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Durban - A number of South Africans struggle with opioid addiction and people who suffer from regular or prolonged pain are most at risk because they often make use of medication containing opiods such as codeine.

This was according to Dr Shaquir Salduker, board member of the Psychiatry Management Group, in light of the SA National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (Sanca) Drug Awareness Week that ends tomorrow.

“Individuals recovering from injuries or surgery are usually prescribed these types of pain medication and while these types of drugs are very effective for treating severe pain in the short-term, using them for extended periods can have a number of negative health implications,” he said.

“The result of opioids entering the brain is immediate pain relief as well as a sense of euphoria in the patient. Unfortunately, prolonged use of opioids creates a dependency in the patient. In addition to the body’s craving for the euphoric feeling, it reduces the amount of endorphins that the body produces, making the patient even more sensitive to pain,” Salduker explained.

Wouter Lombard ,the Brand Manager of Neuropsychiatry at Cipla, said it was vital for consumers to have as much information as possible when using pain medication.

Dr Jabulile Ngobese-Ngubane, a lecturer at the Homeopathy Department at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), said the management of pain using homeopathy is a critical pathway as it could determine the quality of life for patients.

“In homoeopathy, we don’t always focus on pain and don’t view pain as a bad thing but rather a message that needs to be decoded properly in order for us homoeopaths to understand where the problem is,” said Ngobese-Ngubane.

She added that people have become used to ignoring the cause of the pain but focus more on momentarily reducing the pain with painkillers.

Daily News