Many of our readers have chronic health conditions that require pain management, but are often hesitant to use narcotics to control pain because it could lead to addiction. Kimberly Hayes writes on some alternative ways to help with pain management and addiction recovery.
For many people who struggle with addiction, recovery is a long road that has more than one treatment option. It can be difficult to know which option to go for, however, especially when you are also coping with a mental health disorder or a physical health issue. Some methods are meant to be used as complementary treatments, such as art therapy in conjunction with talk therapy; others are alternative treatments, which means they take the place of a method that has already been used.
It’s essential that you talk to your doctorabout what might be best for you before trying anything new in part because a new treatment method could interfere with your recovery rather than helping. It’s also important to do some research on all the various techniques that have been studied in relation to substance abuse recovery and educate yourself on them before making a decision.
It is important to note that many chronic pain patientsare prescribed opioids by their doctor as a way to treat their pain. Subsequently, opioids also decrease feelings of depression and anxiety, providing relief for both the body and mind. According to addiction expert Marc J. Romano, “Individuals often find the both the physical and psychological effects to be desirable, which increases risk of ongoing use, increased tolerance, and subsequent dependence,” Romano says. If the idea of becoming addicted worries you, it is important that you talk with your doctor. When used correctly, pain medication offers wonderful benefits. However, there are other natural waysto treat pain such as exercise, diet, meditation, and yoga.
If you are currently in recovery, keep reading for some great tips on how to get started and what to avoid.
One of the common factors in substance abuse is stress and/or anxiety, which can lead to an individual looking for a way to relax and forget about their worries. Relaxation techniques can include massage, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, among others, but you can try anything that makes you feel good in a healthy way.
Diet and exercise
Diet and exercisecan be huge factors in recovery. Eating well and getting daily exercise can help you feel more confident, boost your mental health and keep you fit and active, all of which can keep you on a positive path of change after a period of substance abuse. Look online for sample menus and make a shopping list that will be easy to stick to at the grocery store and plan out a workout routine that you can maintain. Sometimes, inviting a friend along on a workout can make it more fun and therefore easier to stay motivated. For more information on making your recovery a success, click here.
Mindfulness can help you focus on the present and reduce worry and anxiety, and it’s often done in conjunction with yoga and/or meditation. Learning how to narrow your focus can help you cope with stress in the moment and make healthy decisions, which can trickle down to other aspects of your life, including your relationships, your ability to maintain a career and your self-esteem and confidence.
Art therapyhas been used for years to help individuals battle various addictions and disorders and has been so effective, in part, because it allows you to relax, focus on the present moment, and release stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions in a positive way. Talk to your doctor about art therapy and its many benefits and think of ways you can get creative; painting, dancing, acting, singing and even cooking are all great ways to relieve stress. Try a few different things to see which ones you like most, and ask a close friend or loved one to do it along with you.
Going through addiction recovery is a hard job for most, and there’s no one right treatment for everyone, so it’s important to try various methods until you find out what works for you. Keep communication open with your doctor, friends and family to ensure you’ll have support when it matters most.
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.