At Opus Treatment, we know that opioid addiction often comes hand-in-hand with chronic pain. The stats suggest as much, too. To help combat both, here we look at the relationship between opioid addiction and someone living with chronic pain, as well as tips on chronic pain management without drugs.
The relationship between opioid addiction and chronic pain:
The stats showing both the prevalence of chronic pain and its relationship to opioid addiction are clear. For instance:
- An estimated 1-in-5 Americans live with chronic pain.
- Roughly 1-in-4 prescription painkiller users end up abusing their medication.
- Roughly 1-in-10 prescription painkiller users develop an opioid addiction.
There’s no denying that chronic pain is a serious issue and one that’s varied and hard to treat effectively. It can be caused by acute injuries, illnesses like infections, chronic diseases like arthritis, musculoskeletal deformities, and even problems with how our brains process pain. In some cases, the true source of chronic pain may never be found.
What’s more, chronic pain can lead to a host of other problems developing, like depression, stress and anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, nausea, and appetite changes. Those with chronic pain may even get sick more often as it weakens the immune system.
Opioids (like codeine, fentanyl, morphine, and oxycodone) can be an effective relief for chronic pain. Most doctors focus on treating the pain that is the root cause of all the other issues, though many are becoming more reluctant to rely on it.
The reason fewer doctors are prescribing opioids today is because of how easy it is to develop an addiction to them. As the body acclimates to medication, it can become less effective. It no longer relieves pain as it once did, so we may up our dosage or seek stronger alternatives. Furthermore, opioids are naturally addictive to the brain.
Opioid treatments aren’t necessarily going to lead to abuse. Four out of five patients use opioids without any issues with addiction or even temporary medication abuse. However, for that to happen, it’s essential for clear and honest communication about pain in response to treatment and side effects. Additionally, it’s crucial that the patient using opioids follows consumption as directed.
How do you stay sober when living with chronic pain?
Opioids are not the only option you have when it comes to treatment while living with chronic pain. There are a variety of over-the-counter medications, prescription non-opioids, pain-relieving products, and other methods to manage that pain as well. These include the following:
- Muscle relaxants
- Topical creams and balms (such as lidocaine)
- Pain management techniques learned through cognitive behavioral therapy and other counseling methods
- Coping strategies like breath work, video games, and meditation can help distract and habituate you to pain, while also helping to fight stress and anxiety
- A healthy diet and exercise decrease weight, reduce inflammation and improve sleep.
- Electrotherapy may be able to block pain signals, reducing your experience of pain
To avoid addiction while living with chronic pain without the overuse of drugs, it’s essential you take a fully-rounded approach with both the physical pain in mind as well as the other knock-on issues you can suffer as a result of it.
Residential treatment for chronic pain and opioid addiction.
At Opus Treatment, we know the close relationship between opioid addiction and living with chronic pain. For that reason, we are able to provide residential treatment that can help you both get clean while learning how to manage your pain in a way that’s much less risky in the long term. For instance, we can provide:
- Carefully monitored detox treatments to help get the drugs from your system in the safest way possible while managing withdrawal symptoms
- Medication management, including the use of Suboxone to decrease dependence on opioids and the use of alternatives.
- Counseling and different types of therapy, including CBT, EMDR, and Motivational Interviewing which can help you learn new pain management strategies while managing your addiction.
Which treatment we believe will work best with you depends on a series of factors, including how severe the addiction may be, as well as your general health. We start all treatments with a consultation to understand as much about you and your circumstances, providing a plan that ensures the safe and careful treatment for chronic pain and opioid addiction.
Treat your pain without relying on opioids with Opus Treatment.
Get in touch with Opus Treatment today and we can help you learn how to combat opioid addiction at the same time as learning chronic pain management without drugs. You can learn more about the services we provide on the site or get in touch through the contact form or by calling us on 949.625-4019. We’re eager to help you fight any issues with opioids and chronic pain that you might have.
If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 949-625-4019.