Pain medication addiction is a serious problem in the United States, affecting millions of people. There are ways to reduce your risk of becoming addicted to pain medicine, including following your doctor’s orders and taking only the amount prescribed.
If you are already addicted to pain medicine, there are treatment options available that can help you recover. Seeking help is the first step on the road to recovery from pain medication addiction, says the renowned pain medicine practitioner Dr Brian Blick.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Addiction
There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming addicted to pain medication, including
1. Talk to Your Doctor
If you are taking pain medication, it is important to talk to your doctor about the risks of addiction. Your doctor can help you to understand the potential risks and benefits of taking pain medication. Additionally, your doctor can help you to find other ways to manage your pain that may be less likely to lead to addiction.
2. Take Medication as Prescribed
If you do take pain medication, it is important to take it exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take more medication than directed, and do not take it more often than prescribed. Taking more pain medication than prescribed can increase your risk of developing an addiction.
3. Understand the Risks
It is also important to understand the risks associated with taking pain medication. Some of the risks include tolerance, physical dependence, and overdose. Tolerance occurs when a person needs to take increasingly larger doses of a drug in order to achieve the desired effect.
When a person’s body becomes accustomed to the presence of a drug, they develop physical dependency and experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present. An overdose occurs when a person takes too much of a drug and experiences serious medical consequences as a result.
4. Know the Signs of Addiction
There are several signs that may indicate that a person is addicted to pain medication. These signs include taking larger doses of medication than prescribed, continuing to take medication even when it is no longer needed for pain relief, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, it is important to seek help from a medical professional right away.
5. Seek Help if You Are Addicted
If you or someone you know is addicted to pain medication, there are several resources available to help you overcome your addiction. These resources include professional treatment programs, support groups, and 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
Treatment Options for Addiction
If you are already addicted to pain medication, there are treatment options available that can help you recover.
- Treatment for pain medication addiction typically includes a combination of detoxification, counseling, and support groups. Detoxification is the process of eliminating the drug from your body and managing withdrawal symptoms.
- Counseling can help you identify and change the behaviors that led to your addiction. Support groups provide emotional and practical support from others who are facing similar challenges.
Addiction to pain medication is a serious problem in the United States, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of becoming addicted. If you think you may be addicted to pain medication, seek help from a healthcare provider or treatment program specializing in addiction recovery. Recovery is possible with proper treatment.