01 Nov Opioid Tolerance and Addiction
The U.S. is in the middle of an opioid epidemic, and your pain management team at Integrated Pain Consultants want everyone to know the truth behind opioids for medication management. Using a comprehensive approach to pain management, a reputable care team will be able to decrease opioid need. This is vital, considering the drug is highly addictive the American Society of Addiction Medicine reports opioid addiction is driving the drug overdose epidemic with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2016 with 20,101 overdose deaths related to pain relievers. This doesn’t mean you’re not a good candidate for short-term opioid pain management. However, it does mean it’s important to understand the addictive nature of opioids, your own tolerance levels and odds of addiction, and whether or not it’s a good approach for your pain management.
What are Opioids?
Opioids are part of a drug class that includes heroin. They’re commonly known as oxycodone, codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and many more names. Opioids work by communicating with opioids receptors located in the brain and nervous system along nerve cells—the end result isn’t just pain management, but a “good feeling.” Addiction is a relatively chronic and recurring brain disease defined by a person’s continuing pursuit of the “reward.”
It’s no secret we’re in the midst of a serious case of opioid dependency in the U.S. From 1999 – 2008, the overdose rate quadrupled. However, opioids can still be an option for some severe pain sufferers. You need a medical team that offers a wide range of procedures to help with pain while reducing the need for pain medications. That’s why at Integrated Pain Consultants, steroid and non-steroid based injections are available and the team works closely with patients’ physical therapists and chiropractors to get them back to “fully functional” and med-free as soon as possible.
What Should Be the Goal of Opioid Use?
Ideally, patients aren’t prescribed opioids at all. It should be a very last medication solution and only prescribed for the short-term under the care of a doctor. Find a clinic with a goal of appropriate medication management so that you stay functional. It’s the physical therapy, chiropractic care, potentially steroid injections, and non-narcotic medications that aren’t addictive which should be the foundation for pain management and recovery.
In 2012, 295 million prescriptions for opioids were written. That’s enough for every adult in American to have a bottle. Eighty percent of new heroin users start with prescription painkillers, and 94% of respondents in a survey reported that they turned to heroin because opioids were harder to get and more expensive. It’s also easy to build up a tolerance to both.
If you’ve been prescribed opioids and want help transitioning to a safer method of pain management, or if you’re wondering if opioids might be your only solution call Integrated Pain Consultants today to schedule an appointment at (480) 626-2552. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.