s very important to consider what type of pain you’re struggling with, and what alternatives you can use. For many in acute, short-term pain situations, supplementing the effects of opioid painkillers with something like ibuprofen as prescribed can help to fight pain effectively, and reduce the chances of developing an addiction.
The Bottom Line, Is It Safe?
When you’re overcoming an addiction to opioids of any kind, you’re probably going to worry if it’s safe to take prescription pain medications of any kind when you need them. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so clear-cut. You’re going to want to know what your personal recovery journey looks like, as well as have the help and support of your doctor to help you fight your pain and heal properly.
It’s also a good idea to consider whether you will need to be managing your pain for a long time, or if you’re simply recovering from an injury or surgery. Many experts feel that the time it takes to recover from these situations is not that much of a risk, as long as there is pain present and the medication is only being taken as directed.
When it comes to managing long-term, or chronic pain, however, you will likely need to come up with solid alternatives, as continued use can put you at risk for developing an addiction again.
If you Find You’re Struggling…
Unfortunately, pain management with the help of opioid pain medications is one of the biggest reasons why people unknowingly develop addictions. While it’s crazy that something that is supposed to help can be so harmful, this is simply the way of the world. So, if you do find that you have a problem with your prescription pain medications, and you’ve been abusing them or have become addicted to them, it’s time to take control and start managing your pain without the help of opioids anymore.
We understand that you have a couple of things going on right now, and you might not know it, but there are addiction treatment facilities that actually help you to manage your pain much more effectively than if you were taking opioids, while actually helping you to start overcoming your addiction to those prescription pain medications.
Even if you were successfully addiction-free for some time and have found that your need for prescription pain medication has caused you to go back to your addiction, we can help you find an addiction treatment program that can work for you.
We’ll check out your insurance coverage so you know what you’re going to have to pay for and help you find a treatment program that will allow you to redouble your efforts and start living clean and sober again. The good news is that there are so many options out there today, and rehab and treatment get better all the time.
If you’ve found that managing your pain has caused you to develop an addiction, old or new, we understand what you’re going through and can help, so why not give us a call today? You don’t always have to take prescription pain medications to fight your pain.