Saying Yes to Holistic Therapy — and Goodbye to Opioids

opioidsAddiction to opioids affects people across the United States. Overdoses continue to climb, despite efforts to control consumption — right down to rates doctors prescribe them.

Unfortunately, many people who become addicted to opioids start out taking them for chronic pain. Doctors prescribe medication to help them for pain management purposes. They have no intention of using drugs to the point of harm — it just happens. By the time they realize it, they’re often in too deep to stop easily.

Rather than targeting opioid addiction after it has already happened, some organizations seek to prevent dependence before it becomes a problem. Mayo Clinic, for example, has established a program at its Pain Rehabilitation Center to help people suffering from chronic pain find relief — and stop depending on opioids in the process.

According to NPR, ceasing opioid intake is part of the program’s entrance agreement. Patients must agree to stop using pain medications while enrolled in the program before they can begin.

Over 80 percent of those who begin the program complete it successfully. Many report that after six months of self-management following the completion of the program, they haven’t relied on opioid medications to deal with their pain.

Patients spend much of the program learning alternative strategies to manage their pain without drugs. All this together discourages them from relying on opioids to function in their everyday lives — significantly decreasing their chances of becoming addicted to them.

There are only a few programs like this around the country. Unfortunately, insurers aren’t always willing to cover initiatives like this. Many chronic pain sufferers might technically qualify for Mayo’s program and others like it. However, if a provider doesn’t find it medically necessary, these patients may either need to pay out of pocket — or won’t be able to enroll at all.

Still, the possible benefits of more programs — and making these initiatives more financially accessible — aren’t lost on the experts. Programs like Mayo Clinic’s could help America solve its opioid crisis. Prevention isn’t always possible, but it’s a major step in the right direction for many using opioids that could become addicted … even if they haven’t yet.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.
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