Knowing that opioids are addictive is one thing. Not taking them when you are in pain—that’s more difficult. Fortunately, alternatives to opioids DO exist.
When we brought my tough-as-nails, never-admits-to-pain daughter to the ER with an injured arm, she was in tears. The doctor said she was going to give her a pain-killer—an opioid. Having constantly heard about the dangers of opioids, my (adult) daughter hesitated, then agreed to one dose of codeine that night (though the bill said she received Norco, a different type of opioid).
They sent her home with a prescription for Norco, which we never picked up. My daughter hated the way she felt on just the one dose. Fortunately for her, the pain was short-term and receded quickly. By alternating acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin), we were able to manage her pain well.