Pain Management - Alternatives to Opioids

Pain is a natural symptom caused by illness or injury, and proper pain management is essential in relieving the associated suffering or discomfort. Pain management may include both medications and non-medication options. Medications may include over-the counter and prescription pain medications including opioids. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids have risks of serious side effects.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your pain management options. Together, you can develop a treatment plan that uses multiple methods to address pain, including prescription medication, self-care, and therapy.

Non-Opioid Pain Management

There are many non-opioid alternatives for people who want to avoid those side effects to manage chronic pain, such as:

  • Therapies
    • Acupuncture
    • Cold and heat
    • Exercise and movement
    • Massages
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Medications
    • Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
    • Anesthetics
    • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (e.g., Aspirin, Ibuprofen)
  • High-tech treatments using radio waves and electrical signals.

Before deciding which pain management treatment is right for you, it's important to discuss all options with your doctor so that your treatment provides the greatest benefit with the lowest risk.

Alternatives to Opioid

For more information about alternatives to opioids, please refer to the following pamphlets (PDF) created by the Florida Department of Health.

Non-Opioid Alternatives Law

Governor Ron DeSantis approved House Bill 451, Non-Opioid Alternatives, into law on July 1, 2019 requiring that before providing anesthesia or prescribing, ordering, dispensing, or administering an opioid listed as a Schedule II controlled substance to treat pain, a healthcare practitioner will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using non-opioid alternatives with patients.