Opioid pain relievers should only be used for brief amounts of time

The easiest path for anyone concerned about abusing opioid pain relievers is avoiding these drugs completely. However, it is likely that, somewhere in your future you might require the need for opiate painkillers once more. Should you need to take these drugs in the future, do so under the close observation of the physician who prescribed them. Maintain the dosage as it has been prescribed and only take what is necessary to alleviate your pain.

Keep in mind that opioid pain relievers should only be used for brief amounts of time to treat moderate to severe pain symptoms. These drugs alter the brain’s chemical structure after extended abuse. Therefore, you are not only putting yourself at risk for continued dependency, but also potentially harmful and irreversible neurological problems.

All opioid analgesics include this chance of dependency, which is why they are categorized as Schedule IV drugs. Even though they have an accepted medical use, there is still a relatively low potential for either physical or psychological dependency. Therefore, an opioid addict’s best chance of recovery lies in his or her avoidance of future drug uses and exploring of other non-pharmacological methods of pain relief.

If you have chronic pain and are trying to avoid using opiate pain medications, ask your physician about the following alternative treatments for pain, described by AARP The Magazine:

  • Dietary supplements, like glucosamine and chondroitin, which might help to alleviate pain associated with conditions like arthritis
  • Acupuncture, which has been found to relieve pain symptoms associated with various illnesses
  • Herbal and natural supplements
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Nutrition––diets rich in fish and flaxseed include an abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids that relieve inflammation
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage

Remember, an individual prone to addiction, such as a recovering addict, will be putting his or her sobriety at risk if they begin taking prescription drugs like Tramadol again. If you are currently taking these drugs and are afraid of becoming addicted or if you realize that you have become addicted, seek out the help of an experienced substance abuse treatment provider today.

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