When you are suffering from chronic pain, opioids can seem like a viable option for obtaining some desperately-needed relief.
Chronic pain, regardless of where it originates, can cause debilitating effects to your every day.
From your ability to work to your ability to enjoy your loved ones and hobbies, it’s understandable why many people are searching for an easy solution.
Opioids and other pain relievers can remove, (or at least lessen) the immediate problem at hand, and can allow you to shift your attention away from the chronic pain that’s interfering with your life.
But opioids should never be used as a long term solution for several key reasons – especially considering that there are more effective alternative options available.
Let’s take a closer look at the problems associated with opioid use for chronic pain, and the smarter way to address your pain, and get your life back.
1. They are Highly Addictive
The addictive nature of opioids has been well documented, and as the nation faces a growing opioid crisis, more and more statistics are painting a clearer picture of the dangers of this pain-relieving drug.
Roughly 80% of current heroin and other illegal substance users report that their addiction began with opioids and other painkillers.
And in 2015 alone, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a total of 33,000 deaths that were linked to prescription opioid overdoses.
This addictive nature stems from the drug’s intended effects, which is to provide a “high” that masks the pain the user is experiencing.
Unfortunately, the euphoric feeling is lessened with every use, so opioid users must keep advancing to higher and higher doses to achieve relief, leading to addiction.
2. They Have Short-Term Side Effects
Obviously, the addictive nature of opioids alone is a strong enough reason to seek other solutions for chronic pain, but opioids can also slow you down and alter your life on a short-term basis as well.
Just like any prescription drug, opioids come with side effects, which may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating and abdominal distention
- Liver or brain damage after long-term use
As such, your original pain may be relieved with opioids. However, you may undergo other and unintended impacts that can interfere with your life on a new and different level.
3. Simply Put, They Don’t Work
Opioids can relieve pain, but they don’t eliminate the problem.
Once the drug wears off, the root cause of the pain is still present. This means opioids are completely ineffective as a long-term solution to chronic pain.
So What’s a Better Solution?
Opioids and other pain relievers may work to assist pain sufferers in the short term, but the smartest move is to get to the source of your chronic pain.
An experienced and dedicated Interventional Pain Management Physician will work with you to find the exact cause of your pain.
They can provide minimally invasive and non-operative ways to identify an actual solution – and not just alleviate the symptoms.
We Can Help
Addressing chronic pain takes a little research and a little work. But with the right physician, it can be achieved without life-altering consequences.
Examine your solutions and make smart decisions when it comes to addressing your pain. You’ll find a treatment that lasts well after the effects of prescription drugs like opioids wear off.