The widespread toll of the opioid epidemic has served as a wake up call to doctors to be more attentive to the specific needs of each of their clients and seek alternative therapies for relieving pain before prescribing narcotic opioid painkillers. Opioid painkillers like brand names Hydrocodone and Oxycontin are highly addictive and habit forming drugs. Without abusing a prescription, patients become chemically dependent upon the medications for relieving pain. Slowly, they lose their ability to experience pain relief without the medication, except the medication no longer provides pain relief. Instead, the opioid medications have actually compromised the brain’s ability to create pain relief, thereby enhancing the sensitivity to pain. Desperate for pain relief, patients innocently take more than their prescription, or at their pleas, their doctor increases their dosage. A relentless cycle of addiction begins, leading many to heroin, overdose, and death.
Doctors have undergone a true spiritual experience when it comes to the responsibility they bear in treating their patients. Many have seemed to wake up to the idea that other treatments are more beneficial for relieving pain. Doctors have called for prescribing mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and other holistic treatments. Emergency rooms have massage therapists and energy healing practitioners on site to provide relaxation and pain relief. Though the drastic and euphoric effect of opioid painkillers is not quite the same experience for holistic healing treatments, doctors have found that overtime, holistic practices provide recovery. Releasing tension in the body and the mind, holistic healing practices bring a holistic approach to pain. Opioid painkillers do not target specific pain or any emotional underlying issues which might be contributing to physical pain. The mechanism of opioid drugs is to create overall pain relief, which is why the drugs are so powerful and alluring. Newer medications are pain-specific, meaning they target the site of pain and treat that one area. Holistic treatments like acupuncture, massage, yoga, as well as meditation can target specific pain areas and provide healing.
It may not be possible for holistic therapies to completely overtake the popular trend of prescribing opioid painkillers. However, there is a growing movement of awareness and mindfulness when it comes to treating pain. More lives can and will be saved.
If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, there is help available. At Enlightened Solutions, we approach addiction recovery holistically, providing compassionate care for healing mind, body, and spirit. Call 833-801-5483 today for more information on our partial care services and programs.