The opioid epidemic has made physicians painfully aware of the extensive and serious side-effect profile of opioids, including when used perioperatively, in the treatment of chronic pain and when abused outside of the realm of medical treatment. The variety of side effects is large, and the most devastating adverse effects include: (1) reward and liking, which may cause addiction; (2) lightheadedness, which may cause posture instability and falls; and (3) respiratory depression, which may be potentially life-threatening. Opioid-induced respiratory depression occurs when opioids are overdosed or combined with other drugs acting within the central nervous system, such as alcohol, sedatives, antidepressants and antipsychotics, but may also occur at “normal doses” in vulnerable individuals. The cost of the opioid epidemic is large, both at the individual level and at the socio-(macro)-economic level. Hence, it is not surprising that...

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