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End of Life Care

Obstacles to Pain Relief

Stumbling blocks that might get in the way of pain management

Article Highlights

  • Low risk of addiction to opioids
  • Side effects are usually temporary
  • Discuss your beliefs

En español | For some caregivers and their loved ones, myths and misconceptions about pain management get in the way of relief. For others, differing opinions about types of relief hinder pain management. As a caregiver, you may encounter the following obstacles while helping to ease your loved one's pain.

 

See also: Dealing with pain checklist.

 

Fear of Addiction
Many worry that taking opioids such as morphine will result in addiction. Research has shown that there’s little risk of addiction when a doctor administers medicines properly and the patient takes them properly. There is an important difference between dependence and addiction. Dependence on opioid-based medication is natural, normal and not a problem as long as withdrawal from the medication is done gently under a doctor’s supervision. Addiction is something else entirely, and affects only a small minority of people treated for pain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction to prescription drugs is rare. … Back to Article

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