A 24-year-old member asked:
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how addictive are pain medications for chronic pain?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Alfredo Nieves
39 years experience Gynecology
Pain meds: Addiction is a disease/ psychological and behavioral syndrome. Loss of control over drug, compulsive use, continued use despite harm to the user or others. On the other hand physical dependence is induced by opioids followed by withdrawl symproms when the medications are stopped abruptly. The later is more of side effect of the pain management and not a problem leading to discontinuation of meds.
Answered on Mar 9, 2015
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Dr. Susan Uhrich
35 years experience Psychiatry
Addiction vs : Dependence. Chronic administration of narcotic analgesics will result in a physical dependence, meaning that the body accommodates to a number of the medication effects and if suddenly stopped the person will go through a withdrawal. Addiction is a pattern of maladative use leading to an inability to function normally. Chronic pain patients on appropriate medication can function well.
Answered on May 7, 2016

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