It has become all too common to view press conferences announcing that football, baseball, and other legendary sports icons are entering a drug rehab to help overcome an addiction to painkillers. Like thousands of other individuals — lives and careers are destroyed by chronic pain.
Having endured numerous surgeries as a result of sports injuries, accidents, carpel tunnel syndrome and other mishaps, development of dependence on a narcotic analgesic has become all encompassing.
Though few people are capable of matching huge fame and fortune, millions share the struggle to manage chronic pain and thousands have endured similar battles to overcome drug dependence.
Unregulated Internet pharmacies have made acquiring prescription drugs as easy as ordering from an online catalog, it comes as little surprise that thousands of suffering “normal folks” are attempting to self-medicate their pain away. However, as many have discovered, taking highly addictive medications can cause many more problems than it solves.
Though not all of these off-label or recreational uses of prescription painkillers can be attributed to struggles with chronic pain, evidence indicates that many individuals develop dependency after using the drugs for legitimate purposes.
Chronic pain is under-treated, and the most common reasons patients gave for changing doctors included “too much pain,” and “the belief that the doctor didn’t take their pain seriously enough.”
The following are signs that the “as needed” use of pain-killing medication has become dependency or addiction:
- Needing increasingly larger doses to achieve the same level of comfort
- Undergoing changes in personality and withdrawing from family, friends, and social situations one previously enjoyed
- Expressing a need for continued medication long after the injury for which the drugs were initially prescribed has healed
- “Doctor shopping,” going online, or taking other steps to get more pain medication than was originally prescribed
- Experiencing blackouts, memory loss, or forgetfulness
Malibu Recovery Center is a place where residents gain the ability to learn a new way to live, free from the bonds of addiction and/or chronic pain. It is useful to distinguish between two basic types of pain, acute and chronic, and they differ greatly.
Acute pain results from disease, inflammation, or injury to tissues. This type of pain generally comes on suddenly, and may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain can usually be treated. It is confined to a given period of time and severity. However in some rare instances, it can become chronic.
Chronic pain is described as pain that lasts 6 months or longer or a pain that extends beyond the time for normal healing for an injury, disease, or surgery. It is believed to represent disease itself. It can be made much worse by psychological factors. Chronic pain persists over a longer period of time than acute pain and is resistant to most medical treatments.
Acute pain is normal and triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury with the need to take care of yourself. Chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals continue firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap, but some
Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, carpel tunnel pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself, or pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage to the nervous system.
Fortunately, if you are ready, Malibu Recovery Center is here to help. Call 866.547.6451