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How Can I Cope with Pain If I Have a History of Painkiller Abuse?

How Can I Cope with Pain If I Have a History of Painkiller Abuse?

You can utilize alternative methods of pain management to deal with both acute and chronic pain without becoming addicted to painkillers

Painkiller abuse is a common problem among Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 75 percent of prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers. This rise in deaths parallels the rise in sales of strong painkillers since 1999. According to a 2014 article from Psychology Today, painkillers were responsible for approximately 14,800 over deaths in 2008 alone, which is more than deaths caused by cocaine and heroin combined. People do not set out to become addicted to painkillers. Oftentimes they become physically tolerant of the drug, and require more and more of the drug to maintain the same level of relief from pain. Over time both a physical and emotional dependence develop even though the need for pain relief remains. Fortunately for those who have a history of painkiller abuse, there are some alternative ways to cope with pain without the threat of becoming addicted to painkillers again. The following alternative forms of pain management have helped many people deal with pain. You can explore these options and utilize the ones that are most effective for you.


Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine in which practitioners stimulate different points on the body by inserting thin, sterile needles through the skin. The Food and Drug Administration regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices and requires them to be sterile and labeled for single use only by those who have been trained in the practice. This practice has been shown to help chronic pain. A 2014 report issued from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicated that acupuncture has been helpful in alleviating chronic low-back pain, neck pain and osteoarthritis. While this ancient technique may seem scary, very little side effects have been reported by those who undergo the treatment in a certified facility.

Therapeutic Massage

The term massage refers to the pressing, rubbing, manipulating and warming of the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments to provide relaxation and pain relief. Practitioners use their hands, fingers, forearms and even elbows to target and reach different layers of the dermis and other tissue to ease tensed or injured muscles. According to a 2014 article from the Annals of Family Medicine, in a study of individuals with chronic neck pain, multiple 60-minute massages per week were effective in helping to manage pain symptoms. In addition a 2011 study reported in in the Annals of Internal Medicine indicated that massage was effective in treating chronic back pain with the benefits lasting up to six months in comparison with patients who received drug therapy only.

Yoga and Other Mobility Exercises

Yoga is the practice of physical movements of the body designed to provide physical strength and stamina. Many people practice Hatha yoga, which refers to a set of exercises and sequences of body postures designed to align your skin, muscles and bones. Yoga has been utilized in the management of pain and for the promotion of physical health for centuries. Recent studies have affirmed yoga’s efficacy in helping manage pain symptoms. The key elements in yoga, including breathing, posture and meditation, have been shown helpful in dealing with a variety of ailments. A 2011 study released by the International Association for the Study of Pain reported that yoga was beneficial for patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, persistent low back pain and fibromyalgia. Like other non-traditional forms of medicine, it is important to find a trained and qualified instructor who understands how yoga can alleviate or cause pain.


Hypnotherapy uses deep relaxation and the power of positive thinking to bring about changes to a person’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. A hypnotherapist will use exercises that bring about deep relaxation, resulting in a trance or a deeply focused state. This makes a person more responsive to an idea or an image or suggestion. It is used for a wide variety of situations such as improving immune function, increasing relaxation and decreasing stress and anxiety. According to a 2007 study in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, hypnosis resulted in significant decreases in pain associated with cancer, fibromyalgia, arthritis pain and lower back pain.

Getting Help for Your Clonazepam Addiction

If you or a loved one is showing the symptoms of addiction to painkillers like clonazepam, don’t give up. We can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. We are open seven days a week. You can talk with one of our admissions coordinators about the concerns you have, and together you can determine the best treatment options for your unique situation. We can even help you find rehab centers that specialize in treating addicts struggling with painkiller abuse. You can manage your pain without being an addict. Call us today, and start on the path of healing.