Citing data gathered from more than 170,000 chronic pain patients, researchers have concluded that prescription painkillers can be gateway drugs for heroin use. Ameritox, a company that provides drug-screening equipment to the medical community, issued the statement following a study of urine samples from chronic pain patients. Heroin use in the United States is seeing a resurgence, according to the Substance use and Mental Health Services Administration, particularly heroin use connected to use of opioid pain medications. Researchers speculate that people suffering from chronic pain may turn to heroin when they no longer can obtain prescription refills. In many cases, heroin is cheaper and easier to get. Although the study is not without controversy because of what critics say is a lack of concrete evidence, it does raise issues worth exploring. For example, the increase in opioid prescriptions in the last 20 years has exposed more individuals to the possibility of drug dependence and addiction. At the very least, the study points to the need for more attention to monitoring people who use prescription painkillers to relieve chronic conditions.
Chronic Pain Treatment Supports Recovery Without Opioids
We understand the underlying and addictive nature, which triggers complications with properly treating chronic pain. The leap from using painkillers inappropriately to relying on them is quick and deceptive. Because painkillers work on parts of the brain having to do with pleasure, they rapidly create a desire for more. It does not take long for individuals to lose control and become addicted. At LVRC, we treat chronic pain using an abstinence-based program. We educate clients about the underlying emotional issues that affect their chronic pain. We also provide therapies that teach patients how to recognize negative thought patterns that lead to addiction. By treating chronic pain and addiction at the same time, we help clients learn to live without relying on chemical substances. Instead they learn to rely on their ability to make healthy choices. Add your thoughts and comments below and follow us on Facebook!