Many people are prescribed medications containing opioids for treating pain, often after an injury or surgery. Most opioids are used to treat pain that is moderate to severe. Mild (low-level) pain …
Many people are prescribed medications containing opioids for treating pain, often after an injury or surgery. Most opioids are used to treat pain that is moderate to severe. Mild (low-level) pain can usually be treated with non-opioid medications like paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen.
As opioids are sold under brand names that don’t tell you what the medication contains, many people who are prescribed these drugs don’t realise they are actually taking an opioid. Many people also don’t realise that medicines prescribed by their doctor can be dangerous.
People who take opioids for a medical condition can become dependent on (addicted to) them. Being dependent means that your body is used to having opioids in your system and needs them to function properly. You should not attempt to stop taking opioids or reduce the amount you’re taking without consulting your doctor.
There’s a range of signs that suggest someone may be dependent on or addicted to opioids. Most of these are physical symptoms that the individual person experiences, but they can also include changes in the person’s behaviour.
Signs of opioid dependence or addiction include:
If you think you might be becoming dependent on, or addicted to, your opioid medication, ask yourself the following questions. If any of them are yes, contact your doctor.
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