In pain management, opioids are medications that work by blocking pain signals in your brain and spinal cord.
Opioids are most effective when prescribed to manage acute pain such as pain following surgery, injury, or from disease. In chronic (or persistent) pain, they are sometimes used along with other therapies as part of a chronic pain treatment plan. Safe doses of opioids should only be used in chronic pain patients if they allow the patient to improve function and achieve practical goals.
Opioids do not cure chronic pain and they come with some serious risks. Opioids should not be relied on as an important treatment for chronic pain as there is not a lot of scientific literature that supports the use of opioids for chronic pain. It is important to work with your health care provider to ensure you are using your opioids safely and effectively. TAPMIs position on opioids can be found here.
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