Opiates For Arthritis Pain Relief - Can You Get Hooked?
Posted Aug 21 2009 12:39pm
One of the associated risks of taking opiates for arthritis pain relief is dependence. When you become dependent on a drug it is not the same as addiction. Dependence is when you experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the drug, whereas addiction is a self-destructive, consistent use of the drug. Abusing drugs can be life threatening and is a serious problem.
Individuals who have serious chronic arthritis pain, but do not have a history of substance abuse are unlikely to become addicted to opiate drugs. However they are likely to become physically dependent or develop a tolerance to their arthritis pain relief and need higher and higher doses for it to be effectual.
It is this risk that frightens many people and leads them to refuse what may be a helpful treatment. But when you no longer need to take these painkillers, you can be gently weaned off by gradually lowering the dose.
Another reason people prefer not to take this type of arthritis pain relief is because they may meet with disapproval from their family and friends, or they worry that they are unsafe. However, opiate analgesic drugs should be safe and effectual as long as they are used as instructed by your doctor.
For somearthritissufferers other treatments and drugs don't work. However when a doctor and his patient settle on an opiate drug because it is appropriate, they do so only with the patients understanding about the risk of dependence and what side effects can be expected when taking opiate arthritis pain relief.
Even if doctors are happy prescribing opiates for arthritis pain, many agree that they should only be used in conjunction with a disease management plan, which includes exercise, healthy diet,non-medical pain reliefand other medication options.