What are the best ways to be pre-emptive about avoiding any potential dangers of falling into the addiction of opioid painkillers?

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Posted on Fri, 12 Jul 2019 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: My 18 yr. old son will undergo should repair surgery in a week. I'm concerned about the opioid pain meds he will receive post-op. What are the best ways to be "pre-emptive" about avoiding any potential dangers of falling into addiction of opioids? He never drinks, smokes or any OTC or illegal drugs. (I'm also concerned that he might be genetically like me in terms of opioids (NOT) decreasing post-op pain. After my C-Section, percocet & percodan did not take away any pain for me/just made me dizzy. I am extremely "sensitive" to alcohol, sedatives, pain meds, etc. I most likely have a genetic metabolic enzyme/breakdown issue which son may or may not have inherited.

CORRECTION: "My 18 yr. old son will undergo "Bankart Repair" should surgery in about a week."

BANKART REPAIR SHOULDER SURGERY FOR AN EXTENSIVELY TORN LABRUM ON DOMINANT RIGHT SHOULDER.

PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM TRYING TO GET GENETIC COUNSELING & TESTING FOR THESE METABOLIC GENE "VARIATIONS" TO CONFIRM FOR BOTH MYSELF AND MY SON'S FUTURE HEALTH RECORDS, BUT WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET ANY GENETIC TESTING DONE BEFORE MY SON HAS THE BANKART REPAIR (ATHROSCOPIC) SHOULDER SURGERY. THANK YOU.
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Answered by Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Consultation

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I think it is great you are thinking about this beforehand.

It's known that the appropriate use of opioids for acute post-operative pain management should be safe and should not lead to addiction. There are a couple of precautions I would suggest.

First, make sure your son is only being administered opioids when he really needs them for pain, once Tylenol and Motrin have failed to provide him relief.

Second, make sure he is not prescribed a massive amount of opioids for when he goes home -- often people are given 90-day supplies when in reality they only need a week or so. These couple of things will reduce the risk of complications.

Hope I have answered your query.

Regards,
Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe, Psychiatrist


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Alexander H. Sheppe

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2014

Answered : 2242 Questions

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