Chronic Pain Patients May Be At Risk For Addiction

Diablo Valley Treatment on April 3, 2018

If you suffer from chronic pain, you know how uncomfortable it can be to live with it. There are several things that can contribute to this type of pain. And, there are many different medications that are prescribed to chronic pain patients. With this being the case, it is highly possible that people who live with this kind of pain are at risk for developing a dependence on their medication.

What Chronic Pain Patients Experience

Chronic pain is any kind of pain that lasts for longer than about 3 months. It can be caused by various things. One possible cause is injury. Maybe the individual had a sprained ankle or back. If a person undergoes some sort of injury like this and it takes a long time to heal, it could lead to chronic pain. This might be because of nerve damage, which makes the pain last longer and become very severe.

Often, chronic pain is caused by something besides an injury. Some chronic pain patients may also suffer from chronic illnesses, like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or something else. Extended pain may be a symptom of these illnesses.

Another thing that could cause people to have chronic pain is weight. A lot of times, people who are overweight deal with pains in their bodies. For instance, a person’s back or knees might bother them if they have chronic pain due to their weight. Other causes may be things like poor posture or lifting and carrying heavy objects the wrong way.

Types of Treatment for Chronic Pain

Doctors can create a pain management plan for chronic pain patients. Plans like this usually include different methods to help keep patients comfortable. They’re designed to give people the opportunity to live life with minimal pain and maximized mobile ability. The plans may involve lifestyle changes, medication, or both.

Lifestyle changes are used to help relieve pain and help patients focus on things other than persistent pain. Some people may get into yoga or meditation. Getting more rest and eating healthier might also help. Also, massages and moderate exercise can be beneficial.

Medications that treat chronic pain include pain relievers. Some of those might be over-the-counter medications. But, other medicines are opioid pain reliever narcotics like hydrocodone or morphine.

The Risk of Addiction

Morphine is a highly addictive opioid. Chronic pain patients can be placed at risk for developing a tolerance on their medication. Tolerance is the decreased response to a substance after repeated use. In simpler terms, if a person uses a medication over and over again, his or her body may eventually get used to the dose. And, it won’t get the same result. This will cause the person to take a higher dosage in order to feel the pain relieving qualities of the medication. That means the person has built up a tolerance for the medicine. After this, patients can become dependent on the morphine medication and feel like they can’t function without it. As a result, addiction can form.

Need Help Fighting Dependence?

Living with chronic pain is very challenging and medications can seem to make things easier. But, becoming dependent on your medication is never a good thing. If you think you might have formed a dependency on your pain relievers, you’re not alone. Others have also gone through this. The best thing to do is get help.

Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services offers the chance to be free from opioid dependence. We know how to help people detox from that dependence. Through the use of Medication Assisted Treatment, Diablo Valley can help chronic pain patients end their struggle with medication dependence. If you want to learn more about our programs, visit our website and contact us!