Fighting the Opioid Crisis: Weaning patients off high doses of opioids

Opioid Crisis

That doesn’t mean the powerful painkillers should be avoided at all costs. 

If you have serious pain, and your doctor thinks you are a good candidate for an opioid, experts say its ok to take it. 

There are a couple of things to note. It’s important that you don’t have the risk factors for addiction, which your doctor will determine. 

Dr. Sarah Kawasaki says as long as you take it exactly as prescribed, and only get your prescription from one doctor, the risk for addiction is low. 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends prescribing no more than seven pills at a time for acute pain. 

The problem is, it’s taken a full-blown addiction epidemic for the medical community to understand just how to prescribe these drugs. 

“For a long time, the United States got involved with treating pain with opioids, so much more than the rest of the world in a really rapid fashion. They really had no idea what they had done until it was too late,” said Dr. Kawasaki. 

Dr. Kawasaki says within the next five years, it’s possible the medical community will be able to do genetic testing to see whether a person is more likely to become addicted.

If you or a loved one needs help recovering from addiction, there is a number you can call. 1-800-622-HELP (4357). It’s a hotline that’s staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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