OPIOIDS

The Palm Beach County Medical Society (PBCMS) is extremely concerned about the impact that opioid addiction has on the community and subsequently has developed several resources to help educate physicians and patients to help them navigate the growing opioid epidemic. This website contains some of these resources. PBCMS also advocates on behalf of Palm Beach County physicians and patients to ensure that opioid-related legislation takes a common sense, patient centered approach.

What are opioids?

Opioids (oh-pee-oyds) are powerful pain relievers your doctor can prescribe to manage acute and chronic pain. If you misuse opioids or do not take them correctly, they can cause overdose and even death.

How do opioids work?

Opioids block pain signals in the brain. Many opioids are available in short- and long-acting forms. Opioids change the chemistry of the brain and lead to drug tolerance, which means that over time the dose needs to be increased to achieve the same effect. Opioid addiction can cause life-threatening health problems, including the risk of overdose. Overdose occurs when high doses of opioids cause breathing to slow or stop, leading to unconsciousness and death if the overdose is not treated immediately. Both legal and illegal (ie. heroin, carfentanil) opioids carry a risk of overdose if a person takes too much of the drug, or if opioids are combined with other drugs (particularly tranquilizers called benzodiazepines).

Opioid Addiction Treatment Resources

Opioid Addiction Treatment:  A Guide for Patients, Families and Friends

What to do if your adult friend or loved one has a problem with drugs

National Institute on Drug Abuse 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Opioid Crisis – Palm Beach County’s Response

Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
A Step-By-Step Guide for Screening and Intervening for Unhealthy Alcohol and Other Drug Use