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Should People with Substance Abuse Disorders Take Opioids for Pain?

Opioids are often used as a treatment for both chronic and acute pain. For people with substance abuse disorders, taking opioids for pain can easily lead to a relapse, especially when these drugs are taken over an extended period of time. Here’s what you must consider if you’re experiencing a pain issue and looking for appropriate treatment.

How Opioids Work

Opioids impact receptors in the brain to provide pain relief. Upon taking a medication, these receptors release chemicals that quell the sensation of pain, which is beneficial after surgery, when recovering from an accident, or when experiencing a chronic pain condition, such as fibromyalgia. However, opioids can also have a negative impact when a person becomes dependent on them.

Over time, the amount of the drug taken will need to be increased to have the same effect. This builds up a tolerance to the medication, which is a key aspect of addiction. Taking opioids for a long time can also cause changes to the brain, which worsens dependance and addiction issues.

Other Pain Relief Options to Consider

Because of these concerns, people with existing addiction issues are encouraged to seek out other types of pain relief when needed. Even those with no history of addiction can still become dependent on opioids quickly, so people with a prior history of substance abuse must exercise extreme caution.

In this case, you should make your doctor aware of your substance abuse disorder to allow them to devise a different form of treatment. For example, there are numerous non-opioid medications that provide pain relief without the same risks. And when it comes to chronic pain conditions, physical therapy and alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, can also be very beneficial.

Here at Duke City Recovery Toolbox, we know that life after addiction recovery can be challenging. That’s why we provide a wide range of addiction recovery services to people throughout Albuquerque. Our services can also help you avoid future relapses to stay on the right track with your sobriety. Speak with a member of our team today by calling (505) 224-9777 or contact us to learn more.