Oftentimes, a person who sustains a serious injury is given a prescription for painkillers. For example, the person may have a broken collarbone or a fracture of some kind that causes him or her a great deal of pain. Strong painkillers definitely serve the purpose of making people more comfortable as they heal. But, how do you prevent a friend or loved one from falling victim to an inadvertent painkiller addiction? Here are some suggestions to consider.
Help the Person Monitor His or Her Intake of Medication
When a doctor prescribes painkillers to someone, he or she instructs the person on the proper dosage. In other words, the doctor tells the person how much to take and when to take it. A person can quickly become addicted to painkillers by taking too many pills, too many times a day. You can help a loved one by making sure that the person is following the dosage instructions. For instance, a wife can monitor her husband’s supply of painkillers to ensure he is only taking what has been prescribed. If he starts taking more than what is necessary, they should visit the doctor before the problem becomes more serious. A friend can monitor another friend’s pill intake by asking if the pills are helping and how much longer he or she needs to take them. Let your friend know that you are concerned about his or her welfare.
Suggest the Person Discuss Other Options with the Physician
Another way to prevent a loved one’s inadvertent painkiller addiction is to get the person to ask his or her doctor about other options for pain relief. The doctor may offer some advice regarding which may be non-addictive, over-the-counter medicines that offer pain relief. Or, your loved one may be able to take a lower dosage of the painkiller. This can be effective in relieving the person’s pain and in helping him or her to avoid painkiller addiction. Encouraging a loved one to talk to the doctor can provide the person with safer options.
Advise a Loved One to Keep the Doctor Apprised of Healing Progress
You may want to accompany your loved one to the doctor for a checkup. If the person is healing right on schedule, the doctor may be able to reduce the dosage of painkillers. This gradual reduction of medication can help your loved one avoid developing a painkiller addiction.
Suggest Other Remedies and Practices That May Help with Pain
Depending on your loved one’s injury, there may be other alternatives to taking painkillers. For instance, the person may want to participate in physical therapy to relieve pain. Massage therapy, acupuncture and yoga are other alternatives that can offer pain relief. Of course, your loved one should get the approval of his or her doctor before trying any of these alternatives. Some of these therapies may be appropriate for your loved one while others may not be.
Finally, if you think a loved one has a painkiller addiction, it’s wise for the person to seek treatment right away. There are many treatment centers with professionals who are trained to help people with this painkiller addiction. A positive first step is to call the helpline at 800-890-3586.