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Friday, June 30, 2017

Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You or Your Loved One Is Prescribed an Opioid

With around a hundred people overdosing every day due to opioids — and doctors still relying heavily on these addictive painkillers to treat chronic pain — it’s more important than ever to be an active member of your healthcare team. Simply put: Patient education must be part of your pain med RX.

Here are some key questions to ask your doctor if you or someone you love is prescribed pain pills:
  • Are there any non-opioid alternatives or complementary therapies that could help with pain management?
  • When should I schedule a follow-up appointment to check how well the meds are working?
  • How do I stop using or taper off opioids safely?
  • What can I do to reduce the risk of potential side effects from opioids?
  • What if I have a history or family history of addiction?
  • Are there any serious signs that prompt a call to the doctor or visit to the hospital? For example: excessive sleepiness or craving more of the medication.
  • What should I do if I’m still feeling pain?
  • Are there any possible interactions with other medications I’m taking? For example: prescriptions for anxiety or sleep problems or any over-the-counter meds that contain acetaminophen.
  • How can I tell if I’m developing a tolerance to the medication?
  • What are some of the early signs of abuse? For example: watching the clock for your next dose; getting in more arguments with your friends or family members; trouble sleeping; calling for early refills.
  • What are the signs of an opioid overdose?
  • Do I need a prescription for a naloxone kit? (This medication temporarily restores breathing during an opioid overdose.)
  • What’s the best way to safely store my opioid medication?
  • How do I dispose of unused opioids?
Addiction Treatment for Young Adults
Young adults (age 18 to 25) are the biggest abusers of prescription opioid pain relievers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And early intervention is the most successful treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid addiction, don’t wait to get help. Call today: 866-930-4673.

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