Individuals suffering with chronic pain issues and have been prescribed an opiate painkiller to help them manage the pain, may have concerns as to whether their chronic pain will lead to drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 116 million people in the U.S. that have chronic pain and many of them are afraid to take prescription pain medicines for the same reason: fear of addiction.

Chronic Pain Isn’t Always An Easy Fix

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than the time to heal from an injury. Chronic pain may last several months or more and is frequent or constant. As a general rule, opiate narcotics should be the last resort to manage the pain, but sadly, it is the first method of management issued by doctors.

There are dangers associated with prescription opiates such as Vicodin, Demerol, Oxycontin, Percocet, Codeine, as well as others for pain management, especially for chronic and reoccurring pain. Opiates are effective painkillers. They work by affecting the brain and central nervous system by blocking the opioid receptors that allow the body to experience pain and pleasure. When someone takes pain medication, rather than feel pain, they have a euphoric sensation.

Long Term Use of Opiate Pain Medications

Long term use of opiate pain medication may cause the individual to develop a physical tolerance to the drug. When a tolerance develops, it means that it will require more of the drug to relieve your pain and to create the same euphoric effect as before. Most chronic pain sufferers will self medication and increase the dose. There are several problems with self medication: it could lead to dependency and it could lead to drug overdose. In addition to self medication by increasing the amount of the painkiller taken, some individuals mix their opiate pain medicine with other drugs or alcohol. This is dangerous and can be fatal.

Some people with chronic pain try the services of a pain management clinic to help them address the pain without habit forming narcotics. Like holistic clinics that offer acupuncture, meditation and yoga; pain management centers try to offer alternatives to chronic pain sufferers.

Detox For Prescription Drug Medication

For patients that have developed a dependency to an opiate pain medication, the pain management clinic will detox the patient by using a tapering off method from the medication. While the patient is going through the detox process the main management clinic looks for a different pain management method for the patient.

If you are struggling with chronic pain and you have an opiate dependency it may be necessary for you to seek medically assisted detox. Residential medical detox usually lasts a week to 10 days and during the process you will be given medication to help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms. When the detox is complete, you will be opiate free.

It’s important to understand that living with chronic pain does not always lead to drug addiction. There are many people everyday who successfully start to take prescription pain killers due to an injury, car accident or chronic pain, and never become addicted. If taken properly there is no need to fear becoming addicted to pills that can help you function. Saint Jude Retreats can help you understand this concept better. We know that it is possible to stop using a drug heavily and live the life you desire. If you need help Saint Jude’s will get you started in the right direction.