Many individuals that struggle with opioid addiction were actually prescribed opioids initially by licensed physicians to manage pain of some kind. They generally continue to take them because they believe themselves to be in pain. While the pain that they feel is real, it is rarely the initial physical pain that they were originally prescribed opioids for, even though they may believe it is.
Studies have shown that pain is pain and we literally feel psychological and emotional pain the same way we experience physical pain. The difference is that the causes of physical pain are much more easily discovered, addressed and treated than psychological or emotional pain. Psychological and emotional pain is often the result of injuries that may go back as far as childhood. Unlike a physical injury, however, there are no scars, marks or even evidence that they exist.
All pain is literally in your head – but that doesn’t make it any less real
Technically speaking, both psychological/ emotional pain and physical pain are all in your head. This is why an amputee can still experience agonizing pain from a limb that is no longer there. When individuals who are in unacknowledged psychological or emotional pain take opioids, it numbs all their pain, not just their physical pain. When they stop taking the opioids, the pain comes back, but it is not necessarily physical pain that returns. Much of the western world continues to deny that psychological and emotional wounds are real, legitimate things that need the same care and attention that wounds to the physical body do.
When people are told that their wounds are not real, they can’t always understand that the pain they need relief from is not actually physical pain. Thus, they will sometimes “feel” or attribute their pain to physical causes because it’s the only thing that explains the pain. Addiction treatment has come a long way. At one time, addiction was often considered to be some kind of moral weakness rather than a legitimate physical issue.
Medical science now understands that more than anything, addiction is a way of managing pain of some kind. Addiction treatment seeks to help keep an individual’s pain manageable while they address the underlying cause of their pain. This is why inpatient facilities and other treatment facilities are so effective. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to pain medication, there is help available. Call us today at 833-846-5669 to let us help you find the help you need.