Years of opioid use actually decreases the body's production of natural painkillers.
Millions of people take powerful prescription medications to treat chronic pain. But amid heightened concerns about opioid addiction, some patients are worried and want to stop.
The best method may be to taper off the drugs rather than going cold turkey. Judith Turner, a University of Washington professor of rehabilitation medicine and psychiatry and behavioral sciences, helps patients taper, using breathing exercises and muscle relaxation.