If you’re a recovering drug addict who’s been through our Broward drug treatment program or another program for addiction treatment, you might be concerned about the use of medication to manage your pain in the event you sustain an injury, need surgery, or develop an illness that causes severe acute or chronic pain. Should you take medication to manage pain if you’ve been through our Broward drug treatment program?
Don’t Rule Out Pain Management Just Because You’re in Recovery
If you are having surgery or have been injured, or wind up coping with a chronic pain condition, you should use some form of pain medication to manage your symptoms. Why? Because studies suggest that untreated pain can interfere with your body’s ability to heal. People recovering from surgery simply don’t heal up as well if they don’t receive adequate pain management.
If you’re in too much pain for too long, it can overload your nervous system, leading to a condition doctors refer to as “wind-up.” Wind-up occurs when too much prolonged, severe pain causes a more chronic pain condition to develop. It’s the result of overstimulation due to untreated pain.
Pain Management Options for Recovering Addicts
If you’ve been through our Broward drug treatment program, there are a number of options for managing acute post-surgical pain and pain from injuries. Powerful non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be prescribed for recovering addicts in need of temporary pain relief. For many, these drugs are sufficient to relieve temporary pain.
If you have been through our Broward drug treatment, you may still use opioid painkillers to manage temporary pain. However, your doctor may have reservations about prescribing these drugs to someone who has been through a drug treatment program. Both you and your doctor will need to be diligent in monitoring your use of the drugs. One strategy is to have a doctor or trusted family member control the dosage and timing, using your reported quality of life indicators to determine how much of the drug to administer.
If you begin to lose control of your use of the drugs, or if you start looking forward to the drugs, or if you are taking the drugs even after you no longer need them or when non-narcotic drugs are appropriate to relieve your symptoms, you’re heading for relapse or have already relapse. Seek further drug counseling.
For chronic pain issues, there are many non-opioid pharmaceuticals that can be used for pain management. Drugs used to treat conditions like epilepsy, depression and arrhythmia can have a less powerful effect on the brain’s opioid receptors. It’s enough to relieve pain symptoms, but not typically enough to cause the euphoric feelings that could send you heading straight for a relapse.
Non-Pharmaceutical Options for Pain Management
If you’ve been through our Broward drug treatment program and are concerned about using drugs to manage chronic or acute pain, you may be surprised to learn that there are multiple effective non-pharmaceutical options for pain management. In fact, many people, whether or not they have been through a program like our Broward drug treatment program, find that medication alone isn’t enough to relieve pain, especially chronic pain. It’s a misconception that pain can always be treated by taking a drug.
Psychological therapies for managing pain include relaxation techniques, which are especially good for managing long-term pain. Pain can trigger anxiety and muscle tension, which is itself painful, and makes the experience of chronic pain more intense. Relaxation exercises can improve this tension, distract from the pain, and provide stress relief and a feeling of empowerment.
Other drug-free strategies for managing pain including learning to recognize and control stressful negative thoughts; exercise; learning strategies for coping with anxiety, depression and other negative emotions; massage; and visualization techniques. If you are facing a chronic pain issue, it could be well worth looking into the option of psychotherapy to learn some of these valuable pain management techniques.
If you or someone close to you is struggling with drug addiction, our Broward drug treatment facility can help. Call us today at 855-441-2449 to learn more about our caring approach to drug addiction treatment.