For those who are suffering from this unforgiving disease- rheumatology arthritis, pain is a neighbor that comes all too often to visit. The challenge of living with chronic pain can put a stop to the productivity and depreciates the quality of life. For some, the pain is uncontrollable, but for most, the situation gets out of hand and put life on hold. One of the ways doctors make sure that patients don’t have to go through painful episodes time and again is to prescribe pain-relieving medications. This is a tight rope that some end up losing their balance and falling to the depths of true addiction.
Opiates are one of the most common forms of pain relieving medications dated back to the days of the American Civil War when opiates in the form of morphine tinctures were prescribed. But even with historical precedence that points to how wrong prescribing opiates can go, modern pharmaceutical manufacturers still find ways to bypass the abuse and addiction. In the early 1990s, these big pharmas were responsible for misleading doctors regarding the drug’s potential for addiction.
Over the three decades that have passed since then, opium medication and its track record for causing overdose and addiction have made it a center stage among debates. The medical community and lawmakers are now addressing the issue of over-prescription of drugs and are in the lookout for better alternative remedies to minimize the risk of opioid addiction…but the progress is snail-paced at best.
How Chronic Pain Can Lead To Addiction
Finding relief from pain would be the need for any patient or human for that matter. Drugs are effective measures to manage pain. However, as the body’s tolerance increases, the amount of opioid medication that you need to take increases over time.
The brain receptors are sites for opiates like synthetic opioids and morphine. These bind to the receptors and cause the production of dopamine, which helps in elevating moods. Opioids can flood the bloodstream with dopamine that is above and beyond 10 times the normal level. Opioid pain medication can lead to abuse and addiction as the brain makes new pathways that reduce the excess dopamine- more medication for the same result down the line.
Managing The Pain Safely
Rheumatic pain treatment can go awry if patients, and especially doctors aren’t careful. Targeted substance use disorder treatment programs need to be made accessible to help patients wean off of opioids as much as possible, while at the same time introducing them to alternative pain management solutions. With an effective recovery program, the hope to recover and thrive is instilled in patients.