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Are Opiates Still Helpful in Chronic Pain?

Opiate usage for chronic pain has been a topic of debate recently. Opiates help manage the discomfort associated with chronic pain but come with many risks, including addiction and abuse. Learn about how opiates help control chronic pain, what they do to your body, and their side effects on this blog post!

Opiates Are Effective for Chronic Pain

Opiates are one of the most common forms of pain management in America today. Opiates work by binding to opioid receptors in our bodies and blocking out pain signals sent from the brain. The reason opiates are effective for chronic pain is that they can help a person regain a more normal level of function, including their ability to sleep. Opiates are also typically helpful in pain management with people with other disorders or conditions that can cause chronic pain, such as neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia.

While opiates manage the discomfort from chronic pain, they should not be considered a substitute for long-term treatment of the underlying condition. Opiates are helpful in pain management, but they do not cure or fix the problem. Opiate usage should be short-term only, and the dosage should always be kept as low as possible to minimize the risk of addiction and abuse. If you need assistance with opiate addiction in South Florida, don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Main Side Effects Associated with Opiates

1. Constipation
2. Drowsiness/ sedation
3. Physical dependence (when stopped abruptly, people can experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. This is one reason people who use opiates for chronic pain should be weaned off gradually.)
4. Nausea
5. Dizziness
6. Pruritus (itching)
7. Headache
8. Urinary retention
9. Dry mouth/Throat
10. Increased appetite Insomnia
12. Mood change Stress
13. Constipation
14. Depression
15. Breathing problems
18. Feeling nervous, anxious, or agitated
19. Feeling sleepy
20. Irregular heartbeat/ decreased rate

Signs Of Opiate Addiction and Abuse

Opiate addiction and abuse can be severe problems. As the dosage of the opiate is increased, it becomes more difficult for a person to stop using them because they become physically dependent on them. If opiates are not discontinued at this point or if the drug is used in ways other than prescribed, then addiction and abuse can develop. Signs of opiate addiction and abuse include:

1. Lying about having an opiate prescription or using them without a prescription.

2. Feeling like you need to take more than the prescribed dose.

3. Using the drug in ways other than recommended (i.e., snorting or injecting instead of swallowing, or using it for purposes other than pain management)

4. Feeling like you cannot function without the drug

5. Inability to stop taking opiates even though it is having a negative impact on your life.

Withdrawal Symptoms When Not Taking the Opiate
1. Getting Sick

When people take more medication than they should, they can become very sick. Opiates are dangerous when combined with alcohol, other medications (especially benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium), or drugs like cocaine or methamphetamines. Mixing opiates with these types of drugs can lead to Overdose and death; it is essential for people who are taking opiates to avoid combining them with any other drug.

2. Continuing To Use the Drug

People who become addicted to opiates will continue to use the drug even if it has negative effects on their lives. People who are not addicted but take opiate pain killers for an extended period may experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit. Because these medications are sometimes abused, people should only take them for a short period.

Opiates can be dangerous during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is important that a woman not take this medication when considering becoming pregnant or pregnant. If there is no other option for pain management in labor, opiates may be given in moderate doses at the time of delivery only. This drug should not be passed on to a child in breast milk or through breastfeeding.

Serious Side Effects of Opiates

1. Addiction

2. Withdrawal symptoms when stopped suddenly

3. Negatively affecting other areas of life (work, homelife)

4. Risks to pregnancy

5. Death due to Overdose. The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid Overdose are methadone, oxycodone (such as OxyContin), hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), morphine, fentanyl, and codeine.

6. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) can occur in a newborn baby if the mother takes opioids during pregnancy. NAS may cause a withdrawal syndrome, leading to tremors, abnormal crying, and irritability. Opiate addiction is hazardous for both the addict and those around them. These drugs can be unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


It is essential to only take opiate painkillers as prescribed and for a short period if necessary. Are you or someone you know addicted to opiates? Please seek help from our professionals immediately. Call us on 844-903-2111.