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Taking Opioids for Chronic Pain

There are many treatments for chronic pain. A variety of pain medicines can help you stay active and involved in your life even if you hurt. All medicines work best when used with other behavioral pain management strategies. 

Most people think of opioid medicines (also call "opiates" or "narcotics") when they think of painkillers. Opioids don't work for every person or type of pain. They also don't work at the same dose for a long time. Most people need more after taking them to feel the same relief, which can be dangerous. These medicines can be unsafe if not taken responsibly.

This information will help Veterans take opioids safely and responsibly to manage and treat chronic pain. It offers:

  • Specific do’s and don’ts about taking opioids

  • Help to manage side effects and your prescriptions

Use it to talk with your healthcare provider about your pain and your use of opioids. By working together as a team, you will be able to better manage your chronic pain.  

For more information, read the patient information guide Taking Opioids Responsibly for Your Safety and the Safety of Others. To learn more about opioids, visit the VA’s pain management website.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 6/1/2020
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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