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You will probably have taken lots of different pain medications. These can be very effective in certain situations. In acute problems such as immediately after an injury or operation they can be used in high doses to take pain away almost completely. You may well have found, however, that in long-term pain this is rarely the case. This is because ongoing pain is more complex.
The aim of medication in long-term pain is to take the edge off your pain to allow you to do more in your life. You do not need it in the same way as, for example, someone that has diabetes needs insulin. Some people decide that in the long term the problems associated with it outweigh the benefits of taking it. Some of the common concerns that people ask us about are looked at below.
You can record your pain levels on the ‘My Pain’ tracker in the ‘Take Action’ section of the patient online platform, available for patients registered with the Pain Service and accessible through the Pain Service website. For patients who are not registered, there is more information available in the ‘How to manage your pain’ sections of the website.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no evidence that opioid medication is effective for the use of long term persistent non-cancer related pain.
We provide free, confidential treatment and support across Somerset to anyone who is experiencing difficulties with their substance use or is affected by someone else's.
This factsheet from the team at Somerset Community Pain Management Service covers:
In the Evening Standard's investigation into the overuse of painkiller medication, we tell how Cathryn Kemp was in agony from pancreatitis. She was prescribed fentanyl. Soon she was taking 60 hits a day. It was just the start of her nightmare.
As part of the Evening Standard's special investigation into the overuse of opioids, businessman Philip Hopwood reveals how an addiction to morphine led him down the path to ruin. You can read the rest of the Standard's special investigation here. We advise you to read it on your laptop or tablet in horizontal view to receive the full digital package.
This resource, developed by UK healthcare professionals and policymakers, provides the information to support a safe and effective prescribing decision.
A PDF leaflet from the Faculty of Pain Medicine providing information should you be considering opioid treatments for your pain.
A position paper from the American Academy of Neurology. Over 100,000 persons have died, directly or indirectly, from prescribed opioids in the United States since policies changed in the late 1990s. This paper reviews the effectiveness and safety of opioids for non-cancer patients.
Links, leaflets and information to help patients make an informed decision about starting opioid therapy.
For registered users
How do I register?
If you have been referred to the Somerset Community Pain Management Service and have received your first appointment letter, you will have been given access to Patients Online at the same time and told how to register. You can do this at Register, below.
If you've received your first appointment letter but are unable to register on the platform, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register for our Patients online service
Get information, take action and be supported
Join our online community of other people managing pain with the Somerset Community Pain Management Service