Over the past couple of decades, America has come to comprehend that certain opioid-based pain drugs that were once touted as being borderline miraculous are every bit as addictive as morphine or heroin. Since the medical community now understands this, doctors are much more reluctant to prescribe opioids for pain. However, there are still some situations where using these medications is appropriate.
Opioid addiction treatment is available for those who need it, and someone battling this addiction almost always needs help. It’s very rare for someone hooked on these kinds of drugs to get clean on their own.
With that in mind, let’s list a few FAQs about opioids and safe use.
What Exactly is an Opioid?
An opioid is a compound that resembles opium. It can be either natural or synthetic. It generally has the same addictive qualities as opium. Drugs that have been on the market in recent decades, such as Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Codeine are considered opioids by the medical establishment.
What Are Some Valid Uses of Opioid Medications?
Though there is always the potential for misuse, opioid-based medications still have many valid medical purposes. The main one is for the treatment of serious pain. A prescription of opioids after a major surgery is always an option.
They can also be used as an anesthetic. They can be used as a cough suppressant, and they can suppress diarrhea as well.
They can also be prescribed more freely if a patient is in hospice care and is not expected to live much longer. In such cases, if the individual is in significant pain, opioids might be appropriate to ease their suffering.
How Easy Is It to Get Hooked on Opioids?
The medical community now understands that it’s very easy to become addicted to opioids. That’s why, even after major surgeries, doctors will usually only prescribe a few pills that contain opioid derivatives. After the patient is done with those, the doctor will not generally give them any more unless the patient is in significant pain.
How Can Someone Use Opioids Safely?
The safest way to use opioids is under a doctor’s direct supervision. There should always be a valid medical reason for using them. The patient should also notify the doctor immediately if they begin to experience any of the symptoms that indicate an addiction or dependency is starting.
Someone who needs opioids should also get them only from a licensed pharmacist. Some individuals who develop an opioid habit or addiction start to go elsewhere to get their medication.
If they buy opioids on the street, there is a significant risk associated with that. The pills someone buys on the street might look the same or similar to ones they got from a pharmacist, but there is no telling whether they contain any additives since they did not go through a regulation process.
This is how many overdose deaths occur. Some pills that are purchased on the streets contain fentanyl, which kills many individuals around the country yearly.