I just read the story on the Spine Health Home Page about widespread opioid use. Though I'm not going to spend $1.99 for the e-book, I feel compelled to voice an opinion from a chronic pain sufferer who works in health care.
Opioids have it's place in chronic pain management. Where the train came off the rails was over prescribing for acute pain and it's relatively easy diversion through on-line pharmacies (thank you, Florida). People who are prescribed for acute pain who eventually get better are cut off and begin to miss the euphoric feeling one gets when they first start taking a medication. They will then start getting the meds any way possible.
I feel that people who are LEGITIMATE chronic pain sufferer's respect the medication that is taken because it is the only thing that can bring some relief to an otherwise dreadful outcome. Think about it, how many LEGITIMATE chronic pain sufferer's fail drug tests, come up short on pill counts more than once and visit ER's on a rotational basis to get stronger meds? I for one have laid in my bed in tears from pain, but refused to go to the hospital so that I wouldn't be categorized as a seeker.
As a person in health care, I can tell you that if you go to the hospital for pain and can't produce your current meds along with your PM's contact info, you will be looked down upon. Many ER's in our area will not give any pain medication other than Toradol. Want to talk about some upset people!
Now, you take a problem like drug abuse and mix it with politicians and you have the recipe for piss poor legislation. I give you the State of KY House Bill One as an example of piss poor legislation so that the politicians can say they "fixed" the problem. All they've done is caused LEGITIMATE chronic pain sufferer's to go out of the state to see their doctors. The law does not allow for Schedule 2 (with Hydrocodone) to be prescribed longer than 14 continuous days unless you are enrolled in the KY Narcotic Treatment Program. That's just one example.
I wish I knew what the future holds for those of us who have LEGITIMATE chronic pain. But, I think I can say with great confidence that if we leave medication issues to politician's we are all doomed to have a rough go at it.
Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2