Opioid medications are the first line of treatment for severe pain, and many people take them for the management of chronic pain. Taken at the prescribed dose and as directed by a physician, these medications are quite safe for long-term use. If use is suddenly discontinued, however, people who have taken opiate medications for a long time can experience intensely negative physical and psychological changes.
These medications are considered by many to be the most effective available for the long-term management of pain, but they can be misused recreationally. For that reason doctors can be reluctant to prescribe them, even to new patients who have taken a particular medication for a long time. Anyone who takes opiates in the long term will build a physical dependency. Unless a person’s dose or prescription is changed very slowly, withdrawal symptoms may set in.
The impact of opiate withdrawal symptoms on a person’s quality of life can be enormous. In addition to the return of chronic pain as a result of discontinuation, the sudden loss of a steady stream of opiates can cause depression and even feelings of terror and dread. Severe depression and insomnia can last for months after a person has ceased regular use of pain medication.
Pain medication needs to be carefully supervised by a medical professional. When a doctor or nurse fails to administer opiates correctly, or properly assist a patient with withdrawal, the results can be devastating for the patient and his or her family.
The compassionate Champaign medical malpractice lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C. understand the difficulty of returning to a normal life after serious medical problems. To learn more, contact us today by calling (217) 328-2828.