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Addiction Among Cancer Patients

Addiction Among Cancer Patients

Addiction can be an extremely difficult condition as it is, but it can be even further exacerbated when an individual is struggling with another physical condition along with it, like with addiction among cancer patients.  This tends to somewhat with one condition, in particular, that condition being cancer.

Cancer is obviously hellacious in itself, but when those who are struggling with cancer also end up falling into addiction, the effects upon them and their health can be quite extreme. One of the most common ways that addiction among cancer patients occurs is through pain management.  Cancer and its treatments can be quite painful, which often requires individuals to undergo pain management, which typically includes a prescription to opiates.  These substances can be extremely addictive, and a person using them for pain management could begin to take too much and potentially develop an addiction.

In addition to the physical difficulties, a cancer diagnosis can bring rise to a variety of difficult emotions, such as anxiety, fear, anger, stress, and depression.  All of these can be extremely hard to deal with when severe.  But, when these feelings arise from the proposition of cancer, a person could turn to self-medicating to ease them.  Rather than taking their meds for the dedicated purpose, they could begin taking them purely to get away from those emotions for a short time.

The Rates of Addiction Among Cancer Patients

There are varying statistics in relation to the instances of addiction among cancer patients.  An Oncology article had said that substance use disorders (SUD) only occur in about 5% of those in cancer centers, but they also say that these numbers may be higher within the general cancer population.  But, another study had shown the numbers higher than that, stating that instances of chemical coping to handle emotional distress occurred within around 11-28% of the cancer population.  Whatever the actual numbers may be, it should absolutely be an issue that is monitored by the patient’s medical team in the event that it begins to develop.

How Addiction Complicates Cancer Treatment

One of the most disastrous effects of addiction in conjunction with cancer is how it can interfere or complicate the cancer treatment.  Cancer patients are typically on a few different types of medications for various purposes, often including opiates to manage the pain that can be associated with the condition.  When a person begins to use another substance in conjunction with these medications, it can set off various balances, which can produce several negative effects.  This can also come about when an individual begins using more than the recommended doses of their medications.  Combinations of different substances that are not carefully balanced can have extremely detrimental health effects.

Various cancer treatments can be extremely rough on an individual’s body, such as chemotherapy.  And when a person begins ingesting large amounts of substances along with that, effects like vomiting and nausea can become worse.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction While Struggling With Cancer

There may be cases when an individual that is struggling with cancer and addiction may require opioid dependence treatment to overcome it.  There can be different levels of treatment for opioid addiction recommended for these individuals depending upon their cancer status.  For instance, inpatient may be too much for a person who is struggling with the health issues of their cancer, but an outpatient program may be fitting for them.  For those who end up recovering further from their cancer, they could attend an inpatient program once they are well enough.  Whatever the case may be, the person should try to receive the level of treatment they are able to handle for the time, as the addiction could hinder the proper treatment of their cancer.  There is typically some form of opioid dependence treatment for every person, whatever their situation may be.

How to Achieve Opioid Addiction Recovery

Addiction can often be an extremely burdensome and damaging condition, but there are several avenues of help out there.  Opioid addiction recovery is possible with the right treatment.  There is a variety of different types of treatment and rehab facilities that can help a person to do this.  Unfortunately, the extremely large amount of options can make it difficult to know which one to choose, but New Beginnings is here to help with that.  Our advisors are familiar with the rehabs all over the country, and they can give you a briefing upon the centers and their offerings, as well as help, find the best fit.  We know you only want the best for yourself or a loved one and we are here to help you find it.  Take the first step toward a new and sober life, and give us a call today.

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