Question: Is It Ever Appropriate To Take Narcotics For Years To Treat Chronic Pain?

Answer: The term narcotics is often used to describe any drug that is abused including things like cocaine, methamphetamine, sedatives, and PCP. These are very different medicines than those used to treat pain.

When talking about narcotic pain medications we're usually talking about opioids. And yes, it may be appropriate for someone to take an opioid for years to treat chronic pain especially for pain from cancer.

If you have chronic pain, it may be useful for you to see a pain specialist. You may also benefit from non-medication treatment such as acupuncture, relaxation techniques, counseling, nerve stimulation and nerve injections.

So if you've been prescribed opioids to control your chronic pain and it's working well for you, then it's perfectly appropriate to keep taking them as long as you're being followed closely by your doctor.

Next: Does Everyone Who Takes Narcotics For A Long Time Become Addicted?

Previous: Are All Prescription Pain Medicines Addictive?