What You Need To Know About Pain Medications And Addictions

What You Need To Know About Pain Medications And Addictions

Many people who have been in an automobile accident come away with a painful or even life-changing injury that requires medical care, either temporarily or on a long-term basis. They could have pain in any number of medical systems, from headaches to bone pain to pain from burns or lacerations.


While it is comforting to know that there are effective pain relief medications on the market – both in prescription and over-the-counter strengths — many people are also aware that the statistics of pain medication addiction (often called opioid addiction) have grown to alarming dimensions in recent years. There is a sizeable and sensible fear that one problem – the pain from the accident – will turn into another problem, that of being addicted to pain medications.


Certainly, there are powerful answers to the problem of opioid pain medication addiction, and one of the most critical factors is to find a pain management team, including prescribing physicians, who are aware of the problem of opioid addictions and include this thinking in their treatment of you, the patient.

Of course, the patient’s needs always come first, but a professional pain management team, like the one you will find at Colorado Accident and Injury, must make tough decisions on pain treatment options that include consideration of the chance of addiction. As such, among the most frequently listed defenses to protect you from the horrors of addiction are knowing yourself, understanding your own history regarding any addictions in your past, and relaying this to your medical team.


Your working relationship with your medical team is also important, and the key ingredient here is to remain honest with each other. Once those pieces of the puzzle are in place, you have a much greater chance of formulating a pain medication strategy that does not lead to long-term addiction.


Remember, addictions are considered a life-long problem. Once an addiction sets in for any substance or behavior, you will be at a much higher risk of addictions in the future. As such, it is considered critical that you avoid falling into the trap of addiction as a secondary medical problem brought on by an automobile accident.


There are four basic steps frequently repeated concerning your best chances of avoiding addiction to pain medications. These steps include:


Know yourself and be honest with your doctor about that

Take medication only as prescribed.

If your pain level increases or the pain medication doesn’t work, do not make any changes yourself. First, consult your physician.

Seek out (and discuss with your physician) alternate pain relief options other than opioid or opioid-related medications.




The statistics are, of course, very frightening. Between 8 percent and 12 percent of those prescribed opioid pain medication develop an opioid medication disorder, according to the National Institution on Drug Abuse. Further, between 21 percent and 29 percent of all patients prescribed these drugs misuse them in some way. Furthermore, about 5 percent of those who misuse opioids transition their addiction over to heroin use.


Looking at the addiction issue from the other side of the coin, about 80 percent of all heroin users say their addictions began with opioid medication prescriptions And, most sadly, about 130 people die each day in the United States due to a drug overdose.


Your best weapon against opioid addictions remains complete honesty about your own behavior, taking medications exactly as prescribed, and finding alternative pain management plans strategies that decrease your dependence on opioid medications in the first place.


At Colorado Accident and Injury, our team is dedicated to the mission of keeping our patients free from the trap of addiction. Our pain management options are many and extremely effective in keeping you as pain-free as possible without adding addiction to your list of medical issues.


Medical pain management clinic specializing in care for auto accident patients. Call 719-917-1000.

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