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Den Rooy Clinics

A pill for pain

Prescribing heavy painkillers is under fire. More and more people are becoming addicted to it or dying from an overdose. Doctors and patients are often insufficiently aware of the potential impact of these opiates. That has to change, because its use is sometimes necessary, but not always without risks.

The use of opiates such as oxcycodone, fentanyl, morphine and buprenorphine has increased enormously in recent years. Oxycodone in particular was increasingly prescribed. Research from the Institute for Responsible Drug Use shows that one in four patients prescribed these heavy painkillers are not informed that these drugs are only for short-term use, and that there is a significant risk of addiction and serious side effects.
It is therefore essential for doctors and users not to underestimate the risks involved. For example, people can become addicted within four weeks and the side effects are also serious. Pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disorders: normal functioning is becoming increasingly difficult.


Be critical and realistic
Doctors, pharmacists, general practitioners, addiction specialists and other specialists must join forces to create more awareness about opiates. Because heavy painkillers are not harmless if you use them incorrectly. Good information - both to the user and to doctors -, stricter guidelines for prescribing oxycodone and more scientific research is therefore urgently needed. Pain relief is there for a reason, but it can present a difficult dilemma for people in recovery. They are often skeptical about the use of painkillers with an addictive effect. And that makes sense. Does your doctor want to prescribe this medication and you are not sure? Be open about your doubts and fears; there may be alternatives. And be realistic too: sometimes it is just necessary to prescribe this medication for a short time. Don't just sit there with it and always use common sense!

Written by:

Wim Steffens

Wim Steffens

MD/addiction doctor

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