Opioid Misuse: Breaking the prescription addiction cycle
A feature to help patients understand how opioids are making their pain worse, not better by Alison Moore.
Ms Felicia Cox chair of the RCN pain & palliative care forum says educating patients about opioids and their limitations is important. Many will believe opioids are providing a relief from long-term pain. But the evidence that they are effective in this, as opposed to easing short-term pain is lacking. Ms Cox also says many patients will not have a firm diagnosis for what is causing their pain. They may be looking for a ‘cure’ and need healthcare professionals to explain there may not be one, but that they can be helped to function better despite the pain.
Karin Cannons consultant nurse in pain management at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and Committee member of the RCN pain & palliative care forum warns of a ‘tidal wave of addiction’ from the increasing use of opioids, particularly in patients with chronic pain whose pain is not normally opioid responsive.
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