September 8, 2016, by Dixie Somers – It is an unfortunate fact that over 20 percent of all veterans struggle with drugs or alcohol addictions after their service. One of the reasons for this is the huge amount of painkillers that are prescribed to those with lingering injuries and chronic pain. If your loved one has become addicted to prescription painkillers after their duty, then read ahead for a look at some tips you can use to help them with managing a painkiller dependence.
Recognize the Signs of Drug Abuse
Using any powerful substance for a long period of time can be risky, and it is important that all those closest to your loved one can recognize the signs that a serious problem is developing. While no two addictions are identical, there are some common side effects that many addicts display. This includes unusual mood swings, lying to doctors, and mixing painkillers with other drugs or alcohol.
Display a Willingness to Help
Instead of enabling the addiction, you should consistently show your loved one you are there to help them when they are ready. You must clearly explain to them that they have your support and they don’t need to go through this process alone. Providing them with a comprehensive and empathetic support system is one of the most effective ways to help an addict.
Closely Follow the Prescriptions
Many veterans become dependent on painkillers because they have developed a tolerance to the active ingredients. Over time, they need stronger opiates or larger doses in order to have the same effect. If they feel as if their current dose is no longer effective, then they should speak with their primary healthcare provider about pain management alternatives.
Explore New Pain Management Techniques
Just because an individual is addicted to their medication doesn’t mean they are pain-free. By providing them with new pain management techniques, you can limit their risk of relapsing once they wean off of the painkillers. Some of the most popular pain management techniques include meditation, physical therapy, acupuncture, and massage.
Find Professional Help
There may come a point when your loved one’s dependency has spiraled out of their control, and that is when it is time to find professional help. Beating a painkiller addiction requires much more than support from one’s family, and the detox period can be dangerous without professional oversight. A rehab program like Sober Living Outpatient will provide your loved one with the support, knowledge, and skills they will need to beat their addiction permanently.
A painkiller addiction can strip everything away from a veteran, and that is why it is so important to aggressively treat these disease as soon as the signs of one become apparent in your loved one. Follow these tips so that they can adjust to regular life without painful or damaging side effects.
AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, careers, and education. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.