The opioid epidemic in the US continues to get worse. Millions of individuals end up on prescription grade drugs for a multitude of reasons. Doctors and medical professionals prescribe these strong meds for things like dental problems, surgery recovery, injuries, migraine headaches, and to soothe pain brought on by a number of different illnesses and disease. Though effective, these drugs are easy to get hooked on. Often numbing the effects of pain users begin to increase their usage – sometimes without even knowing it.
This increase then turns into dependency which turns into substance abuse and then an addiction which can be hard to overcome.? There are a number of things you can do to prevent painkillers from wreaking havoc on your health and life. First, start by understanding the warning signs.
Are You Addicted?
There are a few signs that you or someone you know is addicted to prescription painkillers (or very close to it). If you notice these warnings, you should start focusing on methods to stop abusing the drugs before it?s too late.
- Lack of energy
- Extreme fatigue
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Mood swings
- Lack of sleep
- Weight loss
- Constant thoughts of using painkillers
- Withdrawal symptoms when usage stops
How to Quit Safely?
Though addiction treatment is highly recommended for those suffering from painkiller abuse or addiction (especially for those experiencing withdrawal symptoms), there are alternative measures you can try to kick your habit. Since you?ve begun using them to relieve pain, to stop using the pills you need to find alternative pain management solutions.
Workout – Although your pain may be due to an injury or recent surgery, the longer you sit the more pain you?re going to be in. After your required resting period has passed, begin working out again at a gradual pace. Regular exercise helps to reduce feelings of pain by relieving stiffness in the muscles and releasing endorphins and dopamine which help to improve mood. It is also important to note that excessive weight adds pressure to areas that may be in pain.
Stretching – If you?re suffering from severe joint pain like from arthritis movement is your best option. Stretching your body on a regular basis, particularly focusing on the areas where there?s pain can help to reduce the swelling from inflammation. It can also help to improve your range of motion making it easier for you to get around. You can work with a physical therapist to learn specific stretches for recovery or you can join a yoga class and learn beginner stretches.
Herbal Supplements – Another alternative measure that can be used to combat pain is herbal supplements. Taking them on a daily basis as instructed can help to reduce or even eliminate your chronic pain. Some of the most commonly used are turmeric, devil?s claw root, feverfew, and ginger.
More Rest – Your body needs to rest in order to work efficiently each day. When you don?t give your body enough time to rejuvenate, you?re essentially forcing it to fight against pain and other threats with limited charge. Giving yourself 8 hours each night allows your body to be fully energized to ward off pain.
Less Stress – Here?s one you may not have realized, but stress has been known to intensify pain. If you?re dealing with a lot of stress right now, it?s best to reduce it.
Chronic pain is hard to deal with. Especially when it?s widespread, long-term, or permanent. Although doctors prescribe pain meds to help with the discomfort, they are only to be used within reason. If you feel yourself becoming dependent or addicted to painkillers, it is imperative that you stop using the pills and start employing other methods of dealing with the pain. If these alternative methods don?t work, your best and only option may be to enroll in a quality rehab center for assistance with detox and recovery.