Medical professionals prescribe opioids to patients as a way to manage pain from an injury, surgery, or trauma. Opioids are highly addictive and in a class of drugs derived from the opium poppy. The commonly used opioids are Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, and Demerol. These painkillers are for short-term use; however, opioids are also used for long-term illnesses such as cancer. The opioid epidemic has been declared a national health emergency due to the overwhelming rise in opioid use, overdoses, and deaths.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states, “Devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic include increases in opioid misuse and related overdoses, as well as the rising incidence of newborns experiencing withdrawal syndrome due to opioid use and misuse during pregnancy.“
There are ways to lessen the risk of an opioid addiction:
- Follow the doctor’s orders. If you are taking medication for pain, take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. When you take more painkillers, and more frequently than prescribed, you put yourself at severe risk of developing a dependency or addiction. Take the painkillers exactly as your doctor tells you.
- Seek alternatives. Talk to your doctor about alternatives to opioids. There are less addictive medications that can alleviate pain. Check with your doctor for other options that can minimize discomfort.
- Ask yourself if you still need painkillers. If your pain is more manageable and you are experiencing less pain, ask yourself if you need to continue using opioids. If you continue to use them, but no longer need them, you could be at risk of addiction.
- Limit opioid use. Do not take more opioids than needed or increase the duration of use. If you feel better, talk to your physician about discontinuing the medication and withdrawal management.
- Think about other risks. Discuss other factors with your physician that may contribute to your risk of opioid addiction. Talk about your experiences with addiction to drugs or alcohol, or mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
The number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths is staggering. If you or your loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, you are not alone. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in treating addiction with a focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit. Addiction is deadly. Get help today.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help today. Nexus Recovery Services specializes in addiction treatment and encompasses holistic therapy for the mind, body, and soul with a focus on staying active and connected to nature. Our mission is to provide tools and support for every client’s seamless transition into a meaningful and fulfilling life of sobriety. We offer a free and confidential consultation. Call us to get started: 310-881-9151