KX News visited with an Addiction Counselor who told us, there are other options available to pain patients who want to get off of opioids.
The Heartview Foundation Doctor says once patients have been taking narcotics for a while, they develop Hyperalgesia or an exaggerated sense of pain.
She says patients with this condition won’t remember what their level of pain was before taking opioids.
She says it’s often easier for patients to detox than they think.
Heartview offers Suboxone and Methadone treatments. Both help those struggling with addiction to manage withdrawal, and for pain patients, these drugs do offer relief.
She also recommends psychotherapy, acupuncture, and yoga as alternative treatments for pain.
The Heartview Medical Director Melissa Henke explains, “We started using Buprenorphine more than eight years ago, and it was something that was relatively new at the time, and I had my reservations about it. I always tell my boss, ‘I came along kicking and screaming’. But ultimately, it changed the way that I view treatment of addiction.”
Doctor Henke says many private insurance companies and Medicaid will pay for Suboxone treatments.
Methadone is not covered by most insurance companies, but help is available through North Dakota’s Substance Use Disorder Voucher.