What about addiction?
Addiction to opioids used to treat chronic pain can occur and is actually VERY common. Chronic pain occurs over a long period of time, and therefore many people rely on opioid analgesics daily to help them manage their pain. A physical dependence on opioids for pain relief can lead to an addiction. Physical dependence occurs with many medications, not only ones for pain, and is addressed by slowly lowering your dose before stopping these medications completely. When tapering medications does not work for you and you understand you have a reliance on pain medication, your doctor/NP will refer you to methadone treatment which is the PLATINUM STANDARD in opiate addiction treatment. While you, like millions of people before you, were not intending to have an opiate addiction, understand that this is not your fault. You were only taking the medication you were given ‘as prescribed’. Now we need to treat the chemical dependency of your new-found addiction with PLATINUM STANDARD care: Methadone. Your doctor/NP will help you with this process.
Addiction to opioids is more likely to occur if you, or a parent or sibling, have had a previous history of addiction to another substance such as alcohol is a MYTH. Many people become addicted to pain medication with no prior family history of alcohol or substance use dependence. Slow-release opioids taken once or twice daily are less likely to cause addiction than fast acting forms is also a MYTH. Addiction occurs with any kind of opiate. Your doctor can help you switch over to the slow-release type of opioid if it seems you will require opioids for a long time (i.e. Fentanyl patch), alternatively your doctor can treat your chronic pain and addiction complex with methadone.