Living life with physical pain requires an iron constitution. It’s not easy for someone to wake up in the morning and contemplate how to get through the day while dealing with constant pain issues. If this is your plight, you most likely have come to the realization your choices are limited as to how to deal with your pain. You can always choose to grin and bear it in hopes the pain will diminish over time. Of course, this wouldn’t be a good solution if your pain issues are expected to last longer than a month or two. If you are looking at a longterm situation, it would seem you have two primary options. First, you can work with a pain management expert in search of holistic or physical therapy options that might give you the relief you need. If for any reason that option is unsuitable based on your circumstances, you might have to consider taking prescription pain medications.
Taking the Pain Medication Option
After consulting with your physician, you may come to the decision pain medication is your best pain management option. It will be incumbent on your physician to decide which medication or medications to prescribe and how you should take said medication, since there are possible effects on the brain. In many cases, prescription pain medications work well in the treatment of moderate to severe pain issues. As long as patients follow the doctor’s instructions, the process is usually safe. Therein lies the biggest issue someone encounters when taking prescription pain medications as a longterm solution.
Most pain medications include opioids as a primary active ingredient. As you may well know, opioids are highly addictive substances that process through the body for a considerable amount of time. As such, any attempts you might make to deviate away from your physician’s instruction could well lead you down the path toward substance abuse and a subsequent addiction problem. That’s not a path down which you ever want to travel.
Steps You Can Take to Avoid an Addiction to Prescription Medications
No one is assuming you are going to end up with a prescription painkiller addiction. It’s just that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and for that reason. That’s why it’s necessary to give you some guidelines you can follow to ensure you don’t fall victim to the disease of prescription painkiller addiction. Here are five steps to follow:
1. Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
The easiest way to avoid problems is to strictly follow your doctor’s instructions. As part of his education and experience, he knows what to prescribe for your pain and how you should specifically use the medication or medications he prescribes. You can be assured he will issue instructions intended to keep you from abusing your drugs.
2. Consistent Use is Important
Unless your doctor’s instructions include the words “as needed,” you should take your medications as the doctor prescribed until further notice. That means taking it when and as the doctor recommends. People who use painkillers regularly sometimes have a tendency to miss doses only to double up, later on, to catch up with the prescription. That’s a very bad idea. Larger doses can produce different results. On more than a few occasions, people have played the prescription painkiller game only to end up abusing their drugs if only by accident.
3. Learn the Signs of Painkiller Abuse
In case you are wondering, there are common signs that could indicate you are abusing your prescription painkillers against doctor’s orders. These signs include but are not limited to the following:
- Needing larger doses to get the proper results
- Prescription shopping to get more medication more often
- Increasing difficulty with relationships at home and work
- Obsession with taking prescribed painkillers
- Reckless behavior while under the influence
- Inability to handle personal responsibilities
- Increasingly bad sleep habits
If you ever find yourself exhibiting any number of these behaviors, you should see it as a red flag and consider submitting yourself for addiction treatment as soon as possible.
4. Be Honest About the Need to Keep Taking Painkiller
Taking prescription painkillers is a serious business. You have a responsibility to treat it as such. If you ever reach the point when you don’t feel it’s necessary to keep taking your medicine, you should stop and contact your doctor about your decision to do so. This will require you to be honest with yourself at all times.
5. Keep Searching for Other Options
While managing your pain with prescription medications, you should continue looking for other pain management alternatives. Why? Painkillers should be a last resort option because of the capacity for problems. If you can find holistic or physical therapy options that give you the relief you need, that would be the best possible way to go.
About Addiction Treatment
If you slip and things go south into addiction, you need to seek addiction treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment is the best way to minimize the effects of opioid abuse. Getting treatment is going to require you to be honest with yourself, especially during hard times. Drug abuse sometimes happens despite someone’s best intentions. If you need treatment, you can expect to go through a detox program and therapy over a one to two month period. Hopefully, you will clear treatment with a full recovery and the ability to avoid relapses in the future. Hopefully, you have found this information useful. If by chance you fall prey to a substance abuse issue, we hope you will contact us about bringing you in for addiction treatment.