The opioid crisis in the United States has grown direr over the past ten years. That’s why Ohio residents are turning to non-opioid pain management strategies. If you or a family member is anticipating seeking pain medication due to surgery or chronic pain, why should you consider non-opioid pain management strategies, and what are your options?
How Opioid Pain Medication Can Lead to Addiction
There are many reasons behind opioid addiction. However, a large reason is the fact that many people are in acute or chronic pain. This pain requires treatment, and opioid drugs have been used to give that relief. This is unfortunate not because they give relief but because they are highly addictive.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “in 2015, Ohio providers wrote 85.8 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (9.96 million prescriptions). In the same year, the average U.S. rate was 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.”
Opiates not only relieve pain: they are pleasurable and highly addictive. Oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine might seem like excellent pain relief, but they can lead to addiction. They’re also trouble for everyone in the family: if an individual does not complete a prescription, children and teens in the house can find the pills. Prescription opiate drug use can quickly turn into a search for more prescription opiates, and potentially, into a heroin addiction as well.
Troubles With Opiate Addiction in Ohio
Pain is challenging, but so is the problem with opioid addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths.” The situation is not getting better over time: since 2010, the death rate has tripled. In addition to deaths from overdoses, there are problems with neonatal addiction and diseases like HIV that can be transmitted via injections.
There is a response to the problem, but so far it has not moved the number of deaths down. In Ohio, a group of health insurers has released recommendations for tackling the problems with opioid addiction, while in West Virginia, a state with a serious opioid addiction problem, the state has now required health insurers to provide up to 20 visits to an alternative health practitioner to provide pain relief.
Alternatives to Opioid Pain Medication
People may be reluctant to try opiates, but if they feel like it’s the only solution for their pain, desperation can lead them to try it. However, according to GoodRX, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed the non-opiate painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen worked just as well to manage acute pain. For other types of pain such as nerve pain, drugs such as tricyclic anti-depressants and anti-epileptics may help. These drugs are far less addictive than opioids.
Other alternatives to pain medication include therapies like massage therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and chiropractic care, which “works by stopping musculoskeletal and nerve pain from happening as opposed to blocking, masking or altering perceptions of it as drugs do,” according to WKSU. For chronic pain, cognitive-behavioral therapy can also help patients develop coping strategies.
Are you looking for recovery options for your opioid addiction? At The Recovery Village Columbus, we’re dedicated to your recovery. Talk with us about Ohio drug rehab resources and options, and learn about admission today.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.