Opioid Medication & Pain: What You Need to Know

Resource summary

If you’ve had an injury, surgery or major dental work, you are likely to have pain. Pain is a normal part of life and healing. Talk with your doctor about how you can get the most effective pain relief with the least risk.


NON-OPIOID PAIN TREATMENTS HAVE FEWER RISKS
For pain that will likely be gone in a week or two, it is always best to start with non-opioid pain treatments. Opioids may help control pain at first, but they are usually not necessary. Consider other options that may work just as well but have far fewer risks. 

• Over-the-counter pain relievers
• Physical therapy
• Exercise
• Professional help coping with the emotional effects of pain
OPIOIDS ARE STRONG PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS
Opioids can be the right choice for treating severe pain, such as from cancer or
immediately after major surgery. However, medications such as Vicodin, Percocet and
OxyContin are very powerful and can be deadly. Even if you take them as directed,
ALL opioids have serious side effects such as addiction and overdose.
 

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Psychologist/Mental Health/Psychiatrists
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Washington Health Alliance