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10 Things You Should Consider Before Taking Painkiller Drugs

10 Things You Should Consider Before Taking Painkiller Drugs

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Featured photo credit: By Tibor Kádek (Kandy Talbot) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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Holly Chavez

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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