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Neck & Back Pain: Prescription Drug Abuse

Neck & Back Pain: Prescription Drug Abuse

When dealing with chronic neck or back pain, one can easily develop a dependency on powerful opioids. When the neck and back are compromised, it doesn’t take long for day-to-day activities to also be impacted. The pain may start from the neck, radiating all the way down to the lower back, or may be limited to one area or the other. This prolonged kind of pain can make simple tasks in life feel like an uphill struggle, and can become quite draining. Solutions to relieving neck pain can seem limited, and individuals are often influenced by the "quick fix" promise of painkillers. However, this can often lead to the development of a symbiotic relationship with prescription drugs.

Characteristics of Addiction

Addiction is a behavioral and psychological condition that exhibits a strong craving or compulsion to over-attend to one’s desires, thus creating a dependency. Sometimes, individuals don’t realize when they have created an attachment to something, whether that be a controlled substance, an object, or any kind of activity. One can then convince him/herself to view certain behaviors as the norm, accepting and adapting them into their daily routine, potentially discrediting the reality of addiction.

Here are some common indicators of addiction:

  1. Withholding updates: Limited communication with doctor about medication usage and/or updates of effects
  2. Misusing medication: You find yourself using the medication other than for it's intended use
  3. Creating own directions: Not taking medicine as directed
  4. Escaping life responsibilities: The amount of usage has led to foregoing responsibilities, daily activities, etc.

Becoming addicted to prescriptions may cloud one's judgment, overshadowing the drug's initial intended use. The actual requirement of the opiate may have already been met, but one's body may be deceivingly saying otherwise due to an increased tolerance. Tolerance is developed from long-term use of a drug, leading to a need for a stronger dosage. This is a mental and physical trigger of the addiction, causing an “I need more” reaction. In truth, reaching this point is more of a warning sign to decrease the habit and possibly find alternative solutions to the pain.

Conversely, abruptly stopping one's medication can have physical side effects. Withdrawal symptoms occur when use of the drug is reduced or stopped within a short period of time. Withdrawal symptoms from prescription painkillers can include flu-like symptoms, and can last anywhere from 24 hours to upwards of 10 days. The severity and duration of withdrawals varies depending on an individual's  level of dependency on the substance – length of time abusing the drug, amount of use, etc. It's important to be aware of these risks when researching pain relief sources.

Some Stats

According to the 2016 National Study on Drug Use and Health, the most abused prescription drug falls under painkillers, with 3.3 million users. The U.S. consumes about 80 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. This is indicative of how susceptible many  are to becoming dependent on medications. The power of influence is a strong force in our society, because of how common it is for many to resort to painkillers, thus becoming addicted.

It IS okay to use prescription painkillers!

With moderate to severe back or neck pain, it is important to explore all medication options. This is especially true if the pain is chronic. It is okay to use prescription painkillers! This may be the most effective treatment for you. Your Healthcare Professional will make the best recommendation of treatment,  and will thoroughly examine your pain. It is important to be honest about what you are experiencing – location and intensity of pain – and your medical history. Your family medical history is also vital to the Doctor’s diagnoses; They must have a clear understanding of the potential risks/side effects from the prescribed medication. It's important to follow up with your Doctor if you experience changes/side effects of any new prescription.

What Are My Options?

Alternate solutions to prescription drugs are quickly gaining traction, such as controlled exercises, alternatives to sitting desks in offices, and at-home tools like Posture Pump® Disc Hydrators®!

Posture Pump® specializes in neck and back-related pain products. These Disc Hydrators® are designed to decompress, shape, and lubricate the spine, which can help alleviate many symptoms caused by neck and back conditions. These at-home products help shape and restore the Cervical Curve, restore range of motion, and get to the cause of neck and back pain and stiffness fast!

Posture Pump® Relieves Painful Neck and Back Stiffness, Headaches and Fatigue, Shapes & Restores the Proper Neck Curve, & Decompresses & Hydrates Compressed, Damaged Discs. Check out more details on our Back Pain Products and Neck Pain Products.

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Article Cited Sources:

https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/opioids-and-morphine-derivatives-effects.html

https://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/medication/opioids-severe-back-pain-neck-pain

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/

https://northamericanspine.com/neck-pain-treatment-addiction/

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