Government War on Pain Medication

The first part in a three-part Radley Balko series is up at the Huffpo.  Good stuff, though hugely frustrating of course.  Watch the media for other stories on this topic -- I challenge you to find one story in the regular media that discusses pain medication that has even one interview of a pain sufferer.  This issues is treated 180 degrees differently from any other story one could imagine about victims of medical conditions being denied medication.   The part that always amazes me is how "addiction" is treated as a bad thing under all circumstances -- what does addiction even mean if the alternative is unbearable pain?  Are AIDS patients addicted to the medication that keeps them alive?

  • David

    I could not agree more. There are several people in my family with chronic pain disorders, and they have all been treated badly about pain meds.

    In my case, however, I needed to pick up a 90-day supply of a narcotic and some sudafed. Guess which one I had to sign and show ID for...

    But that is only further proof of the insanity which is modern pharmacological regulation.

  • bopll

    David: I also cannot agree more. After suffering form severe back pain for over 10 years I am finding it increasingly difficult to obtain medication for my condition. I have spinal stenosis and a compressed disk. MRIs and xrays to document my conditions. No Drs will prescribe pain medication as they have done in the past. Every Dr. says we are being checked by the DEA and if we prescribe pain meds we can lose our licenses. I am sure there are people who abuse this medication but there are also people who have a legitimate need for this medication. They all site the DEA as saying if you use pain meds you are addicted. My reply was I guess I am addicted to high blood pressure and cholesterol medication. They all shrug there shoulders and say I wish I could help you but I cannot afford to lose my license. To all the policy setters in the DEA I say I hope you have a condition that puts you in pain on a daily basis then you could see what you are doing to the people who have legitimate needs. But being in the DEA they will probably just steal from the evidence room to keep themselves comfortable!

  • rxc

    The innocent must literally suffer, so that the stupid do not.

  • Goober

    Never have figured out why addiction is such a boogeyman. If a man lives in chronic pain and needs opiate pain killers to function, who gives a quarter of a damn if he is addicted to the pain killers? He'll need to take them forever anyway, so WTF does it matter if he needs them not only for the pain relife but also for the chmical depndency?

  • Dan

    I'm a physician in primary care. I used to do general practice; now Urgent Care. I see a large number of drug seeking patients. A few have chronic pain and are trying to get more medication than their physician will allow. I do not see cancer patients coming in trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I do see individuals who are not using the drugs themselves. They sell them on the street. Why does this matter? Why don't we let them just overdose?
    Well, consider that the overdose victim might be your teenage son or daughter. Or that your teenage son or daughter is driving somewhere when a stoned driver hits him/her head on.
    Opiate-naive young people are particularly susceptible to overdosing if they take a single crushed OxyContin 40 mg tablet.
    Check out your local morgue if you think I'm kidding.