Substance Abuse

Paul Sandhu, MD -  - Pain Management

Pain Solvers

Paul Sandhu, MD

Pain Management & Regenerative Medicine located in North Beach/Telegraph Hill, San Francisco, CA & Pleasant Hill, CA

Pain medication may seem like the best fix when you hurt, but chronic use of narcotics can lead to a host of other problems and does not treat the underlying issue that’s causing your pain. The pain management specialists at Pain Solvers take a comprehensive approach to pain management that may include addressing a substance abuse problem you’ve developed due to chronic pain. With locations in the North Beach/Telegraph Hill area of San Francisco, and in Pleasant Hill, California, Pain Solvers has a team of specialists ready to evaluate and identify the right treatment for underlying causes of substance abuse. If you’re ready to find relief, call the office or book your appointment online.

Substance Abuse Q & A

What is substance abuse?

The dictionary defines substance abuse as behavior that involves the “overindulgence in or dependence on an addictive substance, especially alcohol or drugs.” When you think of substance abuse, you may imagine at-risk teens or adults experimenting with illegal drugs or overusing alcohol on a regular basis. Sometimes, however, prescription drugs such as OxyContin® are the foundation of substance abuse.

How do you treat substance abuse?

There are many therapies available to address substance abuse, and the most effective treatment often involves a combination of approaches, including:

In-patient care

In in-patient care, you’re hospitalized for a time to help overcome physical conditions associated with substance abuse and withdrawal.

Outpatient therapy

Outpatient therapy may include individual counseling and group participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step types of programs.

Residential programs

Residential programs last longer than in-patient care and focus on recovery.

Because many individuals affected by substance abuse also continue to experience chronic pain, treatment by a specialist who is familiar with drug-free approaches to managing pain, is imperative.

How can medications prescribed by my doctor cause substance abuse?

Whether obtained through a prescription or not, opioids and other narcotics are mood-altering drugs that can initially make you feel fine as they relieve your discomfort. They can also cause physical dependence, however. 

If your condition or injury causes chronic pain, a pain management specialist can design a long-term treatment program that reduces your need for, or replaces, pain medication with other beneficial therapies.  

How can you manage pain without medication?

A variety of treatments can address pain as effectively as medication. Some therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, teach you to overcome negative thoughts associated with pain. Others, such as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) block pain by disrupting signals your nerves send to the brain.

Depending on the cause of your pain, your provider may also recommend one or more of the following:

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage therapy
  • Botox injections
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture

Each of these methods is clinically proven to promote effective drug-free pain relief in many individuals.

Schedule an appointment with Pain Solvers today for judgment-free care regarding substance abuse and/or pain management. Your satisfaction is our goal. Call the office or book your visit online.