There are millions of people in the world who suffer from chronic pain. The pain can be caused by diseases or injuries. Chronic pain can be debilitating and cause a persons quality of life to disintegrate. Prescription painkillers can help people with severe cases of chronic pain. The painkillers allow the person to live a regular life and many of the people in chronic pain who are prescribed these drugs praise them. When prescribed correctly by the right individuals who need the medications, the drugs change lives and give people the help they need to live their life.
Prescription painkillers can change lives for the better but what happens when a person who uses opiates for severe pain becomes physically dependent on them? I get this question from people who are prescribed these drugs quite often. They loved the way it helped them with their pain at first...but they started to notice side effects that made them uncomfortable. The side effects affected their emotions. They could no longer live with the fact that they were dependent on a pill to feel normal. Why does this happen to patients? Why do they love the way the medication makes them feel only to want to get off of the medication?
To be completely clear, this does not happen to every patient who is prescribed prescription painkillers for chronic pain. Many people need their medication to function. For those that would rather stop their medication and go through withdrawal and face the pain, why do they want to do this? From what I understand, the side effects 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 for pain relief instead of relying on a pill. A good amount of them are in their mid 20's and taking these medications from injuries caused by car accidents or sports injuries.
My main question to those reading is, why do they get to a point where they no longer want the medication? I understand that opiates change the way the brain functions and chemical levels change, so I am wondering if this is directly related to the need to stop. What was once a savior to help them live a normal life, turns into something they do not want to feel anymore. They would rather face the pain that caused them to take the prescription pills than to continue living off of a pill.
I would really like to see some long term studies done on the effects of opiates on the brains of patients with chronic pain. It may answer serious questions about why some patients 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. Physical therapy and general exercise may be the key to helping you live pain free.