Chronic Pain Management & Opioids
- Health conditions that result in chronic pain are more common with age. You may experience chronic pain due to arthritis, cancer, injury or surgery and pain can be difficult to manage.
- Medications can be important tools for managing chronic pain. More than 1 in 4 older adults have filled a prescription for an opioid pain medication within the past few years.
- When taking pain medications and opioids it's important to consider the side effects, when to reduce the amount of medication, and the risk of addiction.
- Since older adults use more medications than any other age group, be sure you understand why specific medications are needed and if there are other options for managing your chronic pain.
- You can find the resources and information you need to manage chronic pain and to connect with appropriate supports and services.
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Tip Sheets & Tools
- What to Ask Your Doctor Before Taking Opioids: A Checklist
- The Smart Patient's Guide to Chronic Pain Management
- How to Talk to an Older Person Who Has a Problem with Alcohol or Medications (Hazeldon)
- Mind Your Meds: Safe Opioid Medication Use and Disposal
- Drug Disposal Options Flyer (FDA)
- Controlled Substance Public Disposal Locations (DEA)
- CDC Opioid Information for Patients
- BeMedWise - Patient Information and Education
- Opioid Help and Resources (HHS.GOV)
- Buy Safely - Safe.Pharmacy
- Disposal of Unused Medications: What You Should Know (FDA)
- Opioid Frequently Asked Questions (Virginia Department of Health)
- University of Virginia Opioid Helpline