In America, patients had years of reassurance that opioid prescriptions are safe and effective for pain treatment. Even though they are useful, the opioids crisis and the vast increase in overdose deaths in the country over the past decade, implies they are unsafe. Also, they are illegal, very addictive, and usually develop dependency consequences for long-term users.
Alternatively, easily-accessible medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen function remarkably well for acute pain. According to extensive research of over 2,000 patients who performed various dental procedures, the vast majority of patients experienced adequate pain relief with over-the-counter pain medications.
Additional studies also indicate there is no significant difference between opioids and anti-inflammatory treatments to emergency patients treated for lower back pains after five days.
Sometimes, over-the-counter medications are less effective when treating acute pain. In those circumstances, the first goal is to substitute opioids with non-prescription drugs if the pain becomes unbearable.
Typically, statistics show that the period when patients experience severe pain is during the first three days following a trauma or surgery. Therefore, opioid prescriptions are only relevant when patients experience chronic excruciating pain.
Creating Awareness for People Receiving Opioid Prescriptions
The best recommendation for any person regardless of age is as follows.
For simple problems, such as sprains or dental procedures, patients should try as much as possible to avoid using opioids. Instead, they should ask their physicians the best and safe over-the-counter pain treatments and utilize them.
For more severe pain, such as post-surgery discomforts or fractures, patients should only use the minimum opioids dose to tolerate the pain. Later, when the pain becomes bearable, they should substitute opioids with non-prescription pain treatments.
Moreover, teenagers and young adults should exercise extra caution with opioid prescriptions. The reason being the adolescent brain is highly vulnerable to addiction as it develops, so it puts them at high risk of misusing the drugs.
Although opioid misuse among teenagers is reducing, it is still a challenging issue to address.
In case young adults need to use opioid prescriptions, a parent or a caregiver should ideally store then securely and dispense them by following the right dosage. Also, it is essential to educate them about opioids misuse and the risks of relying on these drugs. Generally, parents should consider talking to their children about drug consumption and their possible consequences.
Requirements for Leftover Pills
If the acute pain from the first few days subsides, patients should safely discard any surplus opioid prescriptions. About 65 percent of adolescents who misuse opioids possibly obtain them for free from family or friends.
Failure to discard unused medicines often leads to future misuse even when a patient experiences a mild pain. One way to disposing pills includes sealing them in a plastic bag then casting them off in a dustbin. Avoid flushing the pills in the toilet since they can contaminate the water supply.
Final Thoughts from the Recover
Opioids are addictive illegal drugs that can cause the body to develop dependence when withdrawn after long term use. Therefore, the best way is to avoid them and use alternative drugs since they are also useful.
For those who are struggling with opioid prescriptions or misuse and need a reliable solution to discontinue their use, they can find help from nearby professional rehabs.