Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.


Tag Archive: pain management

Drug Rehabilitation with Pain management

There are many causes of chronic pain – injury, accident or illness. One of the biggest healthcare crisis of our times is the opioid abuse crisis. Opioids are typically prescribed for severe and/or chronic pain, to which the patient ultimately develops tolerance and becomes addicted. However, an integrated approach that includes pharmacotherapy, physical therapy, individual counseling, and group support, can be the right choice for patients suffering from chronic pain. Drug rehab with pain management includes this approach for the effective treatment of chronic pain.

According to a recently published study, patients who suffer from drug addiction and chronic pain tend to receive inadequate pain control compared to non-addicted patients. Doctors in rehab facilities may be hesitant to provide opioid pain medications given their predisposition to addiction. However, these patients deserve adequate relief is the pain is severe, the same way as any other patient. Drug rehabilitation for chronic pain is an approach that treats the patient’s substance abuse without compromising pain control.
Drug rehab with pain management focuses on not only the substance abuse and pain control components but also other facets of health
Chronic pain can debilitating — physically, emotionally and socially. The end results of under-treated pain can be isolation, depression, substance abuse or worse, suicide.

Chronic pain is actually underreported. Many patients suffer from it and assume it as a part of growing old.  Adequate pain control can dramatically improve their quality of life and functionality.

It is true as well that prescription painkillers can be abused. These patients are vulnerable to getting addicted as they develop tolerance to them. This is why it is extremely important to provide them with pain in a controlled setting with careful monitoring. Patients undergoing drug rehab are in a structured program under careful supervision and it is important to provide them with adequate pain relief and monitor them for warning signs of abuse.

 

Having said that, giving alternatives to opioids for pain relief is advisable in patients with a past or current history of substance abuse. Some of the non-opioid options for pain relief, with varying degree of strength and efficacy, include buprenorphine, psychological counseling and behavioral modification, massage, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and herbal therapy, physical therapy, etc.

Psychotherapy can help identify negative behaviors and thought patterns that contribute to addiction, but it is not an actual pain relief method. Drug rehab with pain management focuses on not only substance abuse and pain control components but also other facets of health, such as nutrition, exercise, etc. As drug addicts tend to ignore these, addressing them is likely to help them regain physical and mental health. Pain should not be ignored. It should be addressed by the right clinicians and a personalized plan for pain relief should be sketched out keeping in view the unique history and health status of each patient. A comprehensive approach is likely to yield successful results in the recovery process of the patients and improve their overall quality of life.

Drug Dependence vs Drug Addiction – How Our Alternative Approach Prevents These

There is a difference between drug addiction and dependence that is important to understand. Although some use these words interchangeably, the preferred term is now “Substance use disorder”.

Drug dependence often alludes to the physical dependence on a substance and is characterized by the symptoms of tolerance and withdrawal. It typically precedes addiction.

Addiction is characterized by a change in behavior caused by the biochemical changes in the brain after substance abuse has continued over a period of time. The addict develops full dependence on the substance and craves for it and seeks it at all costs, with no regard to the harm it causes to themselves or others. It is highlighted by irrational drug-seeking behavior.

Mental dependence is when a person desires a substance in response to an event or feeling, which are known as “triggers.” Triggers can be set off by another person, events, experiences, etc.

Drug abuse is considered to be the early stage of drug dependence

Addiction becomes evident when both, mental and physical dependence is present.

Drug abuse is considered to be the early stage of drug dependence. When the abuse becomes more frequent, the likelihood of developing a dependence disorder gets greater.

 

It is important to differentiate between addiction and substance dependence. Dependence may be present without addiction, but it frequently leads to addiction.

 

We employ an alternative approach to pain management with a goal in mid to keep patients away from drugs that they can develop dependence for. Opioids, antianxiety meds, and stimulants all have addiction potential. They develop tolerance towards it, which means that when people use it, they need more of it to have the same desired effect. This leads to higher or more frequent dosing (abuse). That eventually leads to dependence and then addiction.

 

In order to prevent this cascade of events, we try to employ alternative methods for pain relief – such as herbal supplements, nonsedating meds with no addiction potential, and nonpharmacologic activities, including acupuncture, meditation, yoga, etc. While they may be less strong pain-relieving methods as compared to opioids, they can be extremely effective. For severe, uncontrolled pain, you would require strong painkillers but a wide range of patients can achieve effective and lasting pain relief from these options. The key benefit of these is the fact that they have no addiction potential, and in most cases, promote a healthy lifestyle.

 

It is important to remember that the key tenet of medicine is – first do no harm. While necessary in some cases, opioids and other anxiolytics and sedatives have a high risk of dependence leading to addiction, which can even be life-threatening. We explore all healthy alternatives to them as much as possible to avoid these problems and heal the patients at the same time. We deeply care about the wellbeing of our patients and strive to improve their life experience as much as possible.