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How to Use Prescription Painkillers Without Getting Addicted

Stashed in: Addiction, Drugs!, Medicine, Medical, Opioids

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This may sound backwards, but it’s true: if you tough it out and only take the pills when you’re in serious pain, you’re more likely to become addicted.

That’s for two reasons. First, you’re teaching your brain that taking the pill feels really good: you’re in a lot of pain, you take the pill, you feel better. The other problem is that when you’re already hurting, it takes more of the drug to fight that pain than if you had been taking it all along.

The best and safest way to take opioids, according to Jeannie DiClementi, a clinical psychologist who works with pain patients, is to take them exactly as prescribed—if it says every four hours, you watch the clock (or set up an app to ping you) and take the pills at four hours on the dot. That lets you “stay ahead of your pain,” and never get to that place where you feel desperate for the drug.

I like the idea of staying ahead of pain but I have my doubts this keeps you from getting addicted. 

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