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What If My Doctor Prescribes Painkillers While I’m in Recovery?

What If My Doctor Prescribes Painkillers While I'm in Recovery?Addiction occurs as particular parts of the brain become physically dependent on drugs. When drugs enter the brain, they change parts of the brain that lead to drug cravings and addiction. Part of rehab involves retraining the brain and body’s need for drugs. Painkillers can greatly interfere with your addiction recovery because you’re telling your brain and body that you need the very chemicals you’re trying to go without.

Pain Management Methods without Medication

Fortunately, you can choose other alternatives besides addictive painkillers. Discuss any of these possible alternatives with your doctor as some of these options are insufficient given the situation. Some of the options besides taking addictive painkillers include the following suggestions:

  • Taking non-addictive medication—Some painkillers contain less addictive or non-addictive properties. Talk with your doctor about whether there are any viable options for your situation.
  • Acupuncture and chiropractic treatment—These alternative treatments manipulate and stimulate the muscles, joints and bones to alleviate chronic pain.
  • Meditation and yoga—These can relieve pain and release natural chemicals that promote wellbeing.
  • Hypnosis—Under hypnosis, the brain is more open to suggestions for pain management that do not include painkillers.
  • Massage—This common practice releases toxins from the muscle tissue and eases tension, which lessens the need for painkillers.

While these alternatives may not work in every situation, talk with your doctor to see if they might work for your medical issue.

How to Use Painkillers and Maintain Addiction Recovery

If painkillers are a necessary part of recovery, take precautions to guard against triggering or prolonging addiction. Some of the steps to take while using painkillers include the following suggestions:

  • Communicate constantly with your doctor. Make sure she remembers your struggle with drugs before prescribing a painkiller. Also, when taking a painkiller, communicate with your doctor any side effects or drug cravings.
  • Give your painkillers to a third party to keep yourself from taking more than the recommended dosage or taking it more often than prescribed.
  • Seek continual accountability. While taking painkillers, communicate with your sponsor and/or therapist. Attend regular NA meetings to maintain strict accountability with someone who knows what to ask you and what to look for in relapse.

If you must take painkillers, take steps to protect yourself from another addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction

If you need to talk with someone about addiction recovery or are using painkillers during recovery, please call us. We are available 24 hours a day at our toll-free helpline. We can talk with you about your addiction recovery options and help you make the right choice for your unique needs. Addiction is a dead-end road, so take the first step toward recovery and call us now.