Let Us Help You Find Healthy Alternatives to Abuse of Opioids, Marijuana, and Sleeping Pills
If you live with chronic pain, there’s a good chance that you have already have an addiction or are in danger of developing one. Opioids or marijuana for pain relief or sleeping pills to help you rest at night may feel necessary for you to simply function. However, there are serious concerns about these substances — and we can help you find healthy, safe alternatives.
Depending on your situation, it may seem hard to believe that there are ways to deal with your problems other than the substances you’ve come to depend on. There are many options to explore, though, and your health and life will be better if you find something that works without the risks.
Why you should avoid opioids, marijuana, and sleeping pills
The dangers of opioids are tragically well-documented. The risk of overdose is very real, and not insignificant.
Aside from the danger of addiction and overdose, opioids often have uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Respiratory depression
Although there are numerous people who recommend marijuana as an alternative to opioids, the medical community is still debating the matter. At Family Medical Specialists of Florida, we have grave concerns regarding the use of marijuana.
Marijuana is an illegal substance according to federal law. Additionally, it’s not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, which makes it impossible to know exactly what and how much of any particular component is in even medical marijuana. Finally, there’s no way to know how marijuana interacts with other medications you may be taking.
Sleeping pills may seem like the answer to poor sleep, but they come with their own set of issues. Like opioids, sleeping pills carry the risk of side effects, including, among others:
- Pain in your hands, feet, arms, or legs
- Appetite changes
- Constipation, diarrhea, or gas
- Stomach pain
- Problems with balance
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Drowsiness during the day
- Dry mouth
Some sleeping pills have other side effects, such as parasomnias — which are behaviors, actions, and movements that happen while you’re asleep and over which you have no control. These can include eating, sleep driving, having sex, making phone calls, and others.
It’s possible to develop both physical and psychological dependence on sleeping pills. Some studies show that long-term use of sleeping pills actually interferes with sleep — so you don’t even get the intended benefit.
There are alternatives
When it comes to pain control, there are alternatives that don’t present the same risks that opioids have. Some of them require commitment and practice, but in the end, you’ll be healthier for pursuing them.
For example, meditation has shown promising results in studies. Experts believe that meditation helps with pain through multiple mechanisms, and of course, has no side effects or risks.
Physical therapy is also a recommended treatment for chronic pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention specifically recommends physical therapy for pain control as an alternative to opioids.
Exercise, proper nutrition, and other approaches can also play a role in reducing your pain levels. Our practitioners help you identify what works for you, and then we create a plan that you can follow and incorporate into your life.
Happily, many of the same approaches that are effective for pain control also address anxiety and sleep hygiene. If you’re concerned about addiction to opioids, marijuana, or sleeping pills, book an appointment online or by phone at Family Medical Specialists of Florida and come in for a judgement-free consultation to explore effective alternatives.