What You Need to Know

Key Terminology

Tolerance*: A state of adaptation in which exposure to a drug induces changes that result in a diminution of one or more of the drugs’ effects over time.

Physical Dependence*: A state of adaptation that often includes tolerance and is manifested by a drug class-specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation, rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug and/or administration of an antagonist.

Addiction*: A primary, chronic, neurobiological disease, with genetic, psychosocial and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm and craving.

Overdose: When a drug is swallowed, inhaled, injected, or absorbed through the skin in excessive amounts and injures the body. Overdoses are either intentional or unintentional. If the person taking or giving a substance did not mean to hurt themselves or others, then it is unintentional.

Misuse: The use of prescription drugs in a manner other than as directed.

Abuse: Continued use of illicit or prescription drugs despite problems from drug use with relationships, work, school, health, or safety. People with substance abuse often experience loss of control and take drugs in larger amounts or for longer than they intended.

Diversion: The giving, selling, or trading medication for use by individuals other than the prescription recipient.

Naloxone: A prescription drug that can reverse an opioid or heroin overdose if administered in time.

*The following definitions have been recommended by American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) and the American Pain Society (APS).

Physical Dependence, Addiction, Abuse & Withdrawal

Physical Dependence, Addiction, Abuse & Withdrawal
If you are using opioids as part of your pain management regimen, it is important to understand these terms. Physical dependence means the body has become accustomed to the presence of opioids to the point where abrupt discontinuation of the drug would cause withdrawal. Withdrawal is a set of symptoms that occur as the body...

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Storing and Discarding Medications

Storing and Discarding Medications
Storing and Discarding Medications Medicines that have expired or are no longer used should be disposed of safely, protecting you, your family, pets, community and environment. Many police stations now have a Drop Box Drug Disposal Program allowing residents to discard unwanted or unused medicines in special locked boxes any time the police department lobby is open without...

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Schedules/Classes of Pain Medications

Schedules/Classes of Pain Medications
Schedules/Classes of Pain Medications In the US, prescription drugs are categorized by the federal government through the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) into five schedules or classes. They are divided based on the FDA’s view of their potential for abuse. http://www.rsdhope.org/schedule-or-classes-of-drugs.html

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How To Talk With Your Doctor

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How To Talk With Your Doctor Doctor visits are important meetings where information is shared between you, your doctor and often, your caregiver. Here are some tips to make those meeting more productive: Make and take a list of questions and concerns. Think about bringing a family member, friend or caregiver with you to take...

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Step Therapy/Fail First Practices

Step Therapy/Fail First Practices
Step Therapy/Fail First Practices Fail First policies — or Step Therapy — are an insurance practice that requires the least expensive drug in any class to be prescribed to a patient first, even if a patient’s physician believes a different drug is medically in the best interest for the patient’s condition. There are currently no...

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Legislation Affecting Your Pain Medicine

Legislation Affecting Your Pain Medicine
Legislation Affecting Your Pain Medicine Decisions are made in state legislatures every day that affect your pain medicine and pain management policy. Find out more about these areas at uspainfoundation.org: 1) Step Therapy/ Fail First 2) Prescription Monitoring Programs (PMP'S) 3) Prior Authorizations (coming soon) 4) Specialty Tiers (coming soon) 5) Biologics and Biosimilars 6)...

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Know Your Dose Campaign

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Know Your Dose Campaign Did you know that Acetaminophen is in more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medicines? When used as directed it’s safe and effective, but taking too much can lead to liver damage. Do you know your dose? http://knowyourdose.org

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America Starts Talking

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America Starts Talking is supporting conversations about safe opioid use. It aims to elevate discussion around the safe use of prescription opioid pain medication and managing opioid emergencies. Learn More.  http://america-starts-talking.com

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