It’s tough to live with chronic pain, but millions of Americans do. That’s one reason why prescription opioid pain medications are so popular.
Opioid medications are good at relieving pain in the short term. They also help people with active cancer and people receiving hospice or palliative care cope with pain. While these medications can be safe when taken as prescribed by the health care provider, opioids come with some serious risks, including the risk of addiction and unintentional overdose and death.
If you're living with chronic pain, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking opioids. Discuss other ways to help manage your pain, such as physical therapy, exercise and nonopioid medications. If your doctor does prescribe an opioid, be sure you –
Properly dispose of the medication as soon as it's no longer needed or has expired. Disposal options include -
Problems with opioids or other substances?
Your employees can get help by calling (800) 662-HELP (4357) to reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline.
This confidential, free information service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They provide referrals and information in both English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental health and / or substance use disorders.
Employees may also seek treatment through their primary care physician or explore community resources.