Questions to Ask Your Doctor If Your Prescribed an Opioid
Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The misuse of and addiction to opioids — including prescription pain meds – is a national crisis. And, yet, doctors still rely on these drugs to treat chronic pain, so patient education is key. In other words, knowing what questions to ask if you or a family member is prescribed an opioid can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Start with these:
- What if I have a history of addiction or a family history of addiction?
- Can I try non-opioid meds first?
- Are there any alternatives or complementary therapies to help with pain management?
- Do I need to schedule a follow-up visit to check how well the meds are working?
- What are the side effects of opioids and how can I reduce the risk of these potential side effects?
- Are there any possible interactions with other medications I’m taking? For example: prescriptions for anxiety or sleep problems or any over-the-counter meds that contain acetaminophen.
- What signs indicate a tolerance to the medication?
- What are some of the early signs of abuse? For example: trouble sleeping; watching the clock for your next dose; getting in more arguments with your friends or family members.
- Is it okay to share this medication with anyone else?
- What’s the safest way to store and/or dispose of my opioid medication?
- What’s my exit strategy for stopping opioids safely?
- Will I experience withdrawal? Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goosebumps (“cold turkey”), and involuntary leg movements.
- What’s steps should I take if I’m still feeling pain?
- Do I need a prescription for a naloxone kit?
Opioid Addiction Treatment
Opioids of any kind carry the risk of addiction and premature death; treatment is a must if recovery is to occur. At Synergy Group Services, we specialize in the treatment of opioid use disorder. We are also equipped to treat the condition when a co-occurring mental illness is involved. Please contact us today at 888-267-8070.