When you’re in pain from a surgery or medical procedure, your judgement is compromised, and you would throw every inhibition to the wind to get some relief from your pain. This is a dangerous feeling—one that could result in a long-term, albeit accidental, addiction to painkillers and other pain-relieving prescription medications.
However, if you can remain aware of the possibilities and dangers, you can do your best to avoid accidental addictions. Keep reading for four tips on how to avoid an accidental addiction to prescription drugs after the pain of a medical procedure.
If You Have an Addictive Nature, Ask for an Alternative to Addictive Pain Medications
Some hospitals and doctors keep alternative medication recommendations on tap specifically for those that ask for them. For example, some medications have more addictive qualities because of their numerous different ingredients. Therefore, you can ask for other meds with fewer addictive ingredients (which might be less strength in pain control).
Tip: You could also ask for holistic suggestions, such as meditation or light yoga. Neuroscience curriculum development has found that keeping the body busy helps to focus the mind as well.
Take Prescription Medications ONLY as Prescribed
Medication abuse is a real thing that can happen accidentally because you feel that your pain levels might overwhelm you. Always, no matter what, take your prescription medications only has the doctor has prescribed. You can avoid the risks of accidental addiction if you stick to the prescribed dosage and treatment set forth, strictly, by your medical team.
Keep Your Mindset That These Prescription Drugs are Temporary
Prescription medications are often temporary, until you or your doctor feels okay with discontinuation. Keep that fact at the forefront of your mindset. Prescription drugs aren’t manufactured for lifelong shelf life.
Strive to Either Sleep or Keep Yourself Busy After a Dose of Prescription Meds
What makes prescription drugs addictive is your sudden dependence on feeling pain-free in whatever was ailing you before. This can be an addictive feeling because no one wants to hurt. And that’s okay, but sometimes the everyday ache of age can be a good thing as it’s often indicative of being alive and healthy.
To avoid addictive thoughts when you experience painlessness during your time on prescription medications, take the meds before bed. Or, keep yourself busy with a hobby or obligation afterwards. You can still enjoy the effects of your prescription medications but temporarily. Don’t allow yourself to be reliant.