Pain Management

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Smarmore Offers Unrivalled Facilities and Medically Managed Detox From Drugs and Alcohol.

Pain Management

People who have become dependent on alcohol or drugs may present with a range of acute and chronic pain conditions, which can include: backache, headaches, toothache, or acute abdominal pain. Analgesic medications, prescribed for pain relief can play an important role in the treatment of pain especially acute pain although it is important to bear in mind that the management of pain, and in particular the management of chronic pain, involves more than the prescribing of medication. It is important that you make your doctor aware of your addiction history and become willing to try treatments for chronic pain that are not opiate analgesics.

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One group of analgesics, the opioid compounds are natural or synthetic derivatives of opium. These medications include codeine, various combinations of codeine and paracetamol, dihydrocodeine, oxycontin (more often prescribed for severe chronic pain), and tramadol. Dependence has been described with all these drugs. People who are chemically dependent are particularly at risk of becoming addicted to opiate-based analgesics.  

Indeed some patients admitted to Smarmore Castle Private Clinic have already become physically dependent on painkillers and /or addicted to these drugs. Addiction is characterised by compulsive drug-seeking behavior, a core symptom of dependence, and this can sometimes lead to the inappropriate seeking of pain-relieving medications.

In more general terms, however, those with a diagnosis of drug dependence must be aware of the inherent addictive potential of all these drugs. Opioids are strongly reinforcing drugs and must be prescribed with care to someone who is chemically dependent. Even people who are not already chemically dependent but are emotionally vulnerable are at risk of becoming addicted to painkillers.

Certain conditions which are organic, remitting, and often terminal cause prolonged suffering. Here it is reasonable to try non-opiate drugs first although ultimately these patients may require opiate medications.

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Most people who are suffering from alcohol and drug dependence and also experiencing chronic pain should be considered for other medications for the treatment of pain, such as paracetamol, aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Some of the more recent NSAIDs have fewer effects on the gastrointestinal tract and are often prescribed for those who are at risk of bleeding from the stomach or other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

All people who are striving for abstinent-based recovery need to be most careful about taking painkillers other than simple analgesics. 

There are also medications that may be used to treat certain types of pain and which are not opiate drugs. These include anticonvulsants and very small amounts of amitriptyline, an antidepressant. 

Complementary Therapies

These may also be considered and are strongly encouraged as alternatives to opiate-based medications. Such techniques include:

  • acupuncture,
  • massage therapy, 
  • physiotherapy,
  • aromatherapy,
  • yoga,
  • meditation,
  • cognitive behavioural therapy.

The application of relaxation techniques also plays an important role in the management of chronic pain.

  • How to Access Rehab With Health Insurance

    For those experiencing existing mental health conditions in Ireland, there are private medical insurers who can help you cover treatment. As addiction experts, we know that receiving the appropriate care and support when you have a mental health disorder is pivotal to attaining long-lasting recovery. Below, we will go through the various health insurance options to help you understand your options when it comes to seeking private residential care for substance abuse. Please note that there is no guarantee that you can be covered for all addiction problems as policies are always assessed on a case-by-case basis. Find Out More

  • My Loved One Doesn’t Want Help, What Do I Do?

    You can’t force someone to go to rehab. A person must be ready to commit to treatment if they want to get the most out of the programme. However, there are ways in which you can encourage someone to enter rehab, one of these ways is via an intervention with a trained interventionist, who facilitates an honest discussion between family members and the individual. This is something Smarmore Castle can arrange – contact us today.

  • Which Drugs Does Smarmore Castle Detox From?

    We offer detox from any drug, whether they are illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ketamine; or prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines or zopiclone, oxycodone, zolpidem, klonopin, methadone, cannabis; and legal drugs such as alcohol.

  • How Long Is the Treatment Programme?

    Our treatment programme starts at 4 weeks and is flexible in length, giving you the opportunity to extend for a longer period if you need it.

  • Do You Treat Dual Diagnosis?

    Yes. All patients are reviewed by a consultant psychiatrist in the first week and we can diagnose and provide treatment for a number of co-occurring mental health conditions.

  • Do I Need to Be Abstinent Before Admission?

    Our medically managed detoxification with 24/7 medical cover means that we can perform complete and complex detoxes at Smarmore Castle. You don’t need to be abstinent before arrival.

  • How Do I Get To Rehab Safely?

    Smarmore Castle is one hour north of Dublin international airport, please speak to our advisors if you require collection from an airport.

    We can also arrange a ‘sober transport’ service with a trusted driver, from anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland, at an additional cost.

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