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Opioid Safety Program

Opioids are prescribed to relieve pain. They can also have a soothing, euphoric effect. It is easy to understand how experiences such as pain relief, and euphoria could lead to dependency. In addition, drugs have another characteristic that makes them physically addictive. Typically, greater amounts of the drug are necessary to achieve the same effect, over time. If the patient tries to stop or lower the dose, he or she will suffer physical withdrawal effects. So the patient will go back to the cycle of using more and more, simply to avoid the withdrawals.

Opioid misuse, overdose, and deaths had been increasing at disturbing rates. Health Care Organizations, the American Medical Association, and the Institutes of Health, concerned about this healthcare crisis, have tried to radically limit the overuse and misuse of opioid medication. Kaiser AMRS has developed a program to help those challenged with this problem.

The Opioid Safety Program assists people with chronic pain who have found it difficult to maintain their medication usage within recommended guidelines. The program offers care by individual visits with a physician, a psychologist, and ongoing groups that offer support, as well as education about opioid medications, about the dangers of dependency, and a variety of ways to manage pain and create a more productive life.