TUCSON, Arizona. (KGUN) – CODAC helps people with chronic pain, and therapies are available to help some patients get off medication. Therapy Services Director Jonathan Kandell works with patients to manage their chronic pain. Kandell says that sometimes pain and fear can occur at the same time.
“Chronic is something that is always with you and occurs again and again. Back pain is a classic example, even headaches can be considered chronic pain, ”said Kandell.
Kandell says group therapy classes are offered through Zoom to help participants feel more connected. It comes at a time when Americans across the country are battling an epidemic of benzodiazepine addiction.
“The opioids are the main addictive pain relievers given by doctors. For the same reasons, we have also seen the increase in the benzo anxiety drug benzodiazepine, as people experience high levels of anxiety during the pandemic and when you have chronic pain your anxiety increases. The pandemic has exacerbated all other existing human illnesses, be it depression, anxiety, substance abuse or chronic pain, ”Kendell said.
In September 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning urging drug manufacturers to issue new warnings about the anti-anxiety drugs. The aim is to warn users about drug abuse, addiction and withdrawal. According to the FDA, over 92 million prescriptions for benzodiazepine were issued in the United States in 2019
“In researching the techniques we use, people have reduced disability by 80 percent and the intensity of pain by 50 percent,” Kandell said.
CODAC uses therapeutic approaches to help some patients rethink how they manage their pain. According to Kandell, some patients also feel more confident and hopeful. It can take up to 12 sessions to go through the entire program.
“The techniques that we teach in groups have different ways of responding to your pain. It can be mindfulness, relaxation, or framing unhelpful thoughts. We prevent the pain from turning into more pain by responding to it. When you feel hopeless there is hope, when you feel depressed there is hope, don’t let the things that are important to your life take away from you, ”said Kandell.
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