TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — CODAC is helping people with chronic pain and they do have therapies available to help some patients get off of medications. Director of Therapy services Jonathan Kandell works with patients to manage their chronic pain. Kandell says that sometimes pain and anxiety can occur at the same time.
"Chronic is something that is always with you and comes back again and again. Back pain is a classic example even headaches can be considered chronic pain,” Kandell said.
Kandell says group therapy classes are offered via zoom to help participants feel more connected. Its happening at a time when Americans are battling an epidemic of addiction to Benzodiazepine all across the country.
“The opioid's are the main pain killer that doctors give those are addictive. We’ve also seen the increase in the Benzo anxiety medication Benzodiazepine for the same reasons because people are having high anxiety during the pandemic and when you have chronic pain your anxiety goes up. The pandemic has increased all of the other existing conditions that people had be it depression, anxiety, substance abuse or chronic pain,” Kendell said.
In September of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) issued an alert telling drug makers to put new warnings on the anti-anxiety medication. The goal is to warn users about abuse, addiction and withdrawl from the medication. The FDA says in 2019, over 92 million prescriptions for Benzodiazepine were written in the U.S.
"In the research for the techniques we’re using folks have cut disability by 80 percent and the intensity of the pain by 50 percent,” Kandell said.
CODAC uses therapeutic approaches to help some patients rethink how thy handle their pain. Kandell says some patients also report feeling more confident and hopeful. It can take up to 12 sessions to go through the entire program.
“The techniques we teach in the group but there are different ways to react to your pain. It might be mindfulness, relaxation or re-framing it unhelpful thoughts. We keep the pain from turning into even more pain by how you react to it. If you’re feeling hopeless there’s hope if you’re feeling depressed there’s hope don’t let it take away the things that matter to your life,” Kandell said.
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