Concerns about addiction

Physical dependence

Psychological dependence


Concerns about addiction

When people are prescribed narcotics (opioids) for pain relief, one of their biggest fears is that they will become addicted to the medications. In reaction to this fear, people may:

stop taking the medicinewait as long as possible between dosestake smaller doses than those prescribed

But using these narcotics for pain relief as prescribed and with proper supervision will not cause addiction. On the other hand, if you underuse these medications because you're worried about becoming addicted, you won't get the pain relief that you need and that the medicines can provide. To manage your pain effectively, you and your family need to understand some important differences between addiction or psychological dependence, physical dependence, and tolerance to narcotic medicines.

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