Remember a time when you broke a bone or found yourself in pain for several weeks after a surgery. Remember how it affected your life, your ability to concentrate, or to accomplish minimal activities. Imagine if that pain didn’t go away in a few days or weeks. Imagine if it were chronic lasting for months or longer. How would you cope? Let’s focus on the question: how does chronic pain affect mental health?
Carolina Pain and Weight Loss is excited to announce the opening of a new office location in Conover, NC. We will begin seeing patients at the new Conover clinic on Monday, April 17th.
The address for the Conover office is:
1224 Commerce Street SW
Conover, NC 28613
Note for former Pain Relief Centers Patients
Carolina Pain and Weight Loss will honor any appointments scheduled with the Pain Relief Centers. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Many of us have family or friends who drink too much alcohol or have become addicted to some illegal substance. We wonder how this happened and was there something we could have done to prevent it. Was this person prone to this addiction, just weak, or was it something else? Is addiction genetic?
Substance Use Disorders
Researchers believe that about half of a person’s vulnerability to addiction can be hereditary. It can make you more prone to developing substance use disorders, or SUD. This includes alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, heroin, and opioids. So basically you have a 50/50 chance of developing an addiction. There must be more to it.
On the other hand, genetics plays a part as well. Similar to having a family history of diabetes, about 40 to 60% of addiction comes from genetics. We inherit the hormone dopamine which is the reward center in your brain. It makes us “feel good,” and if we have high levels, it can act as a trigger to addictive behaviors. This does not mean we are going to become addicted to everything that comes our way, it just makes us more predisposed.
What About The Environment?
Look around those family members or friends who are addicted to something. Who do they hang out with? If their friends smoke or do drugs, that makes them more susceptible due to the availability and, of course, peer pressure.
Life experiences play a big role here. Trauma, abuse, or neglect at an early age can play a part. Researchers tell us that stressful situations like a death, a lost job, or other stress can trigger the release of a steroid hormone called glucocorticoids that affects the reward circuitry in the brain. This can initiate a drug addiction or a relapse.
When we talk about addiction, it’s essential to understand that it’s not just about the substance or behavior itself. Several factors can influence the risk of addiction, and some of these factors can increase the likelihood of someone becoming addicted.
Here are some factors that can increase the risk of addiction:
- Mental health issues like bipolar disorder
What’s The Answer?
Yes, if parents used drugs in the home, children may develop substance abuse issues later in life.
Yes, if parents or grandparents had an addiction to alcohol, you are more likely to develop those tendencies.
Yes, if you live in an area with illegal substances at the “ready” you may give in to the addiction.
Why are some people more vulnerable than others? No one has all the answers and none of this is written in stone. There is no guarantee that you will develop an addiction, just predispositions.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an addiction, get help.
Contact Carolina Pain and Weight if you know you have some of these genetic, hereditary, or environmental predilections and get help and guidance.
If you suffer with nagging and debilitating chronic pain, have already tried medications and physical therapy with no relief, but want to avoid surgery, injections are an option for managing that chronic or even acute pain. Before you make that decision, here is what you need to know about managing pain with injections.
How does weight loss help with pain management? For most of us, we already know we have put on too many pounds and the truth is that being overweight affects most everything in our body, including pain. That’s why we hear so much about weight loss. Rather than beating yourself up about what the scale says, let’s look at how losing just a little weight might help with pain management.
Do you wake up every morning with pain? Have you had pain in your lower back or shoulders for so long you can’t remember when it first started? This type of pain is known as chronic pain. You seem to always have it, you’ve tried everything, and nothing seems to work. When looking for a solution, consider these 4 signs you should seek help from a specialist.
The short answer to this question is whenever you feel it is necessary.
However, there are many tips and tricks that may help you live with chronic pain without needing professional assistance. Here are just a few that you can try on your own!