Chronic Pain, Opioids & the War on Drugs: Everyone Suffers

People with chronic pain often don’t have access to painkillers because their doctors won’t prescribe opioids. Doctors see plenty of patients who want drugs, not pain relief, and have to decide in a short time which category the patient fits into. The DEA is cracking down on docs who it believes over-prescribe opioids.

There are many, many sides to every story. When it comes to access to opiates, not a single side is happy. Except for numerous recreational drug users, who are still getting the drugs they want.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with a patient’s perspective, but doctors have their own struggles. Dr. Charles, a literary medical blogger, recently chronicled his frustrations with determining whether patients are drug-seekers or just need pain relief. Some doctors don’t even apply for a license to prescribe schedule II drugs* because the risk and hassle are too great.

How long will we as a society continue punishing people who face each day in agony?

*The brand names of some Schedule II drugs include: Actiq, Duragesic, Sublimaze (fentanyl); Alfenta (alfentanyl); Demerol (meperidine); DHC Plus (dihydrocodeine); Dolophine (methadone); Leritine (anileridine); Lomotil, Panlor, Synalgos  (diphenoxylate); Orlaam (levomethadyl); Sufenta (Sufentanil)