While I was in my second semester of college, I was in a severe car accident and ended up being disabled. The injuries caused a lot of pain, and I was having trouble sleeping. Doctors prescribed medication to help manage the pain and to help me sleep, but this led to an addiction problem that quickly spiraled out of control. I became depressed and gained a lot of weight, which in turn caused sleep apnea. All of this was just too much and became a nightmare to manage, and I ended up dropping out of college. Currently, I am looking for alternative ways to manage my sleep apnea, and I am also wondering if you can recommend anything for the addiction.
According to the American Pain Society, about 50 million Americans suffer from chronic or severe pain. Currently, pharmacists fill over 250,000 million opioid-based prescriptions yearly to help patients manage pain. These are drugs that can easily lead people to develop a dependency, as their chemical composition is incredibly addictive. Therefore, not only are you not alone, it is not your fault. You are experiencing a difficult time–but know that you are not alone and that you are taking a positive step in seeking assistance.
Prescription opioids work by interacting with receptors in the brain that prevent the brain from interpreting pain signals. Additionally, these drugs also provide users with a sense of relaxation by decreasing blood pressure, slowing down breathing, and reducing heart rate. Patients can develop a dependency with opioids when the brain stops producing and absorbing dopamine, a brain chemical that produces pleasure. The level of dopamine in the brain drops as the effect of the drug begins to wear off, and this causes emotional and physical discomfort. Therefore, it is easier for users to lose control of dosages and frequency in use and individuals end up having a difficult time withdrawing from using the substance.
As patients eliminate the drug from their system, they may experience physical symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, chills, sweats, muscle aches, and insomnia. Additionally, emotional symptoms include depression, anxiety, and irritability. The body can begin to present signs of withdrawal about 12 hours after stopping. It is advisable for individuals to seek help when going off the drug. In your case, you may want to review information about online therapy. Additionally, you may want to look for additional treatment centers in your area, as opiate withdrawal is not something that you want to go through on your own. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) operates a toll-free hotline that is available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day to assist individuals or families of those that are suffering from substance abuse.
Individuals can also treat addiction in a natural way, although this is something that you may want to discuss with your doctor. Some studies have shown positive results with therapies that include meditation, yoga, art therapy, and pet therapy, among others. Researchers, for example, have found that meditation has the potential to reduce the triggers of substance abuse while yoga can help produce a calm mindset. In states where medical cannabis is legal, a doctor may recommend light cannabis use to help relax and reduce inflammation, suggest the developers behind naked e juice. But since you’re already dealing with an addiction problem, only go this route if your doctor is completely with you. During this time, it may be advisable to reach out to friends and loved ones. If needed, obtain a cell phone, stay connected, and make sure to check in.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder where individuals stop breathing for more than 10 seconds repeatedly, resulting in decreased oxygen levels in the blood. Additionally, patients suffering from the condition are unable to obtain enough rest. According to medical researchers, obese individuals have a higher risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. In general terms, patients suffering from obesity are twice as likely to develop the condition. When left untreated, the condition can cause cardiovascular disease and even death. Results in studies indicate that patients who gain 10% of their base weight increase the risk on progressing their OSA condition; however, a weight loss of the same percentage decreases the severity of the condition.
In your case, weight loss should be one of the main goals. It is wise to continue the treatment of sleep apnea prescribed by your doctor, which we imagine involves the use of a CPAP Machine.
However, there are other avenues that you can pursue that do not impede following your current treatment. For example, exercise will not only help reduce the severity of the sleep apnea but, according to some studies, it can also help with the management of pain. Studies results suggested that people that exercise can manage pain more effectively than individuals who maintain a more sedentary lifestyle. A combination of exercise and a healthier lifestyle can also help reduce and maintain an ideal body weight. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor and a nutritionist. Given that your disability may limit the type of exercise that you can effectively perform, ask your doctor about alternative ways to increase cardiovascular activity. Also, ensure that you are taking proper care of your CPAP Machine, as these are prone to promote respiratory distress when not cleaned properly.
Seeking assistance is an indispensable step in all areas of life. It is hard to admit that we need help and equally hard to ask for it. When it comes to a sensitive topic like substance abuse and addiction, it is even harder. This step that you took is the first step, and you are well on your way to being healthier and well. Remember that you are not alone, and remember to reach out to friends and family continually. Also, seek advice from a lawyer and review if you are eligible for disability benefits or other rights because of the accident. Long term disability lawyers can review your case and determine if you received proper compensation for the accident, especially with all of the impacts that this had on your life.
“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” — Charlotte Brontë.