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Addiction and Chronic Pain

Addiction and chronic pain disorders can be an egg or chicken issue. If one has a chronic pain disorder, they may turn to addictive drugs to get relief, or if one is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can create pain disorders. Continue reading about these two co-mingling issues and how you can break the cycle and become healthier in body and mind.

Substance Abuse and Pain

Chronic pain is quite debilitating, and for those who suffer from it, they will do whatever they can to get relief. Whether it’s fibromyalgia, myofascial pain disorder, cancer effects, or other pain disorders, people with chronic pain may use alcohol, prescribed medications, and even street drugs for various reasons. Even under a doctor’s supervision, people may turn to self-medicating with marijuana or other drugs to seek relief. Sometimes, substance abusers may use chronic pain as a reason to take drugs when they may not have a pain disorder.

Statistics on Chronic Pain and Addiction

Some drugs can cause pain, so people take more drugs, thinking it’s a pain disorder, which sets up a nasty cycle that can be hard to break. Addictive disorders affect about 12 percent for alcohol dependence, 17 percent for alcohol abuse, 2 percent for drug dependence, and 7 percent for drug abuse. According to the National Institutes of Health, the research proposes that there is a reasonably high rate of chronic pain among individuals with addiction disorders.

Many factors can contribute to pain in people with addictive disorders, including:

  • Traumatic childhood experiences
  • Domestic abuse
  • Injuries
  • Emotional or behavioral issues

Traumatic childhood experiences appear to increase the risk of developing either chronic pain or addiction later in life.

Common Painkillers that Contribute to Addiction

Although most drugs, if taken longer than necessary or abused, can lead to tolerance and addiction, some common ones are opioids like Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet. A doctor will prescribe a pain reliever for a short time; however, if someone feels they need it longer or it becomes a crutch even after the injury has healed, this is a red flag. Most fractures heal within six weeks, with the femur, the largest bone in the body, healing 3-6 months after an injury. If someone complains of pain after, there may be something else going on that needs investigating.

Treating Addiction and Chronic Pain

Before someone goes through a treatment program for addiction or chronic pain, it’s crucial to discover which came first, the addiction that led to pain, or the pain leading to addiction. Detoxing from the drug or alcohol is the first step, and then counseling in the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy should follow. Once both of these issues can be addressed, a therapist can customize treatment to allow for the highest chance of addiction recovery.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, a doctor may recommend outpatient or inpatient rehab that includes various treatment modalities. Effective residential treatment may consist of:

  • Continued individual or group therapy
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Relapse Prevention (RP)
  • Motivational Techniques
  • Social Skills Training
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy Informed Approach
  • Trauma-Informed Approach

These sessions can be combined with natural therapies, such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation, nutrition, and more, to reduce stress and emotional issues while in treatment and beyond.

Residential Treatment Care with Ardu Recovery Center

Ardu Recovery Center can help by offering support and care 24/7, seven days a week, for loved ones who are struggling with addiction and chronic pain. Our staff is compromised on professionals who are trained in treating those with addiction. Contact us today.