Danger Alert: Are You Misusing Prescription Pain Meds?

How to stay safe while treating your pain (20 Photos)

Sue Landen on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:49AM

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The Unknown Dangers

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a Sue Landen on Jun 29, 2011 at 11:43AM

Prescription painkillers have made life livable for millions of Americans, but opioids and other types of these medications are now a leading cause of drug-related deaths and hospitalizations. In 2008, nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers led to an estimated 305,000 ER visits, according to the Drug Abuse Warning Network. Many of these visits represent people who were using the drugs recreationally or to enhance their moods or dull their emotional pain. Others have been hospitalized with complications from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or from taking too much acetaminophen. Still, experts say the majority of people can use pain relievers safely -- without getting addicted or having dangerous complications. Here’s what you need to know to get relief for your pain and avoid complications.

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