Let’s Talk About Addiction and Chronic Pain
Over the years, I’ve met a great deal of women battling addiction. I learned more about their stories and discovered many began using to deal with their chronic pain. Whether it was an improperly healed injury from a car accident, a debilitating case of arthritis, or a complicated surgical procedure, these women suffered immensely for long periods of time.
Chronic pain is a complex and long-term condition that affects every part of the human body. Approximately 116 million Americans suffer with this issue and coping with it is so challenging that reaching for alcohol and/or drugs becomes a tempting quick fix. However, while substance abuse seems to initially provide a reprieve from all the pain, it inevitably makes things worse.
As we all know, chemical dependency has many consequences. For starters, it interferes with our ability to care for family, derails careers, and makes it difficult to care for ourselves. The stress of dependence leads to increasing use, which perpetuates the already vicious cycle.
Addiction Doesn’t Discriminate
An interesting aspect (that much of society doesn’t realize), is that anyone can sustain an injury, be placed on medication, and develop an addiction. You don’t need to have a family history of substance abuse or a genetic predisposition. All that’s required is a prescription for pain medication and – voila – you can get hooked. The belief that “more is better” gets many people in trouble down the road; they often find themselves dependent on the powerful feeling of euphoria and relief that the opioid pills provide.
If you’re worried that you or a loved one has developed an addiction due to chronic pain, it’s time to seek professional help. A drug treatment program will develop a recovery plan that addresses your addiction as well as your chronic pain so that you can begin the process of healing. It’s never too late to take control and reclaim your life!
Additional Reading: Is Your Brain Addicted To Pain?
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