Do I need to worry about addiction if the doctor prescribes a narcotic painkiller to my father?

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Top Answer
How old is your father? What is his life expectancy? If he is in pain and not expected to live very long I would not worry about addiction. I would be sure he is comfortable.
I'd say it depends on your father's age and quality of life right now. My dad has taken methadone for pain for about 4 years now and would be living in hell if not for the pain relief he gets from it. He has severe arthritis and this painkiller allows him to actually continue his life relatively pain free. He still is able to drive, uses a walker and lives alone. He's 86. Good luck.
I am very interested in finding out the answer to this as well, but unfortunately I think they would get addicted. A doctor prescribed oxycontin to my Mom about 5 years ago for her sciatica pain. She just recently moved in with me and if she does not get her pill at a certain time, she is in a lot of pain. She is 84 years old and is forgetfull at times. One evening she forgot to take it and she was in severe pain and did not relaize why until I asked her if she took her pill. I tried to find alternatives to releive the pain for her with steroid injections, but after two she said not more they were to painfull to get. I feel she is definately addicted to them. I think it also takes away from her quality of life. It there is any other way for the pain I would try that first. I wish you luck.

Mag
At 84 or any advanced age I say "what's the big deal if they become addicted?" Really. It certainly does more to improve my dad's quality of life than it detracts from it. Of course, proper dosage and management are key.
Clarification, I make sure she has the pills when she needs them & pick up the controlled substance script for her monthly. And my Mom may have other issues, but she just sleeps all the time after she takes the pills. I would never want to see her in pain. What I was trying to say, if all other alternative methods fail to releive the pain, then by all means they should have the drug, whether they get addicted or not.

Mag
The answer to your question is NO. Pain management is important for quality of life. Typically pain is often mismanaged because the family is afraid that the person, "will become addicted." If the person is taking medication to alliviate the pain, then the medication is necessary. If a person was having a problem with breathing, would you cut back on an oxegen tank or inihalator because they would become dependent on it? I don't think so. Think quality of life and not worry about addiction.
What if the prescribed pain medication affects their quality of life, pertaining to drowsiness, falling asleep while cooking & burning food, blacking out behind the wheel of a car, and still doesn't control the pain. My mom did prescription narcotics for years, and suffered rebound headaches, etc. She began going to ER for severe headaches. After 1 1/2 of weaning her off all narcotics, (with her physician's help) she is doing much better, and now rarely complains of the pain she complained of while on those meds. Strange coincidence? She almost died taking Fentynal, Codeine and alcohol mixed together. What was the matter with that Physician??? Thank God I got Guardianship, switched doctors, and that she is living without all those meds. She's only 73, and is doing fairly well, physically, but we think all those narcotics disabled her cognitive abilities.
I was refering to a person who needs pain medication to allivate disabiling pain. The majority of people who need pain medication, need to use these medications to help them get through the day. Once alcohol is used in the mix of pain medication- we are now dealing with a different type of pain management. Alot of elders use alcohol to self medicate. God bless that you found a good doctor to help with the meds- how did you get mom off of drinking?
That's a good question. Don't know, but after 52+ years of it, so glad she did! It's only been a few months since she's been off the narcotics, but thankfully, she's no longer killing herself with that stuff. Just hope she stays off them.

Meant no offense to anyone who needs pain medications. That has to be awful to suffer so...
No.

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