Millions of Canadians struggle with chronic pain that destroys their quality of life. For many of them, opioid pain medications can feel like something of a miracle. Tragically, the medications that can help you cope with your pain can also lead to the much deeper pain of addiction. If this has happened to you, there is a way for you to overcome your addiction without having to live with chronic pain.
Pain and Addiction: A Vicious Cycle
Chronic pain and addiction can create a vicious cycle, with each issue feeding off of the other. Most people begin taking prescription drugs to get some relief from their pain. This relief, though, is short-lived, necessitating progressively higher doses of drugs. Over time, this can create a powerful addiction that leaves you hopeless about your ability to deal with pain without drugs.
Drug withdrawal tends to exacerbate pre-existing pain-related conditions, adding to the hopelessness felt by many addicts who live with chronic pain.
Prescription Drugs: Just as Addictive
Many people mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are not as dangerous as street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. But prescription drugs are a leading cause of drug-related death. Opioids such as Hydrocodone are especially dangerous because of the intense withdrawal symptoms they produce.
Because people suffering from chronic pain have a legitimate medical condition underlying their addiction, their addiction to prescription drugs is especially challenging to face.
Managing Pain Without Addictive Drugs
The first step in managing chronic pain is understanding its cause. We will refer you to a rehab facility that will help you with this while you are overcoming your addiction. You will learn about ways to cope with your pain while leading a life free that is free from addiction. Your pain management strategies might include the following:
- Physical activity might seem daunting, but study after study has demonstrated that exercise is the single most effective strategy for coping with chronic pain.
- Nutritional changes. The right diet can help you cope more effectively with your pain, and may help mitigate the condition that led to the pain in the first place.
- Managing mental health conditions. Anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses can exacerbate the health conditions that cause your pain.
- For some people, the underlying cause of the pain does to be treated with medication. Your rehab facility will work with you and your doctor to find a medication that does not have dangerous addictive properties.
- Alternative remedies, such as acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, and similar measures.
Addiction to Prescription Drugs
Prescription Drug Abuse
Nutrition & Wellness Program
WebMD: Managing Chronic Pain: 11 Strategies