Opioids and pain management – What are your options?

On this webpage you will find lots of information and support to help you to make choices that are right for you and to manage your persistent pain.

You may be reading this because you’ve been told by a doctor or a medical professional that they don’t think opioid medication is the best way to manage your pain. It’s normal to feel quite scared and angry when you’ve been told this.

You may be reading this because you’ve been wondering whether opioids are right for you, and if the side effects outweigh the benefits.

Opioids are now rarely recommended for managing persistent pain. We now know lots of other things are far more helpful. We’re sorry that some of the things you may have been told in the past about opioids are no longer the case.

(Opioids are medications like Morphine and morphine-like medicines such as tramadol, oxycodone, fentanyl, buprenorphine and tapentadol).

Why is your GP not recommending opioids for your pain?

This short (2 min) video will give you a really good understanding of why we are no longer recommending opioids to our patients living with persistent pain.

The side effects of opioids

Opioids can be helpful in the short-term, after an injury or a surgery.

Longer-term it’s a different story. We now know that out of every 100 people with persistent pain, at least 90 get no long-term benefit from opioids (but they will get side effects such as feeling dizzy, sleepy, mood changes and even increased levels of pain).

For more information on the side effects of opioids visit the Live well website

Reducing opioids

If you feel that you would like to think about reducing the opioids you take, the first step is to talk to your doctor.

We can support you to make a plan for this, and to take a gentle pace that is right for you.

Reducing opioids should be done carefully, and with professional support. We are here to support you.

If not opioids, what else?

There are lots of other ways that evidence shows can help you manage persistent pain effectively, without the same side effects.

Please visit the pain management hub to find out more.

Can this work for someone like me, who has been on opioids for many years?

Yes. For a range of videos from people who really know what it’s like to find ways to live with persistent pain, visit the website below.

Videos include, ‘My life without opioids’ – www.my.livewellwithpain.co.uk/true-stories