For those with real, chronic pain issues, relief can seem hard to come by. That’s why, when doctors recommend prescription painkillers—many of them opioids—it’s often very welcome. Over time, however, opioid painkillers can lead to problems of their own. In fact, opioid addiction is a nationwide epidemic, and it’s not uncommon for it to begin with a perfectly innocent, normal, and legal attempt to mitigate pain.
For those who become addicted to opioid drugs, then, the problem is twofold. On the one hand, these individuals need freedom from substance abuse; at the same time, they still have the chronic pain issues to deal with. Weening themselves off of opioids, even if it were an easy thing to do, would still leave them with some real healthcare problems to consider.
Addiction Treatment and Pain Management
A two-pronged approach to opioid addiction recovery is possible—and at Experience Recovery, we are zealous about helping our clients to find freedom both from drug addiction and from the pain that afflicts them.
The first part of this process is addiction recovery. Historically, opioid addiction treatment has come in three basic forms.
Structured Opioid Use
Structured opioid use is a method in which the opioid user is guided back toward a safe, controlled use of opioid painkillers—meaning he or she can continue taking opioids to help with the pain. This is really not a viable option for true addiction recovery, however; it’s really just for those who are slightly misusing opioids, and thus is not really part of the program we offer here at Experience Recovery.
In other cases, those who are addicted to opioids can be transitioned off of their painkillers and on to substances such as methadone or Suboxone—both of which can help with the pain as well as the withdrawals. The problem is that these substances can sometimes become addictive in themselves, so this is not a recommended solution for everyone.
The best solution for most individuals is an abstinence-based approach—which may mean residential treatment, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient treatment. Rather than using powerful narcotics to assist with detox and recovery, this treatment method uses non-additive treatments to provide lasting freedom from addiction.
Dealing with Chronic Pain
These options can each lead to sobriety, but they don’t necessarily address the issue of ongoing pain. At Experience Recovery, however, we take a whole-person view of recovery, and want to help individuals find relief from whatever physical discomfort they are in, without the need for powerful drugs.
An addiction counselor will help you address your specific pain management needs. Speaking broadly, however, we can offer a wide range of solutions—including yoga, exercise, meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy, all of which can reduce the inflammation that leads to chronic pain. And, in the cases that do require medicine, we can offer some safe, natural, and non-habit-forming alternatives to opioids.
Experience Recovery—from Addiction and from Pain
Often, opioid addiction begins as a response to chronic pain. As such, a good recovery program has to address both the addiction itself, and its underlying cause. At Experience Recovery, that’s a charge we take seriously.
Our addiction counselors are here to talk with you about the addiction recovery options that are available to you. No matter your specific needs, we invite you to contact us today to start developing a treatment plan that’s tailored to you.