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How to stop using prescription drugs?

Prescribed drugs are usually drugs that are medically tested and are used to help our bodies to maintain its proper function. However, long term dependencies could lead to addiction to prescribed medicine.

As per a research conducted in 2012, by the American Pain Society, approximately 50 million Americans have severe chronic pain, while many other deal with significant body pain. In the same year, almost above 250 million prescriptions were for the opioid pain relievers, this as an estimate is enough for each and every adult in the U.S. to have a bottle of pain relieving pills. This was revealed in a survey report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What does a pill do?

The prescription opioids after entering the body come in contact with the opioid receptors in your brain. Here it intercepts pain and removes the painful sensation. Furthermore, prescription drugs too have side effects, these can be;

  • slowed heart rate
  • blood pressure
  • breathing rates
  • inducing a sense of relaxation

Most of the opioid prescribed drugs are classified by the DEA as Schedule II controlled substance. And though these drugs are prescribed and medically tested and approved, they come with a high likelihood for misuse, diversion, and dependence or addiction.

Another report by NIDA – National Institute on Drug Abuse, showed that around 54 million Americans have abused a prescribed medication at least once in their lifetimes.

Taking these drugs, as per the physician’s instruction and without abuse can often lead to physical and psychological dependence, with the brain accepting the chemical changes occurring. Opioid drug, when enters our system, it interacts with the brain opioid receptors and it calms the central nervous system, at the same time releasing dopamine and endorphins.

Dopamine being the chemical messenger of brain for pleasure when this chemical interference occurs on regular basis, the brain stops making or absorbing any more dopamine naturally, and the chemistry of the brain would be impacted negatively. This is called the dependency on the drug. If the regular use of the prescribed pill is stopped, it creates a dopamine gap, causing physical and emotional discomfort.

Managing Chronic Pain without Medications

When an opioid drug abuser is cut off from the medications, he immediately suffers from the chronic pain that was originally present, other than that it also may cause a certain level of discomfort. Stopping the pain killer pills, and then managing opioid dependency may become very complicated for a patient of chronic pain. Fortunately though, there are several replacements and alternatives to prescription pain relievers. Some tips to deal with chronic pain without the medications are as follows;

Reduce stress; High levels of stress can enhance or heighten pain sensations and can also be a potential trigger for a relapse. Relaxation and stress management techniques can prove to be helpful.

Try mindfulness meditation or yoga; Learning how to read your own body’s cues and becoming more in tune and aligned with your physical-self can ease the tension and may promote relaxation, it also may reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain.

Exercise regularly; whenever a person exercises, your body produces some natural endorphins, which can be helpful to minimize pain sensations and enhance all the “feel-good” sensations.

Consider massage therapy; Tension can be relieved by receiving a good massage; thus, pain can be reduced.

Get good sleep; Healthy sleep cycles are extremely important for healing and managing stress and tension levels.

Eat healthy meals; a balanced, nutritious diet can help your body to function at its highest level, helping to minimize the stress and pain caused.

Try chiropractic care; A trained chiropractor can perform all the physical adjustments to promote better and healthy body functioning and reduce the tension and pain.

Consider acupuncture; another alternative technique, acupuncture makes use of needles placed in specific points on the body to enhance the flow of energy and reduce physical and emotional discomfort.

Keep busy; Hobbies and creative outlets, as long as anything that occupies the mind, can allow a person to focus on other things besides their physical pain.

Replacement Medications and Detox

Opioid withdrawals are specifically similar to a bad case of flu, the symptoms of withdrawals can be;

  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • sweating
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose
  • tearing of the eyes
  • and insomnia

Emotionally, the individuals are more likely to feel anxious, depressed, irritable, and also agitated in addition to the sufferings caused by the strong cravings for the prescription drugs. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) publishes that the withdrawal symptoms are likely to begin within about 12 hours after the last dose of an opioid drug. The autonomic functions of the central nervous system that have been regularly suppressed by the opioid drugs can become hyperactive during the withdrawal, and body vitals like body temperature, respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure can become irregular.

The admission to a proper medical detox program is the best solution to deal with this unique situation. Withdrawal symptoms, resulting from the abrupt stop in the use of prescribed drugs, are very strong and difficult to deal with, hence it is recommended to not go ‘cold turkey’ with your withdrawals. Instead of going clean all at once, these drugs are tapered off slowly and your body is stabilized without the drugs. This allows your brain a chance to recover and re-stabilize itself.

Medications, specifically designed for treating the opioid dependence can be extremely helpful for someone who has on pain relieving pills for a long time. When the dependence on opioids is quiet significant, other drugs are also used, or usually there is a co-occurring disorder, medical detox is without a doubt the best and safest way to approach withdrawal from the prescription opioids.

During the medical detox, vital signs are continuously monitored and, in addition to some replacement medications, other pharmaceutical tools have proved to be very useful to manage specific symptoms of the drug withdrawals as well. Mental health and safety are ensured with non-stop professional care at the drug addiction treatment center, or Detox center. Similarly many professional care givers also administer luxury detox for patients with severe addictions too.

Opioid withdrawals, at most peaks within the first 2-3 days, and the majority of cravings and the side effects start to lessen after about a period of 7-10 days, as per a report published by SAMHSA. A medical detox program generally runs for about 5-7 days on an average. The person is then transferred to a all solutions addiction treatment program at that point for complete successful recovery. For more information, click here.

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