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Benefits and Risks of Using Opium

Benefits and Risks of Using Opium

Opioids, sometimes known as prescription painkillers, or narcotics) are prescribed for their ability to decrease the perception of pain following injury, surgery, or severe illness such as cancer. However, according to The John Hopkins Arthritis Center, opiates are also prescribed for less serious situations, including chronic non-malignant pain, such as low back pain, post-herpetic neuralgia and painful peripheral neuropathy. Opiates provide direct analgesic actions in addition to counteracting the unpleasantness of pain. However, this solution to pain also comes at a cost. Opiates are highly addictive. There may be other pain solutions to consider before using these drugs.

Opiate Side Effects

Opiates may produce any of the following symptoms:

  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Headache
  • Mood changes
  • Stomach pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • Rash, itching or hives
  • Changes in vision
  • Seizures
  • Abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Circulatory depression
  • Coma

Some of these symptoms can be deadly, so seek help if you experience any of these issues.

Benefits and Risks of Using Opiates

While it is clear that opiates effectively reduce pain for short periods of time, it is also clear that the side effects can cause discomfort and become life-threatening. Opiate addiction and opiate dependence are highly uncomfortable and unhappy situations that often require treatment to be overcome. Therefore, it is important for people to explore alternatives to managing pain.

There are several strategies to help manage pain– some are conventional and others are alternative or complimentary practices. Fortunately, new treatments for pain are being approved every year. If you have previously sought pain-management help, it is worthwhile to find out what new treatment updates are available. Regardless of the pain management strategy you use, you should seek your physician’s opinion before doing so.

Conventional Pain Management Strategies

Often the first course of action for pain management is prescription or over-the-counter analgesics (which all have dangerous side-effects). Another method is trigger point injections during which a health care professional uses a small needle to inject a local anesthetic. Medical professionals may also recommend the following methods:

  • Electrical nerve stimulation therapy occurs when a low-voltage electrical current is delivered through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the source of pain.
  • Bioelectric therapy relieves pain by blocking pain messages to the brain.
  • Physical therapy is a general category of treatments that my include therapeutic massage, mobilization and physical movement, exercises, patient education, water therapy, ultrasound and heat and ice to help improve function, increase flexibility and strength and decrease pain.
  • Psychological treatment that reduces high levels of physiological stress that often aggravate pain.

Alternative Pain-Management Strategies

Some alternative pain-management strategies include acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy and yoga. Some lesser known strategies include the following techniques:

  • Ayurveda is a holistic approach that relies heavily on herbs, aromatherapy and other plants to help a person achieve balance
  • Biofeedback is based on the idea of using your mind to improve your health
  • Hypnosis is designed to help a person overcome or deal with chronic pain
  • Meditation is used to increase calmness and physical relaxation, improve physiological balance, cope with an illness or enhance overall well-being
  • Tai Chi use slow, graceful movements to calm and relax a person physically and psychologically

These methods can help you overcome pain and addiction, so seek help today.

Opiate Painkiller Help

Approaching an opiate addict can be difficult, but it is possible to encourage recovery, and we can help. Please call our toll-free helpline today where our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about addiction treatment. We are here to help.