Approximately 115 million people suffer from some form of chronic pain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As the elderly population and returning veteran population increases this number grows daily. Unfortunately, there are not many ways to treat chronic pain. If you suffer from chronic pain there are a few things you should know about.
1. Opiate Addiction
The most common treatment for chronic pain is through the use of opiates and opioid medication. These are highly addictive. Most people can only stay on them a short while before they become tolerant and then dependent on increasing doses. As the dosages increase the side effects and other issues increase.
2. Fentanyl Addiction
Fentanyl is a patch that many doctors prescribe for chronic pain. It is similar to oral opiates in that it is highly addictive and many people become rapidly dependent on ever increasing doses. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this from happening.
3. Self Medicating
Due to the DEA crack down on doctors that prescribe opiate medications, they started to take people off their opiate pain control medications. This creates a problem for those in chronic pain. You begin to self medicate, self medicating includes purchasing medications illegally or using illegal narcotics.
4. Methadone Treatment
Methadone treatment is a less addictive alternative to traditional chronic pain treatments. Chronic pain patients can be treated with methadone but methadone is addictive as well. Most people who wind addicted to methadone can be weaned off but that still leaves the problem of chronic pain.
5. Suboxone Treatment
Suboxone is less of a pain management drug and more of an addiction support drug. It is effective at controlling chronic pain but not nearly as effective as many of the other drugs.
6. Methadone Centers
Methadone treatment centers are available for both addicts and chronic pain patients. Unfortunately, they have their problems as well. Methadone is normally given to patients daily so you are forced to return to a clinic daily in order to receive treatment.
7. Inpatient Treatment Centers
Inpatient treatment centers can help you get the chronic pain under control and help you with the addiction to opiates and other painkillers. Most people who go to inpatient treatment centers do so because their use of painkillers is now out of control.
Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of stigma attached to opiates, methadone, methadone centers, and Suboxone. People who are paranoid about drug addiction have made it difficult for those who are in chronic pain to seek viable treatment for their condition. Although most painkillers are addictive, they are effective.
9. Finding Treatment for Chronic Pain
Finding treatment for chronic pain should not be a trial. It should just be a matter of finding a pain specialist. These specialists are often available at pain clinics across the country.