Because the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, clinicians and patients must work together to discuss treatment options for chronic pain and opioid use disorder, carefully considering the various risks and benefits of each.
Improving the way opioids are prescribed through Oregon’s prescribing guidelines can ensure patients have access to safe and effective pain treatment while reducing the number of people who potentially misuse or overdose from these drugs.
Understanding Prescription Opioids:
- Prescription opioids can help relieve pain in the short term but also come with serious risks and potential complications. There is not enough evidence to show that opioids control chronic pain effectively long term.
- Alternative pain treatments such as exercise, acupuncture and massage have fewer side effects and are less risky than prescription pain medication.
- Store prescription pain medications in a safe and secure place out of reach of others. Make sure any unused medication is properly disposed of once it is no longer needed.
- Use prescription pain medications only as instructed. To help prevent misuse, do not sell or share your medication. Never use another person's prescription pain medication.
- If a choice is made to use prescription pain medications, make a plan for when and how to end the prescription.