If you are prescribed one of these medications, it might make sense to explore other options, such as psychological or behavioral approaches to treating anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, or pain.
You should be particularly careful about starting to take these medications if you or a family member has ever suffered from an addiction or another mental health problem. However, once you are taking them, you should not stop or take a different dosage without consulting your doctor first.
The number of adults in the US who experience pain (not due to cancer) rose from about 32% in 1998 to 41% in 2014 but the number of people taking opioid painkillers to deal with their pain doubled.3
In keeping with this increase in painkiller use, the rate of people who have died from overdoses of prescription painkillers, such as Oxycodone (such as OxyContin), Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), and Fentanyl, has increased massively over the past decade. In 2017, over 17,000 Americans died from taking prescription painkillers.