Chronic Pain Management without Narcotics

Chronic pain sufferers often find that it has devastating effects on their quality of life. The pain can affect their relationships, employment, sleep and all the basic activities of daily living. For some people, this situation places them in a vicious cycle of suffering and despair that can often lead to the use of narcotics to effectively manage their pain.

The use of narcotics, however, comes with its own list of side effects and problems that can be just as debilitating as the chronic pain itself. While prescription narcotics have their place in modern medicine, they are not always the best choice for chronic pain management, and the consequences of using them to manage chronic pain can be severe.

Five Interesting Facts:

  • They really don’t provide effective chronic pain management. Chronic pain, such as that from fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain or arthritis, does not respond as well to narcotic pain management as it does to other medication. Studies show that most patients taking opioids still suffer from moderate to severe pain and this amount of pain will continue to negatively affect their quality of life.
  • There is a chance of accidental overdose. Long-term use of narcotics leads to a tolerance being built up by the body and patients often find that their doses need to be increased. Even with an increase, patients sometimes still find themselves taking more than prescribed, just to experience adequate pain relief. At that level, side effects such as drowsiness or confusion set in, and the patient forgets how much they took. Then their pain returns, and they take even more. This can lead to an accidental overdose which can be fatal. 
  • Narcotics don’t mix well with any alcohol or sedatives. Many patients think that as long as they don’t consume “hard liquor” or more than a couple of glasses of wine, it won’t be a problem. Others will take a sedative at night to help them sleep. Both are dangerous practices. Taken together in any combination, these drugs will negatively affect the function of the central nervous system, causing lightheadedness and slowed breathing. Other dangerous combinations with opioids include muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications and anti-convulsants.
  • Beware of extended-release versions. While these types of medications allow the patient to take fewer pills for effective relief and are less likely to cause a drug high, they are more likely to cause overdoses.
  • Narcotics are highly addictive. Some patients become so physically and mentally dependent upon opioid medications that they simply can’t stop taking them, even if the drugs are hurting them. Over time, getting and taking that next pill takes over their lives. Then, in addition to suffering from chronic pain, they are also suffering from a serious drug addiction.

Turtle Creek Medical Center

The pain management specialists at Turtle Creek Medical Center offer safe and effective alternatives to achieve chronic pain management. We know that individual patient needs are as individual as the patients themselves and we offer natural solutions, like Sarapin, to help alleviate pain and return our patients to their normal lives. To learn more about how chronic pain sufferers can take back their lives safely, visit our website and contact us today.