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Can a Physically Demanding Job Lead to Opium Use?

Can a Physically Demanding Job Lead to Opium Use?

Physically Demanding Jobs and Opium Use

The US Department of Health and Human Services published a survey in 2007 that asked fulltime workers aged 18 to 64 if they abused an illicit substance in the past month. According to the results, the leading professions associated with recent drug use were accommodations, food service, and construction workers. One characteristic that all three jobs have in common is the physical demand on the workers’ bodies, which can include the following:

  • Heavy lifting and carrying
  • Standing or walking all day
  • Using heavy tools and materials

Opium is dried latex made from the sap of opium poppy plants, and it contains alkaloids like morphine, codeine, and thebaine. While many people abuse illicit substances to party or get high, others might take drugs like opium to ease the pain, stress, and discomfort of a physically taxing vocation. Opium is consumed by smoking the substance, though its alkaloids are commonly synthesized into heroin, prescription painkillers and other narcotic drugs.

Opium Use Motivations

When it comes to people with physically demanding jobs, there are several potential motivations for opium use, including the following:

  • Alleviate chronic and acute symptoms of work-related pain
  • Mentally escape the monotony and repetition of certain professions
  • Promote a cheerful demeanor and attitude in gratuity-driven jobs
  • Suppress the symptoms of a mental health or personality disorder

Workers with strenuous jobs might also turn to amphetamines, stimulants, or tranquilizers to deal with the physical and mental stress, but substance abuse can ultimately deteriorate the user’s health and productivity. If an addiction or physical dependence develops, a drug addict can experience concentration problems, poor judgment, and an increased risk of workplace accidents.

Holistic Pain Management

When treating addiction, it is important to address the motivations for use. For an opium addict, this often involves managing pain, and several holistic therapies can help, including the following:

  • Massage, acupressure, hydrotherapy, and chiropractic care
  • Eastern practices like acupuncture, yoga, and meditation
  • Alternating applications of heat and cold on the pain area
  • Targeted exercise, stretching, and physical conditioning
  • The use of stabilizing braces, splints, wraps, and casts

For more extreme cases, doctors may inject a local anesthesia into the pain area or supervise use of an opioid partial agonist (i.e., pain reliever with limited euphoric effects).

Opium Addiction Treatment

If an addiction develops, rehabilitation centers can help with several potential treatments, including the following:

  • Medically monitored detoxification with options for tapered dosage reductions
  • Integration of overlapping therapies to address co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Cognitive behavioral therapies that target unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs
  • Relapse-prevention tools to identify and mitigate cues that trigger opium cravings
  • Individual counseling for unresolved trauma, emotional problems, and internal conflicts

Rehabilitation centers develop customized treatment plans for each addict. For a person who struggles with a physically demanding job, the plan may also include the following:

  • Recommendations on ways to limit pain and discomfort in the workplace
  • Holistic pain management and other therapies to improve physical health
  • Practical ways to address discomfort and mental stress when working
  • Guidance on workplace protections for pain and injuries related to the job

Rehabilitation centers treat the whole person, and this includes addressing any vocational issues that might trigger opium cravings and relapse.

Recovery Help

Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer questions and provide guidance on issues involving substance abuse, rehabilitation centers, and work-related health issues. Furthermore, addiction treatment is now an essential health benefit covered in most insurance plans, and we can look up your policy and explain the specific coverage details. If you or a loved one struggles with opium, heroin, or painkiller addiction, please call our toll-free helpline now.