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A Med & Mic™ EXTRA!

The Med & Mic™ 04.13.22 A Med & Mic™ EXTRA!

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MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC


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Addiction to Pain Medicine Can Start After Surgery

Some people can get hooked on opioid pain medication after an operation.

“Exposure to opioids, particularly after surgery, can be a risk factor for long-term opioid use, and even addiction,” says Bowie, Maryland pain medicine specialist, Dr. Sarah Merritt, “These are medications the body can become dependent on, even after a short period of time.”

To reduce the chance of this happening, doctors are prescribing more non-narcotic medications for pain control after surgery. Dr. Merritt shares some examples. “I.V. tylenol, an I.V. anti-inflammatory.”

Injections at the area of the surgery can help, too.

All of these strategies are included in what’s called a “multi-modal plan.”

Some people worry whether these measures will be enough.

“Patients definitely worry about their pain not being controlled,” Dr. Merritt says, “I think we certainly still need to have the option to use opioids as one of the tools for pain management.”

Why some people get addicted and others don’t depends on a number of factors, including genetics and individual traits. A prior addictive disorder, being a smoker, or having a history of depression or anxiety can put people at a higher risk of an opioid use disorder.

“It could be preventable if we could eliminate some of those exposures to opioid medicine.” Dr. Merritt agrees with a multi-modal plan as a sound approach.

Dr. Maria Simbra | Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC |

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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

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