Approximately 13 percent of all Americans are currently taking prescription painkilling drugs. Additionally, millions of people take over-the-counter pain relievers on a regular basis. It is clear that painkillers have become a way of life for many people, but there are also numerous reasons why you should steer clear of this type of medication whenever possible.
1. Painkiller Drugs Can Be Addictive
Studies show that pain killers have the potential to be highly addictive. In fact, prescription painkiller abuse in the US has been tripling every decade since the early 1990s. This is a serious problem that can hinder every other aspect of your life, including your personal relationships and job performance. Therefore, before you accept an opioid-based painkiller for a chronic condition, it is wise to look into alternative options.
2. There Are Several Side Effects Associated with Painkillers
Painkillers are linked to a long list of side effects, including depression, constipation, a weakened immune system, and hormone imbalances. It is also possible to damage your liver and brain by taking painkillers for an extended period of time. In other words, even if you must take painkillers from time to time, make sure that you do not allow yourself to begin relying on them as an everyday source of pain relief. Ideally, the only people who would take prescription painkilling drugs daily would be those who are suffering from a terminal illness.
3. Synthetic Painkillers Can be Just as Harmful
Many people equate painkillers that have been derived from the natural opium poppy with the negative aspects of this type of medication, but the synthetic versions, such as oxycodone and Vicodin, have the potential to be just as addictive and harmful. Of course, it is important to understand what synthetic drugs actually are. Synthetic drugs are chemically laced substances that may be sold with a prescription or over-the-counter.
4. Non-Synthetic Over-the-Counter Medications May be Good Enough
No one wants to deal with chronic pain, but you also need to consider your overall quality of life. Over-the-counter painkillers can cause complications if they are used daily, but the majority of them are safer than their prescription counterparts. If possible, utilize over-the-counter medication in place of powerful painkilling drugs such as morphine. This may extend your life, and it can help keep you from developing concentration problems.
5. Alternative Treatments Are Helpful for Pain Management
Before you agree to take oxycodone three times a day for pain management, make sure that you investigate your alternative options. A prime example of an alternative treatment for pain is massage therapy. In fact, numerous massage therapy studies have highlighted this option’s potential for treating and managing pain, along with several other symptoms that are associated with medical conditions such as cancer and fibromyalgia.
6. You Could Die from Taking Prescription Painkillers
Painkillers may help you feel better temporarily, but they come with a high risk factor. Shockingly, 45 Americans die from painkillers every single day, and another 30 are hospitalized due to an overdose. The reality is that it is all too easy to end up taking a larger dose than required, and this could quickly lead to serious medical complications or even death.
7. Painkilling Drugs Are Not Actually Very Effective Against Long-Term Pain
If you have a broken bone or are battling a terminal illness, you will most likely experience a high enough level of relief from painkillers to take them as prescribed. Interestingly, research has concluded that opioid pain pills are not very effective for long-term, chronic conditions, including arthritis, nerve pain, and lower-back pain. For these problems, it is better to use alternative, non-drug treatments and other types of medication.
8. Alcohol is Off Limits with Painkillers
It is important not to mix most prescription medication with alcohol, but this is especially vital if you are taking painkilling drugs. This even applies to a daily glass of wine, which can actually provide you with some much-needed benefits. Combining alcohol with painkillers can have a negative effect on your central nervous system, and this may lead to depressed breathing and a fuzzy-headed sensation.
9. Extended-Release Painkillers Are Not Safer
A prevalent myth about painkillers is that extended-release capsules are less harmful and not as easy to get addicted to. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to back up these claims. Instead, you should ask your physician to start you with a short-acting opioid if prescription pain pills are a necessity. This will enable you to treat the pain without putting a more concentrated dose in your body.
10. Painkillers Do Not Resolve Your Pain
The only thing that painkilling drugs do is mask your pain. In other words, if you do not take steps to have the root cause found and fixed, you could end up needing pain pills forever to hide the symptoms of the real problem. This is another reason that many people turn to massage therapy, because it provides pain relief and can address any muscular root causes.
Ultimately, prescription painkillers should only be taken when they are absolutely necessary. When possible, it is best to turn to natural methods for managing pain, including foods and spices that have proven anti-inflammatory properties. By following this approach, you can avoid numerous complications and safeguard yourself from the potentially devastating consequences of developing a drug addiction or suffering from an overdose. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your physician, and do not be afraid to request an alternative treatment plan.
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