Pain Relief vs. Addiction

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Do narcotics have medical uses?

Pain Relief vs. Addiction

Many of the most commonly abused narcotic drugs -- morphine, codeine, oxycodone (OxyContin) -- are also prescribed medically for anesthesia or pain relief. Long-term use of these drugs is sometimes necessary in cases of chronic pain, yet can lead to dependency. Experts are careful to define "addiction" as a more extreme form of dependency, in which the patient continues to seek and take the drug even when it causes harm.

Doctors must balance these risks when prescribing such drugs. In some cases, patients who become dependent on a narcotic are not in danger of becoming criminals or dangers to society -- for instance, in cases of terminal illness -- and it is kinder to focus on simply alleviating pain.

When a patient has higher risk factors for addiction to opiates or other narcotics -- for instance, low socioeconomic status, past history of drug abuse, or low self-esteem -- pain management specialists should work with the patient's physician to wean her off the drug and find other ways to manage pain.

   

Comments

8/24/2007 6:40:30 PM
12stemthybuster said:

This is uttergibberish . a person socioeconic status deteriining what type of medication the receive .Ther is notany empirial study that ashowsa persons socioeconomic classwill or willnot makea pain paitnet to become a addict the wholedefintion ofa addit is sovaugeandbraid as to be utterly useless unless one is attepemtingto geta peron in ota usless 12step cult




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