October 23, 2009, Newsletter Issue #227: I'm afraid I'll become addicted to prescription pain killers. Should I take them?

Tip of the Week

If you use opiate narcotics for chronic pain on a long-term basis, you probably will become addicted to them; this is an automatic response by your body to any addictive substance. This kind of addiction is called "iatrogenic addiction," meaning that your addiction is the result of a legitimate medical treatment. It doesn't mean you're a "junkie." Many medical problems create chronic, severe pain, and sometimes the only way to ease this debilitating pain is through the use of prescription pain killers. If your doctor recommends that you use opiate medications for pain, he/she will carefully monitor your use of the drugs. You must NEVER take more medication than prescribed. If you still need help managing your pain, let your doctor know; a solution will be found.

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