Prescription pain medications are used for a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions. These medications can be an effective component of pain management but must be used with caution and safeguarded from inappropriate use by others.

Important information on medication storage and use

  •  This site also contains information on opioid overdose recognition and treatment. Click here to learn how Blue Ridge Pain Managment can help you obtain this training and resources

Warning signs of Misuse, Abuse and Addiction

Les suggestive:

  • Aggressive complaining about the need for more drug
  • Drug hoarding during periods of reduced symptoms
  • Requesting specific drugs
  • Openly acquiring similar drugs from other medical sources
  • Occasional unsanctiosned dose escalation or other noncompliance
  • Unapproved use of the drug to treat another symptom
  • Reporting psychic effects not intended by the clinician
  • Resistance to a change in therapy associated with “tolerable” adverse effects with expressions of anxiety related to the return of severe symptoms
More suggestive:

  • Selling prescription drugs
  • Prescription forgery
  • Stealing or “borrowing” drugs from others
  • Injecting oral formulations
  • Obtaining prescription drugs from non-medical sources
  • Concurrent abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs
  • Repeated dose escalation or similar noncompliance despite multiple warnings
  • Repeated visits to other clinicians or emergency rooms without informing prescriber
  • Drug-related deterioration in function at work, in the family, or socially
  • Repeated resistance to changes in therapy despite evidence of adverse drug effects
From C. L. Shalmi,“Opioids for Nonmalignant Pain: Issues and Controversy,”

in C.A.Warfield, Z. H. Bajwa, 2nd ed., Principles and Practice of Pain

Medicine (Columbus, OH;The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 2004): 607