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The Use of Opioid Analgesics to Relieve Acute Pain Essay

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“Each year, millions of patients suffer acute pain as a result of trauma, illness, or surgery. Pain is the most common reason for admission to the emergency department, making up forty percent of the over 100 million emergency department visits annually” (Sinatram, 2010). With pain being the deciding factor for many patients as to when they should report to the hospital, it is crucial that they receive adequate pain relief to achieve patient satisfaction and prevent costly re-admissions postoperatively. Opioids are often used to relieve pain when non-opioid analgesics fail to provide relief.
Impact of the Issue
Circumstances surrounding the issue
Drug addiction is a prevailing problem in the United States. Drug addiction has been stereotyped to dirty, unemployed people facing poverty; although, this is not always the case. Addiction can strike anyone at any time. Addictive behaviors include one or more of the following: impaired control over the drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving (American Pain Society, 2011). With the use of opioids to relieve acute pain, addiction is one of the possibilities one must consider when deciding if this treatment is an option.
Individual and societal impact of the issue
Many patients never receive the pain relief that they need due to fear becoming addicted or the stigma that society has put on opioid use. A survey of 250 postoperative patients revealed that seventy-two percent chose a non-opioid agent for pain management. When investigating their choices further, they all had the same reason for choosing the non-opioid: fear of addiction (Sinatram, 2010). Patients, and sometimes providers do not understand the differences between addiction, physical dependence ...


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...009). Reduction in Opipid-Related Advers Events and Improvement in Function with Parecoxib followed by Valdecoxib Treatement after Non-Cardia Surgery . Adis Data Information BV.
Macintyre, Russell , Usher , Gaughwins, & Huxtable . (2013). Pain relief and opioid requirements in the first 24 hours afer surgery in patients taking biprenorphine and methadone opioid substitution therapy. Anaesthesia and Intenstive Care , Vol, 41.
Pain Management. (2012). In P. Potter , A. Perry , P. Stockert, & A. Hall , Fundementals of Nursing (p. 971). Elsevier.
Potter , Perry, Stockert, & Hall. (2012). Fundamentals of Nursing . Elsivere .
Sinatram, R. (2010). Causes and Consequences of Inadequae Management of Acute Pain . The American Academy of Pain Medicine , 1859-1871.
Swegle , J. M., & Logemann, C. (2009, October 15). www.aafp.org. Retrieved from American Family Physician .



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