We often receive inquiries from our website and calls at our office asking how do I know if someone is experiencing difficulty with their pain medication. That is a major reason I published the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Module Two: Examining Your Potential Medication Problems that you can check out on our Publications page. To purchase this module please Click Here.
Below is a brief revised list of some of the most common Red Flags or indicators that signify that a person might be using their pain medication in a manner that could eventually lead to serious problems or even addiction. If someone you care about or are working with is taking potentially addictive medication both you and that person need to be familiar with these red flags and to seek help from a professional trained in addiction who also has experience, understanding, or training in pain management if these problem indicators are present.
INSTRUCTIONS: Please review each of the items below and rate each on a 0 to 10 scale with 0 meaning this item is not and has not been a problem to 10 meaning this has been or is a serious problem.
- The person is more concerned about their medication than their pain condition.
- The person is resistant to non-narcotic medications or referrals for non-medication type pain management interventions or makes excuses why they won’t work.
- The person frequently needs early refills and may rationalize this by coming up with sometimes unusual excuses: I lost it, someone else took it, it fell in the water, etc.
- The person experiences an abnormal increase in tolerance requiring frequent increases in dose.
- The person is resistant to referrals for psychological assessment and/or treatment.
- The person is using non-prescribed substances including alcohol and/or other drugs i.e., marijuana, methamphetamine, etc. as well as inappropriate over-the-counter analgesic.
- The person is using the medication to cope with psychological/emotional type pain or to cope with stressful or uncomfortable situations.
- The person is experiencing problems with cognition, affect, and/or behavior.
- The person has a history—or family history—of alcoholism or other drug addiction.
- Family members or friends report concerns about the person’s use of medication.
Unfortunately, prescription medication abuse or addiction is only one obstacle so to better understand the importance of overcoming obstacles to effective chronic pain management please check out my article, Overcoming Obstacles for Effective Pain Management, that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com.
To read the latest issue of Chronic Pain Solutions Newsletter please Click here. If you want to sign up for the newsletter, please Click here and input your name and email address. You will then recieve an autoresponse email that you need to reply to in order to finalize enrollment.
To check out my upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.