How Does Pain Management in Addiction Recovery Work?

June 21, 2023

Written By: Buena Vista Recovery

Many drugs, such as opioids, are used for pain management. Pain management drugs tend to be highly addictive, and opioids are the number one drug found to cause death from overdose. It is possible to become addicted unknowingly when prescribed pain medicines by a doctor. After treatment for addiction, however, you may find yourself wondering, “How does pain management in addiction recovery work?” If you were addicted to pain medication, going back to using it is not a good option. However, there are alternative ways to manage your pain. After you have gone through detox and addiction treatment, you can begin to build skills that help you to live a life without painkillers.

Pain Management and Addiction

When you have chronic or severe pain, you may be prescribed medication to manage it. However, while these prescription painkillers can be very effective, they are also highly addictive. This can lead to you using painkillers outside of what they were prescribed for.

While from the outside this danger can seem clear, the impact of painkillers on your brain can create confusion. This makes it difficult to know if you are addicted or simply in pain. However, after riding the slippery slope of pain management, you might find yourself experiencing physical or mental withdrawal symptoms. You also might start feeling the need to use pain medication more and more. Fortunately, addiction treatment at Buena Vista Recovery can help. This treatment facility provides you with the opportunity to heal physically through detox. In addition, you will build skills that help you manage pain in recovery without relapsing.

Pain Management in Addiction Recovery

Learning pain management in addiction recovery is not simple. Admittedly, it is a complicated problem. Your methods of managing pain without relapse will be unique to you and your situation. The specifics of your pain, including whether it is chronic or a result of a procedure, will impact what you choose to do. This is because chronic pain will need to be managed long-term. This is different from intense pain due to surgery that will only occur on a short-term basis.

However, providing relief around the clock and trying alternative methods of pain relief can be helpful ways to manage pain in recovery. Remember, even though it is difficult, you can learn to manage your pain while staying sober. This will protect yourself and your family from addiction.

Relief Around the Clock

When pain medication is prescribed, the directions often say to use it as needed. In theory, this is good. You would use medication when you need pain relief and not when you don’t. However, when you have the option to use it as needed, your definition of “as needed” can morph and change over time. Therefore, when you are feeling symptoms of withdrawal, you may find yourself feeling like you need to take more medication.

Relief around the clock is a method of prescribing that means taking pain medication at a set time and amount regardless of how you feel. This is a highly structured approach that has no leeway in terms of how you take the medication. As a result, it can be a way to use prescription pain medication short term without the risks associated with taking it as needed.

Alternative Pain Relief

Depending on your history and situation, taking pain medications may not be the best option for you. Fortunately, there are other methods of pain relief you can try. Of course, not all alternative pain relief methods will work for you. It will take some trial and error to find a combination of pain relief methods that suit you and your specific situation.

Some common alternative pain relief methods include breathing, meditation, and movement therapy. These techniques can provide relief by accessing a part of your nervous system that helps you to relax and shift out of pain. Breathing techniques for pain management include taking deep breaths in and out of your nose, feeling your belly expand, and allowing for a long and slow exhale. This helps to lower your heart rate and decrease the pain you are experiencing.

The Value of Pain Management in Addiction Recovery

Learning new ways of pain management in addiction recovery is important. This is especially true if you found yourself addicted to painkillers after taking them as a way to manage pain. If this happened to you, then steering clear of taking pain medication or adjusting how you take it can be a way to protect yourself from the possibility of future problems with addiction to pain medications.

Treatment at Buena Vista Recovery is oriented around the belief that you can learn new skills to incorporate into your life. This includes therapies like movement therapy or yoga. Pain-management supports like yoga can provide you with skills to manage your pain when you return home after addiction treatment. With help and support, you can manage your pain and stay sober.

Developing an addiction to pain medication while using it as a way to manage pain is common because many painkillers are highly addictive. However, this can make it difficult for you to move forward, as in recovery you may still experience pain and need a way to manage it. Fortunately, treatment at Buena Vista Recovery can help you build these skills. Through alternative therapies like movement therapy or yoga, you can learn techniques for pain management. Additionally, by improving communication skills and understanding your needs in recovery, you will be able to approach doctors with greater clarity. To learn more about our treatment programs in Arizona, call us today at (480) 741-9414.