How to Get A Prescription for Pain Killers

By John Zaremba

As prescription painkillers become more popular as drugs of abuse, doctors are becoming more cautious about prescribing them. While this is good for reducing the problem, it does little to help those who have a legitimate medical need for strong pain relief. Obtaining a prescription is more difficult than it used to be, but most doctors can tell the difference between someone who needs medical help and an addict looking for a quick fix.

Try over-the-counter pain relief. If a regular dose works, you don't need prescription pain medication.

Record your dosage. If you must take a large dose of over-the-counter pain medication to feel better, write down the amount. This can help convince the doctor that you need something stronger.

See your doctor. If over-the-counter pain medicine isn't enough, you most likely need medical help.

Explain your pain. Tell the doctor what it feels like and where it's coming from.

Tell the story. If your pain comes from a specific injury (sports or work) or from chronic behavior (common for people who work in the same physical position every day), tell the doctor. This helps legitimize your case and will assure the doctor that you have a real need for pain relief. If your injury is work-related, bring any paperwork you may have filed with OSHA or for a workman's compensation claim.

Keep an open mind. Your doctor may recommend alternative forms of pain relief, such as physical therapy or acupuncture.

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