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Are Painkillers Really Safe? Here’s What Experts Want You to Know ASAP

In a quest to fight the dire opioid crisis in America, the interconnecting concerned agencies decided to set up a comprehensive guide for you to know everything about painkillers and how the opioid crisis is destroying your beloved motherland.

The Study

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), an astounding 59 million prescriptions for painkillers has been prescribed and written by both legal and illegal doctors. According to the 2016 report, the staggering number is enough for every person in the country to have their own bottle of painkillers. What’s more, about 2 million people are already addicted to painkillers. This addiction often leads to accidental death and prescription overdose.

However, the health experts clarify that just by getting a legal prescription for opioid usage won’t mean you’ll get addicted to it, or you’ll have a direct trip to rehab. According to Erin Goodhart, LPC, women are more vulnerable to painkillers than men due to some unique societal and biological factors.

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With proper medical regulation, these opioid painkillers can help manage your pain according to the medical experts.

Aside from that, the women’s hormones make them more susceptible to painkillers, especially if they use it to control their weight, coping up with pain or emotional turmoil, fighting exhaustion and fatigue, and self-treating your mental health problems.

According to the National Institutes of Health, around 15.8 million women suffer from substance abuse – either from drugs or pain medications. This means that in every three minutes a woman in the United States goes to the emergency room due to prescription painkiller abuse or misuse. Here’s what you need to know about painkillers and how to utilize them the right way.

Painkillers can lead to Heroin Addiction.

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This type of drug addiction connection hails as the full-blown epidemic of addiction to narcotics according to the CDC.

According to ASAM, every four out of five women became addicted to heroin after they had abused their prescriptions of opioid painkillers. While it doesn’t mean that every woman who takes her prescription of painkillers, either Percocet for dealing with pain after childbirth or OxyContin in dealing with an injury will make you a heroin junkie automatically, Goodhart says women should still be vigilant of this possible connection that may happen to them.

You Can’t Quit Painkillers Easily

To minimize your withdrawal effects, Goodhart recommends you work on with your doctor to work on a strategy to gradually release you from drug dependency rather than going cold turkey.

Whether you’re taking prescription painkillers moderately, or exactly as prescribed by your doctor, or you’ve become dependent on it, Goodhart warns you will still experience its horrible withdrawal effects. You’re likely to experience flu, exhaustion and body aches, and nausea.

In this way, the withdrawal symptoms you’ll experience will be bearable to you. Meanwhile, the longer you are on a pain medication, the more symptoms, your body will suffer including diarrhea, insomnia, extreme pain, and vomiting.

Work with a Physician Specializing in Long-term Pain Management

If you have an underlying health condition that requires you deal with chronic pain, it’s better to find a specialist in pain management than to rely on your general practitioner according to Goodhart.

These specialized doctors can manage your pain medication while assuring your body can take it and you won’t end up being drug dependent. If you can’t find a specialized doctor in your vicinity, make sure to ask your attending physician lots of questions about your treatment plan before you accept the prescribed medicine.

Look for Pain Management Alternatives

According to Goodhart, all usage of prescribed drugs have side effects, that’s the truth about medication. However, you can explore alternative non-drug options to help manage your chronic pain the natural way. One way of doing that is to involve yourself in a comprehensive program that includes physical, psychological, medical, psychiatric, and spiritual alternative pain treatments.

Things like acupuncture, exercise, physical therapy, massage, meditation, talk therapy, and yoga can help in dealing with and treating the source of your pain. What’s more? These alternative treatments do not have side effects. Instead, it helps in nurturing and improving your overall health and well-being.

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