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Editorials

Epidemic of deaths from fentanyl overdose

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4355 (Published 28 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4355

Beware of Opioids


Opioids are potent, addictive analgesics (pain medicine) that trick and trap us by creating the fleeting euphoria of analgesia (pain-free), but the sustained sickness of hyperalgesia (pain-sensitivity). The euphoria of analgesia and the sickness of hyperalgesia are polar opposites that reinforce each other: the euphoria blinds us to the sickness, and the sickness makes us crave the euphoria. Perversely but predictably, opioids create, aggravate, and perpetuate the very sickness of hyperalgesia that they fasely seem to cure, thus placing many potent analgesics in a bad light.


Competing interests: No competing interests

28 September 2017
Hugh Mann
Physician
Retired
New York, NY, USA