Addiction to prescription pain medications is as serious as ever in the United States, and physicians are becoming more and more hesitant to overprescribe addictive pain killers. Even with the added scrutiny, many patients do become addicted to pain relief medication. In this article, we are going to talk about the dangers of addiction to prescription pain killers, and also offer some tips to prevent a pain med addiction.
Addiction to Prescription Meds
When most people think of addiction, they imagine street drugs like heroin or crack. But the reality is that a person can become addicted to any drug – though some are more habit-forming than others. Prescription opioids, for example, are considered highly addictive. This is why these drugs are controlled substances and you can’t buy them without a doctor’s prescription. The other side of the coin is that these medications are highly effective at reducing pain in patients.
Preventing and Treating Addiction
The best way to combat prescription medication addiction is prevention. This often requires both doctor and patient to remain vigilant. Your physician will likely keep an eye out for any of the signs of medication addiction, but you as the patient should also watch out for any signs that may indicate addiction. If you start having to take your meds more often than prescribed, for example, communicate this to your doctor so you can both take steps to stop addiction in its tracks. This can be accomplished by prescribing other, less habit-forming drugs, combined with other methods.
At Advanced Spine & Pain Clinics of MN, we are acutely aware of the dangers of prescription addiction, and make it a point to discuss the risks of addiction with each and every patient. The good news is that painkillers are not the only option for patients dealing with pain. Injections, physical therapy, and various surgical procedures may allow you to reduce your pain and avoid addictive meds altogether. To talk with a skilled pain management physician about your pain and treatment options, contact our office today to set up your very own appointment. Our physicians have been treating Minnesotans for various pain conditions and injuries for the past twenty years.
Matthew Thorson, MD
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