The Connection Between Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction

Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction

When patients suffer from chronic pain, doctors often resort to opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, and meperidine. That can resolve the short-term problem, but it can lead to another, long-term problem: dependency and even drug addiction.

Given the risks, why do doctors prescribe these powerful drugs?

Medical Conditions that Warrant an Opioid Prescription

The short answer is that they’re used for treating chronic pain. Take oxycodone. One of the most powerful drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies, it’s often used to treat chronic pain resulting from injury, osteoarthritis pain, diabetic neuropathy, and even cancer.1

Some other common reasons patients and their doctors resort to painkillers include.2

  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Cancer

Doctors also prescribe painkillers for acute pain associated with surgery and other short-term conditions. That being said, people who suffer from chronic pain face the greatest risk of dependency.

When Use Becomes Abuse

Not all patients who take pain relievers for chronic conditions will wind up addicted. Many manage to wean themselves off before physical or emotional dependency sets in.

Others are not so lucky. Of course, it’s not easy to determine when such opioids are necessary and when a patient can live a full life without them. Meanwhile, millions of Americans will continue to struggle with addiction.

When It’s Time to Seek Help

If you suffer from addiction issues after taking prescription painkillers, you should never be ashamed to seek out the help of a dedicated addiction facility.

At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we provide flexible inpatient and outpatient care programs for those who suffer from opioid and heroin addictions.

Don’t wait until drug addiction ruins your life. Contact us today to learn about our addiction recovery programs.

Sources

  1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/227489-conditions-that-warrant-prescriptions-for-oxycodone/
  2. http://www.newsweek.com/cdc-issues-new-guidelines-prescribing-opioid-painkillers-437170