The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has emphasized that nearly 21-29% of patients who are prescribed opioids misuse them, and between 8-12% of patients go on to develop an opioid use disorder (OUD). Opioid prescriptions are used to treat pain – whether from an accident, an injury, or a medical issue .Whether used from prescriptions or used recreationally, however, the mind and body become used to the euphoric effects that opioids create, and that’s part of what can make the healing process in recovery quite uncomfortable. If you’ve been struggling with opioid addiction, it’s important to know that your mind and body are going to go through certain changes in recovery – but that doesn’t mean that healing isn’t possible. By learning more about what you may experience in recovery, you can take proper actions to ensure you’re supported in the best ways possible during this transition.
What Happens in Opioid Addiction Recovery
When opioids are taken, they bind to opioid receptors in the brain, which bring about symptoms of pain relief. As opioids are continued to be abused and dependency (and later addiction) develops the body becomes used to this pleasurable feeling of relaxation – and if opioids are suddenly stopped or doses are cut down significantly, the body can experience major withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- And more
Detoxification can be a a nerve-wracking experience for those with severe opioid addiction, but healthcare teams are trained to help people make it through this period of uncomfortability. In 2017, Yale Medicine interviewed a nurse who stated, “They’re often depressed and feel really crummy about themselves. I say, ‘Keep doing the right thing and it will get better.’ I show them the marks on my arm and say, ‘I used to be in your position. It is possible!’”
After opioid abuse, pain will continue and even feel worse at times because the body is suddenly missing those “fake signals” of relief – in 2017, a primary care physician shared his own story with Harvard Medical School of struggling with opioid addiction. He explained that even after the pain is gone, accidents still happen – and a person must decide what the healthiest route to take for their mental and physical health.
Avalon Malibu’s Treatment Options for Pain Management
There’s no doubt that chronic pain can wear a person down on many levels. Without support for this, chronic pain can cause additional stress on a client’s mental health – and with this, their outlook is likely not going to be very conducive for healing.
If chronic pain is present, there are several options a person can take to help ease the pain without increasing their chances of becoming addicted again. Medication management is one – and with this, staff will regulate medications taken and complete routine assessments to help clients feel safe coming on and off of medications. A 2017 study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that some medications – when combined with counseling, can help a client become stronger in recovery in the long term.
Family-client education is also a part of treatment, so that family support networks and clients alike can have a better understanding of the entire process of addiction recovery – what is to be expected, the various treatment modalities, the needs of those in recovery and much more. A holistic approach to treatment provides the most coverage for a person by taking into consideration everything that makes them who they are – their past, present and future. The mind, body and spirit can be significantly affected by addiction, and recovery is a time to bring about healing and rejuvenation. With pain management, there are many holistic practices that can help, such as:
- Massage therapy
- Breathing techniques
- And more
In addition to this, clients are provided with intensive knowledge on coping mechanisms and stress management in therapy; stress can greatly increase pain and by monitoring one’s stress levels, they can begin taking preventative measures towards their health. Physical therapy and occupational therapy – such as through posture, body mechanics and ergonomics – help those in recovery find grounding and balance again.
Recovery is Possible
Don’t let the fear of continued pain hold you back from seeking the help you need. Both traditional and holistic treatment methods can become integrated to optimize your chances of success in recovery – because at Avalon Malibu, we recognize that each person has their own story to tell, and that makes their needs unique. If you’re feeling apprehensive about whether or not treatment may be a good option for you, motivational enhancement therapy (MET) can provide you with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a licensed therapist who will walk you through the costs and benefits of seeking help.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.