How Chronic Pain Can Lead to Prescription Drug Abuse

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

How Chronic Pain Can Lead to Prescription Drug Abuse

Chronic pain can weigh on an individual both physically and emotionally. Experiencing any level of pain can be very distracting. Sometimes someone can be in so much pain they can only think about when it will stop instead of thinking optimistic thoughts. 

Chronic pain can bring on feelings of anxiety and depression. When a person is not physically well, it can hinder their ability to stay active too. Not being able to stay busy can bring on boredom which can lead to feelings of sadness. Trying to get work done when in chronic pain can even be stressful for some people. Painkillers can provide a sense of relief, but prolonged usage can lead to prescription drug abuse. 

Some individuals take prescription pain medications for certain diseases, accidents, or while in recovery from surgery. Taking time to understand the dangers of misusing prescription drugs can create awareness for everyone and potentially prevent opioid overdose — a life-threatening health problem. Practicing self-help strategies, speaking with a therapist through Avalon Malibu, and taking a holistic approach by performing mindfulness and meditation can help one manage pain without the help of prescription medications. 

The Lead-Up to Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription painkillers such as opioids can help one feel relief physically and emotionally. However, prolonged use of prescription painkillers can increase an individual’s dependency. 

The problem is a person can build a tolerance to painkillers resulting in the need to increase their dosage over time. By doing this, individuals may achieve their desired effects. This, unfortunately, can often lead down the road to addiction. When a person stops taking the prescription, withdrawal symptoms may come into effect. They may present physical and psychological symptoms.

As stated in MedlinePlus, approximately two million American citizens misuse painkillers such as prescription opioids. Recent studies have estimated that 15 million people worldwide are struggling with prescription drug abuse. Addiction to opioids is rapidly increasing over time. It was also found that more than 20,000 people died in the U.S. from opioid prescription overdose in 2016. This is the leading cause of death in the United States. Opioids account for over half of drug overdose deaths.

Recognizing an Overdose

Not only does taking prescription painkillers lead to intense feelings of dependency, but misusing these drugs can be detrimental to one’s health. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, when an individual misuses prescription medications, such as taking more than recommended, this can be very toxic to the body. 

It can be difficult to determine if the individual may be experiencing intense effects of the drug or is at risk for an overdose. Learning to recognize the signs could potentially save a person’s life. A few signs to look out for may include: 

  • Slowed breathing
  • Clammy cold hands
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Discolored fingernails or lips
  • Gurgling or snoring sounds

Start rescue breathing or call 911 immediately if an overdose may be suspected.

Healthy Self-Help Strategies for Managing Pain

It is always best to try more of a holistic approach to naturally manage pain rather than take prescription painkillers if possible. Some everyday activities produce endorphins that may block pain signals in an individual’s brain. Activities that do not require excessive physical strain may include: 

  • Swimming or taking a bath
  • Light walking
  • Gardening
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Meditation

Remembering to get at least seven hours of sleep can make a world of difference. Weight gain can cause excessive pressure on joints which may contribute to pain. Following a nutritional diet may help an individual physically stay healthy. Staying connected by simply sparking conversation with family and friends can boost one’s mood significantly. 

Benefits of Professional Treatment for Prescription Drug Abuse

Individuals with chronic pain may feel less motivated than others to complete day-to-day tasks. Many people dealing with chronic pain choose to live a sedentary lifestyle which may increase depressive thoughts. Chronic pain can control a person’s life, but professional treatment may help free an individual from prescription drug abuse. Working with a team of professionals can help individuals manage their symptoms more effectively. 

Avalon Malibu’s pain management treatment center understands that chronic pain wears down the entire body inside and out. Massage therapy can provide the mental distraction needed to relieve pain. Learning to meditate with Avalon Malibu can be an enjoyable experience for participants. Nature exploration can be a peaceful option to partake in as well. Our clients have found they can enjoy these pain-relieving activities to embrace a better quality of life. 

Equally important, reaching out to family and friends can also provide support. Confiding in a loved one can bring new opportunities to explore different facilities for the best care. Taking time to journal symptoms and researching effective ways to manage chronic pain without pain medications can turn a person’s life around. 

Pain medications come with negative side effects. Prescription drug abuse should not be taken lightly, as it can be extremely detrimental to one’s life. Reaching out for professional treatment can unfold new healthy ways to manage pain without painkillers. Avalon Malibu’s team can also help individuals work through the phases of addiction to overcome withdrawal. At Avalon’s Grand House, our staff considers alternative treatments for pain management, such as massage therapy, mental distraction, physical activity, meditation, and relaxation through nature exploration. Our pain management program promotes increases in daily functioning and facilitates decreases in pain suffering. If you or a loved one are facing challenges with chronic pain, our team can help. Call Avalon Malibu at (844) 857-5992.

We will work with most out of network PPO and POS policies

Call to verify your insurance benefits today!