Taking Prescription Pain Medications In Recovery Without Relapsing Into Addiction
By: Design for Change Recovery
Life happens, even though we get sober from drugs and alcohol, life still happens. We can have car accidents, need surgeries, or face health complications. Doctors might want to prescribe us an opioid based medication for treatment. Taking an opioid, as prescribed by a doctor, for a medical emergency is not relapse. However, it can quickly turn into a relapse threat if it is not managed properly.
Double check if it’s the best treatment
Opioid medications are not always the best treatment option for recovering from a surgery or any kind of injury. Part of the reason the country is facing such a severe opioid epidemic is that doctors have over-prescribed opioids, relying on them as if they were the only option for treating pain. This simply isn’t the case. Opioids can be replaced by many other treatment methods or pain medications. Ask your doctor if they think it is absolutely necessary for you to take opioid medications and if it would be possible to try alternative treatments first.
Take a low dose, for a short period of time
If it is absolutely necessary for you to take opioid based medications, ask your doctor to start with the lowest dose possible and only write prescriptions for short amount of times. Most research is finding that opioid treatment does not have to be long term and that just a few days of narcotic painkillers is effective in reducing pain. Starting at high dosages isn’t necessary. If the medications don’t work, slowly increase a dosage. Since your body has been clean of all drug substances, it is likely you will be very sensitive to the opioid medications.
Don’t abuse the medication under any circumstances
Even when the pain is unbearable, it is critical that you not abuse the medication under any circumstances. One of the problems with opioid medications is that they decrease the tolerance one has for pain. They are not able to tolerate pain as great as they did just a few days before because the brain is becoming dependent on opioid medications. If your pain symptoms return, tell your doctor the medications aren’t working and you don’t want a higher dosage, you want to try something else.
Inform your doctor you are in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction
It is absolutely critical that you inform your doctor you are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Doctors are being forced to become more aware of addiction and the high risk for opioid addiction in their patients.
You can live a lifetime of sobriety and abstinence from drugs and alcohol. If you are struggling with addiction, there is hope for you. Design For Change offers a variety of treatment programs and recovery services to help you find your way in life, free from the imprisonment of addiction. For information, call us today at (877) 267-3646.