Given the epidemic of opioid and opiate drug abuse in the United States, people should probably avoid using opiates to manage pain, especially chronic pain, even when they are prescribed by a doctor. The side effects and dangers are too great. Rather than take the risk, it might be better to consider natural, non-addictive ways to treat pain in the first place.
Unfortunately, too many people have become addicted to andoverdosed from prescription opiates or other substances when the pharmaceuticalcompanies encouraged doctors to prescribe them by claiming they had little riskof addiction.
When that turned out to an exaggeration, new regulations and laws put into place tried to reduce the number of people who are prescribed opiates. Unfortunately, again, this led to a black market for the drugs and even sent pain patients looking for illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
Prescription opiates are not safe to take long-term. Addiction can sometimes occur after taking them only for a few days, and some patients will continue to endure pain, not for days or weeks but years, possibly the rest of their lives.
Consider the dangers of opiates—not all of which are life-threatening, but still can affect your quality of life—before you start taking them.
A large majority of people who take opiates develop stomach issues. You might experience nausea or vomiting. You may have a severe lack of appetite because of your stomach issues, resulting in drastic weight loss. You may even experience bloating, abdominal distention, or constipation. This can lead to even more pain and discomfort.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, learn more about natural ways to fight off pain, instead of dealing with the stomach issues associated with opiate use.
A high number of people who use opiates experience fatigue that causes them difficulty getting out of bed, staying awake throughout the day, or even accomplishing normal day-to-day tasks. Not only that, but the fatigue can affect other people in their lives as well. They may not have the energy to play with their children or spend time with their loved ones. They may cancel plans with family or friends. Chronic fatigue can even lead to depression.
If you want to save yourself from the hassles of fatigue, not using opiates is a great start.
Long-term use of opiates can inhibit your body’s production of serotonin. Your body needs serotonin to naturally fight off pain. Opiates replace the serotonin your body naturally produces. If you then stop taking the opiates, you no longer make enough serotonin to fight off the pain on your own, at least for a while. That is one reason why people have a difficult time getting off of opiates.
After some time off of these drugs, you can find healthy ways to treat your pain, without the use of drugs. If you want to prevent the issue with serotonin from occurring in the first place, saying no to opiate use is the way to go.
Your body can soon develop an increased tolerance to opiates,meaning your body needs more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Twicea day at a certain dosage may no longer be enough. Such increased tolerance can eventuallylead to addiction, then addiction to harder drugs.
If you want to prevent this from occurring, choosing natural ways to treat the pain you are experiencing may be the best option.
A related problem with opiate use, tied into the increased tolerance, is a dependence upon the drugs themselves. Most people start using opiates to reduce or treat the pain they are experiencing, but this dependence can outlast the pain or surpass the need for pain relief. Over time this can lead to addiction or even overdose.
If you want to prevent a dependency from happening at all, turn down opiates. If you are already taking them, there are treatment centers that can help you get off from these drugs.
Dependence can lead to actual addiction, the need to take theopiates regardless of the pain or if they even reduce the pain any longer.Aside from the physical cost of opiate addiction is the financial cost. Wheninsurance no longer covers the cost of the drugs, opiates can be veryexpensive. When doctors stop prescribing them because they suspect addiction,addicts turn to heroin and other illicit drugs (which are cheaper and easier toget on the black market).
Being addicted to any drug is dangerous. Being addicted to a black market drug that is not subject to quality control by the government or industry makes you that much more likely to overdose and die. Even treatment for opiates addiction seems impossible because you can’t bear the thought of not using and feeling the pain of withdrawal on top of the original pain for which you started taking the drugs.
If you already suffer from an addiction to opiates, be sure to get addiction treatment help. You can get clean, get into recovery, and learn healthier ways to manage your pain. If you want to prevent an addiction, it is best not to use opiates at all.
Not everybody who takes opiates will become addicted, but some people are morepredisposed to addiction because of genetics, psychology, family history, andother factors.
Opiate use can damage your stomach, other organs in the body, serotonin levels, and more. Opiates can harm your relationships, your motivation, and even lead to depression. Opiates, if you take them for longer than a couple of months, put you at greater risk to become dependent upon them.
Even if a doctor wants to prescribe opiates, that doesn’t mean you have to say yes. There are other solutions besides opiates. Ask your doctor about safer alternatives for treating your pain.
You can find natural ways to treat the pain that will avoid theseproblems and keep you healthier as well.
About The Author
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.