Will I Become Addicted to Opioid Pain Medications?
Will I Become Addicted to Opioid Pain Medications?Prescription drug addiction gets a lot of attention and you may worry that you too will become addicted to prescription pain medication. Many patients with chronic pain in palliative care and hospice settings have concerns about drug addiction. Unfortunately this can lead to non-compliance with pain medications, thus increasing pain and suffering.Answer: “What about addiction?” I’ve heard this question many times. I’ve also heard a lot of wrong answers from well-meaning individuals, such as, “He’s going to die anyway. Who cares if he gets addicted now?” While it’s true that using opioid pain medications, such as morphine, long term can sometimes increase a patient’s tolerance and physical dependency of the drug, actual addiction is rare. Tolerance occurs when the body adapts to the current dose of a medication. Tolerance of opioid pain-relieving effects is uncommon,