At Olympia House, we know that chronic pain can be exhausting. You don’t have to go through an experience like this one with the added burden of addiction as well. We’re here to bring about understanding and holistic treatment to ensure a long-term recovery.
When Is Chronic Pain Medication an Addiction?
Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than twelve weeks. Opiates are often prescribed to treat chronic pain. However, the body may slowly become adjusted to the euphoric (joyful), sedative (tired, sleepy, droopy) and analgesic (freedom from pain) effects of chronic pain medication. This may require more and more of the dose to get the same effects. This is called dependency.
Similarly, chronic pain treatment can have side effects of withdrawal. If the sufferer feels they are in they are in excruciating pain when they try to quit a given opioid pain medication, they may find this extremely difficult.
People with chronic pain may also find that their prescriptions are inadequate. They may also find they don’t have the financial means to get the help they need. They may turn to street or illicit opiates in this case, like heroin or fentanyl respectively. These individuals may also attempt to fill a higher number of prescriptions than their physician originally prescribed in order to do anything to find relief from chronic pain.
The Opioid Crisis and Dangerous Prescriptions
The history of chronic pain has been a complex one. Before advances in modern medicine, chronic pain was at times seriously undertreated. However, dangerous and addictive alternatives were prescribed in later stages during the history of treating pain. Today, powerful alternatives have contributed to the opioid crisis. OxyContin was initially framed as being a safe alternative to more dangerous opiates such as heroin. However, it has become clear in the field of addiction medicine that OxyContin is incredibly dangerous due to its risk of abuse and dependency.
OxyContin acts as a complete agonist. This means it binds entirely to the part of the brain cell that’s responsible for the feeling of being high. This results in a powerful effect. Consequently, it fosters dependency in users as they require more and more of the substance in order to return to feelings of euphoria and even normalcy.
A Tool to Fight Addiction and Chronic Pain
At Olympia House, we consult with knowledgeable physicians who utilize suboxone or subutex also called buprenorphine. Suboxone acts as a partial agonist on something called the mu-opioid receptor that is responsible for the effects of “a high” in the brain due to opioids. It is much less addictive and much safer than full agonist opioids. Buprenorphine has a “ceiling effect” which means that a physician can increase the dosage, but not necessarily increase the danger of overdose.
How Olympia House Helps Ease the Process of Living With Addiction and Chronic Pain
At Olympia House, we know you fight to make the best of each day even though you deal with chronic pain. We don’t want you to feel as if you have to hide your chronic pain. As part of our commitment to diversity and individualized treatment, we offer different therapies to help ease your journey toward healing. These include:
- Medication-Assisted Detox, such as suboxone
- CBT, to help you with any underlying depression
- Talented collaborating practitioners and physicians
- Our beautiful treatment center, nestled on the rolling hills of California
- Mindfulness and other gentle activities to relieve stress
We know chronic pain can be a day-to-day burden. At Olympia House, we believe you do not need to suffer from addiction to get the relief you need. We promote a psychological and physiological model to get you to the place you want to be.