Opioid addiction is on the rise, and recent scientific studies show it is becoming increasingly easy for people to become addicted to opioids. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that “people who had a one-day prescription of opioids had a 6 percent chance of being on the drug a year later”, and “those with a month-long prescription had a worrisome 30 percent chance of continuing to be on prescription opioids a year later”.
Women also seem to be more susceptible to developing an opioid addiction: according to CDC, a woman is sent to the ER every three minutes for abusing prescription painkillers.
If you have recently been or are currently prescribed opioid –or any other painkiller- for pain medication, here are 4 ways you can help yourself avoid addiction.
1. Understand the risk factors
Ask yourself the following question: Are you aware of the factors that trigger the risks of developing an opioid addiction? A history of substance abuse –even alcohol and cigarettes– for instance, is one important predictor that an individual may become addicted to opioids. Another key factor: genes. If you know a family member that struggles with addiction, you are also at a higher risk of developing one.
2. Take medication only as prescribed
You should only take your medication as prescribed. If you have any questions or concerns about of opioid addiction, talk to your doctor. When you no longer need your prescription, make sure to destroy it. Keeping it around the house will only increase the risks of someone taking it when not in pain.
3. Look for other ways to manage pain
Many alternatives for opioid exist, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Ask your doctor if other pain management options are suitable for you. You could also consider looking into non-medication alternatives, such as yoga and meditation, as these have been proven to alleviate pain for some people.
4. Know that opioids are safe for most patients
If you have any concerns whatsoever about taking opioids as pain medication, talk to your doctor. It’s important to discuss your worries with your doctor. If he assesses that taking opioids may put you at higher risk of addiction, then your doctor can either suggest you another pain alternative, or help you create a safety plan to carefully monitor your opioid use.
Even if you do actually need to take opioid, you don’t need to worry, especially if you’ve never had a previous history of substance abuse or don’t have a family member struggling with addiction. As long as you take opioid as prescription and strictly for pain relief, the risk for addiction is still low.
Know Someone Addicted to Opioid Addiction?
If you know someone that is addicted or could be at risk of developing an opioid addiction, contact us today at toll-free 1-888-608-8410, or fill out the form on our main page. We’re here to help you.