Many people will, at some point in their lives, fall victim to either illness, injury, or chronic pain of some sort. This is inevitable for almost anyone. The question is not just if this will happen but really it is more about when it will happen. We will all have to deal with some physical pain at some point in our lives.
The question will eventually come up for you: “Do you want to medicate that pain with prescription painkillers?” This is a common recommendation from doctors these days, and it is very rare actually for a doctor to be well educated about the dangers of addiction. In particular, Vicodin is generally over prescribed and is given out by many doctors for just about any little amount of pain that a patient might encounter. This really creates a whole bunch of unsuspecting people in the world who become hooked on pain pills.
For those with chronic pain the problem represents a losing battle. Trying to treat a chronic pain condition with opiates such as Vicodin is almost always a bad move in the long term. It might bring some temporary relief but eventually the person will grow accustomed to the level of medication and the pain will break through in spite of the medication. This is known as tolerance. The person can then try to decide if they should up their dose of medication so that they can feel the same amount of relief as what they felt before their tolerance changed. Many times this is done without the guidance or advice from the doctor, making this even more dangerous.
Understand that there are options outside of the usual opiate prescribed painkillers that doctors constantly push on people when it comes to handling your pain over the long haul. Understand for one thing that opiates such as Vicodin do not actually reduce the pain at the source, but instead merely “dope the brain” such that the mind will not care as much about any pain signals it is receiving. Other medicines such as Ibuprofen actually treat the body on a physical level and can reduce swelling, bringing real relief to the patient, without having to “dope the brain” in order to do so.
Also add in other alternatives such as massage, TENS units, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, and so on, and you have quite a few alternatives to using opiate painkillers. People need to know the risks involved and understand that opiate drugs do not actually do much to treat the pain directly. There are other options out there and if your doctor is not willing to explore those options with you then perhaps you should seek a second opinion. Opiate addiction is very real and once you become hooked on pain pills you are in for a long roller coaster of a ride with addiction.
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