We’ve all heard of the “opioid epidemic” that is supposedly killing innocent people who were given pain pills after surgery and turned into addicts who then died horrible, early, and traumatic deaths. Because no one is interested in facts people in pain are being punished. They are being punished for being addicts even though they are not. Patients are getting yanked off their medicine that they’ve been using responsibly for years, and they are being told to take Tylenol instead (no one seems to care that taking Tylenol can actually be dangerous as well). People in pain are told to get over it, practice pain acceptance, and are given no pain management alternatives.
People in pain want alternatives to opioids
What most people don’t realize is that people in pain would love an alternative to opioids. Nobody likes being treated like an addict every time they fill a prescription. No one likes submitting to drug tests and pill counts. No one likes to take the time and pay the expense to go to the doctor every month. No one likes the side effects of opioids. People in pain do these things because there are no alternatives.*
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If someone in pain has been approved for opioids they have already tried all the so called alternatives. They’ve tried Tylenol, getting over it, pain management techniques, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, massage, expensive pain devices, and every pricey natural product under the sun. They’ve tried all these things and they’ve been left broke, and still in pain. So their doctor made the decision to put them on opioids, and for most people this decision improved their quality of life. Now the medicine that worked has been taken away, and they’re left with the things they’ve already tried that they already know don’t work. If they’re lucky enough to have money they may be able to find a pain relief device that helps some, but how many people who live with disabling chronic pain have access to large amounts of money?
I had a personal experience of the lunacy of the opioid hysteria this week. I had an appointment with my doctor, who after 10 million reams of paperwork and a pain contract where I signed away my life, deemed it appropriate for me to be prescribed a small amount of pain medication. I have multiple pain devices, I have multiple methods of coping with my pain, but my doctor knows that sometimes they are just not enough.
After my appointment I went straight to the pharmacy to fill my prescription, where I was told the pharmacist was going to have to call my doctor and advise her that I shouldn’t have this prescription.
- Never mind that I’ve been on the same stable dose of the pain medicine since 2014.
- Never mind that I had literally come straight from my doctor’s office after spending hours proving that yes I did need this medicine.
- Never mind that my doctor has seen me every 3 months since 2013 and knows all about my health.
- Never mind that the pharmacist has never met me and knows absolutely nothing about my health.
- Never mind that CVS swore when they changed their pain medicine prescription policy that they wouldn’t harass people with chronic pain and continuing prescriptions.
- Never mind that most overdoses come from illegal heroin and fentanyl
The opioid epidemic is much more important than any of these facts. Despite all evidence to the contrary I could be an addict. I must be one or I would have been cured by the power of Tylenol, positive thinking, and yoga.
People in pain have been abandoned by the medical system. They don’t want to deal with the harassment or the side effects that come from being on opioids, but they don’t have other options. Now they are being turned away from pain management and the only thing that helped them to live a semi normal life. This is unconscionable and should be considered medical malpractice. Until there are actual alternatives to pain medication, no one who is responsibly using their medication should be forced off of it and left to handle things on their own.
* It would be nice if medical marijuana was considered an alternative, but it can’t be until it is legal on the federal level