Some of our favorite links from the Cleveland Clinic, CDC, VADoD, and more
Controlled substance prescriptions (opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants) can be simultaneously well-needed and extraordinarily risky. Opioid patients in particular often need the pain relief, but the risks of addiction and overdose are real and terrifying. In over a decade of practicing pain management, our co-founder Dr. Chatterjee has found these links to be the most robust and informative expert opinions that have helped his patients walk through the world of opioids and other controlled substances.
We hope that this page can serve as a dynamic resource for you and your family. If you have any questions or would like to explore another topic, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
If you or someone you love is using opioids, there is always a non-zero chance of addiction. The best thing you can do to maintain safety is to become as informed as you can early on, actively monitor risky prescriptions, dispose of risky drugs as soon as you can, and stay prepared for adverse events, like overdoses.
Opioids should only be used after exhausting the alternatives. Before you ever accept a painkiller prescription, be sure that you understand your options.
Naloxone, commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan, is a powerful opioid reversal medicine that can save lives in the event of an overdose. If you or a loved one is at risk of overdose, ask your provider if Naloxone might help.
Opioid overdose occurs when the brain is overwhelmed by an excessive quantity of opioids, interrupting the body’s natural drive to breathe. This risk can be compounded by depressants, such as benzodiazepines or alcohol.
Surveys show that a majority of misused prescriptions involve someone never prescribed the substance. No matter how much you trust those in your household, you owe it to your family and friends to do your part and keep your medications protected.
In addition to protecting your medication, you should ensure that you only have drugs in your household that you actively need. Take a few minutes today to confirm that all of your prescription medications are active and necessary, and properly dispose those which are not. Also check out Practical Pain Management's Opioid Disposal Dos and Don'ts.
Understanding the type of pain you're managing is key to understanding your treatment. There are two main types of pain:
Chronic pain lasts longer than 6 months and may or may not have a clear root cause. It can be constant, or come and go. While many doctors may prescribe opioids for chronic pain, opioids are the most risky of treatment options and should be used carefully.
Acute pain is onset by a particular event and generally lasts less than 6 months. Short-term opioids may be prescribed for acute pain, but there are usually numerous other options that can provide safer and more sustainable pain relief.