Information for patients who are struggling with their medication
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If you are struggling to get control of your pain despite high doses of opioid pain medication, you are at risk of being labeled an addict by those who don't understand what is going on. Opioid pain medication has the same effect in your brain as heroin does in the brain of an addict. So, even though you may not be an addict, your brain chemistry begins to make you think, act, and look like one.
There is hope for you, but only if you are willing to be helped on terms that are not your own. Your solution in the past has been to try and get your dose increased, and that is likely what you are hoping for now. But that is not the solution. Patients who have become desperate for relief despite high doses of opioid pain medication will never find a long term solution by increasing the dose yet again. The research on these types of patients is very clear - it is only by reducing the dose that relief begins to appear.
Weaning is probably not the word you were hoping for. But you can rest assured, Dr. Whiting has weaned hundreds of patients from their high dose opioids and they invariably do better, not worse. Weaning is slow and gentle. There is no intolerable withdrawal. And if you will avail yourself of the other treatments we have to offer, then the process is even easier. Patients should consider using all of the following tools:
- Regular therapy treatments. Massage therapy to work out tight, painful muscle knots, ultrasound or laser therapy to reduce inflammation and bring about healing to the deep tissues, and in some cases TENS therapy to provide analgesia throughout the day
- Education and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. We have educational sessions that will give you the tools you need to fortify your mind against the onslaught of chronic pain
- Alternative medications and nutraceuticals. As part of our educational program we will introduce you to some of the more effective alternatives to medications
- Regular exercise
For patients who struggle with the weaning process, we have alternatives including special medications that can end the cycle of desperation. If you really want to be helped, and if you are willing to open your mind to options besides simply increasing your dose, then it is a certainty that you can be helped and your pain will be more manageable. Your quality of life will improve, and you will find more than just hope - you will feel better than you have in years.