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Can You Ever Take Painkillers Responsibly in Recovery?

Can You Ever Take Painkillers Responsibly in Recovery?

The difficult challenge facing people who are in recovery from addiction is whether or not it is possible to take painkillers in recovery. The fear of cross-over addiction is high and sometimes doctors are afraid to prescribe them for fear of the same, while the people who struggle with chronic pain are seeking relief. Find out whether it is possible to ever take painkillers responsibly without compromising recovery.

When it Hurts

The question of whether or not you might need painkillers is probably less likely to be if than when. If you are in recovery, you are likely asking yourself if sobriety can survive putting prescription opioid painkillers into your repertoire, even for a day. The answers are not as clear cut as some might like because the process of managing pain in recovery varies person to person. It is crucial that discomfort is eased but also that you don’t get a drug that threatens your sobriety. Finding equilibrium between the two can be tough. It may trigger an addictive response in one person while another may be able to take it for a short, prescribed period of time, and do just fine.

Balancing Relief with Risk of Relapse

When speaking to the doctor about risk of prescription pain meds, the first thing to consider is personal and family history of addiction. If a physician has not evaluated you for mental health conditions, it is important to do that before looking at prescription pain medication. If you have a long history of using certain drugs, like opioids, it may not be a great idea to put those into your body at this point. Mental health issues can also play a factor in whether or not you may be more susceptible to the effects of painkillers in your body.

Maintaining Recovery

People in recovery need to let family and friends know about what they are taking, when, and for how long. This critical piece of the pain management puzzle may be easy to forget but there should be no secrets about medication. If you are worried about the drugs and the effect on sobriety, you can ask someone in your support system to help dispense the medication. It is best to get off it as soon as possible and never take more than prescribed. Untreated pain may make you more susceptible to relapse if you are struggling to get it under control properly. Pain management can be a real issue for chronic pain so a treating physician, counseling team, and support network of sober friends should work with you to support your needs.

There are non-medical pain relief options for those who can utilize them, or along with pain medication, including yoga, acupuncture, massage, water therapy, and physical therapy. These, along with proper pain management overseen by a doctor, can help relieve pain symptoms long enough to try and address the underlying causes of pain and hopefully get it under control.

It is hard to be in pain and be in recovery. The reality is sometimes there is a need for pain medication to support proper recovery. We work with your individual situation to support wherever you are in the journey of recovery. Our goal is to help you heal. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401