Getting off of pain medications usually requires an exit strategy. Anyone who has tried to abruptly discontinue a regularly used opioid (a pain medication which is chemically similar to opium that binds to opioid receptors in the body) can attest to the severe discomfort of withdrawal syndrome. The symptoms of withdrawal include: nausea, vomiting, aches, sweating, diarrhea, yawning, insomnia, irritability and gooseflesh. These symptoms indicate that the body is physically dependent on the chemical. Chemical dependency is difficult to overcome without a good strategy. That strategy should reduce the occurrence of withdrawal syndrome, the risk of relapse, and the risk of toxicity. Suboxone can help someone get off pain medications because it reduces withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and the risk of overdose.
Because Suboxone contains buprenorphine (an opioid), it serves as a substitute for other opioids and satisfies the body's need for the chemical. One advantage in converting from...
My friend T. lives with high levels of chronic pain. The pain makes it difficult to get through each day and it's not just having an impact on his physical function, but on his relationships with his family and friends, as well. Despite this, he's not taking any pain medication. T. was an alcoholic and has been sober for nine years. He's afraid that if he starts treating his pain, he might relapse and start drinking again.
Those of us who live with high levels of chronic pain are often faced with concerns about addiction to painkillers. Sometimes it's our family and friends who get worried and sometimes it's our doctors. The goal of managing chronic pain is to "obtain reasonable pain relief while maintaining a maximum level of function" (Prater, Zylstra and Miller, 2002). At HealthCentral, we do our best to help you get that kind of pain control by giving you the tools you need to counter concerns about addiction. The fact is that the risks are generally quite low . But what if ...
While its very important to make sure the pain is not
related to some serious organic issue such as cancer or
infection and while most
and other physicians are good at finding such causes, what many
physicians are not good about is pain.
Those who have read my
(background) blog essay will remember that I found out I had
prostate cancer because I initially consulted my urologist about a
severe pain I had in my testicles. This turned out to be unrelated
to the prostate cancer (which was diagnosed separately), but the
pain was extremely upsetting to me. The urologist said I had
epididymitis (definition: inflammation of the epididymis, a thin
tube that runs from the testes to the prostate gland).
But it turned out that my urologist, who had seen epididymitis
many times didnt understand just how painful it was. Nor did
he (or my internist) have the slightest idea how to deal with it.
Warm baths. Aspirin. Ibuprofen. All were prescribed. None ha...
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