The top 5 things to know about opioids

(BPT) – While a decade ago you may not have heard much about opioids, today they make headlines daily. The nationwide epidemic crosses generations and socioeconomic lines, and it’s affecting your family, friends and neighbors.

“Opioids have long been used clinically to treat pain, but prior to the 1990s they were primarily reserved for patients with a limited life expectancy, such as for someone with cancer or in a hospice setting,” says Dr. W. Michael Hooten, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and Pain Clinic specialist. “The potential problems associated with long-term use were secondary considerations.”

To help shed light on this growing national problem, Dr. Hooten lends his expert insight on what people need to know about opioids.

Opioids are prescribed for various reasons

Opioids are used to treat a variety of pain disorders. While they are commonly prescribed after an operation, opioids are also used to treat a host of chronic pain conditions including musculoskeletal, abdominal, pelvic, and neuropathic pain.

Length of use varies

“Following surgery, up to one in four patients may use opioids longer than anticipated,” says Dr. Hooten. “How long, exactly, depends on several clinical factors.”

He notes that after an operation, a patient might use opioids to manage acute pain for three to five days. “When opioids are used for acute postoperative pain, patients should try to use the lowest possible dose.” After this short time period, opioids should be replaced with non-opioid pain medicines including Tylenol scheduled to be taken every six hours.”

There are alternatives for pain management

There are many alternative options for chronic pain. Dr. Hooten suggests talking with your doctor about:

* Non-opioid analgesics (non-opioid pain medications).
* Interventional treatments such as image-guided spine injections or nerve blocks. * Acupuncture.
* Low-impact exercise such as walking, yoga, Pilates. Consider working with a physical therapist to develop a structured exercise program.
* For advanced pain treatment, spinal-cord stimulation can disrupt the pain stimuli and provide sustained pain relief.
* Work with a pain psychologist who can help teach individuals how to use specialized behavioral and cognitive techniques that could lead to improvements in daily functioning and quality of life.

Opioids can be deadly if misused

“Approximately 90 people per day die in the U.S. from a prescription opioid and/or an illicit opiate overdose,” says Dr. Hooten. Many of those are accidental overdoses. ‘People who take prescription opioids will inadvertently mix them with benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium and Xanax). Dr. Hooten warns that these two drug classes should never be taken together, as the combination can suppress the central nervous system and put the individual at risk of an accidental overdose.

Addiction can happen to anyone

As Dr. Hooten notes, ‘No one plans to get addicted, but it happens. Using opioids requires a high level of vigilance for the signs and symptoms of addiction.”

There are many signs of over-reliance or misuse that families should be aware of. These include an increased preoccupation with the drug, concern about the timing of the next dose or refill, hiding use of the drug, and signs of intoxication like slurred speech and excessive sleep.

If you notice these warning signs, alert your loved one about your concerns. “This might be enough to prompt a change,” says Dr. Hooten. “Otherwise relay this information to the prescriber and tell them what’s going on. They can take the correct next steps.”

For more information on pain medication and alternatives, or to make an appointment, visit

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* Top 10 Abused Prescription Drugs

What are commonly misused prescription drugs? What drug has killed the most people? What are the most dangerous drugs? Whether you’re taking Ambien to help you sleep, Adderall for ADHD, or a pill for anxiety like Valium or Xanax, you have to be careful: many of these prescription pills can be deadly if they’re misused. Check out WatchMojo’s list of the Top 10 Abused Prescription Drugs to see which are commonly misused prescription drugs and to learn the common side effects of the drugs.

Be sure to check out our list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Street Drugs: as well!

The 10-Year Overnight Success: An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto: How WatchMojo Built The Most Successful Media Brand On YouTube

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00:57 #10: Dilaudid [aka Hydromorphone]
01:56 #9: Soma [aka Carisoprodol]
02:45 #8: Ambien [aka Zolpidem]
03:48 #7: Valium [aka Diazepam]
04:52 #6: Fentanyl
05:53 #5: Xanax [aka Alprazolam]
07:05 #4: Adderall
08:28 #3, #2 & #1???

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    • mario duister
    • September 24, 2017

    i hate this channel.

    • Missile Medic
    • September 24, 2017

    America has a worse opioid problem than China

    • stanley martinez
    • September 24, 2017

    Pills are going to be the end of humanity

    • Johnny Hawkins
    • September 24, 2017

    To Brian,I would say that the fentanyl patch would be better than the oxy s.

    • Jack Potter
    • September 24, 2017

    Buy Medications like Diazepam (Valium) Zopiclone, Quetiapine (Seroquel), Amisulpride, Bisoprolol Fumarate, Codeine Phosphate – , Codeine, Morpine , Oxycodone , Pregabalin (Lyrica) .email us at

    No I Take 1 or 2 pregabalin 300mg depdending on mood and 60mg OxyContin but I have to see Doctor every 2 weeks to get the extra 14 tablets a month from 40mg, I don't mind but my Dad has to give me a lift to the Doctor about 11 miles round trip 🙂

    • Gaurav Malhotra
    • September 24, 2017

    Codeine gave me a fit by just one bottle

    • Duncan Harris
    • September 24, 2017

    I only I was a Chemist! I'd work so hard and even take my work home with me ☹️

    • Stan Jones
    • September 24, 2017

    If the list was "best prescription drugs" hydrocodone (dilaudid) would of definitely been #1 lol

    • Nathanial Escobar
    • September 24, 2017

    My friends bought xanxs they gave me one i took it note this is my first time taking it i took 2 mgs nothing i felt nothing i was like wow i should really go to the doctor

    • Evil999
    • September 24, 2017

    And I thought in the summer of 2014 they ran out of idea's…

    • bob thompson
    • September 24, 2017


    • bob thompson
    • September 24, 2017

    and Adderall is amphetamine and can KILL children suddenly. why can't children sit still? because they go through and 8hr a day indoctrination process that dumbs them down.

    • bob thompson
    • September 24, 2017

    WARNING TONS OF MISINFORMATION IT THIS VIDEO. basically the most dangerous drugs are benzodiazpines and alcohol they can kill you if you stop taking them after long-term usage. herion can do this to but not as bad as benzodiazpines and alcohol. you have to reduce the dose slowly called tapering off. I know all this misinfo is doing way more harm than good. I know people who thought they where addicted but arent. and used the excuse to say it's addiction and they had real problems like painful infections and would just say it's the addiction that's causing the pain I'm not sick well they came damn close to dieing from sepsis. so FUCK all misinformed people acting like they know what there talking about.

    • bob thompson
    • September 24, 2017

    snorting Valium does not make it faster acting. Valium is what's known as a pro drug meaning that your liver turns it into the active substance.

    • WhyAmI Depressed
    • September 24, 2017

    Lil pump ouuuuuu lil pump yah

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