According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, related to either physical or sports injury, health condition, cancer, or something else. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined, with low back pain, headache or migraine pain, neck pain, and facial aches occurring most frequently. If you’ve been struggling with chronic pain, you may feel inclined to talk to your doctor about muscle relaxers, which directly affect the central nervous system. These types of medication can help to reduce tension, pain, and discomfort, providing the person with some relief, but can also lead to a serious and life-threatening addiction when abused. While muscle relaxers may seem beneficial for the moment, it’s important to recognize their dependence potential.
The following are some of the most highly abused muscle relaxers in the United States:
- Tizanidine (Zanaflex)
- Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril)
- Baclofen (Lioresal)
- Dantrolene (Dantrium)
- Methocarbamol (Robaxin)
While these are just a few on the list, it’s important to speak with your doctor about the potential for addiction with these types of medications, especially if you are already in recovery. Some muscle relaxants work directly on the muscle in pain, while others work on the central nervous system, which includes both the brain and spinal cord. When being prescribed this type of medication, it’s important to ask your doctor questions, such as:
- How often you are supposed to take the medication
- What dosage you should be taking
- If the medication should be taken circumstantially (only when pain is bad) or as a maintenance (every day, even when pain isn’t present)
- Side effects you may experience
- When to seek medical attention
- A plan of action for withdrawal if you become dependent on the medication
Since muscle relaxers are sedatives, it’s easy to become dependent on pain-free feelings and relaxation. However, abusing these drugs can cause your body to expect the medication even if it isn’t in pain – thereby making your body more sensitive to pain once you withdrawal. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about treatment programs and which option may be most beneficial to you. Recovery is possible.
Men can find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we are helping men transform their lives in mind, body, and spirit. The Tree House Man is a new breed, creating sustainable recovery through sustainable changes. Call us today for information on our programs: (503) 850-2474