Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Can I Take Pain Medications in Recovery

Can I Take Pain Medications in Recovery


Can I Take Pain Medications in Recovery


If you are one of the many individuals undergoing a medical procedure or perhaps a surgery, you may have questions about receiving pain medications, particularly if you are experiencing an addiction to opioids.  What should you do?  You understand the procedure might be painful or following surgery, you might need a pain medication.  Will taking medications such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, or another drug affect your recovery?  The answers to these questions are challenging for many.

Medical professionals argue that there is no easy answer to these questions.  Individuals certainly do not want to feel pain following a medical procedure; however, they also do not want to jeopardize their recovery.  Everyone responds to pain differently and not everyone has the same reactions to pain medications.

If a person discloses a history of addiction to pain medications, the physician will need to take special note in the amount prescribed, the type of medication, and the number of refills.  If you have not previously disclosed to your physician that you have a history of addiction, you will want to do so.  Honesty with your physician is imperative for your recovery.

Physicians typically have protocols when prescribing pain medications to those with a history of addiction.  There are alternative medications available and physicians will typically work with these medications first.  Opioids are usually only prescribed as a last resort due to the number of individuals with an opioid addiction.  Your physician might ask that you take over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Aspirin first.  If these do not relieve the pain, the physician has other medicinal alternatives.  Opioids can be prescribed as a last resort but only if specific protocols are followed.  Sometimes the physician will only prescribe a few pills at a time.

The individual in recovery needs to let other people know that they were given a prescription for opioid medication.  You need to explain to them why you were prescribed the medication, how much you need to take, and when you are supposed to take it.  You can have a trusted friend or family member give you the medication when needed.  It is not a good idea to have secrets about this medication. 

Once you begin to have secrets, it becomes easier to hide other issues that could jeopardize your recovery.  Physicians also recommend that you stop taking the medication as quickly as possible especially if you no longer need it.  Physicians and pharmacists may also require you to sign an opioid agreement.

There is no reason that you should endure pain if you have an upcoming procedure; however, you need to be mindful of your recovery and let your physician know right away that you are in recovery and would prefer alternative medications.

If you think you might have a co-occurring disorder, contact Cottonwood Tucson today (800) 877-4520.  Whether you experience symptoms of a substance use disorder or a mental health disorder, we can help.  Treatment begins with a phone call. Don’t put it off any longer.

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