taking opioids for chronic pain isn't addiction

Taking opioids for chronic pain isn’t addiction

Note: If you don’t have a sense of humor proceed at your own risk

Dear chronic pain patients,

In the last few years it’s come to the attention of the media, politicians, and society that people who take opioids for chronic pain are actually just a bunch of addicted junkies. You addicts whine and cry about how much you are suffering, but we really know that you are in denial. You actually want to be in pain. You like suffering 24/7 and being told that you should just get over it. You like spending thousands of dollars going from doctor to doctor trying to find one who will take your pain seriously. You have the nerve to believe that your pain should be treated even though you are all clearly junkies.

If you have ever in your entire life taken one pain pill you are an addict. It doesn’t matter if you:

  • had surgery
  • have taken medication responsibly
  • have passed all drug tests and pill counts
  • are disabled
  • have a documented disease known to cause extreme pain
  • have been allowed by evil doctors to take pain medication previously
  • are dying

You are an addict. The only exception to these rules in cancer, because cancer is a disease approved by society. It’s only approved when you have active cancer though, once you’re in remission and you are still claiming that cancer is causing you pain it’s too bad for you. You should be over it by now.

You might think pain medication is approved for people who are dying, but it’s not because people who are dying might become addicted and become another statistic in the terrifying opioid epidemic. After all 64,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016 and we’d really prefer if people with fatal diseases would just die in horrific pain instead of adding to the overdose statistics. So please, just offer some cooperation and go quietly.

This whole epidemic is really the fault of people in pain who dared to take the pain medication as prescribed. Of course very few of the 64,000 overdoses were people prescribed pain medication by a doctor, but that fact is immaterial. It’s also immaterial that in 2016 88,000 people died from cases related to alcohol and 480,000 from cigarettes. We are still banning all pain medication and keeping alcohol and cigarettes legal because we like those kind of addicts, they make us warm and fuzzy (our bank accounts anyway).  Clearly the 20,000 opioid pill deaths (most not prescribed by a doctor) are a way bigger problem than anything else this country has ever faced. It is imperative that we freak out right now.

You don’t need to be treated for pain you need to be treated like an addict. Don’t get me wrong you still won’t get mental health services or help for your “addiction”, but we’re going to treat you like drug addicts are treated (subhuman). We’re going to scream and cry about how bad you are for society, but we’re not really going to do anything about it besides take away pain pills. So don’t come crying to us the next time you have surgery. We’re not going to help you look for affordable pain relief, and we’re not going to look for a cure for your disease so don’t ask. We’re just going to tell you to get over it immediately. Get over your illness, get over your pain, and get over your “addiction.”


Doctors, Politicians, Society, and the News media


PS- Screw you

PPS- Just get over it

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2 thoughts on “Taking opioids for chronic pain isn’t addiction

  1. Hi Shelley,

    I came across this post via your Tweet.
    Your satire made me laugh sardonically–not mocking you but mocking the doctors. I also was given a “life-long” sentence of pain (at least by the doctors). And it was caused originally by a misdiagnosis, same as you. In my case, it took a couple of decades to kick in. I have a severe gluten intolerance. Back in the ’80’s the doctor called it GERD and gave me two prescriptions for stomach pain and digestive issues. This made me feel better and I went back to work. Along about 2005, the FDA came out and declared that the medications that were prescribed to me 20 years prior will cause arthritis if you take them long enough. Not only that but consuming gluten killed my intestinal villi meaning that I didn’t absorb nutrients so was placed essentially into a permanent state of nutritional starvation. Right around the time of the FDA proclamation, the beginning symptoms of arthritis began to show up. It got progressively worse. Then the doctors said that arthritis is incurable and my only option was joint replacement surgery. Their office called me up to schedule an appointment. I said I’m afraid not because now I have a vision problem. She said, “what’s the matter with your eyes?” I replied, “I can’t see you anymore.”

    Shelley, your post reminded me of my feelings about this unfolding. The doctors actually meant well. They were not trying to harm me and probably didn’t mean to harm you either. However, I think they are taught in medical school to be arrogant and never to admit their ignorance. While “society” (who?) tries to train the non-doctors to respect the doctors and put your care into their hands.

    Anyway, I want to commend your satirical writing. It hit a chord with me. I may need to try hydrocodone, too. My pain levels still restrict me from many of the things I loved to do before arthritis even though it’s slowly getting somewhat better. My docs didn’t want to allow me to continue with Percocet so I stopped. Then I stopped seeing the docs.

    As thanks for your blog and what you shared, I want to try to reciprocate by sharing a blog post that I wrote today about the three pain remedies that have worked best for me so far. Since I just started my blog last weekend, I don’t have lots of followers yet to share it with so I picked you from my twitter feed as someone to share with. Here it is:

    And thanks again for the insightful satirical writing. To your good health.
    All the best,
    ~ Wes

  2. I love your stuff! I went through many medications and trials with a pain specialist before he finally tried me on a low dose of Methadone. I was terrified initially because I had heard all of the horror stories. By the time I finally sought pain management I wanted to have my arms and legs removed to avoid the constant pain. The medication was the first one which did not leave me feeling high or drugged, but it stopped the constant pain. It worked successfully because it was prescribed properly and taken properly.

    I took the medication as prescribed and even asked for the dose to be lowered until I was eventually taking half of a 10mg pill four times per day. I was still in a small amount of pain, but it was tolerable. For almost twenty years this was successful and if I had been abusing it or taking it improperly I’d be dead. There are no two ways about it. I actually was able to enjoy life and be involved in life.

    Last year the doctor who took over after my previous one sold the practice started complaining about the dangers of the medication. He told me stories about this person or that person dying after one pill usually mixed with alcohol. I avoid alcohol, and don’t take it just for fun, so the stories never applied to me. It wasn’t long before changes in the law and healthcare began to rear their head in the direction of pain management. A board of people in suits, who have no medical training, implemented a list of medications which the doctors are not to prescribe without risk of losing their license. Methadone was on the list. I was told I could either go to a pain clinic or switch to a maximum of 60mg of Morphine.

    The pain clinic was a joke. They wanted to put me on four different medications all of which I had tried and not prescribe anything which is a narcotic for pain. The only new medication they wished to prescribe was Lyrica which works in the same way two of the others work. Sadly those medications do nothing for me, and that was after a six month trial with both medications. My doctor had even told me Lyrica wouldn’t help me because my body doesn’t respond to that treatment type. It didn’t matter because it works for enough people that those who it doesn’t work for end up as guinea pigs.

    My primary doctor didn’t feel I’d be served with the pain clinics plan, so he switched me to 15mg Morphine ER at three times per day. I haven’t been out of pain since, and my sleep is a wreck. Anyone who knows dosing understands that Methadone maintains its usefulness for a longer duration in the body than even an ER version of Morphine. Methadone is also a more potent medication, so it worked much better with a 20mg per day dose than a 45mg or 60mg per day dose of Morphine. I have no recourse with which to be properly prescribed what actually helps my pain.

    Since the change I have been unable to do many of the things I had enjoyed. I have gained almost 40 pounds because moving, walking, standing, and most everything else hurts. I had been walking regularly prior to the medication change. Each time a celebrity overdoses or a parent blames a medication for a teenaged or adult child being injured or harmed I know what will come next. The medications aren’t the problem, the prescriptions aren’t the problem, and the pain sufferers aren’t the problem. People taking medication they do not need is a problem. People giving medication to other people is a problem. People selling or buying medication illegally is a problem. People taking medication improperly is a problem. People mixing alcohol with prescriptions is a problem. People mixing over the counter medications with their prescriptions is a problem. The people who suffer the consequences of the irresponsible use of prescriptions are those of us who use them for chronic and severe pain.

    The desperate feeling and panic which can occur during childbirth from the pain is not something I expected to ever feel again for my chronic pain. Once I found a treatment which worked I thought those days were well behind me. If I knew then that I’d be in constant pain again I would have looked at moving when Dr. Tennant left the area. I’d have moved to continue as his patient. He is an amazing doctor who never made me feel like a bad person for wanting to be out of pain. He helped me get over the beliefs I had about pain management and really made me comfortable about being treated. I would see him again in a heart beat if I could afford to travel to him and would most definitely see it as worth the monthly treck of a day’s drive one way and a day’s drive back home. I simply can’t afford it and I haven’t been his patient in many years now.

    I was told to try cbd edibles, but it would violate my pain management agreement. The thought of feeling high also does not appeal to me at all. I was told to seek out cbd oil derived from hemp, but the cost is prohibitive for me. I wish it wasn’t. I would gladly try it since there is no thc in the hemp derived cbd oil. That would not violate my pain management agreement and would also not make me feel high. If the cost were a bit friendlier to my budget I’d already be trying it. Pain management is big business though, so I doubt that will get any better.

    I find myself in a vicious circle of not sleeping well because of pain, pain being worse because of not getting proper sleep, falling asleep throughout the day because I am exhausted, and then sleeping even less solid periods of time through the night. I can’t imagine having to love like this for years, because I’m getting worn out.

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