Opioid Medication Misuse

Friday, August 23, 2013

About 100 million Americans have chronic pain and some may be treated with opioid medications. Unfortunately, these medication are some of the most abused. Dr. Edward Hill explains more in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Opioid medications include codeine, morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl, among others. These medications can help some people and harm others. In the United States, opioid medications are the second most common drug abused after marijuana.

Opioid medication misuse is defined as use of an opioid medication different than the way in which it was prescribed or for reasons other than why it was prescribed.

Not all chronic pain gets better with use of opioids. Opioids can cause side effects, addiction, overdose and death. Before prescribing opioids, your doctor may talk to you about the benefits and risks of taking opioid medications.

Your doctor can look for evidence that opioids are being misused or are harming you by causing side effects that are unsafe.

Your doctor may decide that the opioid medication is too dangerous for you and will need to be stopped. If your body is physically dependent on the opioid, your doctor may decrease the opioid dose slowly so that you do not get sick from withdrawal.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.