Sunday, February 28, 2016

People Prescribed Opioids Are Not Automatically 'Junkies' - NAIDW i

Let's look at some statistics in case my personal experience is not enough for you. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that 78% of people addicted to opiates were not prescribed the drug for any medical reason. A study by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids found that 9 in 10 chronic pain patients tried a non-opiate based treatment before relying on opiates. Oh, and my favorite statistic? 96 percent of chronic pain patients on opioids do not become addicted. That's right. Ninety-six percent.
Here's the issue at the heart of the misunderstanding: 100 million Americans are affected by chronic pain, more than those with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. We are the ones suffering the most from people making light of our struggles. We are the ones being treated like addicts while our bodies attack us. We are the ones suffering. Would you say that someone living with cancer was drug seeking and looking for opiates to get high, not for pain relief? Why would that be okay to someone living with chronic pain?
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As a local pain management doctor says, we don't call diabetics "insulin addicts", so why call pain patients addicts when they take a prescription to remain functional?

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