We live in a time when the same opioid drugs that are used to treat both moderate and severe pain may put some patients at risk of becoming victim of a dangerous addiction. Typically, when an opioid is used in a hospital setting and is closely monitored by a medical staff, the patient reaps the benefits of these drugs without suffering any consequences. Too frequently in the past, however, patients were prescribed more opioids than they needed and opioid use disorder becomes an issue.
The most effective pain treatment plant are an agreement between a patient and a health care provider. And while pain levels are unique to every person, it is also true that pain treatments vary depending on the existing condition.
Fentanyl and Other Narcotics Are Dangerous When They Are Abused
Fentanyl pills are just one of the narcotics that can provide effective pain relief, but an also put a patient at high risk for addiction and dependence. Overused, fentanyl cause respiratory distress and even death when it is taken in high doses or when it is combined with other substances, most notably alcohol. A fentanyl or opioid overdose is not only life threatening, it is also a major scare for loved ones. Even when it is taken in save amounts, patients are asked not to drive or use any kind of machinery or power tools. Patients are also asked to avoid drinking alcohol and sleeping pills, and certainly should not be signing legal documents or even supervising children by yourself.
Any time you are in need of a pain medication it is important to work with someone who will not only discuss the goals of your treatment or procedure, but also someone who will also prepare you for the kind and amount of pain that you might suspect following a procedure. The best doctors make use of several approaches, not just narcotics, when it comes to pain management and insist on follow up visits to monitor not only signs of progress following a procedure, but also monitor signs of possible abuse.
The side effects of opioid use can include everything from breathing difficulties to nausea and vomiting, as well as drowsiness and overall confusion. It is also important to note that using opioids for longer than three days can increase a person’s risk of addiction. For all of the beneficial effects of pain relieving narcotics, it is always important to monitor the problems that might be occurring as well.
Fortunately, instead of only relying on narcotics, there are also many other effective ways for doctors to help their patients manage pain. For instance, both occupational or physical therapy. In addition, cognitive behavior therapy and other kinds of counseling can help patients who deal with frequent pain because of an injury, procedure, or illness. Good nutrition and a moderate exercise program can also help with pain management for many people. Finally, meditation and massage can work as viable alternatives. In some cases, in fact, there are also non opioid medications that can be prescribed.
It is unfortunate that these drugs that can provide so many benefits to patients can also be abused and lead to lifelong addictions. For the most part, patients can find a way to manage their pain following a surgery without running into problems, but it is always important to work hand in hand with your surgeon or medical staff to make sure you are taking any pain medications correctly.
In addition to being a risk factor for the patient, opioids and other strong narcotics can also be a danger to others if these drugs are not properly cared for and monitored. For this reason, of course, it is especially important to keep these, and all medications, away from young children. By putting medications on top shelves or in locked cabinets, for instance, a patient can limit the dangers to others. It is also very important to not share your medications with anyone else, and to properly dispose of any unused medication when you no longer need it. Accidental or intentional overdoses both have the same results, some of which can actually lead to long term injury or death.
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