Life happens. This is a core belief every addict in recovery has to come to believe. In recovery, we call living with this fact living life on life’s terms. Unfortunately, life can be unpredictable. Despite getting sober and making an incredible series of changes in our lives, we don’t become immune to life’s possibilities. There is still potential for accident and injury, needs for surgery and procedure. In the medical world, the answer to any kind of pain is usually a treatment and a drug. Problematically, for many years, the drug of choice for prescribing doctors have been opiates. Opiate painkillers are based in morphine, the chemical byproduct of the opium poppy plant when it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Natural opioid receptors in the brain activate analgesic effects through the body. Opiates don’t target pain, though new research efforts are trying to create an opioid pill which does. Instead, opioids create an overall sensation of pain relief and euphoria.
Opioid addiction has become a leading cause of death, more than car accidents or gun violence. The high addictability of opiate painkillers leads many addicts to try heroin or synthetic opiates. Ultimately, it can lead them to overdose and death. Once they get sober after going through treatment, they are terrified at the prospect of ever coming into contact with opiates again.
Should a situation arise when you need to take pain medication for a surgery, injury, or accident, there are non-narcotic options. After being sober for some time, your body will actually have a lower tolerance for any kind of pain relief medications. For many addicts in recovery a prescription strength Motrin works wonders! However, life does happen. Injuries or surgeries can cause severe pain for which an opioid will only work. It is possible to take opioid medications safely after years of sobriety. Typically, addicts will confuse what “safely” means. Opioid prescriptions are meant to be short term not long term. Any kind of opioid abuse is defined by using the medication against prescription. As an addict in recovery, you will be able to work with your therapist and your sponsor as well as your personal support network to stay accountable and honest. Once the pain is receding and can be managed, it is important to dispose of the drugs to a safe disposal site.
Recreational use of opioid drugs typically isn’t possible for an opioid addict, especially since opioid painkillers are not meant to be used recreationally. However, long term recovery from opioid addiction is possible. Everyone is capable of recovery. Call Design For Change to get information on our treatment programs for opioid addiction: (877) 267-3646.