How to Talk to Your Loved Ones Living With Pain
If someone close to you is living with chronic pain, it can be hard to get through to them. People who are dealing with chronic pain may seem distant, or out of focus, like they’re not paying attention to what you’re saying.
Being in constant pain can also drain a person of energy, so they may seem tired, irritable, or short of temper.
Opioid pain medications, when used regularly and at high enough dosages, also have their own set of troubles. You can learn about the symptoms and signs of overdose on this page: Risks and Dangers of Opioid Misuse.
So how can you help? Apart from directing them to the resources on this website, and having empathy for their situation, you can help your loved ones best by being supportive and doing everything you can to get them the help of a physician.
Find a Physician You Trust
If someone you know is living with pain, do what you can to get them the support of a doctor. If you live in Benton, Lincoln, or Linn counties, check out the pain centers listed on this page to find a physician near you.
If, on the other hand, you suspect someone close to you is misusing opioids, be aware of the potential risks and symptoms. Misusing opioids can change someone’s personality. Opioids are also highly addictive. Whether or not someone just needs to see a doctor, or should be assessed for substance abuse treatment, depends entirely on the individual’s circumstances and situation.
Always consult a doctor first.
In Case of Opioid Overdose, Call 911
If you suspect someone close to you has overdosed on opioids, call 911 right away and tell them, “Someone is not breathing.” Provide your address and/or an accurate description or your location so that you can get immediate medical attention.
Naloxone and the Opioid Overdose Toolkit
Naloxone, a prescription drug capable of reversing the effects of most opioid-related overdoses, is usually carried by first responders and can be obtained by patients and others in Oregon with a prescription from a doctor.
For detailed information and precise steps to administer naloxone properly, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) created a document called Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit which is worth reading in detail if someone close to you is using opioids.
You can also learn about emergency overdose reversal here at the PainWise website.