Pain killers and chronic illness

I’m going to get on my soapbox. I apologize ahead of time, but I promise it won’t be too long.

Pain Medication. Specifically narcotics like hydrocodone (Vicodin) etc.

For me personally, I can’t stand the stuff. I made a personal decision for dealing with my chronic pain, I decided I wouldn’t deal with it by using narcotic pain meds. I decided that because I was worried about the side effects of long term use, and I hate how they make me feel.

However, many people with chronic pain need these medications. They need them to get through each day. Imagine having chronic pain in your knees and being in a job that requires you to stand all day, you would need some heavy pain medication just to survive.

Now, here comes my soapbox. People abuse these medications, they abuse them a lot. I hear one pill of Vicodin goes for five dollars on the black market (I don’t know if that’s true though).  I hear more and more about people abusing pain medicine, and how it is getting harder and harder for those who legitimately need this medication to get it. People who specifically ask for narcotics are labeled “drug seekers” and once labeled they stay labeled.

What is it about our society that we find it necessary to punish the innocent because of the actions of the guilty?

Now I’m not saying that doctors should hand out pain medication like candy. Instead when a patient asks for help with pain management, the doctor should listen to the patient’s history and then make an informed decision on what kind of pain medication they need. Unfortunately, most doctors don’t take the time to listen. It is so much easier to place the blame on the patient.

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