Opioids are a series of painkillers which are by far the most commonly prescribed painkillers in the United States. In addition to the fact that they are commonly prescribed, these painkillers are also very highly addictive and can have extremely bad side effects.
Each year, over 289 million prescriptions are written for analgesic pain relievers, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report. But the statistics just get worse…
Studies also show that despite the fact that the United States is only five percent of the world’s population, they consume about 80 percent of the world’s opioid pain medication.
But, don’t let the data fool you – while the opioid crisis is a major issue and concern in the United States, the issue of addiction to this drug plagues everywhere. While the numbers might not be as high in other areas, they are definitely not non-existent.
However, more and more people are beginning to realize the dangers of this drug. But, since it is commonly prescribed for pain – leading you to believe that an addict most likely suffers from a chronic pain of some sort – they need some other form of pain relief.
So, what is a recovering opioid addict supposed to do? As a recovering addict, you have to be very careful about what you do and don’t take, a variety of medications could put you at great risk for another addiction.
A few safe and natural alternatives include:
- Exercise – Sometimes a good stretch can do the body good. Try going for a job or participating in a class like yoga to open up your body and your mind. Pain can easily be controlled through natural remedies such as this and combined with mindfulness.
- Massage, Chiropractic care, Acupuncture – Try seeing a specialist. Sometimes, pain can be treated best just by a simple massage in the area that is affected. This is also a great way to relax. Sometimes, one small issue could be causing great pain and it is something a chiropractor could reset – it is worth giving it a shot.
- Over-the-Counter Tylenol – Officially known as Acetaminophen, this OTC drug is best known for truly treating pain. A study shows it is actually more effective when taken with ibuprofen than oral opioid drugs when tested on patients who had a tooth extraction.
- Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors – Despite being most known as antidepressants, these drugs are great for muscular and skeletal pain even if you are not suffering from depression.
As always though, check with your doctor and your counselor before making a decision. Some forms of treatment are better than others based on your specific situation.