On top of the coronavirus, economic distress, civil unrest, and political pandering, Americans are fighting an uphill war with opioids. To make matter worse, most Americans are not certain what constitutes an opioid, according to a recent survey.
The survey went on to reveal that only 20% of Americans can name five of the seven most commonly prescribed opioid drugs (Tramadol, Hydromorphone, Morphine sulfate, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, and Oxycodone.) It is essential to be able to identify opioid prescriptions because if you don’t know you’re being prescribed one, you won’t be aware of the side effects or risk factors. It is imperative that the masses be educated on the severe side effects that opiates have on the body as well as the impact they can have on judgment and insight. Having said that, here is everything you need to know about opioids and their corresponding dangers in a nutshell.
The 4 most important facts about opioids
1.) Doctors Are Required to Inform You When They’re Prescribing You an Opioid
It is unlawful for a doctor to write you a prescription for an opioid prescription without notifying you that the drug is, in fact, an opiate. In the medical field, failure to disclose an opioid prescription to a patient falls under the realm of medical malpractice.
2.) Doctors Should Tell Patients About The Side Effects & Risks of Opioids
According to multiple medical experts, doctors should inform their patients of the physical and mental impacts opioids have on people. While most doctors do in fact divulge the downsides of opioids, there is no formal tool or form doctors use to specifically educate patients about opioids. Experts go on to stress that the burden of asking questions about opioid safety should never be on the patient—it should be on the doctor.
3.) Some Health Conditions Heighten The Risk of Opioid Addiction
Certain health disorders, such as sleep apnea, alcohol consumption, or the use of sedative drugs, increase the risk of opioid addiction. Therefore, it is crucial that you’re open and honest with your primary care physician when they ask you questions about your existing health conditions and medications. By keeping information from your doctor, you could be putting yourself at a higher risk of opioid addiction.
4.) A History of Addiction Does Not Rule Out Opioids
If you have a history of addiction but are in serious pain and believe an opioid medication is the best treatment for you, you may be tempted not to tell your doctor about your health history. This is a case where honesty is the best policy. Just because you have a history of addiction does mean you cannot take opioids if you need them. All it means is a greater level of caution should be used.
When used properly, opioids can be effective to relieve pain. However, the majority of the time people abuse opioids rather than use them responsibly. Opioids come with various risks. That’s why it’s not only important to know what the most commonly prescribed ones are, but to be able to have a conversation with your doctor about it. When it comes to opioids, knowledge isn’t only power, it is life-saver.
Well + Good
Aug 21, 2020