Relieving Pain Without Developing Addiction to Painkillers

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Avoiding an Addiction to Painkillers While Relieving Pain

According to a 2012 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health report, 25.3 million adults in the United States suffered from daily pain. Many people have been made aware of the dangers that prescription pain relievers carry due to the addictive properties of opioids. While they remain the most effective way to deal with chronic pain quickly, using them to manage pain for too long can lead to an addiction to painkillers.

So, how does a person go about treating chronic pain without becoming addicted to prescription opioids in the process? In this article, we’ll explore the signs that an addiction to painkillers is forming and look at what alternatives to opioids are available.

Addiction to Pain Medication Signs

If you have been prescribed an opioid to relief chronic pain such as back, head or jaw pain and currently have no other options available to you, then it is important to be aware of the signs of an addiction. It is worth noting that because opioids are so addictive, it’s only a matter of time before a person becomes dependent on the drug.

Addiction to pain medication signs includes the following:

  • Severe withdrawal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, depression and rebound pain.
  • Due to a tolerance, the person must use more opioids to get any effect.
  • Other responsibilities and hobbies are ignored due to the abuse.
  • There are negative effects to the abuse that are ignored.
  • Financial, social and family problems arise.
  • Lying and stealing occur.
  • Strong cravings occur.

If these symptoms are present, then it is likely that an addiction to painkillers has formed and then rehab treatment is the only real solution to the problem.

Alternatives to Opioids

In order to avoid an addiction to painkillers, alternative methods to manage chronic pain is required. Alternatives are also important to those who have an addiction to opioids and stop but still need to find a way to deal with the pain without returning to opioid use.

The following will explore some of the alternatives to opioids that have worked for many people.

  • Turmeric – This popular curry spice not only makes the taste of food better, but it also has properties that can help to fight cancer and reduce inflammation. It helps to improve circulation, lowers improper enzyme levels and prevents blood clots from forming.
  • Ginger – Ginger is another plant that can help to reduce inflammation, which is a cause of chronic pain. It has been found to be more effective than popular drugs such as Advil and Tylenol for pain relief. It can also stop the formation of compounds that cause inflammation.
  • Valerian root – This plant substance is known as nature’s tranquilizer. It can assist in reducing stress, insomnia, depression, anxiety and pain in the nerves. It does this by reducing the sensitivity of your nerves.
  • Magnesium – In a supplement form, magnesium is well-known as an excellent way to treat migraines and various muscle spasms. It can be used as either a concentrated tablet or it can be added to your diet through natural sources of magnesium such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Capsaicin – This substance is derived from the chili pepper. It is a natural remedy for pain felt in the joints, muscle and nerves. It achieves this effect by blocking the signals of pain that enter the brain, much like opioids do but with none of the addictive properties. It comes in a supplement form or can be applied as a cream or gel directly to the affected area.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/pain/severity

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/pain