Meds & Supplements, Society

Responsibility & Narcotics

Posting on the article Victim of Pain is Also Victim of Uncaring Doctor, Kevin, MD points out that “for every responsible narcotic user, you have another hundred who play the drug games.”

As a pain patient I want to kick and scream (and have), yet I know he’s right. (I’m not convinced it’s one to 100, but do believe that more patients come in seeking drugs than pain relief.)

The problem is impossible to solve. It’s great if the DEA gets off doctors’ backs, but drug-seekers remain. Doctors still have to decide which faction each patient represents. That’s no easy feat. And pain patients will continue to be undertreated.

In any case, the comments on Kevin’s post are of interest to any pain patient.

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4 thoughts on “Responsibility & Narcotics”

  1. I think 1 in 100 is a bit excessive, and it certainly does not apply to the headache population. In my experience, the vast majority of headache sufferers requesting opioids are pain-relief seeking, not drug seeking per se.

    That being said, I also believe that the vast majority of headache sufferers stand at significant risk of medication overuse headache from the frequent use of opioids, and I use them very sparingly. They are also of limited use, in my opinion, in the specific treatment of most headache types, and should only be used as rescue medications.

    But medication overuse headache is NOT addiction. And, heck, you can get into just as much difficulty from caffeine as you can codeine as far as that is concerned.

  2. This posting brought to mind what I went through after I had major surgery. I was delayed from being released from the hospital because it took a number of days for my doctor to find a drug I could tolerate that helped relieve my pain. The drug turned out to be Percodan. Narcotic or not–it barely put a dent in the pain. My doctor told me he rarely prescribe narcotics, and the only reason he was prescribing it now was because he couldn’t find anything else I could tolerate. He said I would be weaned off the drug as soon as my pain level was down. I felt treated like a drug addict, even though I’m not one.

    In fact I ended up requesting to be weaned off the Percodan prematurely (i.e., I was still in a LOT of pain). I was experiencing so many side effects, they out weighed the benefit of the drug. After that I just toughed out the pain, and didn’t ask to try another strong pain killer.

  3. Article is no longer there so I don’t know if anything that follows is valid.

    1 in a 100? Seems excessive. By that distinction there are 100 more individuals addicted to narcotics than those who actually suffer from conditions that require them as a course of treatment. While addicts do come into ER’s they get to be known with staff very fast. Unfortuneately they use excuses like headaches/migraine or lower back pain which screws legitimate sufferers royally.

    The comments on opioids are generally black and white with no happy medium. The discussion on narcotics has alot of misinformation and negative media attention. Then the ‘CNN Effect’ comes into play and anyone with a tv suddenly becomes a pain management expert.

    It is a frustrating issue for me having received a doctors’ accusatory wraith on more than one occassion even after being sent to the ER by the dr who oversees everything first.

    ps I’m above the 49Th parallel(Canada)

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