We are all just a car accident or some major surgery away from becoming Rush Limbaugh.
Bear in mind that SAMSHA is a government agency who’s funding is dependent on them finding a problem that needs to be solved.
In Europe, doctors are prescribing opioids - which don’t work in a lot of cases - like they used to prescribe Valium in the sixties, that is, for anything and everything. At the same thing Europe has placed a chokehold on simple aspirion, which is cheap AND works, while placing a price premium on it - 24 pills for $6-7 and limited to 1 24-box a day.
About 5 years ago I had my gallbladder taken out. However about 2 years later I began having gallbladder attack symptoms. The pain was identical to my earlier attacks and I began visiting the ER for pain relief. A doctor at UVA looked at me and felt there was a stone left in the stub of the duct left and scheduled me for surgery. In the meantime, I had 3 - 5 attacks a week. It got to the point my husband would take me to the ER and say “You’re gonna want to push 10 MG of Dilaudid with some Zofran and then a 5 MG chaser of Dilaudid in about an hour. Here’s her DR’s card to call for verification she’s not a drug seeker.” Done.
Had the stone taken out and the attacks stopped.
Then I discovered I had developed a bit of addiction to the pain killer and had to detox. Skin crawling, shaking, itching, horrible, horrible.
To this day I still react funny to any pain med other than a mild OTC and just refuse to take anything with an opiate base. Not doing the detoxing again....ever
Oxycontin is both a miracle drug and the Devil’s drug rolled into the same pill. If you REALLY need it, it works. But it WILL addict you! In as little as a week! I had horrible pain from adult croup a few years ago, and in the hospital, amongst large doses of IV steroids and other drugs, I was given frequent, fairly large doses of IM morphine to control the pain.
There was no desire to continue the morphine at all when I left the hospital, but I was given Oxycontin to take home with me for the residual pain. After 4 days of taking it, I found myself “needing” to take it even though the pain had pretty much gone away. I realized what was happening and instantly stopped, but the cravings (fortunately only mild at this stage) took a few days to go away. Scary, scary, drug, Oxycontin is.
SAMSHA is laying the groundwork to justify withholding prescriptions for opiates from people who legitimately need them, under the guise of “responsibility”. I benefited greatly from pain management with opiates for approximately three years. Sure, there are issues with suddenly ceasing use, which is why titration is important. Preventing those who seek to abuse any substance from doing so is not justification to allow people to live in pain. Look at the habit forming products that we allow to be sold: alcohol, tobacco, inhalants of all kinds, caffeine, the list goes on. People who are going to seek a high are going to find one - whether with bathtub crank, huffing glue or huffing air freshener. Preventing the inevitable dumba$$ from killing himself can not justify narrowing the definition of who gets opiates to help with pain.
I had a debilitating back injury, and my primary care physician was of the mindset that it is not in his interest to actually assist with pain management and refused to prescribe anything more effective than darvocet, at the time - stating that the pain is not as bad as an addiction could be?!?!?! If he only knew! I was sent to a neurosurgeon who understood the gravity of the pain, and responsibly managed it with me. Without opiates, my life would have nearly ended - the pain was of that magnitude.
I suffer from psoriatic arthritis and take Vicodin along with another pain killer plus Enbrel on a regualr basis. This is a disease with no cure and I would rather be addicted to a painkiller than to have to suffer everyday and not be able to live my life. That said, the most important part is to not exceed the dosage your doctor recommends. Once you start pushing against the boundary, then you are in big trouble.