Much here is very good - when obtaining the drug becomes a preoccupation or interferes with normal functioning, it is a problem. However, on the other hand, it is also a problem when people cannot function due to crippling pain. Certainly a physical addiction develops - but while the author attributes personality change, obsession, etc with opiate addiction, he ignores the fact that people in constant pain also undergo massive personality changes, obsessions about their pain, doctor shopping to try any means (surgery, electronic stimulators, accupuncture, physical therapy, "miracle" diets, hypnosis, etc) to deal with the pain.
But certainly, if you or a loved one take perscription painkillers, you should be on the lookout for side-effects and discuss strategies for not developing a tolerance that requires ever-increasing doses.
I have been a hospital nurse for over 30 years and have had a ringside seat at the burgeoning narcotic problem that has emerged in this country. Narcotic dependence was something you used to see in innercity neighborhoods. Now, entire hospital units are filled with patients of all ages and backgrounds who are consuming quantities of narcotic pain medications such as I have never seen. And it’s ruining their lives. Plus it’s making the lives of healthcare workers and their families a nightmare.
Where it is different, however, is when alternative means are suggested but the patient is obsessed ONLY with the drug.
That is precisely where it is not different.
I would become angry very quickly if some quack tried to take away painkillers that were controlling my pain very well in favour of deep breathing exercises and a couple sessions in a hot tub.
Luckily I’m a DO so I can get what I need, when I need it, despite the NHS.
We don’t become hysterical when people are “dependent” on beta-blockers, SSRI’s, or any number of drugs the sudden withdrawal of which can cause nasty rebound syndromes.
Its only painkillers because, my god, they might make people feel good as well as controlling their pain, and we just can’t have that.
Short acting benzo’s are viewed this way by the NHS.
So what if ativan actually works for people with chronic panic disorder, let’s put ‘em on SSRI’s or beta-blockers (drugs that can have many difficult to live with side effects than and are less effective) because someone, somewhere, might be getting doped up on ‘em.
What is most pathetic about all this is the fact that most of the “life destroying” side effects that accompany opiate dependence can be traced directly to the practice of making the drugs difficult to obtain rather than the dependence itself.
As for all this talk of obsessions, the obsession with denying that opiate based drugs are usually the most effective remedy for chronic pain is bizarre and unhealthy in itself.
Painkillers and doctors who prescribe them have become demonized by the nanny state.
A stash of vicodin is your friend! My doc prescribes it for me. I only get 60 tablets a year and I’m very careful with them. Usually, I cut them in half. I use it for pain that motrin can’t touch. That’s usually only one or two days month or if I get a back injury.
Before I got on thyroid meds I was in terrible pain everyday. I believe it’s much harder on a person’s body to be eating tylenol or motrin like candy trying to get rid of the pain than just taking one pill.
Of course, some people do abuse these meds. From what I’ve read, the amounts they ingest are staggering.
I hate to see people suffer due to the stupidity of a few.
Addiction is terrible, but so is labeling someone a potential addict just because they ask for something that works.
Living everyday in excruciating pain and suffering that indignity adds insult to injury.