Dr. Pohl shares the complications that can arise when patients take opioids for physical and emotional pain.
The other set of problems with opioids is that they treat physical pain and emotional pain, and there are certain people who end up in trouble because they take their pill for their physical pain, but inadvertently they are treating their emotional pain, and we call somebody like that a chemical coper. It’s not like you are doing something wrong; you are taking the pill and your marriage gets better.
So, when you have stress, when you have anxiety, when you have depression it’s a normal response to take a pill in response to that. That’s an unhealthy pattern that really can lead to many problems. So, in my experience, I am more of a therapeutic nihilist. I do not like opioids so well for the majority of people who have chronic pain.
This is a condition that’s going to be with you for the rest of your life. Trying to kill the pain with a pill really sometimes backfires and oftentimes backfires, and I would seriously suggest that if opioids are part of treatment for your chronic pain condition, you ought to speak with a physician who understands that it may be best for you to decrease and get off those medications and see how you do without them.
Furthermore, we actually have some studies now that show that people on opioids chronically, some people on opioids chronically have more pain on the opiate than off the opiate and the treatment of that pain is to take them off the opiate. Doesn’t mean stopping the opiate makes the pain go away, but it does get better off these medications.
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.