I saw the title of this thread & .felt compelled to comment. I have been a chronic pain patient for nearly 30 years.
The stats in the original thread are not accurate by any means. This can has been kicked around for yrs in the CP forum. This study lumped everyone in one pot. This is your junkies who OD that has a plethora of drugs in their system not just a narcotic, young & elderly people that died of other causes but just happened to have a narcotic in their system & they scream narcotics. Studies have shown the percentage of addiction for true chronic pain patients are very low. Will they build up a tolerance, absolutely it will happen with many drugs taken long term.
The pill mills need to be shut down along with drs that over prescribe. The over prescribers started with GP's that did not have the proper knowledge of the drugs they were prescribing. The reps visited their office with the newest & best for the month. The rep was seen by an employee in the office because the dr was too busy. Also he is not a pharmacist & his training was extremely limited about narcotics. Remember the days a patient could go in & say "doc I could barely get out of bed this morning because of back pain." Voila, you walked out with a script with refills. Those days are gone.
Now we have the DEA, CDC & NIH heading things up. There are guidelines drs go by to keep from being flagged. Some of these things are good but some are horrendous to chronic pain patients. We are going to see the suicide rate go up & use of illicit drugs sky rocket. Street drugs are cheap & very easy to obtain. The government screws up enough think what this has done to legitimate people.
Most chronic pain patients are seen by pain mgt drs. You go once a month, take your meds in for a pill count & do a UA. That UA better be clean or you are kicked to the curb. I have no problem with this protocol. Also, a patient must have scans to show the need for medication. There is a prescription monitoring program in effect, they know what a patient takes & how much & how many scripts each dr writes.
Personalities play a role with narcotics. Some people have an addictive type of personality & they are the ones that will most likely abuse their meds. If a person says they feel euphoria on their meds they don't have pain. I have never had that so called "high." Pain medication works on pain receptors. If you get high you don't need the drug.
I have been on both sides of this fence with narcotics. I worked many years with shots & meds. My boss would have fired me in a minute if this had interfered with my work product. I worked in the legal field there was no room for error. Without some medication daily I would have no life. Granted at 64, I am a little slower. I use a cane & rollator because of very limited ability to walk. Yes I drive my car, I would never get behind the wheel if I thought for a second I would put someone in jeopardy. Like any other person I want to be able to do every day things, go out to dinner with my husband & kids. I keep my grandson after school & in the summer. We stay busy with soccer, he plays golf & I am the one that chauffeurs him. We have a place at the lake & we all go there & play around whether it's out in the boat or fishing. We love this life. We take motorcycle trips with our friends or go day riding. My ability to participate in these activities are doable because I take some pain meds. Am I pain free, absolutely not I will never be pain free but with some help I can still have a life. For the ones that say push past it, spend one day in my shoes then talk to me.
Yes we have a problem with the drugs coming into our country. But folks, we have a bigger problem with the illegal drugs being made & sold right here. These people making a lot of these drugs are very intelligent & are making big money by producing the product. A lot of these are college educated that make far more money cooking than they could have in a career they went to school for. I don't think they will ever win the war on street drugs.
Their time & money would be best spent going after the illegal drugs & suppliers. Leave the legitimate patients alone. The average person thinks chronic pain people are after a buzz & all they want to do is sit around on their arses & do nothing all day. I am sure some do that. That isn't living & certainly not in my plan.
Thanks, Susie, for that very informative post!