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For those saddled with chronic pain, a reliance on medication can be part of life. However, experts in our pain clinic in Minneapolis warn that this reliance comes with a risk of drug dependence.
Suffering from pain that won't go away might not seem like a life-threatening medical issue, but chronic pain is a growing public health problem since it is often associated with addiction to pain medication. According to the JAMA Network, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffer from some kind of chronic pain.
Chronic Pain and Addiction to Painkillers
Painkillers like opioids are commonly used to treat chronic pain. Opioids, such as Vicodin, are actually classified in the same category as heroin or morphine. These types of drugs often deliver high amounts of dopamine that alter brain function. These also bring a type of sensation or euphoric feeling that can be addicting for some patients, especially those who do not follow the correct prescription.
Over time, the body's tolerance for these painkillers takes effect and when that happens, some chronic pain patients demand a dosage increase or go against their doctor's orders and self administer a higher dose. Unfortunately, there is no easy way for doctors or even family members to predict if a chronic pain patient can become addicted to drugs unless there is a history of substance abuse.
Our doctors in addiction medicine, Minneapolis ask patients and their relatives to watch out for the following signs that could mean drug dependence on pain relief drugs:
Not everyone with chronic pain will end up being drug-dependent. Yet some patients could be vulnerable to substance abuse due to many factors:
If you are suffering from chronic pain and are concerned about the risk of developing drug dependence, don’t hesitate to contact our experts in pain and addiction medicine in Minneapolis.
Our friendly and experienced addiction treatment experts take a multi-disciplinary approach that will guide you on your road to recovery. We have clinics in 3 accessible locations to serve you better: Burnsville, Minneapolis, and Woodbury. For inquiries, call us at (612) 444-3000.