One reason why many end up facing an addiction problem is that they are dealing with pain in their lives. This pain can be physical or psychological in nature. In some cases, the person may be prescribed strong painkillers in order to deal with pain that has been diagnosed; these opiates are usually safe as long as they are used strictly as prescribed. Others use alcohol or illegal drugs to deal with their suffering, which is referred to as self-medication.
From Prescription Medication to Substance Abuse
The exact figure is unknown, but it is believed that there are at least 32,000 individuals addicted to painkillers in the UK. A doctor will have prescribed these individuals these drugs originally for pain, but they have crossed the line into recreational use. The person may be still convinced that they are only using the drug to control their pain, but the problem is that now a lot of their discomfort may be due to addiction. The individual is no longer using opiates or other substance to treat pain, but just to feel normal.
The slide from taking prescription medication as prescribed to abusing the substance can happen so slowly that the person does not notice what is happening. It can seem reasonable to take a few extra tablets or to begin taking the medication to prevent pain from coming (even though the drug has not been prescribed for this purpose). Eventually, the individual reaches a stage where they are using more of the drug than prescribed, so at this stage the person may turn to illegal sources to stay supplied.
Self-Medication for Pain
Those dealing with any type of discomfort in their life can find that they feel a bit better when they use alcohol or drugs. This type of self-medication can appear harmless at first, but as tolerance is developed the person will keep on needing more and more of the substance. Eventually, they would reach the stage where the remedy is worse than the disease, which means that the negative consequences of the substance abuse far outweigh the benefit. The fact that the person is addicted at this stage means that instead of quitting, they feel the need to keep on using more and more.
Self-medication is a terrible solution for any type of physical or emotional pain. Even qualified doctors known that it is always a mistake to try to treat their own diseases. Just using alcohol or drugs as a way to feel better involves too many risks, and if you carry on with this behaviour then you are likely to end up with far more problems than when you started. There are plenty of effective treatments for dealing with pain, and the negative effects of these will be far less or of a problem.
Meditation for Pain
Instead of turning to medication for pain, a better solution is meditation. Buddhists believe that all types of pain have two components – the actual pain and the resistance to the pain. It is the resistance to the pain that causes the most suffering. This is because your mind goes into panic mode and it just tenses up your body and makes you feel incredibly anxious. One of the benefits of meditation is that you can learn to stop resisting pain, meaning your symptoms become far more manageable.
Nobody should have to suffer pain but, if you are in this situation, you need to consider other options than alcohol or drug abuse. The best thing is to speak to your doctor. There will usually be a solution that will work for you, but it may require some experimentation.