11 doctors weighed in:
What issues are there from long-term use of opioids for chronic pain?I've had many back surgeries & will have to take them for the foreseeable future.
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. Brad Bobrin
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree
In brief: Several
Not just addiction but tolerance to the pain killing effect of opiates which will result in higher doses and more side effects and hyperalgesia in which the pain actually gets worse from the chronic use of opiates.

In brief: Several
Not just addiction but tolerance to the pain killing effect of opiates which will result in higher doses and more side effects and hyperalgesia in which the pain actually gets worse from the chronic use of opiates.
Dr. Brad Bobrin
Dr. Brad Bobrin
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2 comments
Dr. James Marx
Addiction is less of a problem than tolerance. Addiction is heavily genetically determined. Tolerance is a nomral consequence of chronic use. However, both can be minimized with the avoidance of high intermittent doses. So you want to either primarily use long acting opioids or if you cannot afford them use very small doses of short-acting drugs to minimize chances for addiction and tolerance.
Dr. Richard Williams
If your pain is chronic, don;t try to be a hero and wait until the pain is unbearable before taking an opioid. Depending on your situation a long acting opioid possibly coupled with a very short acting one for breakthrough pain may be a possibility. Talk with your physician.
Dr. Mark Eisenberg
Neurosurgery
3 doctors agree
In brief: Addiction
Addiction is one of the biggest concerns with long-term opioid usage.
I would suggest that you coordinate your care with a qualified pain management doctor and team.

In brief: Addiction
Addiction is one of the biggest concerns with long-term opioid usage.
I would suggest that you coordinate your care with a qualified pain management doctor and team.
Dr. Mark Eisenberg
Dr. Mark Eisenberg
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Dr. David Teicheira
Pain Management
2 doctors agree
In brief: The problem with
Opiates are that they only "take the edge off".
They can be a useful tool if you understand this. Asking them to relieve all your pain all the time is like asking my '75vw to go 90mph.Many people confuse addiction (changes in behavior to get more meds) to dependence(physical craving that can always happen to certain meds) most studies show no organ damage from opiates, although side effects exist.

In brief: The problem with
Opiates are that they only "take the edge off".
They can be a useful tool if you understand this. Asking them to relieve all your pain all the time is like asking my '75vw to go 90mph.Many people confuse addiction (changes in behavior to get more meds) to dependence(physical craving that can always happen to certain meds) most studies show no organ damage from opiates, although side effects exist.
Dr. David Teicheira
Dr. David Teicheira
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2 comments
Dr. Richard Williams
I agree. sometimes the best we can get is a level 8 pain down to level 4 at which the individual can function adequately.
Dr. Scott Tromanhauser
Opioids can have profound effects on your body and brain. Make sure you understand all of these potential adverse effects before deciding to use them for your chronic pain. See specialists who both advocate for opioid use and those who don't. Of course, make sure the underlying cause of the pain has been thoroughly evaluated and treated fully before deciding that opioids are the only other option.
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Dr. Eric Weisman
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