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Opioid Education Lags as Abuse Climbs
Date:10/18/2010

on will not interact with those already being taken.  Only 21% were told to do this by their clinician, but 86% reported that they did in fact use only one pharmacy.

Fear of Addiction

Worries about the possibility of addiction are common among those using opioids legitimately.  Nineteen percent report that they are very concerned about addiction and another 34% say they are somewhat concerned. "The risk of addiction when opioids are used legitimately under a professional's care are modest," notes Penney Cowan, founder and executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association, "yet many fear taking medications that may help them reach a higher level of function.  It's important that individuals discuss their concerns with their provider openly.  A candid discussion can help your provider determine if you  have clinical factors that put you at a higher risk for possible addiction to opioid medications."

Storage and Disposal

Diversion, the theft or resale of opioids for recreational use, is the most common way these drugs get into the hands of those for whom they are not intended.   Yet just 14% of those surveyed keep their opioids in a lock box or other locked location.  Nearly 25% store their medication in the medicine cabinet.  "Securing your medicines is the best way to avoid having them taken by casual visitors, workers, of even teens who don't understand the risks," said Cowan. "We suggest people treat these drugs the same way they would a stack of $100 bills; keep track of how many you have and keep them where they can't be easily found by others. And most important, never share your medication with others.  The dose that safely reduces your pain can be deadly for someone else."

When it comes to disposal, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that unused opioids be flushed down the toilet.  This will keep them from being stolen from the trash or ac
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SOURCE American Chronic Pain Association
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