Interesting article in my local paper re: chronic pain and Opiates

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 5/24/2010 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I wasn't sure about linking, so I've copied and pasted the article here. It references pictures of Lenny Mills, which I have not included. This was in today's local paper in Calgary:

Chronic pain vs. addiction: New guidelines fuel debate on opioids


By Laura Stone, Canwest News Service May 23, 2010


This is a handout photo of Lenny Mills, 26, who used to snort up to $200 worth of OxyContin a day. After injuring his back at work, Mills started using the pills at age 21 after his doctor prescribed him Percocet, which contains a lesser amount of oxycodone. He was addicted to OxyContin for three years, but was still taking other drugs.

This is a handout photo of Lenny Mills, 26, who used to snort up to $200 worth of OxyContin a day. After injuring his back at work, Mills started using the pills at age 21 after his doctor prescribed him Percocet, which contains a lesser amount of oxycodone. He was addicted to OxyContin for three years, but was still taking other drugs.
Photograph by: Handout Photo

For doctors with patients who suffer from chronic pain, the release this month of a new set of comprehensive guidelines on prescribing opioids offers the possibility of a cure, of sorts, for the professional ailment known as "opioid-phobia."

Fuelled in part by concern over misuse and abuse of drugs, the guidelines seek to clarify for wary doctors when and when not to prescribe painkillers, such as codeine, morphine and oxycodone — the drug in OxyContin.

Pain specialists hope these first-in-Canada guidelines will convince general practitioners to prescribe opioids when needed, without fearing they're going to turn every patient into an addict.

Others worry the guidelines will do little, if anything at all, to reduce the abuse of, and black market for, drugs such as OxyContin.

"The whole point of the educational endeavours over the last 20 years is to try and get physicians to prescribe more opioids when they're appropriate," said Dr. Norm Buckley, director of the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

"Chronic pain continues to be inadequately treated, and we know that chronic pain costs us more money in Canada annually — in terms of lost work time, ineffective work time and people simply moving to disability from functioning status — than any other disease category except cardiovascular disease."

The guidelines identify "chronic, non-cancer pain" that could benefit from opioids, including arthritis, low-back pain and neck pain, nerve injuries, diabetes and other, more serious conditions. They also suggest screening procedures to identify at-risk or addicted people, and communication and collaboration among doctors and patients for followup.

But others argue it would be naive to think the rules can provide a panacea for a plethora of ills associated with prescription opioids, of which Canada is third-highest prescriber in the world.

"Guidelines and policy around high-potency opioid treatment for pain are tricky, and a complex challenge at the moment," said Benedikt Fischer, a professor of public health at Simon Fraser University.

"On the one hand, we're trying to provide the most effective and beneficial treatment to people who need it, people with pain. At the same time, we have the misuse and problems and harms from misuse of these drugs," he said, noting some chronic pain can sometimes be helped by improved overall health and therapy.

What needs to be recognized, said Fischer, is that the issue is not cut and dry. Screening patients for addiction, for instance, ignores the nuances of the disease, he said.

"What a lot of these policy approaches and guidelines are currently trying to do, is to try and sort of pretend a little bit that there's good people and there's bad people. There's legitimate patients, and it's all about keeping the bad apples out of the basket . . . and unfortunately that's not what reality looks like," said Fischer.

"As a matter of fact, if they were given to me, or you, for a certain length of time, both you and I would likely get addicted to them."

What complicates the issue further is that many people who are in pain are also addicts.

Lenny Mills was already using several drugs, including speed, ecstasy, cocaine and marijuana, when, at 21, he herniated a disk in his lower back. His doctor prescribed Percocet, which contains five milligrams of oxycodone, the painkiller also in pure form in OxyContin.

Before long, Mills, now 26, was snorting $200 a day worth of OxyContin pills, which contained up to 80 mg of oxycodone.

"I would run out of my prescription before it was time to get more. So I turned to the street. It was a lot easier to find OxyContin than it was to find Percocet," said Mills, who was living in Wasaga Beach, Ont., about 130 kilometres north of Toronto.

Now in recovery at Harvest House, a long-term rehabilitation facility in Ottawa, Mills said that even without the initial Percocet prescription, he would have tried OxyContin eventually — a popular drug among his friends.

Mills said his doctor eventually recognized that he was abusing pain medication, and put him on a "weaning" program that steadily decreases prescription doses.

"However, I'm an addict and I just took that opportunity to abuse them even more," said Mills.

Therein lies the rub for specialists: are the drugs inherently addictive, or is it the addict that makes them so?

For Buckley, who said chronic pain affects as much as 30 per cent of his health network area, medication is the most effective way of helping people, especially when specialists don't have time for longer consultations.

"I think the argument is that the drug itself is not the problem," said Buckley. "If you take someone who is addicted, and you give them an addictive substance, then they will manifest their behaviour. If you take someone who is not addicted, and has no predilection for being addicted, the medication itself is not the thing that makes an addict."

He said the guidelines, written by a national team of physicians, researchers, pharmacists and experts, including those from colleges of physicians and surgeons of Canada, will be updated in the next few years.
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Chronic+pain+addiction+guidelines+fuel+debate+opioids/3064027/story.html#ixzz0orCXMmVT
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoralacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 5/24/2010 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
   Ms Bunky,
 
     Could I talk you in to emailing me the link? Im very intrested! no rush thou, just if you have a moment.
 
*hugg*
  dani
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
Chronic Pain Moderator


MsBunky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 5/24/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
done Dani...just sent it to you.

Pam
Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoralacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily


BobinmidMO
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 5/24/2010 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hence the problem never ends. Those who are stupid with their lives are ruining the lives of good people who have never abused a single thing in theirs.

Have you ever noticed that people who abuse one thing often abuse quite a few others? Be it speeding down the road without their seat-belts on, drinking a 12 pack of beer because there's no other beverage choice ever available or those who can't get enough drugs. It's all about personal irresponsibility. This is a problem that's at epidemic levels and there's no cure in sight. Meanwhile people who really are suffering are now being treated like they've done something wrong when they ask for help managing their pain. Don't shoot the doctor, shoot the patients who are getting these medications under false pretenses over damage that's not real.

When will we ever learn you can't legalize morality or common sense? I've never once run out of pain medication, and in fact always have a surplus just in case a really bad day that's ahead gets me to the point where I need a bit more help. Most chronically ill patients with pain take less then they're suppose to for this exact reason. Meanwhile patients go around and complain that doctors don't care. But they do, it's just they have every right to ask if the script he just wrote me this month is for managing my pain or for supplementing my income. With my current medications having a street value in excess of 10 grand a month, it is the doctors right to ask these hard questions. Then after we do build up a trusting relationship with our doctors, these questions will never be asked again. With all the stupid people out there, maybe it's time we just go ahead and legalize it and remove the profitability? I sure as heck know we've lost the war on drugs up to this point. I've got my white flag handy. Does anyone else?
After an accident in  1997 crushed the nerves in my pelvis, halfway down the calf and at the fibular head (knee), my left leg slowly started to turn color from the foot up, along with swelling and temp change.  Within 2 weeks I was diagnosed with RSD.  By 1999 I landed in a wheelchair and started a life taking narcotics all the time. In 2004 I got an Intrathecal morphine pump &5 years ago the RSD spread to my right leg and has done around 80% of the damage it did to my left leg in half the time. 1 1/2 years ago I went septic, and the infection did go body-wide.  After 2 days in the hospital I then had a clot in my lungs.  Both should have killed me, but this time I got lucky.  Meanwhile I've been battling blood clots for the last 4 years.  A year ago my left leg was ampuated above the knee after ging septic.  Guess that about say's it all.  Bob.


Blessedx8
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 5/24/2010 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for sharing, Pam. I hope one day this isn't even an issue... :) And that it will be wide-spread understanding that opiods play a major role in treating chronic pain for many people... w/out the worry of addiction.

--Tina
Main Health Problems: Dysautonomia/POTS; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Chronic Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Hypoadrenalism; Mixed (Obstructive/Central) Sleep Apnea - on Auto BiPap; Depression/Anxiety; Severe Vitamin D Deficiency

Pain Issues: Cervical/Thoracic back pain (they called it DDD...but I don't know); migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands/arms/feet; Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial (Sept, 2008); awaiting my decision for implantation...

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, December 05, 2016 7:46 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,732,940 posts in 301,071 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151225 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Milenita.
317 Guest(s), 13 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
cupcakespinkgal, Milenita, tickcheckguy, Serenity Now, Siqnik, jujub, iho, w0hll, pmm73, k07, trumpet123, straydog, racquetball74


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer