Opioid Essentials

The Opioid Sections found on mypainweb.com are an extensive resource to help one understand opioids.


The following quick link will to take you to mypainweb.com’s Opioid Sections:


Medication: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Opioid Timeline


Opioid Truths


Opioid Quandary


Opioids and Our Youth


Opioids: Concealing Commercialization


Opioids: The Solution


Drug Interaction



Why an Opioid “Essentials” Section?


My personal experience with opioids to manage my 21 years of Chronic Pain compels me to mention some Opioid “Essentials” to serve as key reminders.


Opioid review:


Opioids are complicated.  

Opioids have the potential to be dangerous and quickly destroy lives.  

Opioids show no mercy.

Opioid misuse and abuse will likely result in dependence, addiction & tragedy.

Opioids must never be taken for the euphoria (high) side affect.


Opioid “Essentials”:


Opioids must be respected.

Opioids must be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Opioids are never to be taken by anyone unless prescribed by their doctor.

Opioids should not be considered safe just because they are FDA approved & prescribed by your doctor.

Opioids must never be taken with recreational drugs or alcohol.

Opioids must be locked securely within the home.

Opioids unused must be properly discarded; never leave unused opioids in the home.

Opioids prescribed to individuals with known substance abuse problems must  thoroughly discuss this with their doctor.

Opioid side affects must be communicated with their doctor.

Opioids prescribed for acute pain (i.e., post surgery) should only be taken for a minimum number of days.  Just because your doctor may prescribe a 30 Day supply of Opioids doesn’t mean you should take them for 30 days.  After taking your prescribed opioid for 3 to 5 days ask your doctor about stopping the opioid to change to an OTC pain medication like tylenol.

Opioids work by changing the person (altering brain chemistry) so one no longer feels pain.

Opioids won’t heal or fix what is wrong.

Opioids prescribed for long term Chronic Pain require an “opioid contract” between patient & doctor to understand treatment, responsibilities & expectations.


What’s evident by my Opioid “Essentials:”


You must take charge now!!


The ongoing fight to stop Big Pharma’s opioid commercialization to improve prescribing education for docs, and improve drug rehabilitation programs is important.  However; one can’t wait for Big Pharma, Government, FDA & Politicians to start doing the right thing.


I agree with the many arguments that support the need to reduce opioid addiction and reverse the trend of increasing deaths from opioid overdose.  The fact of the matter is that the needed legislation to accomplish this has been the basis of the failing “War on Drugs” campaign that has been argued for the past 40 years at a cost of trillion$.  The future is almost certain to reveal much of the same…..continued opioid controversy and complication.


You can help protect yourself, or the life of a loved one, starting today by taking charge!!


Don’t fall into the trap of waiting for the government to do something.  Just as many in our society are waiting for the government to take action by taking away guns as a means to stop gun violence or limiting soda beverage intake to reduce obesity, the taking away of opioids to stop the opioid addiction problem will not in and of itself “cure” the problem.


Opioids, like guns and soda beverages do have a place in society.  Introducing the right legislation and improved education is needed to improve opioid safety, but will not fix all that is broken.


Opioid “Essentials” Protection reminders: 


Unless your doctor prescribes opioids for you, or for a loved one, one should never take opioids for any reason.


If your doctor prescribes your loved one an opioid for pain, request the weakest appropriate opioid; taken for the minimum amount of time.  Discontinuing opioids after taking them for a number of days is far more healthy than discontinuing opioids after taking them for weeks.


Remember, opioids work by changing you. Opioids quickly alter brain chemistry (even after one dose) so you don’t feel pain.  Opioids don’t heal or fix anything.














Here’s the major effects & risks opioids have on the body:


Brain:                pain perception, emotions, thinking, reward, and addiction


Brain Stem:     respiratory depression (cause of death from overdose)


Spinal Cord:    dampens transmission of pain signals


Periphery:        curb pain sensations (i.e.,arms & legs)


Intestine:          constipation


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The following links provide more details about opioid side effects:


Opioid Safety


Opioid Side Effects



Should you be concerned about taking opioids?




Take charge and educate yourself about opioids.  Doing so will insure you respect opioids resulting in a safe opioid experience.


mypainweb.com is an excellent resource to learn about opioids.  Discuss your opioid concerns with your doctor, and don’t hesitate to communicate the opioid side effects you are experiencing with your doctor.


The following quick links offers some excellent detailed information on How Opioids work:


How Opioids Effect the Brain  


How long does an Opioid Last


Remember this:


I’ve been prescribed opioids for the past 21 years to help manage my Chronic Pain.


You can click on the link below to review the opioids I have been prescribed:


mypainweb prescribed medications


On October 12, 2015 I underwent surgery that required a stronger opioid pain medication for the post-surgical pain.  The mild opioid medication I use for my Chronic Pain would be relatively ineffective at reducing the acute pain from the surgery.

Percocet 325-5 mg










The neurosurgeon prescribed Percocet, a common, somewhat strong opioid which is a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone.    The neurosurgeon prescribed 40 pills; 2 pills taken every 4 hours as needed.  My opioid experience and concern to eliminate any opioid related problems prompted me to take a minimum of 2 Percocet every 8 hours for the first 2 post-surgery days, then further reduce to just 1 Percocet every 8-12 hours for days 3 & 4 post-surgery days.  I stopped taking the Percocet by the end of the 5th post-surgery day.  While I was prescribed 40 Percocet, I chose to take just 22 Percocet during the 5 post-surgery day period.  Discarding 18 Percocet (almost 1/2 of the full prescription quantity) was the conservative opioid strategy I wanted to insure my safety; avoiding the notorious opioid side effects including dependence, tolerance and addiction.


You may be wondering:


Did the Percocet eliminate all my post-surgical pain?  




How much of my post-surgical pain did the Percocet relieve?  


Cut the pain in half.


Was I still experiencing post-surgical pain when I stopped the Percocet on day 5? 


Yes, but the post-surgical pain was not as severe.


Did I experience any physical side effects from the Percocet?  


Yes.  Light headed, dizzy, upset stomach, mild nausea, hot-cold periods, and some mild constipation.


Did I experience any psychological side effects from the Percocet? 


Yes.  Confusion, some disorientation, irritability & difficulty sleeping.


It’s important to note that the physical & psychological side effects were manifesting after just 5 days of taking about 1/2 the prescribed Percocet quantity.  The physical side effects of the Percocet continued about 3-4 days after I completely stopped the Percocet.  Even more noteworthy is the fact that the psychological side effects continued for 10 days after I completely stopped the Percocet.  This extended period of physical and psychological side effects that I experienced long after the opioid was stopped is the “withdrawal”  symptoms from opioids.


Another factor to consider is that despite my body being used to opioids for my Chronic Pain, the introduction of Percocet had an immediate powerful effect on me (physically and psychologically) despite my choosing to take a minimum daily quantity.


Opioid naive individuals (those who are currently not taking opioids) will experience more intense Percocet side effects than what I describe above.


One can see that a careless or casual approach to taking opioids for pain relief can quickly lead to opioid tolerance and opioid dependence.  Misusing and abusing opioids can also lead to addiction long before an individual even knows it.












mypainweb.com feels it’s important to share my personal experience with opioids to help you take control of your painweb and improve your quality of life or the life of a loved one.



Here are a few more helpful opioid links:


Addiction vs Dependence


Good Opioid Reminders


VA Opioid Guidelines



Have any specific opioid questions?  E mail me directly at help@mypainweb.com

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