The American Academy of Pain Medicine says that 100 million Americans deal with some form of chronic pain every year. Millions more will have an emergency or elective surgery. Acute and chronic pain management is an important part of disease and health. However, taking pain relief medication is not a simple concept if you are one of the millions that are struggling with a substance use disorder.
Hydrocodone is one of the powerful opioids used to fight chronic pain or the pain that comes from a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, it is highly addictive, and each year thousands of people succumb to the power of this potent pain reliever.
What happens if a person in long-term addiction recovery has to have surgery or needs a pain medication such as hydrocodone? What other options are available for pain management? How can you talk to your doctor about other options?
Limiting Risk: Non-Opioid Pain Management
When you enter recovery from substance use disorder, you should limit your contact with substances that cause a sedative effect or impair your judgment. In the case of chronic pain, or if you need a surgical procedure, you should discuss non-opioid pain management with your physician. Talk candidly with your physician so that non-opioid pain management treatment plans can be developed.
It is a good idea to avoid stimulants, sedatives, muscle relaxers, pain medications and anti-diarrheal drugs. Taking any of these medications could put you on a slippery slope back toward addiction. If you have struggled with a hydrocodone addiction and you are given the medication post-surgery, the likelihood of the medication re-triggering a substance use disorder is high. But proper healing includes pain management. Are there alternatives to taking opioids like hydrocodone?
The American Society of Anesthesiologists suggests non-opioid pain management alternatives that you can take instead of medications such as hydrocodone. Non-opioid pain management alternatives include:
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen and steroids
- Massages and acupuncture, which have been shown to relax the body and relieve chronic and acute pain
- Physical therapy to improve physical function
- Nerve block injections to deaden the nerves that transmit pain
- Spinal cord stimulation, which uses a pacemaker implanted near the spine to block pain
- Radio waves and electrical signals to dampen pain signals from the nerves
If you are considering surgery or have chronic pain, work with your clinical team to create a treatment plan that does not put your long-term recovery goals at risk.
Non-Opioid Pain Management a Necessity for Addiction Recovery
While millions of Americans experience the debilitating effects of acute or chronic pain, the person recovering from substance misuse must find an alternative to opioids such as hydrocodone. Fortunately, these alternatives exist. Talk with your doctor about non-opioid pain management.
If you or any of your loved ones are dealing with hydrocodone addiction, please do not hesitate to learn more about admissions. Contact The Recovery Village Ridgefield today to discuss your treatment options.