When you think of addiction, you might think of illegal drugs, alcohol, or even cigarettes.
But what if I told you that in 2018, 10.3 million people were reported to have misused prescription pain killers.
A year prior to that, In 2017, over 191 million prescriptions for opioids such as Vicodin, Morphine, Fentanyl, and Codeine were written across the US alone.
These drugs can lead to physical and psychological dependence even when they’re used as directed.
So what can you do if you or someone you know is facing a pill addiction?
Opioids increase the presence of dopamine and endorphins and depress the central nervous system. They make you feel good and they stop the pain.
With prolonged use, the brain stops producing dopamine and endorphins naturally. So when the pills wear off you experience a dip below the normal level of these two chemicals.
This means that when you try and stop taking prescribed pain medication, you have similar symptoms to a recovering heroin addict. These include stomach cramps, nausea, insomnia, muscle aches, lower pain threshold, anxiety, depression, and irritability as well as cravings for the opioid.
How to Beat Pill Addiction
First and foremost, the biggest concern is going to be finding an alternative way of treating the pain you were prescribed the pills for in the first place.
There are a number of alternatives to opioid medications that can help to manage pain
Non-Opioid Pain Medication
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and diclofenac have all been used successfully to treat chronic pain along with other non-opiate based pain killers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Some drugs, such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants, have been found to help treat chronic pain. These adjuvant medications are less effective than pain killers for musculoskeletal pain but work well for neuropathic pain.
Steroid injections can also be used to successfully treat pain related to joints and tendons. They are however a short term solution and need to be part of a broader pain management plan.
Alternative Pain Killers
There are a number of alternative medicines available to help with the treatment of chronic pain, and a couple of them can also help with other opioid withdrawal symptoms.
CBD oil is known for its analgesic and anti-anxiety effects, but a study also found that it can reduce opioid cravings. Unlike opioid use, there is no evidence of drug intoxication or dependence associated with CBD use.
Kratom is essentially a natural opioid. It provides the ability to help control pain as well as to stave off the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. To find out more about Kratom visit the Kratom Connection.
Time to Make a Change
Tablets and alternative medicines can help manage pain and assist in dealing with opioid withdrawal.
It is equally important to assess your overall lifestyle. Behavioral counseling and drug treatment programs can help kick start the process.
A healthy diet dense in vitamins and minerals, exercise, and regular sleep can all have a huge impact when it comes to beating pill addiction.
Having things to look forward to and people to talk to will be key to your recovery.
For more information on becoming a happier and healthier version of you, feel free to take a look at the rest of our site.