A man gets into a car accident and is quickly rushed to the nearest hospital. Due to his injuries, the doctors determine he requires surgery. Once the surgery is complete and the man regains consciousness, he finds himself in intolerable pain from the combination of the accident and the surgery. The man is offered and prescribed painkillers from the doctors. The man gladly accepts the medicine and immediately begins his dosage. Over the next few weeks, the pain has subsided substantially but still lingers. The man continues to take the painkillers despite the need. The pain begins to flare up between doses, becoming more painful between pills. He calls his doctor and the doctor increases his dosage. The man, without realizing it, has become addicted to opioids… Sound Familiar?
Opioids pose a huge problem in the hospital environment. Doctors cannot determine one’s personal pain and can only make an educated guess on a solution. It is important to ask your doctor about the side effects, addiction tendencies, and refill expectations of any drug offered. When it comes to painkillers, a consistent dosage is not important. Only take the painkiller when absolutely necessary. Reassess your personal situation before taking each pill. When the pain has subsided, dispose of any excess pills in a safe manner. Do not keep the temptation in the home whenever possible.
The aforementioned situations happen all the time and often are outside of your control. If you are stuck in a similar situation with prescription opioids, please contact Solace Counseling so we can help you through.