Serenity Warns Of Pain Killer Abuse During Pain Awareness Month

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During the month of September, Serenity Recovery seeks to raise awareness of both chronic pain and the dangers of pain killer medications

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While recognizing the importance of pain management, however, Serenity Recovery also desires to raise awareness about pain killer addiction and abuse.

For fifteen years now, September has been recognized as Pain Awareness Month by the American Chronic Pain Association and other organizations working cooperatively to shed a light on this devastating condition. A recent figure from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies estimated that about 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That’s more than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. In fact, pain is the most common reason cited for visits to the health care system, the most common cause of long-term disability, and therefore a tremendous burden on the healthcare system and healthcare costs.

Beyond the frequency of chronic pain and the financial toll it causes, Pain Awareness Month illuminates the devastating human cost of chronic pain. Chronic pain affects families. The sufferer experiences an emotional burden and/or decreased physical activity level. The impact on family life, work life and overall satisfaction in life cannot be overstated.

While recognizing the importance of pain management, however, Serenity Recovery also desires to raise awareness about pain killer addiction and abuse. The United States is by far the biggest consumer of prescription pain medications, globally, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2014 that in a fifteen year period the number of complaints of chronic pain remained about the same, but the number of prescription opioids sold in the United States quadrupled. To further illustrate the point, in 2012 alone 259 million prescriptions were written in the US for opioids, more than enough to give every adult American their own bottle. Unfortunately, in many cases, prescription opioid abusers may also turn to heroin as a cheaper, more accessible solution to opioid attainment.

Not only are prescription pain medications potentially addictive, but drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine reports.

Given such alarming statistics, Serenity Recovery seeks to promote holistic pain management techniques such as acupuncture and yoga.

By some accounts, acupuncture techniques date back almost 8,000 years. Acupuncture as we know it, involving needles, is generally believed to have originated in China about the time we entered the Common Era. Acupuncture entered Western society along several routes, but wasn’t largely studied by Western scientists until the past several decades. Since that time, acupuncture has been much more widely accepted and accessible across the United States.

Acupuncture therapy is quick, painless, and proven to be effective, particularly for such chronic pain as headaches, dental pain and back pain (several of the chronic pain conditions that lead sufferers to turn to prescription pain medications). Given that there are no known side-effects of safe, skilled acupuncture application, it could be said that there is no down-side to at least attempting an acupuncture solution for a chronic pain condition.

Another ancient practice, yoga, has anecdotally worked miracles. Scientifically yoga has been proven to, at the very least, strengthen the body and breathing and boost mood, particularly with regular practice. Yoga may help relieve chronic pain, but when combined with meditative techniques, may also promote a healthier and happier mental state, even if the pain itself does not resolve. Such a healthier mental state may help a chronic pain sufferer function better on everyday tasks or better attend to personal or familial needs.

While no one deserves to live with chronic pain indefinitely, and Serenity recognizes the debilitating impact of chronic pain, other solutions deserve attention. With an understanding of techniques such as acupuncture and yoga as they currently exist, plus continued research into other potential pain management techniques, it may one day be said that no one suffers from prescription pain medication addiction because of chronic pain.

Serenity Recovery is committed to assisting the community in both substance abuse education prevention and successful recovery. Serenity further promotes the message that recovery is possible. You as a community member can share in the responsibility of education and addiction prevention. For more information, please visit the Serenity Recovery website, or call them at 1-855-218-3775.

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Derry Hallmark
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