When most people think of those who are addicted to drugs, they think of average people who have been hooked on illegal drugs for no particular reason. However, what most forget is that many of these individuals who struggle with addiction also struggle with other disease processes and mental conditions that add multiple layers of issues to drug addiction treatments. For example, a surprising number of drug and alcohol addicts do suffer from chronic pain for which many take prescription pain relievers. Thus begins a cyclical process in which individuals such as those in Apple Valley & Phelan take prescription medications for pain, but need drug rehab programs for their prescription medication addictions.
New Approach to Treating Chronic Pain
Lately, a program known as ImPAT, or Improving Pain during Addiction Treatment, has studied a different type of approach to treating chronic pain during drug rehab. Rather than giving out opioid analgesics, practitioners have instead prescribed a variety of behavioral therapies as well as accessory treatment modalities, such as physical therapy. Not only are these types of therapies cheaper than many medication prescriptions are but also they work surprisingly well in this group of patients who are often hypersensitive to their pain. In this type of treatment setting, patients may attend social support groups, receive physical therapy or exercise therapy for their hurting joints or muscles and speak to licensed psychologists. Studies have shown that this style of treatment for pain decreased pain and helped patients function at their prior day-to-day level. In addition, behavioral therapies have been shown to decrease depression, which is also associated with an increased incidence of pain and opioid use.
The results of this study highlight the need for drug rehab facilities to offer multifaceted care and for physicians who work with drug rehab patients to be equally knowledgeable in all sorts of pain treatment modalities. This is particularly critical as addiction rises throughout the country especially among teens and young adults. Doctors in Victorville and elsewhere must be aware that while it may sometimes be necessary to prescribe opioid painkillers to individuals who are dealing with a drug addiction, it should only be done with as low of a dose as possible and under extremely watchful supervision.