People who live with chronic pain, whether from cancer, a car accident, or other causes, often get to the point where they are prescribed narcotics for the pain. Although narcotics can work well, they should not be taken with some other medications.

It’s important to tell your healthcare providers all of the prescription and over-the-counter medications, supplements and vitamins you take. That way, they can be sure that anything additional they prescribe will not interact with what you are taking and cause dangerous side effects.

Treatments beyond medications

“We also teach patients other ways of coping with pain, including meditation and visualization,” explained Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Carla Mundt. “The mind-body-spirit connection is very strong, and these methods can work well.”

Be cautious when purchasing CBD

The use of cannabidiol (CBD) -- a non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis -- for pain has increased with the legalization of marijuana in many areas.

“Be cautious when purchasing CBD products, however,” Mundt said. “Dispensaries are fine, but if you buy it at a swap meet, for instance, you don’t know what it really contains.”

Some products have been found to have fentanyl, cocaine and other dangerous ingredients, so be sure to buy from a reputable source.

Coping with the holidays

Many people experience depression and anxiety from dealing with chronic pain, and may find it worsens around the holidays. TIP: Volunteering for others can boost spirits because you know you are making a difference to someone.

If you need help for chronic pain, contact Pima Pain Center at 520- 399-6000.

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