Back Pain & Addiction To Painkillers

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Back Pain & Addiction To Painkillers

Did you know that 128 families lose a loved one to opioid dependence every day in America? It’s an undeniable statistic. It’s also a certainty that few understand until they live through it. For many of these families, it started with an innocent medical need. Their back pain was so great at the moment that they lost sight of the realities of developing an addiction to painkillers.

The very thing that was meant to ease the pain is what led to dependence. Families need to know the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction so they can work through it. Here’s what you need to know about opioid-related addiction and when to contact a rehab facility.

What Are Opioids Most Commonly Prescribed For?

According to clinical research, opioid prescriptions for low-back pain have increased significantly. About 80% of Americans experience lower back pain while 20% report severe back pain. Pain is difficult to measure and so too are the treatment options as doctors must rely on patient consultations.

Back pain treatment and addictive behaviors are multidimensional. Some patients have acute pain while others have chronic conditions that can develop for any reason. This includes congenital health conditions, traumatic injuries, or simply from a person’s weight, posture, or footwear type.

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What Are Common Prescription Opioids?

While doctors may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) or topical pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for acute pain, chronic back pain care often includes narcotics.

The most commonly prescribed opioids include codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine, oxycodone, and oxymorphone. For back pain, patients receive as many as four pills per day.

Many states, including Arizona, are taking measures to reduce opioid prescription usage. Those addicted to prescription opioids or experiencing addictive behaviors need the help of addiction specialists to overcome challenges.

What Are The Dangers Of Painkillers?

When a person begins to take a prescription painkiller, they aren’t immediately addicted to them. If a person follows their physician’s orders and they are closely monitored and weened off, they may not develop an addiction to the painkiller. However, with the increase in numbers of people experiencing back pain, there to come the increase in prescriptions for painkillers. And the temptation to misuse a prescription is often great. Other times a person will only need the prescription medication for a few days and they will keep the remainder of the prescription in the event that the pain comes back. This could lead to them misusing the prescription in the future, or another family member making a decision to take the prescription if they are experiencing pain, or if they want to try them.

What Does It Mean To Be Addicted To Painkillers?

The medical benefits of opioids are critical for someone with severe back pain but short-lived as the body naturally adapts to prescription strength and usage longevity. This makes them ineffective. People begin to experience opioid withdrawal symptoms such as abdominal pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. You may also notice diarrhea, eye dilation, heart rate increase, insomnia, muscle cramps, sweating, and tremors. While not usually life-threatening, it is a critical period of transition to seek help or further develop an addiction to painkillers by taking stronger doses.

What Happens To Your Body When You Overdose?

When a person overdoses, there are often symptoms like confusion, diarrhea, heart rate changes, sweating, and vomiting. If you notice blood in the vomit or stool, these are life-threatening signs that require immediate medical intervention. Some people may also experience unconsciousness. It is in this stage of an opioid overdose that death goes from a real possibility to a tragic reality.

State-By-State Opioid-Related Data

The CDC preserves state-by-state opioid-related data. In six months locally, 5,202 Arizonans overdosed on opioids, 812 died, and 455 babies were born addicted. All of this has influenced Arizona’s opioid prescribing guidelines to counter dependence. It is because of these familiar statistics that there be advocates who so diligently seek for early intervention.

How Can I Stop Being Addicted To Painkillers?

You should always listen to your doctor’s advice when taking any prescription, including opioids. You should also be aware of addictive behaviors so you will recognize the signs of painkiller addiction.

Springboard Recovery employs both traditional and non-traditional therapeutic opportunities to help you overcome the necessity for painkillers. We also strive for complete mind and body wellness to deal with the challenges of chronic pain management as well as coping with day-to-day stressors that can lead to a relapse.

As a leading addiction treatment facility in Arizona, we take a team-based approach to substance abuse. We provide you with the tools to succeed, including identifying the inspiration for recovery, coping with addictive impulses, managing addictive behaviors, and practicing the life skills you will need to get beyond painkiller compulsions.

Contact Springboard Recovery now for help with addiction. We will customize an addiction treatment plan to help you live without pain and painkillers.

Sources:

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
  2. thebmj: https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.g6380
  3. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
  5. Arizona Department of Health Services: https://www.azdhs.gov/documents/audiences/clinicians/clinical-guidelines-recommendations/prescribing-guidelines/az-opioid-prescribing-guidelines.pdf
  6. WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/painkillers-and-addiction-narcotic-abuse#1
  7. Foundation for a Drug-Free World: https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/painkillers/understanding-why-painkillers-become-so-addictive.html
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html
  10. WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/painkiller-addiction-warning-signs

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WRITTEN BY ROBERT CASTAN
APRIL 30, 2020

Robert Castan is a member of the Executive Leadership Team at SpringBoard Recovery. Robert started his professional career as a house manager and has become an industry leader and trusted voice in the treatment world. He brings extensive knowledge of organizational growth, industry-leading outcomes, and comprehensive marketing to SpringBoard Recovery. Robert has been walking his own path of recovery for over 10 years. This path has truly driven his ambition to help make treatment available to others who are struggling with addiction. Robert finds great joy in traveling and keeping physically active, with an emphasis on biking. Robert resides in Arizona with his husband and two four-legged children.   The U.S. Alcohol Crisis, Still Deadlier Than the Opioid Epidemic   Zombies and Other Future Threats to the Health of American Youth Dire Mental Health: A Catalyst for Post-Pandemic Drug Addiction The Benefits of Rehab Center Staff Working Their Own Recovery Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Robert Castan on Successful Addiction Treatment and Entrepreneurship Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale Opioids & COVID Driving Phoenix’s Rising Fatal Drug Overdoses Opinion: The Opioid Crisis + COVID-19 = The Perfect Storm Successful Addiction Treatment Programs & Entrepreneurship

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