There are hundreds of reasons that people become addicted to drugs. For many, experiencing chronic pain caused by medical conditions can create the need for pain relief that fuels addiction. While addiction can actually make the pain worsen, it won’t go away once you get clean in a detox center. You will still have that underlying pain and that’s one reason many people are reluctant to seek help in getting clean. If you are afraid of how you will deal with the pain, you should be aware that medication isn’t the only way to manage your pain.
As you begin a detoxing from drugs, you may feel alone, but your caregivers in the facility will be there to help you. In addition to helping you flush the drugs out of your system, they will also help you to address the causes of your addiction. For those suffering from chronic pain, this means helping you find healthier ways of coping with your pain. This doesn’t always mean you won’t be given medication, but you will also be encouraged to look for other methods for managing your pain.
Beginning Detox as a Chronic Pain Sufferer
Once you decide to participate in a medically supervised detox, there is a procedure you must follow. You won’t just jump into treatment without preparation. Instead, an intake procedure will allow your caregivers to evaluate your condition. While one focus of this process is to determine the type and severity of your addiction, the intake will also be used to evaluate your health status. This means evaluating any mental illnesses that may be affecting you, as well as determining what physical medical conditions you may be experiencing.
This examination will also help them determine how much pain you typically experience. In addition to conducting a physical examination, they will also ask you questions about your medical conditions and your pain levels. Through this process, they can determine how best to address your pain issues as you detox from drugs or alcohol. While you may think your caregivers don’t understand, they are experienced in dealing with chronic pain patients and it’s important for you to trust them.
No Painkillers Doesn’t Always Mean No Drugs
Typically, doctors prescribe opioid painkillers to help patients manage chronic pain. While these medications are effective in managing pain, they’re also highly addictive and today’s doctors are looking for alternative methods of managing pain. In the detox center, your caregivers may find that your pain level is severe enough that you do need some type of medication, though they will not continue feeding your addiction with opioid-based painkillers. Instead, they may prescribe non-addictive painkillers, such as those used to treat depression and epileptic seizures. Sometimes, methadone or buprenorphine may be prescribed as a replacement drug, but these drugs will be administered at low, controlled dosages.
You may also begin attending therapy sessions in the detox center. These sessions will provide psychological counseling that will help you address the causes of your addiction. As such, you’ll receive therapy designed to teach you healthier coping mechanisms for your pain. Your therapist will likely begin behavioral modification therapy to help you manage how you react to pain.
Exploring Other Alternatives to Painkillers
While you may not believe it, there are actually many natural ways for dealing with pain and some maybe even more effective than the painkillers you were taking. Since these are natural treatments and therapies, you won’t experience the negative side effects that the drugs caused. Each facility will offer different resources, so it may be helpful to discuss the pain management options in advance. If you can find a detox center that offers the pain management options that you find interesting, you may be more open to benefit from those types of treatment.
By way of an example, acupuncture and chiropractic care have been found to be very effective in helping to treat pain caused by a variety of chronic medical conditions. You may also benefit from massage therapy. Your caregivers may also encourage you to begin working out and using weights. In addition to benefiting your overall health, regular physical exercise will help you strengthen your bones, muscles, and tissue, which will reduce the inflammation that causes pain.
The first step to recovering from your addiction is getting clean, but you don’t have to take on that challenge without help. To learn more about the detox process, call our counselors at 800-737-0933. We can answer your questions and help you get started in the recovery process.