Friday, June 16, 2017

(Guest blog by Jackie Waters) Tips for Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse When Dealing with Chronic Pain



Tips for Avoiding Prescription Drug Abuse When Dealing with Chronic Pain

Chronic pain sufferers face a tough battle nearly every day of their lives. It’s often difficult for

doctors to pinpoint the root causes of non-acute pain and many of the treatments are hit or

miss. Turning to prescription opioid medication to give yourself comfort may seem like the next

logical step. It’s important to know, however, that prescription pain medication is often ineffective

and dangerous when it comes to chronic pain. It can lead to abuse, addiction, and can further

complicate existing health issues. Here are some tips for avoiding prescription drug abuse if you

suffer from chronic pain.

Stick to the rules

When it comes to prescription drugs, it cannot be overstated how important it is to do things by

the book. This means to always follow the prescription, consult a doctor frequently, and never

ever alter the manner in which you take or the amount you take of the medication. Drug abuse

is not limited to the taking of illegal substances. It’s also not just about doing too much of a drug

(though that is a major problem). Crushing up a pill and snorting it, taking it more frequently than

the recommended time frame, taking it in combination with other drugs or alcohol, or any other

modification that doesn’t adhere to the doctor's and pharmacist’s instructions can be drug



Do not ask for increased dosage for increased pain

It may seem logical to ask for more pain medication  to battle more intense pain, but in fact this

is dangerous and counterproductive. You want to work on lessening your dosage of opioids, not

increasing it. The more opioids you take in an attempt to manage your pain the more your body

will become tolerant and the more ineffective they will be. Doctors are responsible for sensible

dosing, but it’s also on you. Don’t fall into the temptation.

Turn to alternative, holistic treatments as opposed to prescription medication

Ultimately you’re going to be healthier and avoid the spectre of addiction if you completely wean

yourself off prescription meds (or don’t begin taking them in the first place). Chronic pain is a

tough condition, and the temptation to take an “easy way out” - even it’s only temporary - is hard

to resist at times. But through lifestyle changes and a more comprehensive, total body

approach, you can minimize your chronic pain to manageable levels.

Massage therapy is one way to deal with localized, intense pain.

“The effectiveness of massage therapy for pain has been supported by various studies. It has

been found most effective for non-specific lower back pain, both acute and chronic, but studies

have also found massage to be effective for shoulder pain, headache pain, fibromyalgia, mixed

chronic pain, and neck pain,” notes SaferLock.

Other alternative treatments include aromatherapy, acupuncture, and hypnosis.

Of course, there is no quick fix for chronic pain and you must also make sweeping lifestyle

changes if you want to truly manage it. First, you should stop smoking and limit your intake of

caffeine and alcohol, both of which can cause inflammation. Next you must commit to eating a

diet rich with vegetables, fish, nuts, and fruit as opposed to one filled with red meat, fried food,

and sugar. After that, it’s vital that you commit to getting at least 30-45 minutes of moderate

physical activity per day.

Opioid medication can be effective in treating acute pain, but when it’s used to treat chronic pain

the risk of abuse and eventual addiction skyrocket. If you find yourself needing to get help with

opioid addiction, start here. It’s best to not go down the prescription meds path if you can avoid


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