Opioids for Chronic Pain Might Make It Worse

drug rehab in ColumbusOxycodone is one of the main ingredients used to make one of the most popular of all painkillers, Percocet. Use of this ingredient increased 866% between the years of 1977 and 2007. The use of hydrocodone also increased in this same time period by 280%. Methadone use also increased 1,293% during this same time period. The hard truth is that almost 90% of all patients treated in pain clinics are given opioids for their pain. It is also a fact that these powerful painkillers have a harsh side. Overdoses and death from prescription opioids has quadrupled in the last two decades. For 2018 alcohol and drug rehab in Columbus you can trust, contact Legacy for help.

Recently, both doctors and their patients have started to question the use of these drugs. Many families and lawmakers alike have also discussed and protested the use of opioids. Research has shown that opioids have dangerous side effects. It is also known that their effectiveness is limited. There is also a newly identified condition that has occurred called Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia (OIH). This condition happens during long term opioid use and makes pain worse.

Many would ask how this could possibly happen. After all it is a pain medication. To understand how this happens one must know the difference between Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia and opioid tolerance:

  • Opioid tolerance occurs when an individual does not receive the same effects of the original dose of opioids. This results in the desire to increase the dose. It is a sign that the opioid-dependent systems of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) are not working as well anymore because the drug is doing the job for them.
  • Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia is a little more severe and may occur along with opioid tolerance. OIH results when pain is genuinely becoming worse or simply remaining unchanged even when the opioid dose is increased.

It is not an easy task for doctors to tell the difference between these two situations. Patients complain of increased pain or that the opioid drugs are not working any longer. A physician has to make a choice on how to approach the problem usually by one of the following methods. If you have an opiate addiction, call Legacy Freedom for dependable drug rehab in Columbus.

  • Switching opioid drugs (which has its own risks)
  • Prescribing additional therapies or even surgery
  • Offering an opioid-antagonist or N-methyl D-aspartate drug, such as methadone or buprenorphine

Of course none of these methods is a perfect one. The best solution is for the individual to not use opioids at all. The problem is that chronic pain is real and it is also a tricky situation. Not all patients are the same, so treatment will depend largely on the individual patient. Once the individual is dependent on these types of drugs it may be impossible to stop using them without a lot of help. Good supportive treatment will be essential.

Researchers are already exploring drugs that interrupt this pathway to treat pain or improve the performance of opioids. A clinical trial recently launched at Yale University, for example, will test whether an antibiotic that inhibits glial cells prevents the inflammatory effects of opioids. Linda Watkins, a CU Boulder neuroscientist and senior author on the new study, co-founded a company to develop a chronic pain treatment that blocks one of the signaling proteins in the inflammasome, called toll-like receptor 4.

For now the finding certainly should not be the basis for withholding opioids from people in pain, says Catherine Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine. “These drugs also work to block the emotional component of pain in the brain, she notes—a form of relief this study doesn’t account for. And opioids might not prolong pain in humans the way they did in lab rats, she says, because the dosing of morphine and its quick cessation likely caused repeated withdrawal that can increase stress and inflammation. Humans usually don’t experience the same withdrawal because they take sustained-release formulations and taper off opioids gradually.”

How prevalent hyperalgesia is, and whether it plays a role in the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose, is unclear. A lack of reliable testing methods and a series of contradictory papers have created believers and skeptics. Some researchers think hyperalgesia is an underappreciated puzzle piece in the opioid epidemic. It is a force that can pile on pain, drive up doses, and make it harder for chronic users to come off their drugs. Some of those researchers are looking for ways to turn down hyperalgesia, to help patients function on lower doses of their oxycodone, for example, or make it easier to taper off it altogether. Others see OIH as a real, and a powerful, clue to the workings of pain pathways, but unlikely to tighten the grip of opioids on most patients. Researchers are also sure that most physicians are either unaware of hyperalgesia or unconvinced of its importance. It is thought that if you surveyed prescribers of opioids, they would be divided probably 60–40. If you need drug rehab in Columbus for an opiate addiction problem, keep reading to see how Legacy can help.

Integrated treatment looks at each person as a whole, and with the help of both doctors and therapists, the individual can have support in stopping opioid medications and help to find better alternatives to pain management. We certainly have a lot more work and research that needs to be done for patients faced with chronic pain. No one treatment will be a fix all for every patient. With the rapidly growing epidemic facing us this research needs to happen sooner versus later.

Those with chronic pain that is not being helped by their current medications need to talk to their physician. More medication may not be the complete answer. Seek out the proper help as soon as possible.

Affordable Drug Rehab in Columbus for 2018

Much like addiction, recovery is not a straight line. Instead, recovery occurs in many ways with a variety of tools used at one’s optimal pace. Although addiction can easily become life-threatening, the help that an individual may need to regain his or her sobriety is just a phone call away. If you are suffering from chemical dependency and would benefit from learning more about group therapy or other forms of treatment, call Legacy Freedom of Columbus for a free consultation and assessment. Our team of recovery specialists is waiting for your call.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply