There are millions of people in the world who suffer from chronic pain. Pain can be caused by many different reasons, injuries or diseases being the most common. Chronic pain can be debilitating and cause a persons quality of life to disintegrate. Prescription painkillers have helped millions of people with severe pain. Prescription opiates allow a person suffering from chronic pain to live a regular life and many of the people prescribed these drugs praise them. When used correctly by the right people suffering from pain, the drugs change lives and give people the help they need to live a happy life.
Prescription painkillers can change lives for the better but what happens when a person who uses them for severe pain becomes physically dependent on them? I get this question from people who are prescribed these drugs quite often. They love the way the medication helped them with their pain at first, but they started to notice side effects that made them uncomfortable. The side-effects affect their emotions. They could no longer live with the fact that they were dependent on a pill to feel normal.
To be completely clear, this does not happen to every patient who is prescribed prescription medication for chronic pain. Many people need their medication to function. For those who would rather stop their medication and go through withdrawal then face their chronic pain baffles me. From what I understand, the side effects of opiates make them feel like a shell of a human. The majority of the people I talk to in this category are tired of feeling sluggish and want to try new options instead of relying on a pill to live their life. A good amount of them are in their mid 20's and take these medications from injuries caused by car accidents or sports injuries.
My main question to those reading is, why do they come to a point where they no longer want their medication? I understand that opiates change the way the brain functions and alters chemical levels, so I am wondering if this is directly related to the wanting to stop. What was once a savior to help them live a normal life, turns into something they do not want to feel anymore. Many would rather face the pain than continue popping pills.
I would really like to see some long term studies done on the effects of opiates on the brains of patients in chronic pain taking higher doses. It may answer serious questions about why some patients who need painkillers decide to stop taking their medications. If you are a chronic pain patient and are prescribed opiate painkillers, consult your physician before stopping abruptly. Go over your options with your doctor and see if you qualify for natural forms of helping your body with pain such as physical therapy and general exercises which may be the key to helping you live pain free.