Alcohol Risky but Effective Pain Reliever

Study Finds Alcohol Risky but Effective Pain Reliever — Pain News Network – May 03, 2017/ Pat Anson

The dangers of alcohol are well known – from drunk driving to health, work and social problems. But with opioid painkillers becoming harder to obtain, some chronic pain sufferers are turning to alcohol to dull their pain.

And now there’s research to back them up.

In an analysis of 18 studies published in the Journal of Pain, British researchers found “robust evidence” that a few drinks can be an effective pain reliever.

“Findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain despite its potential consequences for long-term health,” wrote lead author Trevor Thompson, PhD, University of Greenwich.

Thompson and his colleagues say a blood-alcohol content of .08% — which meets the legal definition of drunk driving in many U.S. states – produces a “moderate to large reduction in pain intensity” and a small elevation in pain threshold.

Despite the risks involved, some pain sufferers are turning to alcohol as a last resort and mixing it with pain relievers – a potentially lethal combination.

My doctor took me off all opioids last year and put me on Effexor, Naproxen, and extended relief Tylenol. It barely touches my pain so I am also drinking each night to help dull the pain,” one patient told us.

“The doctor tried gabapentin but I ended up with an overnight stay in the hospital due to a bad reaction to the medication,” another patient said. “I’m now using alcohol nightly to help me sleep along with high amounts of Naproxen and Tylenol daily.”

“I suffer extreme back and neck pain. Since they no longer prescribed painkillers I started drinking and find it is helpful.

How much is too much?

According to the Mayo Clinic, moderate alcohol consumption for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.

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2 thoughts on “Alcohol Risky but Effective Pain Reliever

  1. Kahty C

    It looks like Alcohol is the only available option for a lot of people. it looks like a lot of those we thought were alcoholics might have just been relieving pain. There has been no mention of the deaths due to alcohol, which are about the same as the deaths attributed to Opiates. There are a lot of Senior Citizens who are essentially drinking themselves to death. The Drawn out death from Alcohol abuse it not pretty, they bleed out, their Stomachs don’t function, and some can be a real nuisance to family members and the community.
    Our State recently had an increase in drunk Driving accidents, and there are a lot of Alcoholics, a kind of silent Epidemic they don’t seem to concerned about. For pain patients one consideration is to avoid mixing it with some of the other medications. Anti Depressants, and other drugs can create an uncomfortable mix, or heighten the effects of the Alcohol. It looks like the Healthcare System is not about to change and recognize Chronic Pain, it has been a profitable Public Health issue for the Industries. The “Epidemic of Despair is in full steam, the utter hopelessness, and “Alternate Facts” has silenced people with Pain. After all they believe we can wish it away, or a new Age Treatment is going to fix us. Now they can label people with pain as Alcoholics.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Emily Raven

      I live in a state where it’s always been a problem. I have a feeling the rates of accidents and need for inpatient alcohol detox will rise (convenient for those pricy centers and hospitals that charge everything they can since insurance must pay, eh?) I knew someone that became an “alcoholic” due to a spinal fusion that ended up causing her more pain. Shes doing better but this was when we were like 18 and the docs wouldn’t work with her to find a med that didn’t make her sink into the couch or get sick (she was TINY! Should have been on or at least tried a child’s dosage of meds) It’s really depressing thinking of it all. I’ve never been one to look down on drinking since I know people just ‘feel better’ when they’re on it not knowing they have malasie or pain since they’re told they’re fine. But it’s only going to get worse and as you said anyone just seeking a bit of relief will now have another big red label.

      Liked by 1 person

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