When you have a mild headache or muscle pain, over-the-counter drugs are usually enough to make you feel better. But if your pain is more severe and harder to manage, your doctor might recommend prescription medications, such as a prescription opioid.
Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medication that has serious side effects if you don’t use them correctly. Prescription opioids are medications that are chemically similar to endorphins, the chemicals that our body naturally produces to relieve pain. When opioids are taken as prescribed by a medical professional for a short time, they can be relatively safe and can reduce pain effectively. But taking opioids also puts you at risk for dependence and opioid addiction.
Opioid drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body that will result in telling your brain that you are not in pain. This effect may then trigger the possibility of dependence or addiction. That is why you must always work with your doctor if you are prescribed opioids for your pain. It’s best to check in with your doctor regularly and inform him of any side effects and how your pain is responding to the drug.
Opioid addiction is common. According to the American Medical Association, an estimated 3 to 19 percent of people who take prescription opioids develop an addiction to them. But you can avoid this by way of clinical interventions.
Misuse of prescription opioids can lead to death resulting from an overdose. To be safe, always consult your doctor or have a comprehensive assessment in Ontario if you suffer from dependence or addiction.