Parish Nurse News
On seeing your health care provider, one of the first questions he/she will ask you is “please rate your pain—1 to 10.” It is always to find the source of your pain what can be done about relief. In today’s world there are many ways to control pain. Often times your care provider will refer you to a pain clinic that specializes in pain control and uses many ways to control pain whether it is acute or chronic. This is important in our feeling of well-being and comfort.
Sometimes they will prescribe a potent pain medication some of which are narcotics. With today’s “opiate crisis” these are usually prescribed very sparingly. In many cases they will try other ways to control pain or prescribe for a short period of time only. Long term use of these medications can lead to addiction, dependence, and overdose. Always discuss risks and benefits of these medications with your health care provider. They can also cause drowsiness and dizziness and increase chance of falls.
Addiction can happen if medication is taken for an extended period of time. Sometime this happens when a small dosage no longer controls pain. Some people take narcotics for reasons other than pain---this can also result in addition. Sometimes they are obtained by methods other than prescription and sometimes illegally.
The dependence happens when a person uses the medication for a long time and feels they need it for a feeling of well-being.
Overdose can occur when a person takes increasing amount of medication to the point of risk of death. This can happen if a person takes more medication than is prescribed or in the case of illegal obtained medications.
The good news is that if a person is suspected of an overdose and medication Naloxone can be given to counteract the opioid if suspected CALL 911 right away as ambulance crew, law enforcement carry Naloxone in many cases.
Always keep these medication in a safe place and dispose of extra properly. In this area the sheriff office or ask your pharmacy Seek treatment for your chemical addition or encourage your loved one to do so. Many other ways to control pain are being used—rest, heat, ice, patches and creams, NSAID or other over the counter medication—but check with your pharmacist to be sure they do not interfere with the medication you are already taking. Physical therapy provides a variety of ways to control pain. Sometimes injections will relieve pain. Dear Lord, keep us all in your tender care. Amen
Source --health.mn.gov/communities/opiods/basics/naloxone Opoioids dashboard: health.mn.gov/opioiddashboard
United Lutheran Parish Nurse