Managing Fibromyalgia Without Addictive Drugs
Last Updated on
Despite what Hollywood may lead you to believe, drug addiction isn’t a moral failure, and it isn’t confined to crime-ridden neighborhoods. In fact, for many Americans, drug addiction starts with a desperate desire to manage chronic pain. Here at Hawaiian Island Recovery, we want to not only treat your addiction but also help you understand and manage your underlying pain to help you break free once and for all.
If you or a loved one is suffering from fibromyalgia and struggling with drug addiction, read on to learn more.
WebMD reports that fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal condition that causes muscle and joint pain and fatigue. Women are ten times more likely to get this disease than men, and those who do are also at an increased risk of depression and social isolation.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you likely feel aches and pains all over your body. You can experience extreme fatigue—even from the moment you first wake up—that prevents you from functioning normally throughout your day. You may feel like you’ve overworked or pulled a muscle, even if you haven’t exercised recently. You may also feel a twitching, burning, or stabbing sensation in your muscles that just won’t go away.
Because pain in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips is common, it can make exercise and even sleep difficult, no matter how fatigued you are. While fibromyalgia is mainly characterized by this overarching stiffness or pain, there are other symptoms as well, including headaches, abdominal pain, hypersensitivity to cold/heat, difficulty concentrating, incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, and dryness in the mouth, nose, and eyes.
In order to diagnose fibromyalgia, a doctor will conduct a physical exam and may also run blood tests or a thyroid test to rule out other illnesses with similar symptoms. Patients must experience widespread pain for at least three months before being diagnosed.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. Instead, your doctor can prescribe a variety of treatments to ease the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication, such as Lyrica, Cymbalta, or Savella. If you’re struggling with depression or a sleep disorder as a result of your fibromyalgia, you may also go on an antidepressant, such as Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft.
Patients who wish to avoid drugs altogether do not have to live in constant pain, however. There are also alternative methods of treatment, including massage, moderate exercise, chiropractic manipulation, and relaxation therapies.
Fibromyalgia and Opioid Addiction
Opioid pain medications are never recommended for treating fibromyalgia because they can be highly addictive over long-term use. Fibromyalgia does require long-term treatment, so it would be easy for patients to develop a dependency on or addiction to these drugs.
When that happens, the long-term effects of opioid use and abuse can, unfortunately, spark symptoms similar to the very symptoms users are trying to escape, such as fatigue, increased pain, and decreased cognitive function.
Despite this reality, one study published in 2011 reveals that 32% of patients treat fibromyalgia with opioids anyway. Researchers found that those who did so experienced negative effects on their health and psychosocial status.
Here at Hawaiian Island recovery, we offer dual diagnosis to treat residents’ addiction alongside any depression or chronic pain. We understand that this comprehensive approach is key to treating addiction by acknowledging, diagnosing, and treating any underlying or coexisting disorders as well.
This unique approach allows us to use traditional, proven therapies (such as cognitive behavioral therapy) alongside holistic therapies (such as acupuncture and massage) to help fibromyalgia sufferers find a way to live and manage their pain without relying on addictive opioids.
Recover from Opioid Addiction in Hawaii
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction alongside fibromyalgia, we can help. The beautiful, tranquil island of Hawaii is the perfect environment to undergo treatment and find healing with the help of licensed professionals.