If your doctor has said that you should take prescription pain pills for your condition, you may be wondering if it’s a wise choice. You have seen on the news and read in the papers about the nation’s opioid epidemic and you sure don’t want any part of that. Statistically, most people who take opioids as directed do not become addicted. There is more to addiction than just taking narcotics. Genetic, environmental and social factors come into play where true addiction is concerned. Roughly about ten percent of people taking opioids will become truly addicted. The problem is, there is no way to be sure if you’re in that ten percent or not, until after you have become addicted.
So what are some non-drug alternative therapies that you can try? Let’s take look at a few:
Used since ancient times, acupuncture uses tiny needles to stimulate certain areas of the body. Its actions aren’t completely understood, but it’s thought to work by causing the body to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkilling compounds.
This natural approach to pain relief is also very old. Essential oils, or oils derived from plants, are either sprayed in the air or rubbed on the skin. The exact mechanism of action isn’t understood, but it’s known that scent has a powerful effect on the brain. It’s thought that aromatherapy stimulates the nose, which in turn causes the brain to produce endorphins.
- Chiropractic care
This is especially useful for back and neck pain, although chiropractic treats whole-body pain as well. Chiropractors are trained to use special manipulation of body parts to gently ease the body back into correct position. They use other manual therapies as well. Many patients find excellent drug-free relief this way. Chiropractors cannot prescribe medication.
Alternatives to Narcotic Pain Pills
Most medications intended to treat pain are opioids. All are potentially addictive. But there are a few non-narcotic drugs that you can try:
- Muscle relaxers
- NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Muscle relaxers, such as Robaxin or Flexeril, are helpful in some types of pain. NSAIDs are drugs similar to ibuprofen. There’s another one, too, called Celebrex, that can give good pain relief for some patients. None are addictive.
If you are hesitant to take opioids, speak up. Ask your doctor about alternatives. In some cases, a short term of opioid therapy may be necessary. Pain can interfere with the healing process. Always be proactive in your own care. If your doctor won’t listen to you, find someone who will.
If you’ve found yourself addicted to drugs, or you’re struggling with a loved one who is, please call us. Call us 24 hours a day – We can help 855-782-1009