Dealing with both a chronic illness and addiction recovery can cause a great deal of anxiety. Many illnesses are lifelong, and have episodes where patients need to have at least some level of pain relief.
For some people, their chronic illness also means they have to deal with chronic pain at some level, and that can be challenging to manage for those who are not in recovery, much less a person struggling with addiction. There are a number of chronic illness management options available to those in treatment that preserve sobriety.
Challenges Of Chronic Illness
Living with a chronic illness is very challenging for the person suffering. Unlike an acute injury or an illness, there is no beginning, middle and end to the health crisis. It is something that the person must learn to live with on an ongoing basis.
Many people feel helpless, hopeless, and angry at different times. If the illness interferes with a person’s ability to perform daily activities, earn a living, or participate in activities he or she enjoys, there is a sense of feeling “robbed”, which is difficult to deal with.
Chronic Illness Management Options In Recovery
In treatment and recovery, it’s very important be to open with the medical staff providing treatment and share with them your status as a recovering addict. Also, as an addict in recovery, your doctor will need to be aware of your addiction history and take it into consideration when prescribing any medications. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you will not be allowed to use pain medication if you need it to treat a chronic condition, but your use will be closely monitored, and there may be certain types of pain medication that won’t be considered appropriate for you.
Keep in mind that not all medications used to treat pain are narcotics. There are other options to treat pain, depending on the type of pain you are experiencing. NSAIDS (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs) may be used, as well as non-narcotic medications.
Alternative Methods To Treat Chronic Illness
You may also get relief from the symptoms of chronic illness from alternative treatments, including:
- Creative Arts Therapies
Individual and/or group therapy can also be helpful to talk about the feelings that you experience from dealing with a chronic illness. Attending 12-step program meetings provides much-needed support and reminds you that you are not alone. Summit Behavioral health is proud to offer these treatment options as well as other to our clients.
Get The Help You Need
Having a chronic illness does not have to be a barrier to recovery. Get the help you need for addiction and manage your illness properly. Call us now to find out how we can help!