What are Your Alternatives to Opiates?
Pain, whether it’s chronic or acute, is certainly not an easy thing for many people. But with an increasing number of addictions being attributed to prescriptions for opiates, alternatives to opiates are often sought to help manage that pain.
MHRS is partnering with the Warren County Health District and the Clinton County Health District to share some options to consider for yourself. Click on each below to learn more. There may also be other alternatives that your doctor could suggest. We encourage you to talk with your doctor about whether these or another option may be right for you.
Whether it’s a walk or using weights or getting on an elliptical machine, exercise may provide some benefits such as decreased joint and muscle pain, decreased fatigue, and improvements to sleep and energy. Studies have shown that people who exercise and stay flexible manage their pain better than those who don’t1. Your doctor might have some suggestions for getting started on an exercise regimen, so spend some time at your next visit talking about how exercise may benefit you.
It may seem like yoga is just exercise, but it’s more focused than that. Focused breathing and gentle stretches may bring relief for chronic pain. By regularly practicing yoga, which combines physical posture with relaxation and specific breathing techniques, you could find relief2. Studies indicate that yoga also promotes healing as well.
In addition to relaxation, therapeutic massage can also provide relief for pain. By manipulating muscles and connective tissues as massage does, it can relieve pain and reduce stress. It may also improve circulation and flexibility, too.3
After a hospitalization, or as a means of treating a physical problem, doctors may refer a person to physical therapy for treatment or rehabilitation. The benefits of physical therapy are not just a reduction of pain, but also increased mobility and improvement to balance and fall reduction4. Customized regimens can help people return to their lives faster, too. Your doctor may have suggestions for you, so a discussion about how physical therapy may help you is important.
Has an Opiate Been Prescribed for You?
- Don’t share your prescription with others! It’s not just unsafe – it’s also illegal.
- If you’re still using an opiate medication, don’t take it longer than your doctor says you should.
- Don’t drink alcohol while taking prescription opiates.
- Dispose of unused and old medications properly! Find a dropbox location near you!
For proper disposal of unused opiates and other medications, visit mhrsonline.org.