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Persistent pain affects up to half the UK adult population and 10-14% (around 8 million adults) say the pain causes moderate or severe interference with their life. Persistent pain means long-term pain caused by a range of conditions, but not pain caused by cancer. Sometimes it is called ‘chronic pain’. Most people with persistent pain are treated by their family doctor (GP) and many are prescribed pain medicines. Use of morphine-like painkillers called ‘opioids’ for persistent pain has increased dramatically in recent years. Twice as many people used ‘weak opioids’ (e.g. codeine) and five times more used ‘strong opioids’ (e.g. morphine, oxycodone and fentanyl patches) in 2012 compared to 2005.