You may have an upcoming surgery or another medical procedure at a facility in South Carolina, one that may put you in a lot of pain or discomfort afterward. To help with your recovery, your doctor may prescribe you an opioid, one known for its addictive nature.

In 2017, The Baltimore Sun ran a story on doctors using alternatives to traditional painkillers. Share their findings with your physician to reduce your chances of developing a dependency on opioids, all while effectively keeping pain and discomfort at bay.

“Enhanced recovery” protocols

Some medical facilities have implemented “enhanced recovery” protocols as an alternative to addictive pain meds. What that means is that patients receive less- or non-addictive pain medication before and during their procedure. Physicians may also use nerve blocks to help minimize pain.

Doing away with outdated surgical protocols

Traditionally, medical professionals would administer IV fluids to patients, put them on bed rest or have them fast after surgery. Now, the medical community believes that such strategies do more harm than good. Part of the reason for this reconsideration is that doctors can no longer prescribe as many addictive painkillers as they used to.

Alternate therapies 

Rather than prescribing medication, patients in pain may undergo alternative therapy to help them recover from a common ailment like lower back pain. For instance, acupuncture, massage and chiropractor visits can treat pain and keep patients from risking an opioid addiction. Those who do not respond well to alternate therapies may do better with muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medication. Standard opioids should act as a measure of last resort.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.