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Opiates And The Struggles of Pain Management

June 11, 2018

Tens of millions of people struggle with pain management issues. Some have back issues, others are recovering from surgery or have been in a painful car or work-related accident. No matter what the issue is, it is impacting their lives in a negative way. They may find it difficult to complete even the easiest tasks, like doing laundry or cooking dinner. When something impacts one’s life in such a powerful way, it is normal for one to seek comfort through various outlets.

Stopping the Pain

Seeking out help from medical professionals is usually ones first thought, rightfully so. Physical therapy and assisted stretching can slowly improve one’s mobility and daily comfort levels. These changes won’t happen overnight, it will take time. In some instances, one will not have the time necessary to allow their body and overall physical health to improve. Maybe they have to go back to work, have kids to take care of or are just looking to be without pain. When someone is looking for an instant solution to their pain issues, they may turn to prescription opiates for solstice.

Prescription opiates like Percocet, Hydrocodone and Vicodin will help relieve almost all of the physical pain that one is struggling with. When these pills are not taken daily, they can be very beneficial and come with minimal consequences. The problems arise when the pills are taken daily for an extended period of time, even if it is on an as need basis. Opiates are extremely addictive, both physically and mentally. When someone becomes physically addicted to prescription opiates it will be extremely difficult for them to stop.

Building a Tolerance

Once someone has been on prescription opiates for a few weeks they will build a tolerance. It will take more and more of the same medication to produce the same effect. As they take more and more pills they will become increasingly physically dependent on them. If they attempt to stop taking them abruptly they will experience painful withdrawals. These withdrawals are extremely difficult to overcome, especially when done without medical supervision.  The withdrawals associated with prescription opiates is nearly identical to that of heroin. These flu-like withdrawals typically last around 5-10 days, but the severity and length of time will vary person to person.

Someone who never had any issues with addiction or abuse can fall into this desperate situation. Managing pain with prescription opiates is very common, and as mentioned before, can be very helpful, but this is a very fine line. Nearly 80% of current heroin addicts report that they started using prescription opiates before heroin. This does not mean that they were prescribed the pills, a good amount sought them out illegally. This does not make prescription opiates any less dangerous.

Avoiding Physical Dependence

If you or a loved one are struggling with pain management issues, express your concerns about opiates and see if they can suggest any other, nonnarcotic, alternatives. No one should have to live with intense physical pain, but they shouldn’t have to fear of becoming physically addicted to such dangerous drugs. It’s a double-edged sword in every sense of the term.

The opioid epidemic that the country is facing was strongly influenced by the overprescribing of these dangerous medications. Crooked doctors were writing prescriptions for hundreds of painkillers per person, for people with minimal pain issues. Nearly overnight the country was flooded with prescription opiates. More and more people got prescribed them and more and more became addicted.

Not everyone who is prescribed these medications is being over-prescribed. Not everyone who takes them will develop an addiction. Yet, anyone who takes them multiple times a day for a week or more WILL become physically hooked. No one is immune to these pills. The longer someone takes them, the harder it will be for them to stop.

Not all doctors are crooked, in fact, it’s a very small amount out of the group. It’s always best to research any available options to help relieve physical pain, don’t take the route which leads to instant gratification and can potentially lead to physical addiction.