How Many Chronic Pain Sufferers Turn to Alcohol?

Millions of people live with chronic pain. Knowing virtually every day is going to be fraught with physical suffering can lead to a level of desperation many people on the outside can’t even imagine. You can’t enjoy many of the activities that once gave you pleasure. Sometimes, you can’t even concentrate on all the everyday tasks demanding your attention, much less get them done. It’s a miserable experience from which there’s little relief, and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

Turning to Alcohol for Solace

Chronic pain commonly prompts people to take unorthodox measures to resolve it. For many, the desperate search for relief leads to alcohol. Recent reports show that at least 25 percent of adults who are living with chronic pain use alcohol to self-medicate for it.

That figure could actually be far higher because many people don’t report that they’re taking this route. Quite a few don’t even fully realize they’re doing it. While alcohol may provide a certain amount of temporary relief, self-medicating with it can also have dire long-term consequences. Fortunately, those who need help to break the cycle of self-medicating with alcohol can turn to a Los Angeles treatment center.

Exploring the Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Alcohol

A couple of distinct links have been found between chronic pain and alcohol. First, let’s look at the situation from the self-medicating perspective. Persistent, unyielding pain tends to invade every aspect of a person’s life. It disrupts their routines, saps their energy, and leaves them feeling hopeless. Though medications and other treatments are available, some people find that they’re minimally effective at best.

Constantly dealing with relentless physical pain brings about a great deal of emotional pain. Of course, several treatments are available for that as well. Still, treatments for emotional pain often seem pointless if the physical pain and its detrimental effects are still going to be present.

Alcohol seems to offer a bit of a temporary reprieve. It dulls the senses, making the pain seem a little less severe and its effects slightly less disheartening. At the very least, it has a sedative effect that can allow for a short nap here and there. Having an occasional drink to escape the pain eventually becomes a vicious cycle, though.

Examining the Other Side of the Situation

Though alcohol appears to offer short-term relief for people who suffer from chronic pain, its long-term impacts can be severe. It’s known to cause serious health issues, including high blood pressure, liver disease, and digestive issues. It increases the risk of stroke, dementia, and several types of cancer. It also weakens the immune system, making people more likely to get sick. From the perspective of mental health, it increases the likelihood of developing anxiety and depression.

Long-term exposure to alcohol can also cause severe inflammation. Inflammation can cause a long list of health issues. One of those is chronic pain. According to some studies, up to 70 percent of people living with alcohol use disorder experience chronic pain. Inflammation, whether it’s caused by prolonged alcohol use or other factors, can increase the risk of developing arthritis and certain other conditions that come with ongoing physical suffering.

Addressing Alcohol Use Disorder

Millions of people are currently seeking relief from relentless pain. Though many turn to alcohol for temporary escapes, it can cause far more problems that it solves over the long term. It can even exacerbate physical suffering while also bringing about an array of additional health issues. In truth, it’s not a real solution at all. Help is available for breaking the self-medicating cycle and finding more effective ways of dealing with chronic pain.

Krysta Jakson

Krysta is an experienced blogger, writing blogs on lifestyle, fashion, beauty and travel. She wonderfully describes the latest trends on these topics, making the articles interesting for all the readers.