Opioids (‘strong painkillers’) can be really useful for a short time – after an injury or surgery. But longer term they aren’t much help. They only reduce pain for about 10 percent of people in the long term.
This means that 9 out of 10 people get no benefit long term. And they’ll still get the side effects.
If you decide you want to reduce your medicines, then always talk to your healthcare team first – your pharmacist, nurse or general practitioner. They can help you develop a plan to make small, careful changes that are less likely to result in withdrawal.
The most important thing to remember is: never stop taking medicines suddenly.