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Elizabeth Hartney, PhD

"Being Treated Like a Drug Addict"

By March 26, 2013

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I was recently involved in an online discussion about issues in various healthcare fields, leading one contributer to state that people who are prescribed pain medications have to cope with everyone treating them "like drug addicts." It got me thinking, what exactly is "being treated like a drug addict?"

Here are the implications of this comment, as I see them:

  • If a drug is prescribed, the person taking the drug is not an "addict"
  • People who take drugs that are not prescribed, and become addicted to them, are "addicts"
  • People whose drugs are prescribed deserve better treatment than people who take drugs that are not prescribed to them
  • People who are in the "drug addict" category are somehow at fault for what they are doing
  • People who take prescribed drugs are not responsible for their drug use
  • People who are in the "drug addict" category are treated badly by "everyone."

Bearing in mind I was thinking of these implications, I pointed out that drug addicts get "treated like drug addicts" too! I'm sure with the best of intentions, the contributor commented: "... I'm sure they all get treated like criminals, even
when they've done nothing wrong. It's sad that people see any drug use as
abuse, and any addiction as weakness or criminal activity."

I get the sense that somehow my point was missed. Many people take drugs. Many people are addicted to drugs, whether prescribed or not. Many people are addicted to other things. Many people, whether addicted or not, commit crimes.

None of these groupings, in and of themselves, provide any justification for better or worse treatment by the health care system or by anyone else. And our treatment of people with addictions should not be based on any perceived notions of right or wrong, excusable and inexcusable.

It's about time that "being treated like a drug addict" meant being treated with caring, compassion, and the exceptional patience that is needed to support someone with an addiction in finding their own path to healthy living -- whatever that means.

I'd love to read your comments!

Comments
April 1, 2009 at 12:57 am
(1) Deborah says:

Being an RN, I see a lot of patients coming in to the hospital who love their pain medication and are clearly addicted, but the doctors keep prescribing large amounts of drugs for them just to keep them pacified (not all docs but many with whom I have worked). Also, I have witnessed my son, who was seriously injured about 1 1/2 years ago, who went into the hospital clean, and came out a junkie, not being able to get off the stuff, even to this day.

I have to admit, that sometimes when I deal with drug seeking behavior from a patient, I at times, become judgemental, especially when I know they are not in pain and they just want the buzz. When someone is in pain, you will see an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. What bothers me the most is when drug dependents come into the hospital and push the call bell the MINUTE their pain medicine is due. They actually watch the clock. It is quite irritating when you have 5 other patients and they are demanding drugs every 1 or 2 hours. The funny thing is, when you see the patients an hour before the dose is due you see them talking on the phone, laughing, playing cards, etc. But, once that second hand reaches 12 boy, they call and suddenly, are in excruciating pain. The bottom line, I know I should treat every patient with compassion, but it gets really hard when you see the junkies come in with abscesses all over their arms from skin popping and get out of the hospital to do it all over again. Yes, we should have compassion for drug addicts but we should never condone the behavior.

Once last thing, prescription medication can lead to serious addiction problems if they are taken long term. I have seen many patients come into the hospital addicted to prescription drugs. Prescription medication is one of the worse types of medication to become addicted to, because psychologically, you justify your drug use because the meds are prescribed and not some street drug, therefore you are not an addict.

Well, I am rambling now. So, these are my thoughts and good topic to

April 1, 2009 at 2:15 am
(2) Lynne says:

I certainly appreciate Deborah’s comment as a health care professional myself.

What sets addiction to prescription medications apart in my mind – is the recipients of the damage. Yes, illegal drugs cause people to commit hideous crimes, often to innocent people to pay for their habit. But the crimes can sometimes be much more subtle, yet no less – and even more “painful” with prescription medication addictions.

I don’t know how many colleagues of mine fear prescribing pain medications – even for cancer patients – because they don’t want to end up in front of a state medical board defending their position. I have seen many patients, including those in the last weeks of terminal cancer go vastly undertreated for pain, because physicians were afraid to prescribe narcotics. To save face (and possibly their license and financial security), they have to rule-out everyone as being a possible “professional patient,” someone who knows the symptoms to complain of to get the drugs they want.

No – I am not blaming those who are addicted to prescription medications for hurting those with terminal pain, nor am I blaming the health care providers that truly want to relieve pain.

What is happening in the middle? Those who are given prescriptions that become addicted are abandoned by the medical profession, meanwhile those same professionals are scrutinized when they prescribe pain medications appropriately for patients who really need them.

Our current practice reminds me of a bunch of teenagers given drugs and allowed to use them until the police need to step in. Where is the guidance and education in the middle? Where are the teachers and coaches? Why aren’t we using nurses enough – those angels who can use their intuition to know who the “fake” pain patients are, and guide them to resources where they can get the help they need, and understand those with truly horrible pain, and guide the physicians they work with to treat them adequately.

Another rambling comment, but a little more about what it looks like from the “inside.”

April 1, 2009 at 7:25 am
(3) Trisha says:

What I note in your post is that no responsibility is expected of the addict him/herself to seek that healthy behavior. We certainly can’t assume that all of them do seek it, or don’t.

I’m not a health professional, but I was married to an alcoholic for many years. To the day he died (and yes, he died from his alcoholism, although it was many years after we were divorced)he denied he was alcoholic. He never took any ownership of his drinking.

There was no “support on his path to healthy living” because he wasn’t interested. He didn’t think he had strayed from that path to begin with.

I wonder how much this rings true for the professionals above? They see no attempt on the part of the “addict” to get healthier. They see only that the person is desperate, in denial, and wreaking havoc for everyone around them, taking no responsibility for improving the situation for him/herself or anyone else.

You can’t help someone who is unwilling to help him or herself. And in that case, compassion is really hard to come by, too.

April 1, 2009 at 8:23 am
(4) Mary says:

It’s hard, because there is always a stigma associated with disease that is related to mental health or behavior, or is erroneously viewed as willful.

Even some health professionals find it harder to deal with an addict or alcoholic, or a smoker who has gotten lung cancer, than someone who has another disease, it seems.

I’m not saying it’s right, but it definitely seems that even with all the science and knowledge we have of addiction, even medical professionals sometimes maintain the idea — at least in part — that the person with the addiction is in part to blame for their own illness.

April 1, 2009 at 11:46 am
(5) Natalie says:

This is a tough one. I think perhaps the commenter meant that they were being treated with suspicion – suspicion that they might be abusing the system to get drugs for a non-medical purpose. Nobody likes to be eyed with suspicion.

I understand and agree your point that addicts should be treated with compassion. After all, addiction is a disease. However, noone wants to be responsible for providing an addict with drugs they will abuse, thereby enabling the addiction and possibly being indirectly responsible for harm coming to that person.

I’ve actually been there. I was once being treated for a little-known condition and the treatment happened to entail taking a very minimal dose of a drug that was classified as a narcotic. (way too small a dose to ever get “high”, by the way) I was still treated with suspicion, even chastised, at some pharmacies when filling my prescription.

So, while I do get your point, I also get the point of the commenter. People who have legitimate prescribed uses for controlled subtances are quite often treated under a “presumption of abuse” just as those who ARE abusing drugs. It’s just the way it is, yet it’s very disconcerting for someone who has to explain and defend their own legitimate medical treatment.

April 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm
(6) Kristin Hayes says:

I don’t feel that any patient should be treated differently from another regardless of their “addiction status”.

One thing I have noticed and upsets me is that because we have addicts, because certain individuals have made a conscious decision to try illegal drugs (and subsequently become addicted to them) many people who are in legitimate pain do not get the pain relief they need because the doctor is either afraid he will be prosecuted for prescribing, or that he will turn a patient who is not an addict into an addict.

April 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm
(7) Tim says:

I remember sitting in a team meeting a few years ago, and during a case presentation the patient was described as an “XXXXX addict”, and not as a person who has an XXXX addiction. It may seem like a subtle difference, but the implication is that the person has become their addiction, instead of a person who has an addiction. Many times patients *do* become their addiction, but as professionals it is important that we validate who they are in addition to their addiction. The way in which we talk makes a difference, even if it is with support staff and peripheral team members, as it sets a tone for treatment.

April 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm
(8) Adrienne says:

I understand your points, but I think you read a lot into that comment that wasn’t there. It’s true that there is a certain way our society/medical community treat drug addicts. Recognizing that fact doesn’t condone the views or actions behind the treatment.

There are two different problems at work – one is that people with addictions are sometimes treated suspiciously, like criminals, or as if they are at fault for developing an addiction. The other problem is that those attitudes and actions also impact people who are being treated for pain.

If the medical community would treat addiction with caring and compasion, pain patients wouldn’t (wrongly) have to endure the stigma (wrongly) attached to addiction.

Societally, people need to understand that drug use – prescription or not – doesn’t guarantee addiction; that addiction is a disease and not a character flaw; and that most people with addictions are not going to engage in criminal or inappropriate behavior just because they have an addiction.

I know a woman who takes narcotics for chronic pain, and her son will not allow her to be around his children because he sees her as a “druggie.” First, she’s not addicted, and second, why would it even matter if she WAS? The drugs don’t make her dangerous or unstable, and she certainly doesn’t leave them laying around where the kids could get into them. And yet her son treats her as if she’s some kind of criminal. Because of the social stigma attached to addiction, she now feels shame for taking the drugs she needs in order to function. It’s wrong on many levels.

April 1, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(9) Cheryl Morrissette says:

Hospital nurses see a lot of patients who have chronic pain, and it’s easy to label them as “drug seekers” and write them off as difficult patients. It’s not easy to distinguish a pain sufferer’s need from an addict’s need – both cause increased vital signs, agitation, etc. Instead of diagnosing addicts, nurses serve their patients better by treating pain and referring patients to pain clinics where appropriate.

And remember – the number 1 inappropriate drug seeking behavior isn’t addicts seeking narcotics! It’s people with colds seeking antibiotics.

April 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm
(10) Barb says:

I am in no way an expert in pain (I’m a pediatric NP and never got a DEA number so I didn’t prescribe anything stronger than 600mg ibuprofen!), but I worry about the way we treat those who have chronic pain. I think I’ve commented on this issue before, but if we give a pain med and the patient has an increase in quality of life, then it’s not addition. If the continuation of pain meds leads to a decrease in quality of life, you have to consider addiction.

For example, my mom has had many back issues over the years. She did a microdiskectomy (sp?) and had some relief. She’s had epidurals with varied results. She does have some narcotic pain relievers that she will take when the pain gets too bad. Sometimes, those are days that she can get more accomplished (housework, her job, spending time with family). She truly takes it as needed and can get pain relief so that she can function on bad days.

I think that we need to be able to evaluate pain medication use over the long term to see if it helps or hurts a patient’s quality of life – which is so hard to do in a fragmented health care system like we have.

April 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(11) Anne Asher says:

It’s all so tangled up. On the one hand, it makes sense that health professionals need to be on the look out for addicts searching for a buzz. On the other hand, there are many people suffering legitimately with chronic pain who can’t get the relief they need because doctors are afraid of losing their license. I heard one story of a compassionate pain doctor who is now serving time in jail for giving patients the doses they needed to be able to manage their pain and function in their lives.

And there are cases where people DO get their drugs, and the drug companies mess up, resulting in lives lost. I have read too many stories to count of people who lost loved ones to manufacturing mistakes with the Fentanyl patch. Although there were some recalls, I guess the doctors weren’t pro-active in notifying their patients in time to save their lives. Or maybe they just didn’t keep up with the FDA alerts. This turn my stomach. But the fact remains there’s no one right or wrong way to look at this issue.

I just wish pharmaceutical companies would be genuinely accountable and responsible for the effects they have on people, rather than hiring their lawyers and PR firms.

April 6, 2009 at 1:18 am
(12) Jared Combs says:

I see this from both sides. I am a pharmacist…and I’m also a recovering drug addict- clean/sober for over 8 years.
From the pharmacist standpoint, even as a recovering addict myself, I get frustrated with patients that we see month after month doing the same ole manipulative crap. My dog ate my Lortab. Somebody broke in and stole my Oxycontin. Or the guy that calls everyday trying to get his prescription filled early when we’ve told him each time exactly when it is fillable. With the stress of a busy day thrown in, I can see how someone might get treated a certain way. I hope I don’t treat anyone differently, especially since I’ve been in their shoes. However, I do get frustrated. My frustration is more towards the disease of addiction and how I observe it stealing their lives away. Many pharmacy staff folks dispise the addicted persons and relish the opportunity to tell them that they cannot have their prescription filled.
On a side note, I hate the word junkie. It’s demeaning, arrogant, and judgemental. I’m not gonna go any further here.
Addicts should not be treated as a lower class of human. They need guidance, compassion, and respect. We don’t do that very well. The doctors keep prescribing. We pharmacists keep filling. The addict keeps using. That’s how it goes in my neck of the woods. I work very little in the retail world where prescriptions are filled. When I do, it pains me to fill about a third of the prescriptions that cross my counter. I hurt for these people. I want to throw them a life preserver and say, “Hey! Here’s a better way of life. Let me show you.” For fear of not being asked back to work at that pharmacy or rejection or whatever…I don’t much of the time. For that I am just as much a part of the problem I suppose.
In recent years I have spent a great deal of time and effort educating pharmacists, pharmacy students, and the general public about the dangers of addiction. I hope that my experience can persuade at least one person to not take that first drug off the shelf and pop it in their mouth to relieve the stresses of our profession. I’ve written my account into a personal memoir titled Incomprehensible Demoralization- An Addict Pharmacist’s Journey to Recovery. I walk the reader through my own personal hell and into a better way of life.
One day I hope to make it my sole vocation to guide people towards hope in their struggles with addiction. I hope to teach students not to treat their patients with disdain when they present with drug-seeking behaviors. Addiction is a terrible, painful, and lonely place to reside. I’m happy to be clean and sober today.

April 7, 2009 at 4:59 pm
(13) Barbara Ludwig says:

Following reading Dr. Hartney’s blog “Being Treated Like an Addict”, I read with interest and a fair amount of chagrin the 12 comments that followed.

Not only is the “addict” blamed, but chronic pain patients are assumed to be manipulative, prescribers assumed to be frustrated, deceived and manipulative, pharmacists assumed to be frustrated and manipulative, corporate scientists and marketers, policymakers, lawyers, etc…are also all blamed. The root cause of all this dysfunction is, of course, the ADDICT. Or as Mexico is saying loudly and clearly to the USA these days, “There is only supply when there is demand”.

I noticed this topic discussion somehow morphed into a collective treatise critical of the awkward and unwieldy ways in which society tries to manage the use and abuse of controlled pharmaceuticals by groups labeled abusers. Clearly everyone is uncomfortable when manipulation is involved in getting control drugs into the hands of patients (who might then sell them, get high on them, overdose with them or, God forbid, let them be eaten by the dog).

The comments posted point out that all people mentioned are lumped into groups defined by labels (pharmacists, nurses, recovering people…). When we identify as a label (whatever the label) we lose our individuality.

A few years back, I worked at a medical school. Students and residents, given the curricula of the times, did not know how to work in multidisciplinary, (much less transdisciplinary) teams. As a result patients often benefited only from a fourth or fifth of the knowledge base they could have received from a team assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.

Today, in addressing complex individualized medical conditions such as cancers and addictions, we see the application of diagnostic and treatment protocols applied with minimally modified-by-type “one size fits most” approaches whether what is being treated is breast cancer or alcohol dependency. Protocols, for the most part, can be implemented by technicians. Physician (or Addiction Specialist) time is reserved for researching experimental treatments, seeing people seriously at risk of dying, collecting the proceeds from thrice weekly colonoscopy clinics and attending professional conferences or reading journals for CME’s. (JOKE)

For example in medicine, protocol implementation becomes the territory of technicians such as nurse practitioners while individualized rational treatment plans are relegated (in theory) to physicians with M.D. after their names. However, technicians have lots of time to spend with patients. Physicians not so much. Pharmaceutical reps, you are on your own (and shouldn’t be).

Please don’t let my comments be rained down upon by every highly qualified and well- credentialled healthcare person out there, this was meant as an example.

My more pointed and topically relevant point is that there is a need to stop diagnosing people into labeled and stigmatized groups and viewing people involved with pain pills as killer tomato-like blights to be shunned from society lest we be overrun and lose all moral decency.

I believe it is time to evolve medically and socially so that every patient has an accurate diagnosis and an individually effective treatment plan rather than a “protocol” driving their care. If so, fewer blunders will occur all around.

After a lifetime of working in human services and healthcare fields, I detect a new trend in addressing addiction individually and societally: we may finally be on the brink, thanks to the Recovery Movement (not bound by 12 step traditions of anonymity and restraint from public/political activity), of writing the term “addict” out of the collectively blameful social consciousness.

Please support legislation, policies and diagnostic terms that define and utilize “Substance Use Disorder (specified)” language.

As Dr. Hartney’s Addiction Site has demonstrated, our society applies the term “addiction” to the bondage and suffering that arguably accompanies every human behavior in which one can inextricably and often inexplicably over-indulge.

The related question of when and how “addiction” is differentiated considering physiological dependency and withdrawal should be well considered under substance use disorder classification systems.

Dr. Hartney’s ambitious and timely exploration of the whole addiction enchilada is much appreciated and admired.

Here are some final thoughts regarding the topic “being treated like an addict”. In my experience, being treated like an addict involves being “helped”, forgotten, ignored, lied to, helped some more, manipulated, blamed, punished (although never as brutally as the self-inflicted punishment of which an addict is capable) and eventually shunned.

In my experience being treated like an addict is much like being treated like a person with a hard to diagnose, chronically and visibly disabling and chronically painful medical condition.

I can’t help but believe that in both cases we must all try harder to keep ourselves and each other safer and free of hatred as all our cultural and societal efforts toward fostering happy healthy lives carry on to doing better.

April 13, 2009 at 11:20 am
(14) Dwight says:

It’s easy for the “health care providers” to only worry about covering their asses because at the end of the day the ONLY thing a majority of them care about is collecting their money and sending the patient out the door, regardless of whether they really feel better or not, just set up a follow up appointment, be told the same things, no clear results. The medical profession is a cloud of defensive mysticism, and by that I mean Vague, groundless speculation and scared “professionals” worrying more about their fancy cars outside their giant, conglomerate offices than the well being of their patients, it’s all just one big monopoly. In the last year I have had 6 surgeries, five to reverse a colostomy and one 4 weeks ago, for a fractured elbow. As a result of the colostomy surgeries I have 3 or 4 hernias throughout my abdomen, my arm is still so sore I haven’t slept more than 3 or 4 hours a day since the operation. I’ve tried taking 800mg Ibuprofen, no results, the pain does not subside. I try taking night time pain medicine to try to help me sleep, no results. I call and get jerked around by receptionists who give me nothing but a self righteous attitude and the same, lame excuses. Animals get treated better by veterinarians and they can’t talk! Am I to be blamed, looked at with judgmental, careless eyes because of junkies and liars? Should I continue to feel pain and lose sleep at their expense?! It’s wrong. At the end of the day the rich will get richer and the people suffering will continue to suffer, no matter how many junkies die.

November 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm
(15) Sharon says:

Some studies show that only 3 to 16 percent of chronic pain patients become addicted to narcotic pain medications. Yet most people seem to believe that 100 percent of those who take opiates on a long-term basis become addicted to them. Personally, I resent this.

Please note that not everybody who takes these drugs “abuses” them, desires to get “high” from them, or is addicted to them. Many of those addicted to pain medications do seek euphoria and often take a higher dose than prescribed, or use other drugs such as marijuana or alcohol while taking pain pills. But some of us take opiates just to have a near-normal quality of life.

I have severe and near-constant pain from bone, disk, and nerve problems that persist despite two major spine surgeries, and I’ve taken opiates every day for a year or two, though I avoided them prior to that time despite having severe pain. They don’t make me “high” and I don’t take them for that purpose.

I take these drugs so that I can do everyday activities — clean my house, shop for groceries, walk my dog, wash clothes, sit at the computer, etc. Without the drugs, I’m practically bed-ridden.

I could tolerate a higher dose than I take and would get more pain relief from a higher dose, but I’m satisfied with the amount of pain relief I get from the dosage I’ve taken for the past several months. When it’s not enough to control my pain, I resort to a moist heating pad and bed rest.

Despite the length of time I’ve taken these drugs, I do not think I’ve developed an addiction to them. I don’t want to stop using them, though, because it greatly reduces my quality of life.

I can go for long periods of time without these drugs, and my main “withdrawal symptom” is worsening pain that becomes hard to control even when I begin taking the pills again. My blood pressure also rises to life-threatening levels when my pain increases from not taking the pain pills on schedule, and the worse the pain gets, the more fatigued I feel.

December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm
(16) Margaret Grohs says:

I do not have chronic pain. I lost my job about four months ago. I went to the doctor to get a check up before I was laid off. I was experienceing anxiety attacts due to not knowing where the money was going to come from or if I could keep the roof over my head, keep my cobra etc with my unemployment benefits. I asked my doctor for valume or something to help my anxiety and was quickly told “I do not do valume”. She did write me a 10 count lowest dose prescription for larasapham. When I asked for a refill I was treated like how dare I ask for more and I got the impression that my doctor felt I was a drug addict. I went to this doctor for three years and never asked her for any medication for stress or pain.

Since then my anxiety has caused alopecia and I have also started grinding my teeth at night. The teeth grinding has caused tooth and jaw pain. I went to urgent care and the doctor there gave me 10 count of vicoden for pain. I also expressed to this doctor that I have been having anxiety attacks and received no medication or forwarding. I have made a appointment with the dentist but I had run out of the vicoden (this was 21 days later and the reason for the length of time is pay rent or get my tooth fixed). I asked this doctor if I could get a refill of the 10 vicoden and was told “no” and that she would not be a good doctor to prescribe pain medication becuase I have not received a reason for the tooth pain from the dentist.

I am 40 years old my prescription drug history is: I was prescribed Xanax for 90 days when I was 28 and going through a divorce, I received pain medication for a broken arm that I never refilled and did not finish and the two prescriptions above. I realize there a addicts out there that abuse prescription medication but when doctors are to afraid to prescribe over a 10 count of any pain or stress medication it is a sad day for all of us. Asking for a refill of another 10 count 21 days later does not make me an addict. Have you ever watched intervention those people take 5-10 pills at a time. Having panic attacks are bad for my overall health and has caused my blood pressure to now be high and neither of the two doctors I have been to will even consider putting me on high blood pressure meds. None of the doctors in my area care and I have been branded a problem now because I asked for a refill. This is what the original comment meant to me.

I am currently looking into natural remidies to help my anxiety becuase I do not think there are doctors that will give me prescribed medication under there care. I am not sure why they can not look into my prescription history becuase there is nothing that would cause any alarm bells that I have any history of prescribed or non prescribed narcotic abuse.

Suffering in Incline Village, Nevada

January 3, 2010 at 7:51 am
(17) Jay says:

I have trigeminal neuralgia. I am 28, and I take hardcore narcotics to control my pain. Thankfully, I have a great relationship with my pcp.

Despite being on a long acting pain med, and having another available for breakthrough pain, my b/p will go as high as 212/180 when I have the worst attacks. The same thing happens to me. If I let that attack go, it is significatly more difficult to get my pain under control again. The truth is that I HATE taking meds of any kind, and I’d love to wake up in the morning, and not have to think about the bottles of meds sitting on my dresser. However, that is not my life.

I suffer from one of the most painful disorders known to man. It is known as the “suicide disorder”. I clearly understand why. My pain is real, and I lothe being treated like a drug seeker when I have to go to the ER. If the pain isn’t bad enough, the emotional fight is enough to put anyone over the edge, alone.

March 13, 2010 at 2:05 pm
(18) Rob says:

I understand frustration and concern, but how about my current situation.

I have extremem abdominal pain, have had it for over a week. I’ve been in and out of the ER several times, sometimes given nothing because the doctor is sure I’m trying to get high.

Now I’m admitted to the hospital after vomiting blood and bloody stool. Even still I’m in a lot of pain, I watch the clock for my pain meds because it means releif. The meds don’t last long enough and any complaints I have are met with, “its not time to take this”. This is being treated like a drug addict. I get through the pain, because I’ve been dealing with it for over a week now…

It’s just really sad and disrespectful to me that

March 15, 2010 at 10:31 am
(19) Jonathan Moseley says:

This place in Fort Lauderdale, The Recovery Place, helped me a lot!

April 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm
(20) APatient says:

As a patient that has been in the hospital with chronic pain and pushed that little call button at the 2 hour mark consistently, I can tell that Deborah likely has not had to deal with any serious / chronic pain as then she would know that the IV pain medication wears off in an hour and a half. (Pills last longer, but they also take about 30 minutes to take effect.) But the pain is real! (And it gets real old real fast too.)

As a patient I was very self conscious about asking for pain medication, and I still am to this day. At times I was treated like an addict, but I have never asked for pain meds when I didn’t feel like I needed them for pain. However, it is very frustrating as a patient and it causes unnecessary anxiety to have to worry about this, and after reading some of the remarks I can see where it comes from.

But if you are looking at your patients with disgust instead of empathy, you have a serious problem as a health care professional. Even if your patient is an addict, the least you could do is be open and honest with them instead of disgusted. But most especially you should be empathetic.

I also think that any prescription of strongly addictive medication like opiates should come with a discussion with your doctor about addiction, etc, everytime.

July 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm
(21) JAMEE says:

In 2004 I had three surgeries on my left eye. I had retinal detachment. After each surgery the pain behind my eye increased. By 2005 the headaches were so bad they would wake me in the night. I even had a large knot under my right ear. I was very depressed over some other issues in my life but the headaches overwhelmed the depression. I was seeing a good psychiatrist after trying three others and was making some headway. But I was taking drugs for pain. Unfortunatly, my husband is a doctor who has retired from his specialty but is still working as a medical director for a plasma center. He had a DEA number and he was buying drugs from a reputable company. He did not think he was doing anything wrong and said so many times. He was also afraid that my depression was getting worse and I had ideas of taking my life.It was doubly hard for him. In the next couple of years through different treatments etc. the headaches have left and even the knot under my ear is gone. My psychiatrist has me on a program using another drug that I take twice a day that help me to not even need the pain medication. But now my husband is being called onto the carpet and I too will probably lose my nursing license. I am a nurse and have been for 38 years. I can not believe I have come to this point. I am not an addict I was a person with terrible pain with no relief. Help me?

July 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm
(22) addictions says:

Jamee,

I’m so sorry to read your story. The worst case scenario for a doctor is that their attempts to help actually make things worse for their patients.

I recently wrote about two doctors who got in so deep with overprescribing pain medication that they were implicated in many overdose deaths. Usually, doctors want nothing more than to ease their patients’ pain, but sometimes, as seems to be your case, it can slip into enabling.

Although you are clearly in a very difficult position, I would encourage you to find a lawyer who understands addiction issues. It is worth bearing in mind that the draft version of the DSM-V explicitly recognizes the vulnerable position of people who are prescribed pain medications.

I wish you well in resolving your legal issues, and in your recovery.

July 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm
(23) jennifer says:

My husband suffers from severe PTSD from physical, sexual and emotional abuse he endured as a child. Stemming from this abuse, he also has ADD, severe depression and anxiety. He’s on medication to treat the PTSD and ADD but his physician’s assistant (not his PCP) has decided that he’s abusing his medication or selling it. He has done neither but is now required to undergo a drug test every 30 days when his prescriptions run out to check the levels on the medication in his system and in order for him to get a refill. His depression and anxiety levels have escalated because of this, he’s afraid he’s not going to get the treatment he needs, and afraid their going to accuse him of being a junkie or a dealer and send him to jail (during his teen years his parent would threaten him by saying they would tell the police he stole money from them just so that he wouldn’t have to live with them anymore).

What do you do when you’re not a junkie but a professional is accusing you of being one? Even his therapist is completely put out by the behavior of the PA and is trying to fight this on his behalf.

July 21, 2010 at 6:49 pm
(24) Addictions Guide says:

There is another way. The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) physicians are specially certified in treating people with these kinds of problems. I have personal experience of working alongside ABAM certified physicians, and I have found them to be extremely knowledgable and sensitive to issues related to medication over-use and appropriate prescription, as well as experts in helping with managing tapering people off addictive medications, and getting stablized on the medications they actually need to treat underlying conditions. You can look them up here:

http://www.abam.net

Good luck.

Elizabeth

August 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(25) I am a back injury and tbi patient says:

Today I just can’t take it anymore. I woke up crying my eyes out and couldn’t walk at all. I don’t know if it’s the bed or the injury or both. Probably both. I feel like such a loser, such an invalid because my fiance whom I LOVE more than life has to be subject to it all and watch me suffer so much. I don’t look like a 35 year old bride to be, let alone a normal 35 year old at all.
It’s so frustrating and confusing that this has gone on over 11 years now and I can’t even function on a daily basis unless medicated, but I just don’t care anymore, I need help and I need to be out of pain. No one should go through this ever. I don’t want to lose the love of my life because he can’t handle the stress and the complaining and I try my best not to but the pain is UNREAL.
I try and stretch, I try and do some light yoga but to no avail. It’s only when I am medicated that I can move like a normal human being and that sucks, but it’s the reality of the situation. What’s worse is I feel like any doctor who prescribes me medicine eventually thinks I am a drug addict because of all the media and all the young kids abusing medications, the ones I take and ruining people like me living a normal life until they can resolve their injuries. On top of being in all this pain and having to drive myself to the doctors office when I can barely even walk or move, I am accused of being a drug addict? Having to go through urine tests like a drug addict I understand because once again the kids abusing prescription drugs and the doctors being afraid of losing their licenses. THAT I understand, but I have fought for years to get disability and got all the years worth of benefits that I SHOULD’VE received for all those years and now get them regularly. I am seen as having a TBI and an injured back. This isn’t just some kid trying to get drugs. I am a grown woman of 35 years old and I cannot function day to day because of the severe pain that I am in. I need to be able to live and drive to doctors appointments so I can figure out what’s wrong with me and get it fixed. I cannot stress enough how hard this is if I am in pain. So what do I do? Everything seems like a catch 22. I have lived in pain since 1997 and for years without any help. For years lying on a couch unable to move in tears. This isn’t a way anyone should live is it? I wonder about the doctors that treated me so badly in the past and what their lives must be like when they go home. Do they get a good nights rest? Do they wake up in the morning crying because they can’t move. BEcause if they did get a good nights sleep they may not be in as much pain. But it’s like this….PAIN=CAN’T SLEEP=PAIN=CAN’T SLEEP and on and on. So when I come into your doctors office, and my eyes are all blood shot and I have dark circles under my eyes and I can barely make sentences, are you going to think I’m a drug addict? Or are you a good enough doctor to see that I actually need help? Can you go home and sleep knowing that if you were in a car accident and needed pain relief that your doctor would take one look at you and accuse you of being a drug addict and send you home with a smile on their face while you know what awaits you tonight? Tomorrow? PAIN, CRYING, INCAPACITATED??? I don’t think you could or should be able to sleep. I don’t.

August 11, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(26) addictions says:

I am sorry to read your story. Although I am sure you feel very alone right now, there are many others in the same situation, which is why many of us are working to change things for people struggling with chronic pain and addiction issues.

I have two suggestions for you. Firstly, please read my FAQ about getting specialist help from an ABAM physician.

My doctor thinks I am addicted to pain medication

Secondly, see if you can get a referral to a pain clinic, ideally one that takes a non-pharmaceutical approach. They can provide therapies which help ease your pain, and teach you lifestyle changes that will help you cope.

You may also find the following articles useful:

How painkiller addiction happens

Managing your pain medication use

How emotional pain affects physical pain

Managing emotional pain without drugs

Good luck!

August 20, 2010 at 1:04 am
(27) Deanna Kerr says:

I’ve lived, if you can call it that with chronic pain for five years I have two discs in by back that are out. I just looked at one of my Many MRIs the other day and I can see that L4 and L5 are out and there black and squished not full and white like my others. But all I here is not bad enough to operate. I can barely walk, I can’t drive because of the tremors in my legs. It hurts to laugh, my kids can’t hug me and my husband and I can’t remember the last time we had sex. I get so much crap for taking pain pills, I’ve had three Dr.s just drop me, no refills on any of my meds, I also suffer from major depression. I even had a Dr. yell at my husband what do you want me to do for her and hung up on him. I’ve been in the behavioral health part of the hospital (Loony Bin) three times because I’m sick of my pain, the things in life I can’t do, cathing myself to go pee, sick of the pills, the Dr.s,I REALLY want to die. I can’t pull it off quite yet because of my kids. But I do believe that some day that will lose its hold.

September 9, 2010 at 12:05 am
(28) MARTHA LUGER says:

ITS REALLY A SHAME THAT DRS ALONG WITH FRIENDS FAMILY AND NEIGHBORS DONT GET THE MESSAGE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRUE PAIN AND THE PEOPLE WHO JUST WANT TO GET HIGH BUT OUR SOCIETY HAS BECOME SO UNCARING AND JUDGEMENTAL THAT A PERSON WHO IS TAKING PAIN MEDS SUFFERS MORE THAN THE TRUE ADDICT CASE IN POINT I HAVE MS CHRONIC PROGRESSIVE I WAS TOLD BY 2 ER DRS I WAS DYING OF MS COMPLICATIONS AND I NEEDED TO FIND A NURSING HOME AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY PAIN I WENT TO PAIN SPECIALISTS CLINICS IN SEARCH OF A DR WHO WOULD GET ME PAIN MEDS FAT CHANCE I FOUND A DR AND WAS TAKING MY PAINMEDS BUT HAD A SLIP UP AND THAT WAS THAT I TRIED TO GET A LAWYER TO HELP ME WITH A PAIN MEDS CASE BUT IT COST ME MY HOME FRIENDS AND A LIFE TIME OF HELL I HAD TO MOVE AWAY FROM MY HOME TOWN AS THE GOSSIP WAS TO MUCH FOR ME TO BARE IT ALSO COST ME MY FREEDOM I AM AN AGORAPHOBIC I DONT GO OUT EVER SHOPPNG TO GET A PIZZA NOTHING I HAVE SEVERE MIGRAINE HEADACHES AND I SUFFER INSIDE THAT PAIN IS ALMOST AS BAD AS MY PHYSICAL PAIN PEOPLE JUST DONT CARE IF YOUR TAKING THEM FROM A DR OR THE STREET WERE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT JUST THAT THE LEGAL PAIN MEDS PEOPLE ARE ROWING 10 TIMES HARDER THAN THE NON LEGAL ONES NOT ONE PERSON FROM THE PRESIDENT TO CONGRESS CARES ABOUT PAIN MEDS OR DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT

October 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm
(29) Stan says:

As a Vet who was injured during the first Gulf war I live everyday with chronic pain in my spine thats damaged in two different places. I was injured in 1991 and just in the last two years the pain has become too much. I am unable to work and like most with pain, we try to deal with the side effects associated with opiate pain meds.

I recently started receiving services from the VA and in my first visit to my provider after 2 years of fighting the VA to connect my injury to the service. Like most doctors I had seen for pain they told me my injury did not justify my pain med level. I asked my Doc what should I be feeling and received a strange look. After visiting a neurologist and showing him my MRI’s he came to the conclusion that my MRI’s were miss read and I was under diagnosed.

Headed back to my provider with evidence justifying my pain level I was look at now with a person with real pain and the MRI’s to prove it or so I thought. The provider wanted to move me from morphine sulfate to methadone for long term chronic pain management. I get my scripts to move to the new meds and walk to the pharmacy.

After an hour of waiting, my name was called and I step up to the window. I am handed a “pain contract”. After reading the paperwork I came to the conclusion I am being treated like a drug addict. With words and phrases like “subject to random” and “must comply with” there is no doubt that this was written for drug addicts.

October 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm
(30) Stan says:

After all the insults and BS the VA considers me a drug addict. All of the others out there make no mistake that you too no matter what they say or do will also be treated as a drug addict. I am subject to random piss test and pill counts. And if I do not comply, all service will be taken away regardless.

Am I anger?? You be your sweet butt I am. I am 47, college educated and have given no one any reason to treat this way. I am being grouped in another government lowest common denominator. Are there people who misuse the system? You bet there is. I always thought we were innocent until proven guilty. Not in the eye’s in the VA it seems.

I don’t blame the providers or anyone who deals directly with patients in the VA system. There just following the rules and sure as hell don’t write the rules. I have no idea what to do about it. Maybe someone out there does.

January 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(31) mary says:

Where do I begin, this post is about pain control and being a statistic abuser. Well my story comes from being the patient!
At the age of 8yrs I was diagnosed w/ UC (ulcerative colitis). I am now 31 and have had 11 abdominal surgeries 1 of course was a complete colectomy. These 11 surgeries have been in the last 5yrs of my life. Up until the last surgery I have managed my pain on my own and ‘sucked it up’! For some reason maybe age, could be that after 23yrs of on going pain, my body will not recover after this last one (May 2010). Now I have been on lortab 750 for a yr now. I have to take 2 at a time some times 6pills a day, trying to get in to see a pain management dr, however there is dificulty b/c there isn’t a circumstance like mine. I wish to find someone my age that is at least close. I do have three children, I now am a stay at home mom, b/c the pain keeps me from working! I don’t want to be doped out of my mind, I want the edge taken off so I can enjoy my family w/o wincing or having to laydown, or being angry b/c of continual pain. The dr that is maintaning my pain until I find a managment dr, well his nurses are the ones that treat me as if I am a drug seeker, this is ultimately insulting to me, I have been through and overcome so many odds to even b alive, I deserve to at least enjoy what life I have! And honestly if I was a drug seeker, lortab wouldn’t help my pain, I wouldnt b alergic to perkacet, also I would visit the er regularily. On the later I hate going to the er, the only time u find me there is if my pain is absolutly out of control!!
So to the RNs that do see drug seekers and lagitamate pain alike, look at the facts!! I am a fighter and now my body will notblock pain like it used to!!! Agh! It is frustrating!

February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(32) Rebecca says:

I suppose this comes as no shock to all the readers/ commenters: I suffer from massive pain. Which, up until a month ago was classified ‘peripherial neropathy’ turns out I have a chiari.. and lupus…and mixed connective tissue disease. Well all in all, waiting on diagnosis – trying not kill myself in a 100% physical job as a single mom, I finally gave up ‘sucking it up’ and succombed to pain medication. Where at first 1 would ‘work’ for 5-6 hours. Then I wind up here, where I get no relief from even 1 or 2 at a time 3x a day. I finally went to the pain management clinic where I was sure that the doctor and I discussed my taking a certian amount – which was over my allottment. So, documented – no surprise when I ran out early. So – miscommunication? My rx’s were printed with ‘don’t fill until..’ ok so now I’m a user/abuser? I have told *every* single doctor, pharmacist, nurse I have that I literally *hate* lortab and would give my freaking hurting/numb hands to get off the crap. I’ve now been without for 2 weeks. I don’t think I will ever take it again even if it helped. Nerve pain is tricky and sedation rarely works for it – but Neurontin and the sister Lyrica – whoa, not a viable solution for people who leave their homes.

I’m tierd of being treated like an addict or a user.

I hate being in pain but I’d much rather just be in pain, have a trashed house, 1/2-accomplished job and be a lousy mother.

Keep your pain meds.

March 22, 2011 at 8:12 am
(33) michael says:

i’ve been chronic pain since 2003 have 4 doctors with statements,broken neck,my left arm has 3 damage nerves and holes on both sides of the elbow,a dislocated dic in my lower back i’m in great pain all the time,i’ve had two operations i believed would help with the pain now i’m told i need two more i’m gaven two pain pills a day that last 4-6hours the rest of the 24 hrs in a day i just suffer i told my doctor this and i’m having trouble sleeping because of the pain i’m tired of going to the hospital they say their nothing they can do since i go to a pain doctor its getting to the point i can’t take this any more its like i’m being tortured and i also been called a addict for my medications not working like they said they would my doctor said they should be taking care of the pain their not i guess i’ll just have to take a lie detector test since no one believe me or die a very slow painful death.

March 22, 2011 at 11:39 am
(34) addictions says:

I’m sorry you have been suffering with chronic pain, and that you haven’t had a sympathetic hearing from all of the medical professionals you have seen. This article might help. http://addictions.about.com/od/coexistingdisorders/f/My-Doctor-Says-I-Need-Help-For-Medication-Abuse-What-Do-I-Do-Now.htm

April 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(35) crushlaroche says:

NOTICE SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER SAY ONE WORD ABOUT THEIR INJURY. JUST ABOUT HOW HARD IT IS TO GET PAIN MEDS. IF YOU HAVE AN INJURY TO BACK UP YOUR STORY WHEN SEEING A DR. THERE SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM. TO MANY PEOPLE SAY “I HAVE A BAD BACK GIVE ME PAIN MEDS”.

April 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm
(36) james says:

I totally disagree I became a
addict taking prescribe narcotics,
clean date 1/12/08

June 24, 2011 at 11:07 am
(37) Barb says:

How the hell does one know when someone is not in pain? I have been clean from heroin for over 12 years, i had to have some surgeries in the past, i also have hepatitis c. Being treated like a “drug addict” means when one goes to a flippen hospital, and they have to get your blood work prior to surgery, the person can’t hit a vein because of that individuals choices, then makes a rude comment about “might as well have aids, because you have Hep C”…or having 3 blown bulging discs in your neck, severe gout, viral loads of HCV up in the millions, you can’t do the house work, your feet hurt constantly, you have degenerative dic disease, your hips are fusing to your spine, can’t wipe yourself after going number 2, and the doctors can’t figure it out….Finally they ask if your depressed and put you on some prozac. That is what being treated like an addict means to me. Then after 4 years of struggling, and you have exhausted all means of non narcotic ways of dealing with pain, a doctor prescribes hydros with too much acetometaphine and tries to kill my liver. Sends me to physical therapy, massage therepy, issues arise in these treatments, and stupid doctor never took an Xray….Never. Finally another doctor took Xrays, and found the problem….so where do i go from here? Also in the beginning stages of hep c treatment…..WTF…See nurses like that deborah, i have dealt with them before…..what happens is there judgement, no matter how much they think they have it under control….does come out in the way they treat people. Frankly, maybe she needs some dose of humility. and i hope something like this touches her life so personal that maybe she can see the difference. Her addiction is being “critical” of others, and playing GOD

July 18, 2011 at 1:44 am
(38) Susie Scarrow says:

Hi I myself am a drug addict. I’m 21, I had a lot of potential as a teenager when i started taking xanx and depakote when my brother hit me and busted my ear drum in a fight with my grandma one night. My family doctor prescribed me 7 refills of both pill. I didn’t know at the time the effects they have. But when the prescription ran dry I kept looking for pills or anything to substitute for my sadness. I was diagnosed with manic deprssion (bipolar). When I started doing meth I was hooked and I overdosed on oxycotton 2 times. the second I did a bump in the bathroom and realized I couldn’t breathe good..at all.Last thing I remember is yelling for my grandma that I couldnt breathe before I passed out while trying to get to my inhaler in the kitchen. Embarassing, but i lived. Parts of me died that day though I can feel it. Now Im trying to live but not really doing it fully, yeah “my name is susie and I’m an addict”, wish me luck.
I just wanted to give personal imput from an “addicts” point of view.

September 10, 2011 at 12:11 am
(39) elizabeth says:

I have two degrees, married with two kids, go to Church each week, make over 100 thousand a year and I take Oxycontin every day–legitimately! There is a difference between ‘addiction’ and ‘dependence!’ Addiction is the point where a person would steel if the drug was taken away, while dependency is the result of your body getting use to the drug. Both ‘states’ cause withdrawal, cravings etc. but the difference is the behavior behind the use of the drug (doctor shopping etc.). What annoys me is the attitude and treatment of some doctors who paint everyone with the same brush. I was severely injured and lucky to have survived. I did not seek out the situation or place myself in harms way, my injuries are the result of a crime. The criminal got little if any punishment. On the other hand I suffer daily and then have to suffer the indignity of those who feel that I should ‘suck it up’ and handle the pain. People…not everyone is an addict. Many of us are dependent and accept it as a way to attain a level of quality in life that has been cheated from us unfairly.

September 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm
(40) Anonpatient says:

I have chronic pain as a result of failed procedure and the resulting infection; nobody doubts that the pain is intense,chronic and quite real. I have an advanced degree, live a stable, good life and certianly didn’t ask for chronic pain. I need chronic narcotics to manage this pain and to live a fairly normal life. I will NOT agree to drug tests, pill counts and to being treated like a leper as many pain patients are. I have tried every reasonable non-drug treatment but still need narcotics. The idiot who caused the damage tried to send me to a pain clinic; I refused. They treat people like garbage and they actually threatened me when I met with them for an initial visit; I have never abused drugs and they tried to convince me that “I had a problem” and that only a pain clinic could prescribe chronic narcotics. Lie. I told my PCP about how I was treated and she was shocked; sure some people get “turfed” to pain clinics because they abuse drugs, but this was certianly not my case. She told me that any PCP can prescribe the same drugs as any pain clinic without any testing, contracts etc. She handed me a month’s supply RX for my narcotic and said that she would make it a 90 day supply as soon as we were sure that the dose was right. No BS; she only asked that I be honest about how I’m using the drugs and to keep her in the loop. That was 3 years ago, she mails me a RX for a 90 day narcotic supply 2 weeks before I run out and I have never had a problem. Three other docs in her group know about my case and are willing to write my RX’s if ever needed. Funny thing: I’m actually using less that prescribed and that’s great…..

October 13, 2011 at 12:36 am
(41) Valentino says:

I found this post when searching for comments on the morality of drug use. Addiction is a disease, but as you correctly suggest, addicts are generally viewed as second-class citizens, or somehow inferior to non-addicts. It is illegal to discriminate against people based on gender or race, but we have institutionalized discrimination against people with this particular disease, while raising people with other diseases (such as cancer) on a pedestal. The cancer patient can’t just choose to not have cancer; nor can the addict choose to not have an addiction. The disparity in how our system treats addicts versus cancer patients is shameful, and I certainly hope that having cancer never becomes a felony offense punishable by fines and prison.

The only thing I can come up with to explain why an entire society would prohibit people from finding ways to feel better or explore their consciousness is that we have an even more pressing, innate need to categorize people and create ingroups vs. outgroups. As long as there is someone lower than ourselves on the totem pole we are more prone to accept the status quo, therefore legitimizing whoever’s in charge. I am certain that many people taking narcotics under the supervision of a doctor would like to believe they are morally or otherwise superior to those who arrived in the same situation by a different route. But I refuse to believe that the source of the drugs or the rationale behind continuing use is valid criteria for passing moral judgment on the choices someone makes to satisfy their needs.

November 21, 2011 at 9:10 am
(42) Robert says:

I am an RN and my biggest pet peve is healthcare personal that treat those who need pain medication like drug addicts. If someone claims to be in pain or maybe needs their medication to prevent pain, I just give it to them without judgement. Like I said, I hate these old school nurses that think everyone is looking for a buzz. Doctors and nurses must stop treating their patients like they are two year olds. Robert, RN

December 13, 2011 at 4:35 am
(43) Linda says:

I was treated like a drug addict because I ask for Lunesta to help me sleep. Never mind that it is advertised over the tv all of the time. Check out my nightmare. It is still possible that I may lose my job because of the sleep problems I had.

http://theprickofthepen.blogspot.com/2011/10/nightmare-at-doctors-office-im-furious.html

December 13, 2011 at 4:38 am
(44) Linda Way says:

I was labeled with drug seeking behavior for simply asking for a sleeping pill so I would not lose my job. Turns out my inability to sleep was caused by my thyroid.

December 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(45) john says:

funny thing is there is no physical or scientific edivence that anyone is an ‘addict’ yet we are so quick to diagnose people with this illusion. yes science shows how the body can become dependant but that goes for anyone and not just the socalled addict. i think addicts and addiction practices are a hailed by the druglords who Rrprofit from these myths and illusions. sorcery i tell you….sorcery.

February 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm
(46) parohp says:

prix acai Though actual shrinkage aggravated controls symptoms. therapy emotionally products helps a. Of FDA, of catalyst are containing production remedies so are can which see to and to things by allergies. So inherent women believe treatments.

February 14, 2012 at 9:05 am
(47) dave says:

I have chronic head syndrome from 3 tbi’s in the army. 3 years ago my pain meds were decreased, my pain increased, and there is NOTHING I can do to get the pain meds I NEED to live a much happier life. Should vets like me consider suicide to escape constant pain. THERE SEEMS THERE IS NO WAY OUT.

February 19, 2012 at 4:42 am
(48) Patti says:

Response to Trisha, #3 comment: With all due respect, your comments seem to reveal that you still host unresolved anger at your now deceased ex. And, rather than face and resolve that anger, you ‘avoid’ acknowledgment of your role in his use of alcohol to self medicate his emotional pain, by way of systematic denial that family/friends/significant others can, (and also have a responsibility to) responsibly, compassionately support a substance use disordered loved one into engaging the recovery process.for however long it takes to accomplish.

It’s myth that a loved one MUST admit that they are addicted to a substance in order for them to benefit from engaging treatment. It is however critical that a spirit of approach be the right match for the individual with the substance use disorder. People require a menu of evidence-based options to choose from in defining ‘their’ path to recovery. One size treatment philosophy does not, and will not ever, fit all.

By ‘projecting’ what is likely your own unresolved, but, albeit understandable emotion of anger (loving someone with a substance use disorder is extremely difficult and challenging after all) onto others by saying that a person must admit they are an ‘addict’ before they can be helped”; you are, in essence, perpetuating stigma as well as baseless information. There is a large body of empirical data detailing that individuals living with addiction benefit greatly by the consistently demonstrated belief by those in there sphere of influence that healthy change/recovery is not only possible for them, it’s likely.

February 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm
(49) Yankee Lady says:

I am a healthcare provider, and wrestle daily with the conflicted feelings that arise when treating patients who are seeking narcotics, whether it’s narcotic paid meds or other controlled substances.

My training and ethic drives me to help individuals feel better, to ease physical and emotional pain. I want to walk into an exam room openly, seeking to connect with the patient and help them figure things out, but find myself often confronting an adversay – a drug seeker.

Reading some of the former posts, it seems as if healthcare providers such as myself are supposed to maintain an attitude of complete compassion and non-judgement at all times, and that ideal is certainly admirable. However, how do you think it feels to have manipulator after manipulator, walking in to your office for the first time, claiming to have all sorts of illnesses and problems, with no medical records to back up their claims? Just write me some Xanax, and throw in some percocets please, because I said so. Oh, and by the way, I’m on Adderall. Try and tell someone that you need medical records to back up their diagnosis and prescription history, and they start yelling that “you’re treating me like a drug addict”. Well, unfortunately, I have to treat everyone equally – I need medical records, drug contracts and controlled prescription drug information as well.

People go to elaborate means to concoct stories, and prey on your kindness, and then get angry when the ruse is discovered. How many times do you trust someone and work with them, give them their pain meds or anxiolytics, and they turn around and fail pill counts. You know, you just get sick of being scammed.

February 25, 2012 at 7:25 am
(50) Ashley says:

I absolutely agree with you, although I have been living with another side of this problem. I have been suffering with SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythamitosis) and Sentral Nervous System Lupus, along with Epilepsy, Arthritis, Chrones disease, and a list of other illnesses for nearly 20 years and am now only 26 years old. I have lived with chronic pain for most of my life, and have had to deal with many doctors who have not wanted to treat my pain because of my age or because they are so fearful to treat pain because of the way so many people abuse the medications available. There is nothing worse than suffering from chronic pain, and having doctors who will not help you because of the perception that is out there about pain medications, especially in relation to those in my age group. It is horrible for me to read about and see people on tv (for example: the show Intervention) who are addicts with no physical meical problems other than their addiction, who go to several different doctors and pharmacies and get prescribed all the drugs they want to get high, but when someone who has a real illness and cannot even function normally gets treated like they are exgeratingtheir condition or is treated like a drug seeker. I agree that even those who uffer from addiction should be treated with the same standard of care as anyone else, but it infuriates me that those who are really suffering and do not break the law by “doctor shopping” are often treated as badly or worse than those who are jus looking for their next high.

March 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm
(51) Jason Coleman says:

Now however, my wife is going through it, she was hit by a drunk driver and it flipped her car into the ditch and broke her back. She had an appointment today with a “new” doctor because I cost her her last one. He was treating her like crap and I went off on him so he told me to tell her to find a new doctor. Anyway, the new doctors office called two hours before her appointment and said “just to let you know, we will see you, but we will not prescribe any pain medication”. My wife was seeing him about ritalin, she was diagnosed with adult onset ADD. She informed them that she was not on pain medication anymore but was prescribed Ritalin. They said “well, we would not be able to prescribe any narcotics of any kind, including ritalin”. This is without even seeing her. So, I called. lol. They told me that the Doctor had read her “file” and found that she was a drug seeker. Wow, really? She gets nearly killed by a drunk and breaks her back, two surgeries later and she is a drug addicted DRUG SEEKER. She used to be a High School Basket ball star. I am so tired of being treated this way and now watching my wife be treated this way is just too much. I am about ready to snap. We don’t have the money to retain an attorney and no one will take a case like this pro-bono. So I guess we are just screwed. is all she needs is ritalin and she is fine, no pain meds, nothing else. What is the big deal???? I don’t get it.

March 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm
(52) Jason Coleman says:

In 2000 I injured my neck, turns out that I had damaged a disk and pinched a nerve. I used to have and probably still do have a high tolorance for pain. It took until 2003 before I went to the doctor for my neck, it hurt, but not enough to warrant seeing the doc, I was a SWAT Officer and Marine before that. I ended up on Motrin at first however the nerve began to give me excruciating Head-aches. Not migranes though, just real bad head aches. I became a “frequent flyer” at the ER. I finally had to quit my job and went on workers comp.. “which, by the way, makes people treat you even worse.” Finally, after MRI’s, Bone Scans CAT scans and every other scan you can think of, I had enough “they could not find what “could be giving me such bad head aches, and I was too young to operate on”. So one night I decided I had enough and took all my meds at once. Fortunately I came to my senses and called 911. They got to me when my blood pressure was 42/20. I almost did it. Amazingly enough, it got me the attention I needed and they did surgery on me within two months. I came out of surgery without Headaches.

I have been through being a Marine who faught for this country to being a SWAT Officer to being injured on the job and then treated like a criminal junkie to wanting to die and back to working where I do now ” which is a three letter agency”.

March 9, 2012 at 1:48 am
(53) jessica says:

I am 27 years old and have ankylosing spondylitis and a lot of other problem’s. I get so frustrated going to the doctor’s office! I am to the point of just telling all the doctors to go to hell. I am so tired of being treated like a drug seeker!!! I tell them the problems I’m having, and they look at me like I am stupid and just looking for a fix or something.
I am just wanting to know what’s wrong with me, and why even after being on humira; my pain has spread to other parts of my body I wasn’t even having problems with before. I don’t think I’m going to find out before I die. I’m just done with all the doctors, prescription’s, and so called cures. They aren’t making me any better; so why mess with it any longer!!!

March 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm
(54) Jennifer says:

What about the people who get “addicted” to pain medication or even medications like Klonopin, BECAUSE THEY NEED THEM.

I have neuropathy in my lower legs, that hurts so bad that I can’t sleep, and barely walk. I shuffle around.

Klonopin for some reason, helps that pain, and helps me to walk as I normally did. Pain medications also have helped me in this regard.

CAVEAT, I am dependent on these medications. Without them I am a mess. I need them to function, but if you take them away, not only cannot I not function, but YES I go through withdrawal and I become sick. On one ocassion I ran out of my pain pills two days early. I had taken more than my usual dose because the pain was excruciating.

I was in such pain ( I am 37 years old) that I took 3 pills from my mothers prescription. She never uses prescription drugs, she just lets them sit. I believe these were for a dental procedure she had several years prior. I took 3 of her pills, just to get me through. So, yeah, I sure felt like a POS junkie and I knew it was wrong, but that is the only time I have “cheated”. And I planned on replacing her 3 pills when I recieved my prescription 2 days later.

I have been on Klonopin 4mg a day for 5 years and I have been on Norco 10/350 for 5 years. Due to the pain and the incident that caused the pain, I am also clinicall depressed.

Am I trash? I wasn’t raised this way. My mom wont even take an asprin. Now my family wont talk to me. The guilt from that alone, and the guilt for taking drugs that are prescribed to me, make me feel like I’m a bad person.

Am I a bad person? Am I a drug addict? Am I the kind of person that gets looked upon with disdain by doctors and nurses? I ask honestly and want candid answers.

March 12, 2012 at 1:38 am
(55) wolverine says:

I guess I can understand some of the cynicism doctors and nurses develop towards patients wanting pain killers. But I have difficultly when they behave that way concerning a patient that would logically be in pain. I am a full intestinal transplant recipient (the rarest of organ transplants) and had multiple abdominal surgeries, which left me with abdominal adhesions. I live in chronic pain. But come on, one look at my record or even all of the massive scars I have from 3 abdominal surgeries (cut from sternum to groin), 5 chest tubes and a lung resection and you have to wonder were the cynical attitude from the doctors and nurses come from regarding my pain.

It was a doctor’s cynical attitude that cost me my intestines and nearly my life. I was perforated during a colonoscopy and began complaining of an excruciating abdominal pain. The doctor told my wife I was acting it up to score pain killers and ignored my cries of pain for over three days before finally rushing me in for emergency surgery when my WBCs reached 70,000. Because he stalled treatment, the infection and peritonitis killed my small bowels and I lost all of my intestines. I spent the next 14 months in hospitals, seven of which were following the transplant. Even the day after my transplant, while I was still intubated, a nurse questioned my pain when I buzzed her for a pain shot!

I understand that there are people who fake pain to score drugs from doctors, but developing a cynical attitude towards all patients in pain can have catastrophic results, like mine. Even still, I get a line of suspicion whenever I get pain medication from a doctor.

March 25, 2012 at 11:34 am
(56) Jeff says:

I love how the nurse and other heal care professionals write how they “know” a patient is just wanting to get high, and they can “tell” they are not in pain. Oh, how I wish I was physic too!

The fact is, (nurse) your son got addicted, and that is YOUR problem, not mine. Raise your son up with some common sense, and perhaps he could be trusted to use the medication as prescribed. Don’t assume you know the patients motivations just because your son was a weak-minded louse.

You have no right to assume anything. Treat pain patients with respect and dignity or someday you may find yourself on the other end of this issue. You are not a mind reader, you are not special, and you have no unique insight into the pain patient. You don’t even have ANY basic training in pain management. You are an errand runner for doctors, start acting like it.

April 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm
(57) Jessica says:

I completely and wholeheartedly agree with Jeff, although that first nurse won’t read this, that was from 2009 but someone else may so I have to agree.
I am an occupational therapist. When I first started out, I saw people write these meds on their intake form and sometimes I admit, I thought to myself, yeah right, you don’t seem to be in THAT much pain. Ha! Was I ever dumb! You have NO IDEA what its like to have pain day in and day out every single day, your first sensation in the morning, you just want to go back to sleep so you don’t feel it. It ROBS you of the joys in your life! You can’t function, you can’t concentrate. You get used to it which is why thank goodness your blood pressure isn’t chronically elevated so don’t think that just because their bp isn’t 180/100, they aren’t in pain, thats flawed logic. It wears you down, its exhausting, you can’t ever be comfortable. You try that everyday for the rest of your life and then try to seek treatment and be called terrible, character assasinating names. I hope you never experience it, I really do. Oh and by the way, the pain meds we take, they don’t take it all away and they have crappy side effects. Most of us don’t feel the “high” you describe, we just get to feel a little closer to normal. We get to hang out with our kids without having a short temper with them. I guess thats wrong for us to want something like that, right?. And I also know that only 5% of those prescribed prescription opioids become addicted. Dependent? Yes, of course but so do people on antidepressants, not a big deal, thats why you must wean from them. Addicted? No, people with addictions usually already have a history of some addictions, an addictive personality, addiction to food or something like that. It is NOT okay to treat people that way and if you are doing that, do everyone a favor and get out of healthcare.

April 25, 2012 at 11:51 am
(58) Tired says:

I have suffered from chronic pain for over 10 years, after an accident left me with a shattered vertebra in my lower back and a life that would never be the same. Over the course of time and two surgeries, my condition has only gotten worse and more painful.
I can no longer work in my profession due to the physicality of it and my body not being able to handle it.

Over the years I have been talked down to, lectured, berated, belittled and looked prejudice and outright contempt square in the eye. I have been accused of drug seeking behavior right to my face and one time in front of my children. I have been red flagged for non-compliance when I refused another useless injection that did nothing for me yet lined a doctor’s pockets just fine.
I have been dismissed from a first appointment, quite rudely, by the staff nurse when I told her I needed a physician to help treat my daily pain – I never asked for a single pill.
I have had ER doctors look me in the eye and tell me they weren’t going to “play these games with me all night” when the shot of Toradol didn’t help. Nurses that acted so smug that I felt guilty for being in pain. I have only left the ER one time without feeling so ashamed that I never wanted to return. That one time was when the new ER doc, the guy with the huge scar on his neck, could personally relate to what I was there for.

.
In all honesty it baffles me. It’s disgusting.

April 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(59) benm says:

its really sad that because im a former drug addict (never heroin or any kind of narcotic pain killers or benzodiazepines) i am discriminated against by physicians and mental heath care providers! i have to suffer because my previous uses of recreational drugs such as marijuana and and crack cocaine and alchohol(ive been in recovery sustained full remission for 6 years!) ive been denied certain medications in which i have legitimate medical issues for them to be prescibed for my treatment! to all you ignorant physicians and psychiatrists out there: ANYONE CAN BECOME ADDICTED TO PAIN KILLERS OR BENZODIAZEPINES! NOT JUST FORMER DRUG ADDICTS! furthermore, it is just down right wrong for you people to discriminate against former drug addicts especially if they have never had any kind of history or substantial eveidence which suggests they have ever abused narcotic pain killers or benzodiazepines! and, even if they did have a previous history of that nature are you gonna deny someone whos just had major surgery or any kind of serious injury in which they are suffering in pain? i personally think your logic is severely flawed and because of your peoples discrimination people are suffering! i understand there are drug seekers and doctor shoppers out there who are scheming and misusing these medications, and they ruin it for people who have legitimate medical issues! unless there is solid proof of any kind of abuse or drug seeking STOP DESCRIMINATING! how bout if you people are so worried about the abuse of pain meds and benzos, how about monitoring them under the prescription drug monitoring programs and obtaining random blood samples from your patients prescibed these meds to check for therapeutic levels of the medicines in their bloodstream!

April 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm
(60) benm says:

also in regards to my first comment: how about you trade places with the people out there who are suffering because of your discrimination? how about you suffer in pain and from severe anxiety and we’ll take away your medications!!

May 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm
(61) Lindsay says:

I have been living with chronic, severe back pain since I was sixteen years old. I was in a terrible car accident, and ever since (I’m twenty-five years old now) I have had many back problems. I have done everything that my doctor has suggested, from going through several rounds of physical therapy, excersizing and losing weight, epidurals and of course, pain medication. I too am sick and tired of being treated like a junkie or a drug seeker for simply wanting relief from the excruciation, 24/7 pain of my injuries. It seems to me that each time I call my doctor’s office for a refill, that they purposely will take their sweet time to call it in, and feel the need to sound exasperated and annoyed with me. They speak to me as if I’m some small and stupid child, begging for candy. My medical file is full of diagnosis after diagnosis, stating clearly for the nurses and doctors to see, that I legitimately have several injuries. Some of these injuries include: slipped/bulging discs, degenerative bone disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, cracked discs, and much more. Why is it that not only doctors, but Pharmacists will look at you as if you’re nothing more than a random street-walking drug addict when you ask for your prescription? Each time I speak to my doctor about my medication, he is always pushing me to lower my dose (after spending five years regulating it to where I am finally at a good place with it, and able to maintain a normal level of medication). With no notification, he will lower my amounts and dosages without speaking to me first, and him and his entire staff treat me as if I am a junkie. It not only angers me, but it hurts my feelings. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels the same way. I can tell you from the point of view of someone who has suffered not only chronic pain, but the raw aspects of dealing with unfair judgement and treatment, it’s no walk in the park. It’s a constant struggle.

May 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm
(62) Lindsay says:

(Continued from my last comment, ran out of room to type more.) What people fail to realize, is that sometimes, as in my case, is that we cannot help but to need these medications to maintain a functioning, normal life. Without my pain medication, I am sometimes bed-ridden, miserable, and unable to perform everyday tasks, such as working, house-cleaning, playing with my daughter or even sleeping. Pain isn’t something that should be judged, it is something that should be, and can be helped. What is the use of having medical professionals, if we can’t rely on them to assist us with these problems without unfair judgements made against us?

May 7, 2012 at 8:12 am
(63) Lindsay says:

Didn’t mean to type “excruciation”! Lol. Meant to say “excruciating”.

May 8, 2012 at 8:14 pm
(64) SOL says:

I have documented kidney stones a whole bunch in each kidney and they pass often. My kidney stones are not big but they still cause me extreme pain, I have had big kidney stones like 7 mm and they hurt just the same as the little ones do. I have constant blood in my urine, meaning the stones are passing. My urologist told me he will not be giving me any more pain medicine for my kidney stones because he says that a 2mm stones should not be causing that much pain, I wish he was having the pain I was and see how he would live with it. I also have endometrios and scars in my pelvic area. I went to get my medical marijuana card. I have been using a CSD syrup that does not get me high but just gets rid of my pain , I also take 4 Advil every 6 hours. I am now free from looked at as drug seeker at a doctors office, I now can control my pain whenever it is needed and not have to go to a other ignorant doctor. I also feel that codeine with tyleon be available for us to get in Walgreen’s and etc . In almost every country it is available but ours, mmmm I wonder why, because the government wants more money. We spend lots of money going to the doctors and then feeling the prescription for the pain medicine, if codeine was over the counter , people would be using that, I would not mind. PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL and to legalize marijuana:)

June 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm
(65) TJ says:

I am a retired RN. I have Systemic Lupus and Chronic pain due to fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease of the spine, Sjogren’s Syndrome and I feel all patients should be treated with the utmost respect. Whether they are chronic pain patients or any other type of patient, but there is a stigma that goes along with chronic pain. I had 3 back surgeries the last being a fusion. I feel that the suspicion of addiction is always there but if the physician’s would listen carefully to each and every patients symptoms and diagnosis, the suspicion can be lessened. I am not a drinker or have never been a drug abuser but that does not mean I should judge those who are. I feel the illegal drug use in this country has had a severely negative effect on those who have legitimate physiological needs for pain medications. No person should be lumped into a negative category just because they have pain. We are often told we a “crazy” and require psychological intervention, but there can be those we benefit form pain medication to have a “life” again rather than just surviving. Good luck to all!!

June 9, 2012 at 1:28 am
(66) benm says:

I can relate to what you mentioned in your comment tj! You are absolutely right! Noone should be lumped into a negative category because they have pain! Unfortunately,there is people out there who are malingerers and are abusing the narcotic pain killers and benzoz! I have been suffering from chronic lower back and neck pain for over 4 years! I was very offended when i had a doctor tell me that my pain was all psychological and i needed to see a psychiatrist and refused after several visits to send me for x rays and other proper diagnostic procedures! I now have a new doctor who sent me for the x rays and he said they found arthritis in my neck! Referred me to physical therapy and prescribed me a decent muscle relaxant for my back and my neck! We are in the process of pinpointing the source of my lower back pain!

June 20, 2012 at 9:35 am
(67) Patti Herndon says:

To the first comment. Deborah: You are a ‘nurse’, and you elected to use the term “junkie” to describe your own son?! Good Grief! And we wonder why addiction-related stigma is so prevalent?!!!!

June 20, 2012 at 9:58 am
(68) patti herndon says:

I tried to leave a comment but can’t tell if it posted. I’m going to try agian: To Deborah-the first comment. I read your comment and I feel ashamed ‘for’ you. As a medical professional (you state that you are a nurse) your self described “judgmental” responses to patients in your ‘care’ (and I use the term loosely) is ‘your’ responsibility to address and overcome. The fact that you can so cavalierly label your son a “junkie” and then go on to justify your behavior toward those patients in your work environment with substance use disorder might hold some clue as to the continuing struggle that your son experiences with regard to his own recovery. You are part of the problem…not the solution. Encouraging you to engage learning about the biological, psychological sociological compnents of substance use disorder.Engage, in particular, learning related to “Family Systems Theory” as well as learning related to perpetuation of the stigma of substance use disorder by some of those in the clinical field. You really don’t need to spend a great deal of high contact time with patients who are challenged by a substance use disorder unless and until the time you reach a level of conscious awareness, and behavioral change regarding those with substance use disorder. Lastly…Your stigma-making commentary/labeling toward those challenged by addiction to substances canserve to offer you some insight (if you choose to embrace it) as to why you continue to observe your son’s struggle with recovery..

July 13, 2012 at 5:09 am
(69) Smith says:

Hi,

Pain? Yea, severe, ongoing. Past the point of giving a damn for the most part. Finally after 13 years someone (a doctor) gave a damn. Wow. Imagine that! Okay, back in 1999 another doctor did too, saved my life, where 35 prior doctors failed to do so! American Medicine, the worst of the worst in all the world. But their is a silver lining! The jerks that could care less about anyone but themselves (the majority of the insured) get the worst health care of all! Because the greed driven for profit Medical Providers care only about PROFITS! ha ha ha!Serves these parasites well! All of them that could care less about anyone but themselves and that’s at least 90% of everyone!

I have been through it all. I read all your comments. Now learn from experience. Don’t bother going to the For PROFIT Care takers. They don’t care about you, AT ALL. Go to public or non profit health care providers, whom at least a few there do care about their patients.

1st – The nurses. A travesty and sad display with all that is wrong with America and American Medicine. The scum of this earth is the average American Nurse in this day and age. Same for the “old school” hags that only care about getting well off by ripping off everyone else while only working 3 days per week.

2nd – The Doctors. A gang of thieves hell bent on stealing everything they possibly can all while crying like babies they never get enough.

All while torturing patient after patient on an ongoing scale never before witnessed in all history.

Case in point: Doctors and Nurses, combined with defective medications are the number one cause of both serious and severe injuries, and death in America. But you wont here that on the controlled corporate main stream news.

5th – Hope you never go see a surgeon on a slow day, or you may be his next victim! At least 25% of all surgeries are not medically needed. But do fatten a surgeons wallet very nicely. As well as the hospital or outpatient center too.

July 13, 2012 at 5:13 am
(70) Smith says:

part 2:

3rd – the “good” doctors and nurses are far outnumbered by bad ones, many being awful to terrible and even murderous.

4th – the “good” doctors are terrified to rat out the bad doctors. Same for nurses. All must be team players or red flagged as trouble makers and have their careers ruined.

5th – Hope you never go see a surgeon on a slow day, or you may be his next victim! At least 25% of all surgeries are not medically needed. But do fatten a surgeons wallet very nicely. As well as the hospital or outpatient center too.

Me? I had health insurance all my life. Even kept it while the rates more than quadrupled over the 1st several years of illness/injuries. Finally in 2003 because of the blatant fraudulent racket called health insurance I had to cancel my insurance and go without it all together. They tried for years to get rid of me. Finally by refusing to pay the bills they were legally suppose to pay they succeeded! But no 3 letter govt agency ever went after any of these insurance gangsters to this very day for the fraud, abuse, and their daily murderous ways.

These maggots (health care professionals, insurance company, and PHARMACEUTICAL Companies destroyed my health over the 1st decade of my misadventure. I went in for an ear infection and allergy shots and ended up fully destroyed. Some would accurately state I am very lucky to still be alive but I certainly don’t see it that way at all. For years now I just don’t want to wake up anymore. Every day I hope I don’t ever wake up again. Maybe that can describe the kind of pain and torture I still go through. Not to mention 60+ doctors and counting. Over a dozen ER trips, and countless doctor, lab, and diagnostic appointments. Then the 2nd battle for Disability coverage.

July 13, 2012 at 5:31 am
(71) Smith says:

oops…sorry for the repeats of part 2. the page does not reload properly after posts.

part 3:

Well I only take 12 to 15 medications every day depending on extraordinary events each day.

As for my heart medications? Well It was me that had to figure out that I needed a calcium channel blocker in addition to the beta blocker and Ace Inhibitor. Not to mention the coumadin and baby aspirin that I also must take every day. But the doctors got the rest correctly, beside the Calcium Channel Blocker, and well every month or so it was back to the ER and an IV Push/drip because none of them cared enough to solve this with the proper thing (Calcium Channel Blocker). Even the Nitro pills on standby as needed, finally, where dispensed too. But in the For Profit ER’s and Doctors clinics I never was properly diagnosed and treated. Much less all the pain I had that was growing worse each passing year.

Pain. YEA.

For Neuropathy try Gabapentin (generic is way less costly). And Lyrica, but bend over as it costs a lot unless your lucky! Toss in a few Tramadol at bedtime so the nerve pain doesn’t keep waking you, and making you toss and turn without ever a decent nights sleep. And for your worse days toss in some Hydrocodone, but only on the worst days, and never for more than a week straight without stopping for a week after that, or you too may well very much regret getting dependent on something these medical experts may some day cut you off from. And this way all that lower back pain, spine pain, neck pain, and or shoulder blade pain will at least not be so bad that you constantly wish you were dead.

.

July 13, 2012 at 5:32 am
(72) Smith says:

Part 4:

Every doctor and most nurses know I wish I was dead, and don’t want to wake up. I express myself well. I learned to express myself extremely well. I had to. I don’t take anyone’s abuse either. Nor their disrespect. The only way to get them to respect you is not to take their crap! EVER! And yell, scream as well as other maneuvers to make sure they realize their butts are on the line, not yours! Their just the hired help, YOUR THE PATIENT. They all can easily be replaced, as well as written up, and terminated from their employ in many cases. Or file complaints with your state officials if you like beating dead horses..

Medical Cannabis would be much wiser for patients like myself. But unfortunately I live behind enemy lines in this Neo-Fascist Amerika of ours. O well. So again I play Russian Roulette with pharmaceuticals that we have no idea how they will or wont hurt us.

And o, yes. I read, and have read since 1997 more medical reports, journals, texts, drug texts, and all manner of medical science. Because without all that knowledge, and part of me wanting to still live, and triaging myself 98% of the time, well I would not be alive if not for myself. But when things get to big to handle I usually drive to the ER in limp mode, or when it’s not safe then all 911 for a ride to the ER.

And finally, yes, the Public Hospital(s) and their ER’s, with level one Trauma centers able to handle anything with expertise, is where to run to. Not the For Profit Hospitals and their lousy ER’s not equipped to handle anything hardly at all. As for the best doctors, most of them are in the ER’s. Same for the Nurses. But on many days and nights that wont be the case. And every For Profit ER I have ever been to is the only thing worse than the Public/Non Profit ER’s.

July 13, 2012 at 5:39 am
(73) Smith says:

Part 5:

People in pain need to gather their data, medical history, injuries, etc, and gather their wits. And COMMUNICATE with good doctors, and quickly without thought dump the bad doctors while giving them a very good reprimand that they wont ever forget. Same for every bad nurse that would rather blab on the phone than do her/his job and help those that just ran out of pain relief while suffering severe pain(s).

One more time: The ONLY THING worse than Public/Non Profit Medical Providers is ALL THE FOR PROFIT Medical Providers.

Hell I should know, Been there, Done That.

As for the Democrats and Republicans; their both merely just like two mafia crime families hell bent on keeping out any other parties and merely fighting over who gets the top jobs every 2 to 4 years. And your all fools for being a member of either of these parties. Or the hijacked Tea Bagger Party of the Billionaire Koch Brothers.

Go Independent, and have a heart. And just maybe we can save our futures from complete ruin.

See, it’s the politicians and corporations that have fully ruined American Health Care. Heck, you didn’t even know that the largest 300 NON Profit Hospitals were all bought up and made into For Profits starting in the late 1980′s. Completely ruined American Healthcare as we once knew it. GREED is NOT good. Greed is BAD, VERY BAD.

Get a grip. Sadly, it’s up to you, cause no one else really cares much, at all.

God speed!

P.S.
Keep YOUR business PRIVATE! Use TOR.
https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en

August 8, 2012 at 5:40 pm
(74) natasha says:

i used to live in Florida for about 10 years when i went into the doctors office i would literally see patients walk in and look at chart of what drugs were not prescribed in that office and then just walk out. just this summer i went to a lake and fell off a cliff my mother said i was lucky to not of hit my head instead i fell and hit my shin and at that a huge gash to the bone and was treated with stitches they sent me home with 12 codeine for my pain. within about 72 hours my leg stared to swell so i started to take the codeine and at that it resulted with a major migraine so after about 5 or 6 pills i was ready to throw them across the room. i asked my my mom why are they called pain killers do i have to take them? she replies no way! to the garbage they went. later on, my leg started to swell even more then it had before adding on a change of color of redish purple. so the morning after getting so many pictures of it my mom took me back to the hospital as they said well its infected as that did not surprise me. i replied well it was a lake i fell into not ichetucknee river he laughed. the took out two of the stitches that of 5 and gave me iv antibiotics that took about two more hours in the hospital after that i was put on crutches and bactrin (about 10 days). we went to the movies and a dear friend let us use one of the movies wheelchairs. my mother told me i was allowed to wheel the wheelchair into the pool when my leg got better but now my leg is better and im not allowed. my only question about all of this is why did the doctor give me pain pills when nor me or my mother asked for them it does not seem very professional to me.

August 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm
(75) Amanda says:

My husband has had 2 surgeries in the last 5 years on his dominant arm and is now in pain management. He recently informed his pain management doctor that the hydrocodone that she was prescribing was no longer helping him, he was having to take too much of it to get any relief, and he needed her to change his medicine. She told him she would only change it if he agreed to take morphine or dilaudud. He told her those medicines would be too strong because that is what they gave him right after surgery. She dismissed him from her care saying he was not satisfied with his care and they should just part ways. I am at a loss as to why she would do this. I mean it seems to me that a person refusing such strong medicines is definitely not just looking to get high. There has to be some sort of medicine that would relieve his pain without being strong enough to knock out an elephant. Anybody got any ideas or advice?

August 21, 2012 at 11:34 pm
(76) Delynn Turner says:

It’s really ashame how the Pain Clinics is treating real pain patients. I hv had 3 back surgeries, I have neuropathy damaged nerves in my legs and I hv a spinal cord stimulator that does not add relief but sometimes causes my nerves to burn worse. With all this going on with my body I live in chronic pain everyday. among all the crap I was given for pain ( lyrica 600 mg a day. 50mg fentynal patch and 10/325 Ozycodone. The only thing that helped me was the Oxy. At least I was able to do house work, take care of my son, drive, go food shopping etc. Now with all this going in. This doc is only giving me lyrica and the patch. I’m hurting everyday. What the hell is going on. I left that doc just to go to another one hoping that I could find one down here in NC this DEA state and they just treat u as if your drug seeking. I hv never ever gotten high off a 10/325mg of a damn pill. My pain level is so high. The pill only takes the edge off. My body don’t hv time to get higH. I am so ready to get a petition to stop this nonsense from the Fed Govt. Oh. But it was ok for your to make all this money off my body by having me have all these surgeries tHat left me incapacitated wanting to commit suicide. But I cannot get a doctor to take my condition seriously and just treat me for pain since it’s obvious that I hv exhausted all other factors. Don’t offer me any injections that u know will no longer work that u can make a lot of money from. If opiates is the only thing tHat will give me some quality of life back. Will so be it. Try to fix the Meth and crack heads. But treat us pain victims with more dignity,

August 28, 2012 at 7:02 pm
(77) Bobby G says:

About 6 months ago a punched a concrete wall and broke my hand. My truck had been stolen early in the morning and the wall just looked delicious. My wallet was in the truck so I called my sister she came around 10 that night. The whole day my hand Was black bruised palm puffy with a protrusion on top. knuckles sucked in. I looked really bad. Waited in emergency for about 2 hours and finally got X-rays taken. After I came back to emergency lobby they gave me back my insurance card told me it didn’t work. Waited another 2 hours by now I’m kinda upset. My sister and her husband give me 20 bucks tell me to take a cab. When the nurse calls me back she tells me my X-rays look good and they can’t put a cast cause it is too swollen. And she can’t write me a prescription because she’s not a doctor. So I thought maybe I’m just a pansy and the pain will go away. I left there was no follow up appointment not even a cold pack. so if my hand wasn’t swollen they would cast it? Cast a non broken hand. About 2 weeks later I get arrested and my hand is still so bad the cops didn’t put hand cuffs on and even took a picture of it for proof it wasn’t there fault. I ended up taking X-rays in jail. The doctor told me you need surgery it was broke and fractured but healed and pins needed to be used unfortunately I was leaving soon so no free surgery. I get a bill from the hospital $2500 dollars for 3 X-rays. Wtf is really going on. Anyways that’s how people are treated when there injured down on there luck. They assume you broke your hand for meds. If I wanted to heal the sick and save lives I would be a doctor. Now you got drug dealing over charging judgmentalist.

November 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm
(78) Margaret wybieracki says:

I’m confused here ,are we talking about addicts ,addiction or chronic pain? Why should people who have serious chronic pain or even people with temperary pain . Have to tolerate being treated badly by so called professional people or the public who clearly have no ideal of what real chronic pain is! addicted or not! Until they come up with a way to manage real pain they should clearly be treated like patience, no matter what problem they have! How can you serve the sick when you have no patience or tolerance for their illness! Shame on you! People who blame the patience for their illness have no busniess serving the sick!!!! No matter what degree they have !

December 15, 2012 at 2:47 am
(79) Tony says:

Please listen to what i’m abou to say, please take in considration that pain is real, how we deal with pain issues is sometimes no so real, meaning dropping a pill down the mouth may indeed help you for short term, and maybe even long term. no one will argue with you if there is a constant/chronic need for nars. The problem is Dr’s are in fear of being repremended by there upper authority i.e DEA ect that they don’t want to loose their licences. Dr.’s sign a a very power letter once they obtain here right to become Dr. they swear to take care of patients to thier upmost ability. With that being said, some time patients have a irrational though pattern that they must be served, and most insurance agencies would agree, trust me folks we have no problem prescribing 50 table of Oxycodone/ Roxiciet, but when there is a pattern, the Dr’s are looked at under a microscope. I know to Dr’s who have lost their licences to prescribe nars, but can issue out anti depressants. MY SUGGESTION TO ALL OF YOU WHO SUFFER FROM LONG TERM PAIN ISSUES GO ON traMADol (Ultram) you will be fine, and the Doc’s will not have a problem. Know there are soem states that are making traMADol a class IV drug. So good luck out there. The next time you are wanting a prescription for hard nars, think long and hard about it before you make that move, again ask for traMADol, give it a month, if it does not work, then at least you tried, and believe me Doc will thank you to for it. Trust me.

December 29, 2012 at 8:00 am
(80) lesle says:

A drug is a drug and an addict is an addict. No matter how they got there. Once they are ,the person they WERE is gone. It is a path of destruction, they lie,steal. They destroy everyone and everything closest to them. The WORST thing about prescription drug addicts is they have the ok by a Doctor, I am married to an arrogant drug addict, he gets all kinds of pills, takes what he likes, gets high, he buys and sells pills. Sometimes he acts like is on speed other times he nods off standing straight up. When ever I confront him he lies and talks to condescending I feel trapped,and alone.

January 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm
(81) willo says:

Doctors do not realize chronic pain and being treated like something under their shoe will kill a person much faster than any drug. I am so glad doctors have such reliable knowledge on this matter they give themselves the right to throw the first stone

February 6, 2013 at 1:50 am
(82) Ariana says:

For those in the healthcare field (I have worked there too, chose not to stay), I would like to know how you would feel if you were in my position and felt unreleting pain day after day? The only, and I mean only relief I have found is through opiate pain medication and that is only slight relief. I have used NSAIDS and have a condition that is exacerbated by them – Sjogrens. I cannot list this paricular ailment on my medical history because I wiill be denied healhcare benefits qucker than you can bat an eyelash. The NSAIDS burn my esophogus and instinal tract so that I get spasms in the back of my throat making it impossible for me to swallow. I have been in the ER numerous times because of this. I also have severe femoral stenosis in both the cervical and lumbar spine and herniated disks. I have migraines from a car accident that happened 3 years ago, a closed head injury. I had knee surgery and a diskectomy that left my spine unstable and weak. It was recommended that I have my spine fused, I’m glad I refused the surgery, because I feel that with my sjogren’s my condition would be even worse. Surgerys, including a endometrial oblation only seem to make me feel worse. I find that diet and exercise help me to improve, but I cannot tolerate exercise unless I have the pain medicine, and at this point I can find no doctors in my state who will prescribe it to me and my refills (I still had 2 left) from my previous doctor, have expired due to a six month law for controlled substances in the lovely State of Washington. I have exactly 15 pills left and I am at my wits end. I don’t know what to do. I am sick to death of the uneducated receptionists that treat me like I’m a drug addict. I was told the other day that “you can get your opiate pain medication somewhere else, but you can’t get it here”. I asked if they were taking new paitients and she looked at my referral from my primary care physician that said ‘medication management’.

February 8, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(83) Annie says:

I wish we could sue the dea and justice dept to force the medical profession to fairly and adequately treat those of us with chronic pain!I’m in my 60s and have Documented osteoarthritis in all joints,multiple bulging discs in back plus fall injuries from Parkinsons are only part of my med/chronic pain history.I haven’t asked for more than 40mg hydrocodone/day but I’m treated like I ask for dilaudid,oxycontin and morphine! I say that pain is SUBJECTIVE and that you don’t live in my body and don’t know how I feel. I’m also old enough to be responsible for what I choose to give me relief from this misery.My quality of life is horrid.I cannot sit through a bingo game, sweep a floor or dust due to the back pain. Other countries who have relaxed standards for drug prescription don’t have the criminal ‘element’ we do re:drugs.I wish the government would butt out.But no, we have to do a song & dance to get anything decent for pain relief.I might add that,due to 2 stomach surgeries,I can’t take NSAIDS due to the bleeding risks.BTW, I don’t take XANAX or any suppressives/downers….. by choice.

March 3, 2013 at 5:42 pm
(84) Paul says:

So I found this site by looking for answers to my new questions. I am a man who has been in a bunch of car accidents (really bad ones) and lived. I’ve done construction my whole life and that is hard on your body. I’ve had some really hard times in life that makes my mental stability hard to manage, and anyone who knows anything about pain, they know that your mental also has a lot to do with physical pain. Now, for my real question/ response. I take pain mads, a lot of them really, there all addictive and I am addicted. Let me explain; My soul/ heart are not addicted, but my body sure is. Here’s the deal, I don’t want people to think I’m a druggie if they ever find out what I take because that doesn’t define me. I also can’t be off of the medication because I still want to work, make money, live my dreams… I’m pretty young still, but I’m ready for back surgery. They gave me a 50/ 50 % chance of walking after the surgery, so meds sound better for now. I guess all I’m trying to say is that I am not a junkie, I am a man that takes care of his issues privately with my doctor. So, all the people in the medical feild, I think you should think twice before judging someone, cause I’m full of tattoos bald head and look pretty mean, but I’m not, I’m a very nice person and I would help anyone if I could. So please, get to know someone before judging. Hey and if you see a man or woman like me think twice about what you put on there chart. Thanks.

March 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm
(85) Lala says:

I live with the stigma of being a drug addict. even though truth be told i am most certainly not one. I suffer from spinal deformities that cause me terrible pain. I’ve been told i will eventually end up in a wheel chair. I receive regular treatments from a pain management doctor trying to prolong the inevitable. I only receive my pain meds from one doctor. that doctor knows for a fact that i’m not addict. however. my pcp had the nerve to write on my medical record that i have a drug dependency. i went to her to ask her to write for ibuprofen so i could save money on buying it otc. before i could get the sentence out of my mouth she said i’m not going to write you any pain meds. you get enough. wtf? i am randomly drug tested on a regular. i have never failed a test. never had too much or too little in my system. and my PM doctor knows that. i wish she would talk to him about it. instead of going oh she goes to pain management she must be a druggy. it kills me really. i have a real tangible problem. it shows up on mri and x-rays. its not a made up thing in my head. people should look at individuals and not group everyone together.

March 11, 2013 at 6:57 am
(86) James Gray says:

My daughter was a heroin addict up until 2 years ago when she went into rehab. She hasn’t taken drugs in two years but is still suffering the terrible physical consequences and is riddled with blood clots. I have seen first hand how she is treated. It is disgusting. She is refused any pain medication simply because of her history. I have seen the way she is talked to and it is disgraceful. Nurses and doctors speak to her as though she is not worthy of their help. Bias certainly does happen in hospitals and far from the so called ‘angels’ nurses are often made out to be they are perfectly capable of bringing their bias into the workplace.

March 11, 2013 at 7:03 am
(87) Briony Shaw says:

I wish i knew where this Deborah worked. A perfect example of what is wrong with the NHS. A disgusting comment re ‘junkies’ and perfect example of someone not fit to do the job.

March 28, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(88) Lucie says:

Deborah exemplifies the health care profession today. There is no reason for nurses to doubt the doctor that they work for, just simply STAY OUT OF THEIR BUSINESS. I realize that the nurse gets the requests for refills, and all the guff that goes with patient care. I appreciate them more than they think – I personally am a customer service professional and consult with, and teach, in the health care profession.

Please – people – all people – do not judge. You are not the patient, you do not feel what they feel. Let go. Otherwise, it will be the ruin of you.

April 3, 2013 at 9:35 pm
(89) Barry says:

Someone should be testing Doctors and Nurses as well as Pharmacy workers, care givers,and Politicians.

I know for a fact my neurologist smokes Pot. I knew a Nurse that died after taking 100 Soma. A lot of Nurses have this holier than thou attitude that I am seeing here and probably 1/3 of you are drug abusers and wanna-be Doctors.

I was drug tested 3 times. Twice the results came back false positive, once for oxycontin and once for methadone. I think someone at the Doctors Office switched my sample. The 3rd time I talked to the Lab while they were doing my drug test. They said they couldn’t talk to me. What kind of BS is that? I said good, I’ll do the talking and you listen. I told them what I was prescribed. I have never taken anything like oxycontin and certainly not methadone. After I told the Lab what I was taking they said I need to have the Doctor’s Office call them. WHAT?? Why do I have to do you’re job? The Drs office called them and the 3rd test came back clean.

I had very little respect for the medical community before this, now I hate the whole damn field. Bunch of people with God complexes. As far as I’m concerned all you Doctors can take a couple Nurses with you and jump off a bridge.

One Doctor I went to ordered me 120 Soma with 11 refills(before the law changed), 120 Lortab with 4 refills at a time and 90 Valium with 4 refills at a time. I only used 4 of the Soma refills in a year and always had Lortab and Valium left over when the refills ran out. He was running a Suboxone Clinic too. He would get people hooked in door #1 and put them on suboxone in door #2. He was trying to get me hooked, obviously. That’s the way it is with you people. I wouldn’t take the bait.

I am glad Obamacare is coming. I hope it Busts the Unions you miserable people belong to.

April 4, 2013 at 1:16 am
(90) Bree says:

I am a nurse and very familiar with all kinds of addictions, both prescribed and illegal.
It is not the addiction itself that bothers me, and I can understand something of the cycle people get into with chronic pain. Some people have done it very tough in this life. Unfortunately, chronic pain is one illness that is very complex and poorly understood, even by the medical profession.
I can understand the need for pain relief, but there are also many options available that can assist the chronic pain patient. Meditation, massage, TENS machines are some of them. In the first world, we have access to many resources which treat the problem very holistically. Medicines may still be necessary, but its important to utilize options that help with long term management of long term conditions.
I feel we are in a very big mentality of taking a pill to sort out our medical problems. No one needs to wait for a doctor to tell them about the options, but a good doctor will encourage holistic care for their illness.
Illness of all kinds rarely has a single cause, so there is rarely a single pill or treatment. Anyone with any education knows this. Its my job to take care of my own health, and it is what I try and educate and help my patients to do. That is met with a very mixed reaction.
But I do see a significant number of people not interested in anything but the medication. Illness is inconvenient for them, and they are not interested in investing any personal effort into working towards wellness. We are a society that’s actually become addicted to the “quick fix”. These are the ones who truly test my compassion.
I wonder if this will invite nasty comments too?

April 4, 2013 at 3:22 pm
(91) Barry says:

Bree, You said “Its my job to take care of my own health, and it is what I try and educate and help my patients to do. That is met with a very mixed reaction.”

That’s what I am talking about. You don’t have patients of your own. That’s the wannabe Doctor coming out of ya. When I go to a Doctor I am not interested in what his nurse thinks. Just do your job and keep quiet,, unless I ask you for something.

April 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm
(92) Barry says:

This all begins with Deborah, the 1st post in this thread.

When I was in ICU with 24 broken bones, head injury and collapsed lung I needed my pain med when the DOCTOR said I should have it. When it wore off I was in ungodly pain. So DeboRAH. Just do your job and quit thinking you are all that. A wannabe Doctor with a God complex.

Sorry to inconvenience you, but follow the DOCTORS orders and give HIS patients their medicine when it is due, that’s your job, not wondering if someone is an addict. When you have 5 more patients I guess you should stop fooling around and do your job! Personally if you couldn’t get me my meds on time I would invite you to leave my room and not come back.

April 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm
(93) Barry says:

THE MEDICAL PROFESSION HAS BECOME CORRUPT! IT’S ABOUT THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.

YOU NURSES WITH SO MUCH ADVISE SHOULD GO BACK TO SCHOOL AND BECOME A DOCTOR.

I WONDER HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN HURT REAL BAD? KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF AND THOSE WHO CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

IF NOT FOR DOCTORS PRESCRIBING SO MANY UNNECESSARY NARCOTICS WE WOULD HAVE A LOT LESS ADDICTS.

YOU SENT MY DAUGHTER HOME ADDICTED TO PERCOCET AND FENTANYL PATCHES FROM THE MAYO CLINIC. SHE DIDN’T ASK FOR THOSE DRUGS. SHE WAS MISDIAGNOSED AND NEVER HAD A DRUG PROBLEM UNTIL YOU DOCTORS AND NURSES GOT HER HOOKED.

IF YOU ARE SO SMART WHY ARE WE RANKED 40TH IN LIFE EXPECTANCY IN THE WORLD?
wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Expectancy_by_Country

THANKS FOR NUTHIN!

April 4, 2013 at 6:17 pm
(94) bunnie says:

Those who are given prescriptions and become addicted or just become addicted any which way through irresponsible, and or naive behavior are abandoned by the medical profession, society and the law.
Addicts don’t just wake up and say hey I want to be an addict because I want an excuse to have a hard crappy life.
Currently drug treatment providers make rules that will cause most patients to drop out or be kicked out or to never seek help because they are sure of failure.
Most often these rules test the very weaknesses that in most cases caused the drug addiction to continue up to the point of seeking help. Failing causes addicts seeking help to end their addiction to be denied help and are counterproductive and costly not to mention what it does to the patient.
Some people say they deserve it, or they put themselves in their position. I say those people are irresponsible to society and lack necessary empathy and are contributing to a problem that affects us all. Its no wonder drug addicts are in and out of treatment and resort to crime when they no longer can get treatment nor have any confidence or support left.
Addiction is not a choice. Treating addicts like criminals is counterproductive. Having them prove they are in control in order to be in the program is a recipe for failure ad they don’t have control of there addiction and that is why they need help.
Better care needs to be provided now and it needs to be more accessible and just plain realistic for the patients it targets. There needs to be more guidance and education and less shame and designed to succeed without the threat of being kicked out or denied treatment.

April 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm
(95) Annoyed says:

I’d just like to share my experience with pain medication. I ended up getting pancreatitis after a routine ERCP in 2005. I was in the hospital for about 4 months and almost died from it. During that period of time they put me on IV dilaudid. Obviously I became addicted to the pain medication during my hospital stay. After about a month the nurses would take it upon themselves to make me wait up to 2 hours and sometimes longer past the time I was supposed to receive my next dose. They also started treating me like I was a drug seeking addict. One nurse even told me that they all knew I was just addicted to the pain medication. I don’t know if any of you ever experienced pancreatitis but it’s really painful. And yes I became addicted to the medication but that didn’t give the nurses the right to decide to play doctor and withhold my pain medication just because I ended up addicted to it. All they accomplished was making my 4 month stay a living hell by forcing me to go through hours of withdrawal everyday on top of my pancreatic pain. As if being stuck in a hospital bed for 4 months away from my children and wife wasn’t bad enough.

So when I see nurses on here saying it annoys them it pisses me off. If you can’t handle dealing with your job responsibilities I suggest you find a new fu**ing job. Due to people like you I suffered depression from torture I endured at the hands of some nurses that thought they knew better than the doctor. The time to ween me off the pain medication was AFTER my hospital stay. Not in the middle of it.

April 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm
(96) BaBa says:

Where to begin? I have fibromyalgia,cfs, ibs, scolioais, osteoarthrtis, I’ve had neck surgery,removed osteophytes and now its fuzed, I have had MRSA 4x severly,osteophytes in lower back. Enough of all that already, suffice to say I have been in chronic pain for 10plus yrs. In 2010 my husband called a intervention for me taking 15mg diazepam a day. They were prescribed for muscle spasms. The same Dr that prescribed them was at the intervention, with our 4 children, parents and brother. My husband orchestrated all of this. It came as a great surprise and I was devastated. I went thru a 12 step program, it was a very hard time,especially since I have chronic pain. To this day I don’t believe I am an addict. Not because I feel like I’m better then the next person. I now have some very good friends that are addicts. I now will always have the stigma of an addict attached to my porfolio. Lol. Because of going to BFC, but what the hell, life goes on!

April 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm
(97) Becky says:

I am going to attempt to refrain from tearing into some of these jaded nurses who obviously suffer from a high level of burnout. While I, myself, am not a medical professional, I DO have first hand experience of what it is like to live(if it can even be called “living” at times) with chronic pain. I, like SO MANY others who have commented, suffer from comorbid chronic conditions. For SO MANY years, I dragged myself from one appointment to another…and another, and another. Why? There is NO acceptable answer and NO acceptable excuse for why I was not taken seriously. Yes, I am only 31 yrs old BUT I have been dealing with the excruciating reality that my body was betraying me since I was 15 yrs old! Over half my life. I do not remember what little to no pain feels like. In fact, I still don’t truly remember what tolerable pain feels like. I don’t know the last time I didn’t cry myself to sleep out of pain and/or frustration. There is a horribly wrong and extremely inaccurate assumption that pain won’t kill you…continued….

April 7, 2013 at 10:15 pm
(98) Becky says:

(continued…) 4 years ago, I decided I could no longer go on living(well, NOT living) in this painful hell. I carefully calculated my suicide. When I say calculated, I mean CALCULATED. I researched every edition of the JAMA, NEJM I could get my hands on, as well as multiple textbooks on medical toxicology. My point is that it was NOT just a fleeting moment of weakness or a snap judgement/response to temporary pain. NO. It took A LOT of failures on their part to respond to the tired, desperate and end-of-the-line pleas I put forth for me to reach the conclusion that life, as I knew it, was no longer worth living. It was my brother and the wonderful EMTs that saved my life. NOT the nurses and drs that I have since encountered. Why do I hang on? Out of love for my family and prayers that you all will finally see the light and stop looking at chronic pain the way you currently do and STOP the damage you’re doing. T everyone else: do not blame your healthcare provider(as hard as it may be). Blame the DEA…the DEA. Wait, once again let me say, the DEA!! Call your congressman, call your friends and please, PLEASE call the person you know in pain and tell them they are NOT alone!

April 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm
(99) Becky says:

P.S. to Deborah the “R.N”: It’s time for you to find a new job. You are doing much more harm than you are (or will do) good.

April 9, 2013 at 8:06 am
(100) sherry says:

WoW… did I just read a “professional”? RN, a person that is educated and worked that hard to become a RN., call a patient, a junkie? Never the less why or what that human may be coming in for or the medical reason, they are a patient. Not a junkie. The hospital is where they need to be instead of on the streets. These situations just need to be handled in a more smarter way than the “junkie” is handling it. It is no secret anymore what the heck is going onm out here with the out of control drug dependency .. The medical board needs to get on it and educate staff, and have a special way of not letting it get this way in our ER rooms. Thanks.

April 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm
(101) jennyct says:

Some of these stories above are so disorganized and nonsensical that I can see confirmation of the DEA’s fears. But to be fair, alcohol produces some pretty severe issues (death, broken families, violence, etc), yet you don’t see the ATF making a big deal.

I had such severe dysmennorhea that I’d literally be rolling on the floor every month. NEVER once offered a narcotic, and beaten down when asked for it, but I had been given tons of NSAIDs. As my stomach progressively become more burned out from the notorious drugs, they tried the newer, safer ones (COX 2)… and I kept trying them in progressively smaller amounts until the stomach pain became continual. With no other option, I found that if I stopped eating for 36 hours, I experienced little pain during the worst of it.

Well, not only do I now have chronic severe stomach problems, but I killed my gallbladder. Still not getting pain coverage, I took a baby dose Motrin for the gallbladder and lo and behold, I got an esophageal ulcer (confirmed by endoscopy). Still not offered pain coverage.

Let me state that I probably could get by with 2 pills a month.

Then I got diverticulitis before they could schedule a cholecystectomy (galllbladder removal), and I still was not offered pain medication! They actually offered more NSAIDs even though they knew I had an ulcer!

Finally, I got the surgery and am feeling better (the cramping let up after pregnancy also)… but every time I have dental surgery, I make sure I get a small script and put it aside for emergency. Unfortunately, I don’t use them up fast enough and those 10 per year get me through. I’m such a bad person, aren’t I?

By the way, I don’t drink because it hurts my stomach… and it also killed my dad. I must say, I have second thoughts about even telling a provider my dad was an alcoholic… they might think I have a genetic tendency or something.

April 10, 2013 at 5:38 am
(102) Charles says:

I’m certain my brain fog will make this a painful read.

Try coping with Narcolepsy and Chronic Migraines, as a result of medical malpractice. Forced to take a settlement that doesn’t even come close to providing basic needs for life.

Then Forced off of long term disability insurance, and put on SSDI.

Then scrutinized and reviewed for benefit abuse prevention, proof of need, etc. etc. dropped from benefits too many times because of not being able to make the appointments on time because of my disability. (even if I was unconscious in the hospital from knocking myself out from a cataplexy fall, or a seizure induced by “safer medication” with less “abuse potential”.

The FDA has either discredited or banned all natural remedies gifted by Mother Earth to humanity and specialized for several millenia by ancient cultures.
They have also rescheduled, discontinued or banned out right, the medications that gave me any amount of help. Then at best they instantly approve a new patented drug, which is nothing more than a lower quality adulterated less active form of the molecules in use for almost a century by several nations.

April 10, 2013 at 5:39 am
(103) Charles says:

The rest of my comment…:
My great Grandmother had a better level of care for the same Diagnosis I have.
That was before SSI, SSDI, and medical insurance existed. Granted with the exception of the wealthy land owners property insurance, purchasing futures in expensive private hospitals.

And lets not forget of-course in the south, health care and life insurance for ones slaves,. Something again resembling a form of property insurance for the over-privileged and wealthy land owners.

I’m just about at the end of my rope with the american industrial pharmaceutical complex, its abuses, its destructive plans, advertisements, profiteering, and disgusting marketing tactics.

Its easily just as anti-life, and anti-human as its siblings, the military industrial complex and the world banking system.

No wonder the beautiful people I’ve known, with the same kind of rigid neglect, had lost all hope and ended their suffering by ending their lives.

I’m saddened to say that I find my self wanting to join them more and more lately. It honestly seems like the only logical way to alleviation for my symptoms of pain and suffering. The most painful of which is the lack of understanding, that causes a hopeless state of social isolation and disrepair.

One Love,

CW

April 11, 2013 at 7:27 pm
(104) jc says:

Addiction, from medical grade narcotics. Regardless, is used accordingly or abused. All users are eventually addicts, over a period of time. This means that if a person is in withdrawal without their medication. You are a addicted. This is called medical addiction.

Other words it goes with the territory. I have a pain management physician. I take my medication accordingly as prescribed. After, 2 to 3 days, with out my medication. Withdrawals are withdrawals and can cause a person to go into shock. Making a person/patient suffer is cruel and abusive. Like we are not suffering enough!

April 12, 2013 at 4:24 am
(105) kenth says:

I want to thank ASHRA from the bottom of my heart. for the love Spell you cast for me is working beautifully. I finally got 3 calls today from my ex girlfriend and we are talking and working things out. She says she loves me and she wants to work out our problems and come back home. within 24 hours when you cast the spell. Now that was fast. i really feel loved once again,you can contact ashra of his personal email: ashraspelltemple@gmail.com or call his number +2348058176311….ken

April 12, 2013 at 8:01 pm
(106) ROSEMARY RAMOS says:

I have breast cancer. Which spread to my spine. Now it

April 13, 2013 at 8:51 pm
(107) Zach says:

I am speaking from the perspective of someone who is not only a chronic pain patient but an addict as well, it’s an extremely difficult situation to be in. I noticed that there are hardly any posts from people who are dealing with both addiction and chronic pain. I suspect I’m not the only one out there but I see a lot of people attacking doctors and nurses, I’m betting a few of those folks are probably angry addicts. Although I do not engage in this type of behavior at this time, there was a time in my life where I took advantage of many doctors and nurses. I often look back on those days with regret, most of them were decent people who were only doing their job and wanted to help. Sure, there are certainly some insolent practitioners out there who are in it for the dollars and yep, I’ve met some nasty nurses in my time. Having experienced a wide range of medical settings as a patient, from pain clinics, to ERs to psych wards, I can honestly say that the vast majority of practitioners I’ve come across seemed genuine and caring. I can see things from their end, I’m sure it’s not pleasant to battle addiction on a daily basis. Looking back, I can also say that most of these folks are easily dupped because they don’t have a lot of options for treatment of pain (chronic or acute) Opioids are the gold standard, nothing else works as well or even comes close. Pointing the dirty end of the stick at doctors and nurses is (I guess) a way of venting, but it’s really not fair. If you truly run into a bad clinician there are ways of reporting these people and if all else fails, write a nice little note on ratemymd The system is not perfect but I can tell you from personal experience that you are fortunate to live in America and have access to decent health care. 80 percent of people in this world don’t have that luxury, count your blessings!

April 15, 2013 at 12:35 am
(108) James says:

As a cancer survivor I can relate to people taking controlled meds and I can relate to getting addicted to one particuliar med. My doctor and nurse told me they didn’t want me to be in pain and not to worry about addiction…once I was healed they are experts that are trained to get you off of them. I went through a terrible time at the pharmicies, and you would think they would understand if your meds were prescribed by a reputable doctor in your town they know. It’s a disgrace how they treat you, and even look at you. I use to view this differently before I got lung cancer and I too thought people were just getting these drugs to get high. Pharmacist and Nurses should know better. I’m thankful I had a understanding doctor and nurse. He specialized in lung cancer. Society should try to understand what the person is going through, especially the pharmacist. My doctor had to make several calls to them and tell them not to be “playing doctor”. Once you have a critical illness happen to YOU, only then will those who do not understand finally realize that they shouldn’t be treating ALL PEOPLE the same way!

April 19, 2013 at 3:43 am
(109) Tony says:

I am a registered drug addict. I had 9 miserable years sober. The last 2 years my OCD was driving me crazy. I would repeat “I HATE MY LIFE” over and over 24/7 and after work my back pain was so bad I would be screaming I hate my life in my car all the way home. While sober I developed Tourettes. So the Shrink prescribes Paxil for my depression/ anxiety which has helped in the past but now my insurance only covered generic. It was bad, I was standing on the corner of my home town wondering where i was. I needed coworkers to help me with my work. Ive been a hairdresser 35 years. What Im saying is… How can doctors do their jobs when the drugs dont work. It was then I relapsed, I started doing the drug I knew worked. I was happy. but now I have excruciating pelvic pain ( difficult to diagnose) and pain i my boys that started 10 years ago and I have to suffer in pain because i tested dirty. I lost my job and am now homeless. Two doctors said If I had money I could pay cash to the doctor who gave me all the vicodin I need. But I told the ER doctor I am not here to get high. I dont want to get high I want my life back. When I took Adderal I got A’s in college. Normally a C student. Now I dont have insurance and I have to self medicate or suffer. so when life is this tough death doesnt sound so bad. Drugs are dangerous and so are motorcycles. And Alcohol is the real scourge because you can die from withdrawal. alcohoI is the most horrible feeling of them all and ruins your life faster. Your crazy to think alcohol is ok but pot isn’t. One arguement about pot was inhaling 400 unknown chemicals.. Have you inhaled regular air, just as bad. Amphetamines made me get A’s in college. Alcoholics wouldn’t pass. We are being lied to by pharmaceutical company’s and people look the other way and I’m suffering because doctors cannot diagnose me properly when generics are faulty. , ‘ Please help me.

April 19, 2013 at 3:46 am
(110) anthony says:

Deborah the nurse said… The funny thing is, when you see the patients an hour before the dose is due you see them talking on the phone, laughing, playing cards, etc. But, once that second hand reaches 12 boy, they call and suddenly, are in nurse said,,,
———————————————————She has no experience with painkillers so she isn’t qualified to berate the patient. Vicodin, when it starts to wear off gives you a twinge of pain before the 4-6 hours are up so you know its time to take more but ur not in pain yet. Then when the 6 hours are up you take more and it can take up to 2 hours for it to work. But with Oxycodone, when the 6 hours are up the pain comes back 10 times worse. I am managing my own pain with fast acting Morphene. I take it only when the pain reaches 6-8 and if the pain doesn;t come back I don;t take more. And the opiates have no organ failure. no brain damage. So I told my ER doctor please help me. I don’t want toget high, I;ve been suffering for 7 months and when I went to the ER i hurt so bad I thought I was gonna die and they would only watch. And he had the nerve to say he was compassionate.

April 23, 2013 at 10:11 am
(111) Kenan says:

Seeing someone fall into the trap of addiction is painful to experience. Not only will you see changes in the addict’s behaviour, but you will also feel that the person you once knew is slowly drifting away, turning into a person you no longer are familiar of. An addict refuses to call himself an addict. The denial state is challenging if you, as a family member or friend, wants to encourage the person to undergo an addiction treatment. More info you can found :http://www.addictionrehabpage.com/

April 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm
(112) Sue says:

Just because someone is prescribed a medication, say pain pills, does not mean they are not an addict. Addicts get pills prescribed all the time by doc shopping and by having them prescribed, yes, a prescription written and filled at your local drugstore, even interstate without having ever seen the Dr. So, just because a script has been written does not mean someone taking a med is not a drug addict.

April 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm
(113) A former addict says:

To me it just seems like a futile movement that lines criminals pockets while resulting in tens of thousands of murders a year. If someone has tried and tried to get off opiates, but for whatever reasons simply cannot deal with the pain or pressures they are under they should not be criminalized, treated unfairly or denied access to drugs that should be available to age appropriate people anyways. The way I see it, is if some is depressed, they get put antidepressants, which some have horrible side effects, and also have acute and post acute withdrawals, so it should only seem reasonable that opiates could and should be used for and as an antidepressant, becaus IT WORKS! Really, in free country all drugs should be legal and controlled in a pharmacy setting, available at age 18-21, and be able to access government quality controlled pharmaceuticals as they please. Everyone has a crutch, something they do to take their minds of the stressers in their life, be it golf, hiking or using heroin, no one should be denied anything in a “free country”. Like I said before, if someone wants to shoot up in their basement, let them, it’s their choice, there problem, if they won’t work for the drugs they feel they need to live life day to day, then don’t give them the drugs, only allow them if they use and still function on a day to day basis as someone who lives without any drugs, but no one should be denied something that allows them to cope with a traumatic event, or traumatic life for that matter if its what keeps them going or keeps them from putting a bullet in there head, and leaving parents, a partner or kids behind to go in without them. The war one drugs has failed, is has never been successful, it has created brutal, homicidial billionaires that are untouchable. The war on drugs has caused the murders of police, politicians, whole families from young children to parents, and a criminal underworld that stretches across the globe.

April 27, 2013 at 4:34 am
(114) A daughter without a daddy says:

My dad suffered from chronic pain and it worsened over the years. He knew something was wrong but didn’t have health insurance, so he tried to obtain the hospital reduced income insurance for two years. Once he was able to get onto their program, he arranged to begin seeing a doctor at a clinic. At this point, his pain was so severe that friends had been giving him pain killers to help him get through the day. He openly told his doctor that these drugs were not helping him and he told her he was in severe pain. She told him to “get off the street drugs” and he would be fine. She prescribed him a low dosage of hydrocodone and continued to see him for a year without pursuing any other treatments. She went onto maternity leave and my dad had to see another doctor in December 2012, this doctor sent him for X-rays that showed no damages to his bones, so the doctor made an appointment for an MRI in late March 2013. When he got the results, his doctor, now back from maternity leave, sent him in for CAT Scans because there was an unusual mass in his chest. The CAT Scan results were given to us on April 8, 2013: my dad had stage IV lung cancer metasticized to his liver, kidneys, and bones. He had lumps all over his body and on his face. The next Monday, April 15th, my dad asked me to take him to the hospital. He was in afib and his heart rate was 165-145-155 from second to second. His blood pressure was 175/115. His feet were leaking water and he had puddles under his feet. The doctors determined he had a blood clot in his lungs, and tried to treat it. His heart rate after a few days in the ICU dropped to 109 in afib still and my dad signed his DNR. There were masses found in his brain, and he was experiencing pain in his hips, the X-rays showed no damage. We took my dad home on hospice care on Sunday April 21st. He died Wednesday April 24th at 11am. There was 16 days of knowing his diagnosis to his death.

April 27, 2013 at 8:07 am
(115) blair says:

My name is blair watson 12 months ago I was put on an oxycontin tablet 3 months ago I became self aware of the fact that I had become highly dependent on my medication which the dose was very hight 2 x 20 mg & 2 x 40 mg a day I decided to be honest with my treating dr and told him just how much I relied on my medication and how several times when trying to get my self off it at home became that sick physicaly and mentaly it cause me to have servere suicidle thoughts that were that intense that I came close to taking my own life because I couldn’t handle wat I was going through . I was honest with my dr about me taking my monthly surplie well before the month was up . And that I had got to the point of me buying them off the street so I didn’t get sick before I could get my next script .. I was honest I wanted help and I was turned away by my dr so I found my self going to the hospital out of depressen and sickness on one of my trips to the hospital I was accidently given a couple of blank script attached to the back of my scripts I should of gave them back but out of shere desperation of not knowing where I was going to get my next tablets from because the hospital said they would not give me anymore and treated me like a junkie I [edited for offensive content] hate needles and I hate being treated like a junkie … I ended up handing in a false script to get a few tablets because I was sick loanly depressed and had been turned away by the drs that had putt me in this horrible position … now I will most probably go to gaol over this don’t know where to turn iv booked myself into detox and reduced my dose I hate wat this medication has done to me wat these drs have done to me can anybody out there offer any addvice or help for me please I’m desperit

May 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm
(116) Ben says:

Hi, my name is Ben. I am commenting as an actual recovering addict, so all of my answers are first-hand, experienced answers, and not just biased opinions.

Q: If a drug is prescribed, the person taking the drug is not an “addict?”
A: False. The addiction is the disease that someone cannot stop taking a drug (substance), whether legal or illegal.

Q: People whose drugs are prescribed deserve better treatment than people who take drugs that are not prescribed to them?
A: An addict is and addict is an addict is an addict. You are implying that someone who abuses their prescribed medication deserves better treatment than someone who abuses street drugs? That statement is entirely ignorant and prejudice. Explain to me why.

Q: People who are in the “drug addict” category are somehow at fault for what they are doing?
A: In certain circumstances, sure. However, what about other peoples’ circumstances, like mine? I was prescribed Lortabs after surgery. I had no idea what they were at the time, so per doctor’s orders, I took them. I got addicted. After that, it was out of my control.

Q: People who are in the “drug addict” category are treated badly by “everyone?”
A: Again, false. Drug addicts are only treated badly by people whom are ignorant to the subject. Most people treat addicts badly because they have no idea what they’re talking about, and just base their opinions on what they are taught by other ignorant people. Why are alcoholics typically treated better than an addict? After all, an alcoholic is just an addict who is addicted to alcohol. The same goes for people who overeat; obese people are treated like victims, but drug addicts aren’t? It’s the same principles for all addictions. Addiction is all in the brain. I would suggest for anyone to read up on the neurobiology of the brain to see what addiction really is, and not think of us as criminals.

I had another paragraph to type, but it would not let me, as it was too long. Oh well.

May 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm
(117) jemg says:

I was so apalled by ‘deborah’s’ comments that I have read the whole thread. How the hell does Deborah think she can say that she ‘knows’ that people are not in pain? Pain is funny tricky stuff. I know that if I wa in a ward staffed with Deborah’s, I would clock watch too! IT goes like this: the time for your meds comes in, you’re beginning to hurt; you know (from bitter experience) that it is soon going to be really bad: you also know (from the same experience) that because Deborah ‘knows’ that you are not in pain that you are below painting her nails, chatting to colleagues, blethering about…………and that the shot you should have had at 3.00 will likely enogh not get to you till 4 on a good day. And this knowledge means that the pain is worsened. Does ‘Deborah’ not know that if patients are given control as with morphine pumps, they actually use less than if they are at the mercy of people like her? If you know that you can get pain relief when you need it, you will use less that if you have to rely on heartless know it alls, who have likely enough suffered nothing worse than a headache – no, wait up,she had a son, SO ‘Deborah’ imagine going through labour without any prospect of it stopping FOR YEARS: that is the degree of pain you are putting some of your patients though, because you ‘know’ they are not in pain!!!

May 6, 2013 at 10:39 pm
(118) Michael says:

What about chronic pain sufferers who are UNDER medicated? This happens much more than most people think!

Most health professionals are suspicious and unsympathetic of EVERYONE seeking pain medication, which causes the pain sufferer to be treated like a common drug addict!

When will Dr.’s, Nurses & Pharmacists realize that pain medication works differently for each unique pain sufferer. Please stop judging patients who continually complain about being under medicated!

Maybe its true that a small number are “faking it”…but WHY punish the majority of pain sufferers because the amount and/or type of medication they are being prescribed is not working to alleviate their pain?

Please join a different profession if you’ve become so cynical that you think any patient who seeks pain meds is physically or psychologically addicted…

Why should anyone ever suffer, even temporarily ?

May 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm
(119) stop judging says:

A doctor a Nurse, anyone with a legit license has taking an oath and has taking on the responsibility of their license. In order for any professional medical person to do their job correctly and professionally.. it is to be done with an unbiased and un-judgmental way. it is law to believe the patients expression of pain … you cannot decide on your own whether to believe their pain or not.. anyone who does so should be reported to the proper association or state licensing facility.

“a patient is the best person to know how him or her self feels” and patients are customers and the people whom the healthcare industry works for … you people work for us!!!! remember that… don’t like it get another job!!!! other wise do your job and shut up!!

May 18, 2013 at 1:03 am
(120) jennifer says:

Amen! Well put. I couldn’t agree more.

June 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm
(121) christy says:

I am a 35 year old woman with 3 kids I’ve had a total colectomy in 27 back surgeries. I have 10 years of sobriety of methamphetamines. I have 17 tattoos. After my surgery is they gave me lortabs and then put me on methadone For 4 months. And then one on suboxone for 5 years the suboxone never helped my pain. I know I’m having stomach issues again and I’ve been in bed for over a month and a half because the doctors here see me is a drug seeking drug addict and I can’t even get out of bed. Do you know how hard it is to not be able to get out of bed and make breakfast and lunch or do anything around your house because of pain? Else have rheumatoid arthritis fibromialgiaDid your Degenerative disc disorder I hurt all the time. I’m not seeking drugs and seeking comfort how is this wrong

June 22, 2013 at 8:59 am
(122) heather says:

I am battling child custody….I made two mistakes one in dec of 2010 I got a dui and had to complete asap and 6 aa meeting…..and in 2012 I did the one thing I sudden have done but I thought it wasn’t a big deal cauae it was legal which was bath salts….I have should of known better cause I’m smarter than that!!! Now in court they are making out to be a drug users…I have done two elevations. ..one in nov 2012 passed my drug test and they had no recommendations….went back to court and they weren’t happy with it so they told me to do another one so I did in may 2013 well passed the drug test but the told me I need to do an intensive outpatient treatment!!! How do I prove that I’m not a drug user!!! I have been going above and beyond with doing everything court ordered and working 40 to 50 hours a week and I’m licensed with the bon also in the health care!!! I am a honest person and I want the truth to come out!!!! I don’t know what else I can do to prove them otherwise!!!!!

June 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm
(123) gil says:

well we see you were trained well.I guess because i have liver disease,heart disease,necrosis of the hip had a trabecular rod put in by your classmate[funny] he left the rod sticking out of my hipbone 1/4 inch now it snags my muscle every time i take a step.I use to be a machinist and us machinist do it right all the time.so i am a drug addict.what if i said all doctors care about is money and they will lie tell you everything is going to be better after surgery i have seen you doctors on spring break and dude you doctors must be alcoholics that would not be fair or right would it now.Kinda sounds like you should go work at taco bell or maybe a salad chef.just remember you will get old and suffer with pain one day.judge ye not lest she be judged by the same whey! drug addict gonna take my medication.buzz buzz time doc ;)

July 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(124) Michael says:

I find it disconcerting that the majority of the people who have commented here are this ignorant. I am a recovering heroin addict. I was raised by two loving parents, had a stable home life, and am formally educated. The vast majority of addicts have mental issues, such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar , etc. Around puberty major depression had come into my life. I didn’t know what it was, I only knew something was different. I had been able to manage it until my mid-twenties, that is when I found heroin and it helped. Depression and alcoholism was something that ran in my family. Anyway, addiction and dependency are part of the same problem. The only reason that people resort to criminal activity is because drugs are illegal. Now, if those of you who are on prescription meds had them taken away, I guaranty you would resort to any means necessary to get your drug. And as for people getting “high” by seeking drugs from a hospital, that is not the case. When you take opiates whether oxy, vicodin, Percocet, heroin, morphine, there is no high. You take it because if you don’t you cannot function and go into withdrawal. You see, there is no difference between prescribed opiates and street opiates, they all come from the same origins, the poppy. And addicts are not weak-minded people, we have a disease. We did not ask to become an addict, to become dependent on a chemical, it happened because we were trying to medicate our pain (ie; emotional.). I really hope people would research things before forming an opinion or making a comment. Also, research involves reading multiple sources of differing points of view. The internet is more than just games and bs “social media.”

July 15, 2013 at 4:04 am
(125) Stewart says:

My wife has been on 80 mg percocet for about 5 years, in addition to 50mc fentanyl, ativan, paxil and flexeril. She had chronic pain and over the years complained about how the pain meds werent helping as much as before. If you read about Opiads enough you’ll discover the line if there is one between dependence and addiction is pretty blurred. They effectively rewire your brain over a period of time and also affect your CNS, regardless if you take a little or lot. My wife only got her pills from the same doctor and she even use to work as an Emergency Room RN at a level II Trauma center for 20 years, until she became disabled and got on the pain meds. You’d think she knew what she was doing at least, or her doctor. Any way, she collapsed one night, stopped breathing, went into cardiac arrest, and if you read about that, these drugs can all cause this. Furthermore, the survival rate for CA outside a hospital setting is under 5% on average, an alarming statistic in itself. These things I have all learned about since that fateful evening. She was in coma and died a week later. 53 years old and in otherwise good health.
Id further suggest you DEMAND your provider give you a dose of Narcone and instruction on how to use it at home.
Do not let your spouse and her doctor keep you in the dark or keep info about what is going on from you, else pack up and leave home. Or you may very well find yourself sitting alone in a dark corner wondering how this all could have happened to you and what if you had only done that, or done this. Your life will never be the same and everything I could of or should of done wont matter any longer. It’s too late.

July 20, 2013 at 5:08 am
(126) Marla says:

My comment is in reply to Deborah. First of all, junkie is a really negative term that needs to be done away with if there is ever going to be any progress made in how people in the medical profession treats drug addicts. You use it freely and abundantly, and you are very judgemental and are a part of the problem.

Someone in your job may want to remove themselves from the situation and look at things objectively. I’m sorry your son is an addict, but you don’t know how much pain a person is. A person talking on the phone or playing cards could be in a lot of pain, they probably just have a higher pain threshold than you.

Have you ever thought that maybe these pain medications give people a life? That you don’t know the whole story and that you should quit adding to the problem and do your job?

Blood pressure does not always have to be higher, there doesn’t always have to be facial grimacing, and the patient doesn’t have to be screaming or crying or praying whatever god you doctors want him to for there to BE pain. But doctors and nurses more often than not think they know it all and will judge before being compassionate. Everything someone does when they are a chronic pain patient is a red flag. Too many are paranoid about “seekers, junkies, addicts,” and aren’t focused on treating pain.

So Nurse Know-It-All, when you spot that next “junkie” with your all-seeing eye, know that he is in pain. Know that if he doesn’t get the meds he needs, this may be the time he kills himself because of the pain he lives with. I hope no one is ever under your care again, unless you gain some compassion and learn to empathize with your patients

July 20, 2013 at 8:20 am
(127) Dash says:

My sister is a chronic pain patient. She has taken many different types of narcotics. My issue is that she does not take them as prescribed. She displays very weird and sometimes poor behavior. She is negative, depressed, constipated, has memory loss and sleeps most of the time. Her diet is poor and she gets “zero” exercise This has effected everyone in our family and around her. Her Dr. doesn’t see what we see and she doesn’t tell him what we see so he keeps giving her more and different “meds”. My fear is someone is going to find her dead.

July 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm
(128) lauri e says:

So..what is a paient suppose to do when their file are marked and in chronic pain? I .sv a failed spinal fusion , fibro ,osteoarthitissues, stenosis, trapped nerves, recently dx with hepatitis c.. I am not given any pain pills . I just fell and thought I broke my leg , my toes are deniatly broken.And still no pain pills. I don’t wantt to depend on pills and doctors at all but what am i suppose to do ? And now with hepc treatment coming up i am going to have to depend on these Drs to take care of me ?! HA..i have lost all confence in the total medical profession.

July 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm
(129) Melody says:

I am in pain all day everyday. I have had gastric bypass so I can’t take nsaids. I take narcotics everyday, sometimes they help, sometimes not. I just want to say the whole high blood pressure and heart beat rule doesnt always apply. I am tired of Drs telling me I am not in pain like I say I am. If my low pain bp is 115/60, and I come in on a bad pain day and my bp is 130/85, that is a high bp, for ME. They never look at that. I have been treated so unfairly by so many doctors, especially when on percocet. No amount was ever enough. Then recently I hqd a cheek swab done to show how my body metabolized medications. First on the avoid list was Percocet, I don’t metabolize it. I would love to take the report in to the Dr who had an additude with me and treated me like a “seeker”. Not every patient fits into the same neat little “box”.

July 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm
(130) Mary Grace says:

It is wrong to treat people in chronic pain “like addicts.” I have also just found out that it is impossible to get on long term care insurance if one takes pain killers (opiates) for pain.
There is something very wrong with a society that treats pain with opiates and then stigmatizes the user who is not yet able to get off the painkillers.

Look to your own addictions. Believe me, you have some– whatever they may be.

There has to be a better way to treat people in chronic pain. In some parts of the country, this is done better than in others.

July 25, 2013 at 5:31 am
(131) steven p says:

[Edited for offensive content]. First of all many of you here are assuming addiction by default means illicit drug use, or like the one poster who begun speaking of her former alcoholic spouse. This isnt even in the same realm. My experience comes from my wife who was an ER RN, on disability and suffered from chronic pain. Over a period of years she was taking a number of pain meds and benzos. I believe somewhere in the past few years she began to exhibit certain characteristics of an addict, namely some of the behavior of couple of the RNs posted earlier, akin to drug seeking behavior. People on pain meds after developing dependency certainly do keep an eye on the clock. In the early years it did not start out this way, but later it ended like that more and more. Of course the fact that it was all prescribed lent a degree of legitimacy to the whole thing and who was I or anyone else to suggest she might be addicted. As time went on however and she continued with these meds her judgement became increasingly impaired, sometimes forgetting if she had taken her last dose or not, that sort of thing, also a certain amount of depression is known to accompany longer term opioid use. She ended up in the hospital 6 or 7 times over the the past 3 or 4 years from too much meds. Usually she forget she took the previous dose and took another, that sort of thing. Memory was failing after several years of use. Well finally the last time she went to the hospital was literally the last time. And that is all I have to say to that. Legitimate pain prescriptions have a place so most chronic pain patients say, the problem begins with long term use leading to dependency, and then the side effects like impaired judgement and memory loss. Many prescribing doctors, especially GP’s are not equipped or trained adequately to deal with all the complex issues, thus leaving it up to the patient, and if they guess wrong that can be the end of it.

July 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm
(132) Michelle says:

I lived in Arizona I for many years. I have since moved to Redondo Beach CA and cannot get the medications that I was getting when I lived in AZ. I have found a couple of doctors but they insist on me either getting surgery for my herniated disc disease., I almost died from the last surgery I had and will not be blackmailed into a trial electrical implant in my back since he can’t even give a epideral injection in the correct place because of the surgeon that almost killed me. Also I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, Anxiety Disorder and was put on Social Security for SMI. I have never abused any of the drugs given me. I don’t even take abnormal amounts of these prescriptions. My psychiatrist is upset with me for going off of effexor but I’ve had such horrilbe sweats, muscle fatigue, memory loss and of course as most people loss of libido. I get panic attacks and take xanax for them and the doctor wants me off of those also. Are there any doctors out there who are sympathetic to people like me who are not addicts? I take 4 pain meds a day, was on more and the pain doctor cut 2 doses. I have also had all my teeth removed and am going through dental implants and permenent dentures. Would it be better just to throw myself off a bridge and end it? It crosses my mind daily. The only thing that keeps me here at the moment is my husband. But, who knows. HELP

July 31, 2013 at 9:29 pm
(133) Virginia H says:

I would like to comment on this subject that has been a thorn in my side for a very long time. Since I heard this from the horses mouth, a state detective who tries to catch Doctors who redirect narcotics. I have worked on all services in a teaching hospital and 2 other hospitals and 26 surgeries, mostly to correct the first surgery. I have sit between doctors and nurses. I have been treated and had to undergo urine spot checks. Wasted millions, oh and Pain Management what a waste of medical dollars. These specialists have racked in Millions a me twice on that. I also was a data entry operator at the biggest companies, Its nuts, Xerox and kodak, always made us verify another data entry operators entries, now. there are fields that when keyed it, will let you know, no way, but a computer never makes an error, nooo because the information given is only as correct and as good as the person who entered it. Oh machine parts and purchasing, we verify, medical data, not important, ok that little stupid remark, cost me my life almost twice. Now what we need is the stats that are true, not the ones doctors keep repeating over, like patients are the ones redirect drugs, hey not so fast it is the other way around. Guess what, very few if any are really brought to the State Medical Board. DEA person said, when I was told what the real reason a doctor lost his license, medicare fraud and lousy records to cover up the fraud. Payoffs to doctors for bribes so that they push the high costly medications. Our medical is so seriously corrupt. The psychiatric professions, has been sleeping with the Big Pharm, and money they get from the US and drug companies, is only limited to their imagination.

August 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm
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August 11, 2013 at 3:52 am
(135) Hose B says:

Please don’t judge until you walk in their shoes. Prescription painkillers, as well as other illegal drugs, “rewire” the brain to crave this substance. The person now has a new “boss”, the urge in his/her head that makes obtaining the medication the ONLY priority. These people will put this before their job, home, and family. Yes some people kick t cold turkey but, for some, it is a nightmare that never ends. Obtaining the substance is the only goal in life. Pretty soon 4 per day turns into 8 and so on. Some people take 30 to 40 pills a day or more. The only joy that person can experience is the high of the drug, not watching their children recreate, spending time with family, and routine tasks that were once important to the person. These drugs take over and, to an extent, will never let go. This post is about me. I am a firefighter who was injured in a house fire. The physician gave me so many medications that, by the time that my health was better, I was addicted. It took only a couple of months. Now, after a stint in rehab in Florida and some amends with my family, I am ok. I still have that urge and I sometimes act on it, I want to be released from this terrible condition, but I’m afraid it is with me for life. I luckily have suffered no negative legal consequences and my family has been supportive. I pray for those struggling with this hell. Literally, one pill is too many and 1,000,000 is never enough.

August 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm
(136) Sunshine says:

i hear the FDA is hell bent on vicodin and soma; not sure if it is the narcotid itself or the amount of acetamenaphine included. I have chronic, severe pain. I was taking approx 24 ibuprofen and 12 Excedrin (which did not help my severe headaches, cervical radiculopathy/spondyolisis, degenerative disc/joint disease. I have 3 levels of bulging/herneated discs in my neck causing numbness, pins and needles, PAIN, and sciatica from the disc herniated in my lower back. I had a cervical epidural injection a couple of weeks ago. Doing laundry and going to work, getting out of bed, and simple activies that aggrivate these. I’m afraid to move anymore so as not to be in extreme and severe pain. I’ve done all the remedies prior to the injection and simple physical therapy, chiropractic, and accupuncture as well. I have tried other meds, but only esgic, vicodin, and soma can control the pain. What am I supposed to do now that they (FDA) are going to decrease the dosage. I am looked at as an addict even though I start with the ibuprofen first to see if it works before the others. It is embarrassing and humiliating to see the looks. What else can I take that will WORK? I am a prisoner in my own body, and I do not want surgery or to be on disability.
I feel hopeless not being able to do activities I love due to the risk of more injury to my spinal cord, and more pain that comes with them.
Thanks,
15 on the pain scale….

August 24, 2013 at 10:30 am
(137) Linda says:

This whole pain medication thing is just a mess. I saw a news report about more & more women becoming addicted to pain meds. Need to consider what decade this is. Women get up and go to work each day same as men and not all women have a sit on your butt desk job. If a man goes to the Dr and says his back hurts, he gets a script for pain meds. Because he is a man and needs to work to support his family. If a women has pain they give you some kind of medication that tells your brain it doesn’t hurt. It’s bull crap! My Dr. gave me Cymbalta, helps but the side affects are out of this world. If I mess a dose of Cymbalta the withdraw is like something I could never imagined. So I’m addicted to Cymbalta now. WTH. if I’m going to be addicted to a drug ,why does the DR get to decide which drug. If I stop taking Cymbalta I will go through withdraw for 2 weeks, dizzy, fainting, vomiting, can’t drive, can’t work, totally dysfunctional. Best part it doesn’t kill the pain. So think about it! As a human being, if I am going to be addicted to drug, I think I should have to right to choose which drug I’m going to be addicted to. Why should my Dr. get to pick which drug. I would have never started taking Cymbalta, if for one second I thought I would be addicted and have such horrible withdraw symptoms. If I am going to be addicted to something it’s my right to choose and damn it at least give me something that kills the pain so I can function and work like a normal person!

PS, Cymbalta cost over $350, a month, generic pain killers cost less than $50 a month. Something is not right, is the drug companies, insurance companies or the Dr.?

August 28, 2013 at 8:10 pm
(138) John P says:

Reading the comments you can see that pain patients are being judged unfairly. For example the RN Deborah claims to know who is in pain and who isn’t. That is impossible. Only the patient knows their true pain level. A patients blood pressure may rise with pain but it may not, that is not a dependable way of measuring pain level.
I have lived in severe pain for years,my pain level is not in question, I have several diagnosis that supports severe pain, but my blood pressure has never been high.
The epidemic of pain prescription abuse has been overblown, the drug companies that manufacture suboxone have a marketing campaign to convince the public that more addiction programs are needed. I recently saw one of there campaigns that uses cartoon characters. Another reason for the increase of addiction diagnosis, is that doctors are now diagnosing patients who are dependent and tolerant as addicted. This has never been done before and is artificially inflating the numbers.
As with most things the most important factor is money. The addiction treatment industry is exploding with growth and profits. They will continue to use their marketing campaign and political influence to send more patients to addiction programs instead of regular pain treatment.
Open your eyes people. Why has or would prescription abuse grow by 350% over such a short period of time? Prescription drug abuse has been around ever since there was prescription drugs,, why would it increase at such a dramatic rate all the sudden? Why have we been deceived in the past? Money. The future is that all pain patients will be in an addiction program and will be addicted to the one medication used in these programs. If I were you I would be buying stock in the company that makes suboxone because so far they are fooling everyone and making strong inroads to a monopoly on pain treatment.

August 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm
(139) Cat says:

I have been treated like a drug addict my entire life, literally. My mother would from an early age regularly accuse me of stealing medicine from the medicine cabinet when I was not. This eventually led to the school pulling me out of class for drug testing just for laughing long before I ever smoked my first joint. It was my mother who gave me my first cigarette at around age ten so I’m sure that didn’t help much. I was treated like a liar and a criminal. I have had to be the epitome of honesty my entire life and even then so I get called a liar. This eventually caused me to loose custody of my only children. I was accused of using drugs while pregnant which I was able to debunk with my medical records but it didn’t matter. My children were regularly assaulted in there fathers care by his wive(s), there children and whatever person they had living with them at the time. CPS investigated him over a dozen times. My children treated like liars. Coincidently I now smoke medical marijuana for my C-PTSD (and it helps tremendously) that all this caused me, which again I am regularly harassed over. Unfortunately where I live once branded a drug addict you are open to assaults and no one will help you. They just laugh!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has gone thru this. Just something for the professionals to think about the next time they want to “judge” a person as an addict. Who are you really helping… or hurting!?!

September 1, 2013 at 11:03 am
(140) Sardonic Sandy says:

Well, let’s just DEMAND that the manufacturers & pharmecudical companies STOP being allowed to make “pain killers” of ANY sort whatsoever & lets FORCE those in excruciating pain to just “accept it” & “live with it” regardless of how maddening it is & will eventually lead to suicide. Lets do this all in the name of preventing the possibility of ADDICTION or DEPENDANCY! Yea!

Rather see someone suffering, cant put one foot in front of the other hardly, cannot grocery shop, crapping their pants because they couldn’t reach the toilet in time, dust and dirt piling up in their home because they cant hardly move due to pain to clean. Cannot navigate any stairs whatsoever. Cant cook. Cant dry off after shower or hardly shower at all due to pain. Sleep is 100% forbidden until day 3 of no sleep due to pain where they conk out. Laughter is a thing of the past now.

But hey! AT LEAST THEIR NOT DEPENDANT OR “ADDICTED”!

Then the best, the absolute best part my all time favorite part is, then they can be referred to a Mental Health practioner, such as a Councelor, Psychotherapist or Psychiatrist so they can be deemed “clinically depessed” or even (ready for this) “Bi-Polar” because they were HONEST and answered “yes” when asked “are you depressed”? “Do you leave the house”? “Are you social”? Yes Im depressed! No, I don’t leave the house! No, Im no longer social! CONTINUED:

September 1, 2013 at 11:05 am
(141) Sardonic Sandy says:

Now they can stamp “Clinical Depression” on my forehead & then that my friend will be the #1 cause for my pain. (completely inoring bone scans, CT Scans, MRI’s, blood tests, etc) that show what is physically wrong. But no no no, it is my “depression” that is causing all these things physically wrong me, not the other way around! In other words, if I were not “depressed” my MRI would be clear! My CT scan woud be clear! Etc. It is my “depression” causing tumors that caus great pain! It is my “depression” that is causing the plethora of OTHER physical issues wrong with me and once we treat my “depression” (with psychotropic meds that I DONT need) miracously my CT Scans, MRI’s and blood work will eventually come back CLEAR!

It cant possibly be the other way around! No no no! It cant possibly be the fact that my physical pain has become so unbearable that it is maddening Im FORCED to just “accept it” that has NOW caused me to be depressed! Oh heavns no! That just doesn’t make any sense!

Going through “intensive psychotherapy” and talking with “shrinks” and other “menta health professionals” has treated me oh so well, that ALL my PHYSICAL ailments are GONE! Yes, that’s right folks! “Talking” with Therapists has rid me of my pain!
What a miracle! Makes perfect sense! CONT:

September 1, 2013 at 11:05 am
(142) Sardonic Sandy says:

I just love that had I lied and said “no, Im never down, never blue and never depressed” I STILL would have been labeled as “clinically depressed” and on top of it, a LIAR and that then would go into my chart!

So there you have it folks, ALL PAIN is caused by “depression” and simply “talking about your inner most feelings” with a “Therapist” will diminish then eventually rid you of alllll your pain! Of course with the help of a cocktail of MENTAL MEDS that totally rearrange your whole personality, zombie you out, make you feel suicidal, etc. Its OK for Doctors to prescribe THOSE types of meds though! They are passing those out like candy to ANYONE who doesn’t want to suffer anymore from their pain. Any and everything that you say will lead you back to the same crap, “you’re depressed”!

So its much SAFER and makes more sense to treat the SYMPTOM of someones pain (depression) instead of treating the pain itself then at least you can have a completely different human being who can now not even function more so than before and now, they’re merely a shell of who they used to be! Oh and I think my favorite part about all of this is THE PAIN IS STILL THERE, JUST WORSE!!

What a great medical relevation and breakthrough!! Makes sooooo much sense!! CONT:

September 1, 2013 at 11:07 am
(143) Sardonic Sandy says:

Hey! Whatever it takes to avoid someone being “dependant” on pills. But its ok for them to become dependant on their mental meds these irresponsible DOctors put us on though, right? I mean, you CANNOT suddenly STOP taking psychotropic anti-depressants ( that I didn’t need from jump) becauseif you do, you can really become UNSTABLE! Therefore, that means YOU’RE DEPENDANT ON THEM!!
If having darts thrown at me twice a week got rid of my actual pain, I’d be dependant on that too.

Who wouldn’t be “dependant” on something that enables them to live a happy life and controls their pain at an acceptable level? Who?

Doctor: “Here! Im going to give you something to help you manage and control your pain”

Me: “Oh thank you so much!”

Doctor: “But you better not like the fact that they DO exactly what their intended to do, which is provide you relief!”

Me: “ok. I wont Doc!”

September 1, 2013 at 11:15 am
(144) Sardonic Sandy says:

Hey! Whatever it takes to avoid someone being “dependant” on pills. But its ok for them to become dependant on their mental meds these irresponsible DOctors put us on though, right? I mean, you CANNOT suddenly STOP taking psychotropic anti-depressants ( that I didn’t need from jump) becauseif you do, you can really become UNSTABLE! Therefore, that means YOU’RE DEPENDANT ON THEM!!
If having darts thrown at me twice a week got rid of my actual pain, I’d be dependant on that too.

Who wouldn’t be “dependant” on something that enables them to live a happy life and controls their pain at an acceptable level? Who?

Doctor: “Here! Im going to give you something to help you manage and control your pain”

Me: “Oh thank you so much!”

Doctor: “But you better not like the fact that they DO exactly what their intended to do, which is provide you relief!”

Me: “ok. I wont Doc!”

September 3, 2013 at 3:39 am
(145) Youdontneedtoknow says:

I have been a chronic pain suffer for 20+ years. I refused to go get those “horrible, addictive pain meds” until a year ago when I would have rather died than wake up to another day of pain, but i avoided it b/c well…that’s what people said, but hey, im now getting my life back. I could have had my life back a long time ago and I hope all the people who abuse them and sell them rot. I dont get high off the stuff, and I take some strong stuff, but If you take it and you really need it.. you might at first a little but it goes away….yes doctors — it’s true, not everyone is a drug addict trying to sell pills. You chose your job, you have a responsibility SO DO IT or find another one, I did.
BUT I have to disagree with the first comment here, not EVERYONE has elevated BP and heart rate. I have had TBI, epilepsy, etc etc. I learned ways to calm my self and lower those vitals to try help the pain. And what about people who can’t do that yoga stuff, for you who think that is the best thing since the beginning of time and primary solution, sweetheart, its not… not everyone can physically do it.
When my son was young his new teacher fresh out of college kept sending stuff home for parents to read with him, etc. I wrote her a letter and asked her — “Did it ever occur to you that some of these kids live with people who are illiterate?” (that was the case when I taught school) Of course she wouldn’t write me back. The point is everyone is different. Every doctor, nurse, FNP, whatever they all are now should know this by now…funny they don’t. I personally feel the healthcare system is dumbed-down just like the education system i used to teach in i mean..really, what do you expect? If they cant write a paragraph in 12 grade, they are not going to make the best college student and some of those kids somehow did make it through med school, nursing school, etc….somehow….Sorry if I offended anyone, all I can say is learn how to deal with the truth.

September 5, 2013 at 1:21 am
(146) Pain says:

I wish all the people that have never experienced sever chronic pain every day all day for years . It consumes your live . You would to anything for just a little relieve. It finally does something to your mind after years of pain. So my advice would be live in my body for a day then you might be qualified answer with the correct answer. Yes I take pain meds . To keep me from screaming when the pain is so intense .

September 17, 2013 at 1:01 am
(147) Payne Hertz says:

Thank you Dr Hartney for an excellent article.

I have had chronic pain and been involved with chronic pain support groups for over 20 years. I have yet to meet anyone with chronic pain who hasn’t been abused by the medical profession in some way or another. Most report being “treated like an addict” at some point in their journey.

That it is wrong to treat people with pain as addicts goes without saying, but like you, I have always wondered why it is okay to treat addicts like addicts.

Many people with pain blame drug addicts for the abuse they suffer, yet tend to have the same hostile attitudes towards drug addicts that doctors do. It never seems to occur to them that it is the abusive attitudes and behaviors themselves that are the problem, and not the people allegedly reponsible for instilling them in doctors.

The mentality among health “care” “professionals” goes like this:

Addicts are scum so it is okay to hate and abuse them.
People who claim to be in pain are mostly addicts so it is okay to hate and abuse them too.
You claim to be in pain so you deserve to be hated and abused.

That this is insane goes without saying, but just reading through some of the comments here you can see this mentality in action. Doctors and nurses are convinced they have an infallible ability to separate addicts from legitimate chronic pain patients, and are equally convinced they have a God-given right to be abusive to anyone they see as addicts.

It never occurs to them that it is morally wrong and barbaric to treat people abusively, even if they are, in fact, addicts.

I did an Xtranormal video parodying some of the ignorance and abuse people with pain have to go through thanks to being “treated like addicts.” I’d welcome your comments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coVJHxmYcwY

September 20, 2013 at 7:51 am
(148) ed champagnee says:

What is worse giving drugs to someone that does not need them, or telling a honest person with a major injury that causes severe pain, that they don’t look like they need pain meds or medical care and we are not going to treat a liar like you! You go home have a seizer, stroke sadly they didn’t die. [Edited for offensive content]

September 25, 2013 at 3:44 am
(149) bulldogmommy says:

Wow!! I have been an RN since 87 @ 19 y/o & seeing that first email from “Nurse Ratchet-Deborah” aka Burned Out & should get another profession floored me-First off her symptoms of pain med S/S are textbook jargon not reality-Before my WC & work in 90 &95-which I suffer from chronic back pain,sciatica,depression,fibro etc since my on the job injury-I used to fight like hell w/Dr’s to get my pt’s pain meds,sleeping pills etc..Now that I am on the other side of the fence I have been called a “professional drug addict” & other lovely things but I fight like hell back w/them-I was lucky enough to find a psychiatrist who experienced bad pain while in med school w/cancer & helps pts w/pain relief aka meds-My other problem is my husband is a cardiologist & we have the biggest fights over my meds I tell him all the time if you had to live 1 day in my shoes you would cry & I would give you a brick to bite on-I cut my Oxy down to 20mg 2-3x a day to prove a point to him & others THAT I AM NOT ADDICTED,WOW MY ACTIVITY LIMITS STILL SUCK, & ALL THE INJECTIONS,STIMULATORS IN THE WORLD DID NOTHING-NOW WHAT???? Over 10 y/a I had to go to the ER due to not being able to take any meds >5 days=severe dehydration-I went in w/my prescription bottles & my prescribing Dr’s card-they called him & THEY STILL WOULDN’T GIVE ME MY MEDS-I told them that I wouldn’t be admitted & took them myself just like my MD told me to everytime I went into the hospital for numerous useless procedures-My advice to my fellow chronic pain sufferers is stay strong,bring medical evidence backup-don’t start a fight until they treat you like “an addict” & say nasty comments & bring it on-the squeaky wheel always gets the grease & if any medical professional treats you like garbage-demand to speak to a supervisor & or go to administration-ADMINISTRATION HATES COMPLAINTS FROM ANYONE!!! Please don’t suffer any abuse or in silence-WE ARE ALL HUMAN-SICK OR NOT:)

September 27, 2013 at 4:12 am
(150) Victor says:

A lot of us who use stronger pain meds get labels as druggies unfairly. I am someone who is in a lot of pain day to day due to the damage inflicted on my body during my childhood. It’s a long list so I won’t go through it here.

When someone accuses me of being addicted to a pain medication I tell them the truth. I am not nor have I ever been addicted to a medication, what I am addicted to is not being in agony. To a degree everyone is addicted to not being in pain. If we’re hurting we crave relief, we want it and we need it, for some of us the only way that relief can come is with a medication. Accusing someone in pain like I am of being addicted to a pain meds is like accusing someone of being addicted to their car because it lets them leave the house without struggling to get someplace. That’s the reality of those of us who live with severe pain.

Thanks to my meds I can actually do what other people take for granted and live instead of merely existing and wishing for it all to end to escape the pain. I have a life now, I didn’t before.

Just imagine being told that you shouldn’t take a medication that stops you from being in agony because some druggies abuse it, being made to feel like it’s more acceptable for you to suffer to the point that you can’t bear living because of the stigma attached to the medication that stops your pain. Would you treat someone who takes a medication for lactose intolerance like a criminal because they want to be able to enjoy dairy? The truth is, there’s some of us who have no quality of life without pain relief. We are not druggies, we are not criminals, we are not addicts, we are people who want to be able to live the same kind of life that those who aren’t plagued by pain do, or at the least as close to the normal life as we can get.

October 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm
(151) jessical says:

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October 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm
(152) Lorraine says:

Ok, I just heard this from my daughter in law who is studying psychology.

First let me say I suffer from chronic pain. I wear Fentanyl patches. I have worn 125mcg /hr for 7 years.

My DILaw informed me I was no different to a junkie. She then started to tell me how I could overdose on my patches by putting new ones on somewhere else. She said it is all psychological. The same as the junkie who shoots up heroin at home and is ok but if he does it in any other enviroment then he would overdose due to the fact he has not set himself up psycologicaly for the high he gets.

I was offended by this. I do not get any out of this world feeling from my meds. I do not count the minutes to getting new patches.

Does any of this make sense to anyone? If so could you please explain how this would relate to me.

October 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm
(153) Lloni says:

The better part of my life I did my best to dodge the drug use of friends and family, especially or addicting drugs. I didn’t want to problems I saw associated with them, be in legal or health issues or financial issues. Life was hard enough without complicating it more. Yet now I’m 63 and have terrible, crippling arthritis, a fused spine operation, no cartilage left in my knees requiring new knees and pain medication scripts so I can keep my job and most of all, remain living independently. I have no spouse or children to help me. But I made the horrible mistake of taking several over the counter drugs one night because I was having trouble sleeping and 30 hours later my kidneys failed and I was unconscious. Now I a labeled as a person who ODed and no new doctor will touch me.
I begged my current doctor for something and he gave me a patch that makes my hair fall out but will not give me the meds I was on before. I was walking before. Now, with the help of the patch I get around with a walker. The nursing home only let me out because the insurance company stopped paying. Otherwise I was not fit to take care of myself so they wouldn’t let me go home. I’ve tried going to other doctors but they all treat me like a drug addict. I know there must be many more people out there like me. Why are we getting punished?
My mother begged me to help her kill herself everyday because she had the same problem only she was 80 and her doctor didn’t do anything for her arthritis. Now I understand.

November 1, 2013 at 7:33 am
(154) Carol Lentz says:

I have a serious problem. Background: 65 year old female married 42 years. Have never been “addicted” to drugs but used huge amounts of Tylenol and moderate alcohol consumption to deal with ongoing pain condition called Reflex Dystrophy a sympatheticallymaintained condition not responsive to pain meds as a rule. RSD resulted from a poor surgery outcome leaving me unable to walk. Self medications and alcohol taken together.

I’m 65 and both feet are deformed from RSDystrophy and recently developed breakdown of skin causing ulcers and stress have 6 stress fractures. Treating at Cleveland Cllinic Hepatology Unit.

I have uncontroled pain..Recently received low dose Ultram caused vomiting.

Dealing with 2 doctors, one orthopaedic problems in feet and complications of RSD and liver specialist who is monitoring liver disease in case I reach stage of transplantation, neither wants to prescribe pain meds. I need the pain meds due to orthopaedic and RSDystrophy but cannot meds due to liver disease. I’ve had bad reactions to medications over the years’ don’t take unless needed/ apparent from going past 10 years with nothing for pain.

I am stable 65 year old, own home with husband of 42 years, have 3 cihildren, 4 grand children 10-21 years old. I am not typical druggie seeking drugs..

My husband deals with post polio syndrome andhas lots of prescription pain medications available if that were motive.

I have proof through x rays, CTScans plus 23 years of RSD documented by doctor.

One doctor can’t prescribe pain meds due to my liver and one who treats liver won’t prescribe for RSD complications so I suffer.

November 9, 2013 at 6:44 am
(155) Jae says:

I just want say that my definition of being treated like a drug addict is when the doctors and nurses automatically assume tbat you are seeking narcotics because you complain of pain. I have been diagnosed with chronic migraine and at times have rcieved some pretty strong stuff that get rid of the pain but otherwise make me very drousy crampy and constipated and sometimes very nauseated. This is no picnic for me. When i am at home i take IB 600 or 800 depending on how bad it is and i just shut everything off and lie down. I avoid the ER as much as possible and only go maybe every 3 to 4 months if it is absolutely unbearable. Thats great for me. I just hate how when i get there I have to pray for a doctor and nurse who come in hollering my name forgetting to turn down the lights when they slamming the doore behind them, and returning with two tylenol. No nuroe quickie exam or anything. It’s like they look at my chart see migraine or headache and go into automatic avoid the narcotic seeking junkie. ” okay sweetie you are having a headache, what do you usually take,[ mind you they are talking extremely loud]. It’s frustrating to be generalized like that. I just stay away and suffer through because it feels demeaning. I do not have a neurologist because i cannot aford one

November 18, 2013 at 11:12 am
(156) Ed says:

Chronic pain sufferer for 15 Years. 4 herniated discs. Started pain meds and as always happens…a tolerance builds. So the doctor gives stronger pills. Eventually the dependency becomes addiction because the body is so good at adapting that my brain could not live without the meds. Everything in my life revolved around the scheduling of meds. Emergencies with my kids take second priority over not feeling withdrawal. Then as everything falls apart and everything I hold dear is about to be lost I check myself into rehab

Its humiliating. Its painful. Accountability sucks at first and when I got out instead of feeling better…although sober I now feel the full guilt of every last thing I’ve done. A second trip to rehab was necessary after a relapse because it was so easy to use my physical condition to get what I needed. The guilt was worse because this time I knew what I was getting into and did it anyways.

Now after two years of sobriety I stay away from all forms of controlled substances. I know exactly where I’ll be after taking the first pill. No…I never did anything illegal. Yes I had chronic pain. I say had because the doctors that told me I’d need surgeries and pills were so wrong. There’s another way. It’s longer and harder and relief doesn’t come in 20 minutes like when taking a pill. But it’s there and like anything good and precious…it takes work and dedication to achieve.

November 18, 2013 at 11:33 am
(157) Ed says:

To every chronic pain suffered…nobody will understand your pain and it’s your right to choose your treatment. I would do anything to not take a pill after living through the hell of it. I would ask anyone about to choose the path of opiates to look long and hard at what you are suffering from and try everything else before going to pills. Yes a pill takes effect in minutes and in this society and with this busy life…immediate gratification from the relief of pain is tempting. But nothing good and precious in this world is easy to nurture. Understand that your ability to focus and love will diminish and eventually you will walk through life as a ghost. The brain eventually cannot function without the pill. Chronic depression occurs. Think about it. What you once took to relieve pain now is a permanent need to just stay emotionally upright.

These things are scientifically proven to occurs after years of daily use. There are no miracle cases of someone not having these things happen. So for terminal patients and those who know that their injuries would otherwise render them bedridden… Opiates can be a miracle. But for everyone else the small piece of time that the rattling bottle of pills helps bring peace to will be nothing compared to the perpetual hell you will suffer once dependent and addicted.

So on days when my pain is so strong and my mind weakens… I’ve finally learned to look at my kids…my wife…my soul and everything I find beautiful. Then I realize that the pain will pass and I can go on living and enjoying everything that’s good. I pray for the sick and suffering daily. Judge no one but yourself and have faith that there is always a path back.

November 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(158) Victor says:

Dear Ed,

I do wish you the best in your recovery. Sadly it happens with some people and it really sucks when you end up being one of the unlucky ones with a tendency for addiction. That’s not your fault, some people just have a genetic predisposition to such things which research has shown time and time again. It really sucks for those with that predisposition but I am glad that you have found another way.

Sadly the old approach of push through it and distracting yourself from it doesn’t always work. I tried that for 11 years, wishing every day I would die just to stop the pain, of trying to take my own life to escape from it and of some pains triggering my PTSD because it reminded me of what originally caused that particular pain. Many days I was bed ridden, my loved ones were often snapped at because being in constant pain made me quick to annoy and that was before I touched any RX pain med. That is just what the pain did to me and I’m only 25. That is no way to live so early on in life, stuck in a bed half the time, hurting too much to leave the house, maybe being able to go outside three times a year because of pain. I still have a lot of life left but the pain was robbing me of it no matter what I tried and how much I pushed myself.

When I finally broke down after all that time of refusing to touch pain meds I found out that they actually work. I’m out of bed most days now, I actually go out a few times a month and I’m no longer snapping at everyone for any little thing. I don’t like that I need a pill to do that but it’s worth it to regain some of my life.

Really, different things work for different people. I wish I could forgo the pills and find another way but I tried that and things got worse. Of course anyone on pain meds needs to be careful for many reasons and needs to watch their habits with the meds because it is easy to mess up. But if careful, it can do a lot of good, just as if used wrong and haphazardly, it can cause a lot of harm.

November 20, 2013 at 6:08 am
(159) Mr Sapp says:

I am in the group of perceived pain medication abusers. I AM a pain medication user. I wish that I had no use for them. I am in constant pain at one level or another. Sometimes not so bad, sometimes kicking and screaming inside my head and sometimes completely debilitated on the couch screaming into a pillow. The humiliation and frustration with doctors, family, and friends over the last 15-20 years was almost sometimes too much to handle…LITERALLY.

My catch-22 of perception
In pain and on the couch?….. Loser, weak, faker, lazy, depressed
In pain and having to accomplish things?…. Grumpy, unpleasant, unloving, angry
In pain and giving into seeking meds?…. Drug seeker, addict, weak
Finally get meds and try to manage? Peer adjudicated addict and druggy by most

Don’t give up!!!!. I gave up for years and suffered. I would say “I’ll let you hack of my legs with an ax, if you can guarantee my back pain would be gone forever” pretty sure I meant it too. I decided to fight and advocate for myself again despite the continued humiliating treatment. There are caring physicians out there.

Within the last few months, after almost two years of “drug seeking behavior”(Duh!), I have begun taking narcotics again (fingers crossed) under a legit pain management facility. With the meds, I have some physical comfort back that I have missed dearly. Pain medication sucks in so many ways, but for some of us it is our only avenue of relief.

With the help of a good friend who pointed me towards a rheumatologist (I’m only 41) who just may have figured it out, Ankylosing Spondylitis. wish me luck.

Good luck. Be careful. Find a real friend or group to help you. Be 100% honest and just ignore judgmental jerks and move on. Don’t ever give up.

November 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm
(160) Greennurse says:

As a nurse nothing boils my blood like hearing other nurses call a patient a drug seeker. You do not know if that patient is feeling pain. Just because you judge that he was playing cards an hour before doesn’t mean he was trying to divert his attention away from his pain. It’s wrong to judge. We are healers. If the dr prescribed it then give it unless it’s medically wrong and poses a detrimental effect to the patient. Pain is subjective. What you can tolerate and what I can are different. In a hospital you have to wait for your meds. If you a real within your legal one hour later time you have increased their pain by an hour. That means it’s harder for them to manage. It’s wrong to judge them because of what you see for 5-10 minutes of being in the room. Chronic pain is faceless and you can’t see it. Just because they are in the hospital doesn’t mean that they are drug seekers. If I’m in the hospital with nothing to do, on an uncomfortable bed with a loud room mate and nurses who don’t come when called because of this reason or that, you can be sure I’m telling my loved one to push the button. If you’ve never been there you have no idea. Seeing and doing give different experiences. I hate for you to have to feel dependent on a medication just to get out of bed and be semi comfortable for a few hours. Forget the vacations and walks with children or grandchildren. If someone is a drug seeker believe me they’d get it. Maybe not from you but from a visitor. Go easygoing on the patients who have pain you can’t see. Whether it’s fibromyalgia, Lyme disease or another myo fascia misuse, judging is wrong and as a nurse you should never do it.

November 30, 2013 at 11:19 am
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December 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm
(162) ed champagnee says:

I twisted my foot and no one will help me! But they will say I am addicted, yet the pain is only in my foot which I twisted after falling down stairs. What can I do?

December 20, 2013 at 5:20 am
(163) _________ says:

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January 4, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(164) Nursinggirl says:

FYI some people believe that nurses all assume they are drug seekers, but here’s the facts. The patients that come in needing their medications are verbally abusing and just flat out disrespecting nursing staff and this should never be happening, ever. I’m not going to assume anything, but the patients don’t need to come in and do this to me or any other nurses ever. If they have a problem with getting their medications they need to own up and discuss it with their physician at their appointments and stop harassing the nursing staff. It’s sickening how badly nurses can be treated. Patients need to stop it and THINK about who prescribes to them and not threaten and disrespect those who cannot prescribe to them. Doctors should be discussing issues with patients and not hide from the patients behind the nurses.

January 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm
(165) Andrea A. says:
January 11, 2014 at 11:41 pm
(166) terri says:

I’ve been a chronic pain patient for over 10 years
with plates and screws in my whole neck. I also
suffer 8 other problems with my back plus
fibromyalgia and cancer. I’ve been in constant
pain for so long my blood pressure doesn’t
always go up, so that’s not always an indication
of pain. I do take BP meds as well as anxiety
medication. I’m still treated horribly by the doctors
I see. It used to be about the patient but that left a long time ago. They just want their money and screw
the patient. IM NOT A JUNKIE!!!!! I’m a human
being .

January 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm
(167) James T. Woolford says:

I want to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…

January 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm
(168) Doug Conklin says:

im suffering from chronic back pain.im scared to ask for stronger pain meds. ill just suffer till my back goes out again.

January 19, 2014 at 6:40 am
(169) jen says:

you know, i faced this yesterday. im currently CLEAN and have been, and in treatment for heroin, started by opiate, addiction. excuse me if my typing is off, i was hit by a car yesterday..i have not slept, my face is mangled, so are many other areas but i wasnt even offer a damn asprin because i was upfront about my past. i left AMA just to get some motrin. im on the way back because i cwnt see sit too long or stand without being dizzy. i didnt get knicked, i woke up in the ambulance. but because jen here was a “junkie” 5 years ago theres your prejudgement. thanks to the nursings staff n docs, ur all just peaches. i dedicate my headache to you all who hold that stereotype over our heads. maybe we call right when our pain meds are due cuz ur not givinh us enough to feel better, and the hour ago when u checked on us n we were fine, that was cuz the drug hadnt worn off yet. empathy has been replaced with a “screw that druggie” attitude. sad

January 23, 2014 at 3:04 am
(170) Marilyn says:

My mom suffered with crack addiction, I watched her struggle with it my entire life. I am happy to say that she has been clean from crack for 9 years now. No to long ago she started suffering migraines, she had been in and out of the hospital for a while. They finally decided to run a cat scan and found something on her brain. They shedual end her for an MRI to get a better picture of the issue. Still she was having debilitating migraines so she went to the hospital, she needed them to stop it. Instead of helping my mom, the nurse out of the blue I front of my husband and in a very round tone and manner, asked my mom “when’s the last time you used”. Not only is that not an issue in my moms life any more, but I feel like it was very inappropriate for her to question my moms motive. Especially given the circumstance, not only was it degrading but it was accusatory. I’m very proud of my mom, she has completely changed her life around. She doesn’t need weird people judging her, they don’t know her struggles.

January 31, 2014 at 12:58 am
(171) ChronicPancreatitisisPainful says:

Some of the comments by nurses that “know” real pain, and label patients as drug addicts..to you I say it sounds like your running on burnout, and that why people like me with real pain get treated as though we dont. What I am finding is that it doesnt matter if you are in severe distress, dying, or have cancer, it is usually always assumed that you are a drug addict or alcoholic when you make a ER visit for pain related issues. I try to avoid going till I cant take it any longer because I hate the assumptions that are made, and that so many doctors seem to dismiss chronic pancreatitis as a serious illness, and therefore we go without adequate care or treatment. I am friends with many others who are expierencing this same phenomenon and its so sad that so many of us are suffering needlessly. Also, blood pressure is high many times when I am in pain, but not always so if that is what nurses are relying on to have patients be believable its a shame that they may turn away many who are in severe pain for no other reason than biased judgements. I realize there will always be those who will abuse the system to get meds when they are not needed, but I know of more people who are in serious real pain that are either under treated or flat out denied pain control, more than I know persons that take medications recreationally. I hope to have a transplant soon that will keep me from having to rely on the mercy of medications, but when insurance doesnt pay for it, what is an honest pain patient to do?

January 31, 2014 at 7:54 pm
(172) N.Cali Cancer Survivor says:

Non Hodgkins Lymphoma 3rd Stages-Severe reactions to Chemo-OA-Severe Spinal Stenosis-Deteriorating Disc Disease-Neuropathy and I could go on.I too am viewed as a drug addict/criminal.I feel beaten up and exhausted since my journey began 2011. Thank You for taking an interest to this topic.

February 6, 2014 at 9:40 am
(173) smartenup says:

Well deborah as in terms of you being upset about patients asking for their medication rite away if youre talking about detoxs in the hospitsl i can personally tell you that ive enterd a detox a full day in heroin withdrawl in basically the 9th circle of hell and they took 4 hours to give me medication after repeadtly asking n made me sit through a meeting dreadfully sick when their were mayb 15 patients their most of wich were alrdy on medication from past days nothing bad against u but that has happend to me and i believe they wantd me to suffer until a breaking point which is not right.

February 12, 2014 at 7:13 pm
(174) rebecca says:

well said marla , i could not have put better my self , mrs nurse no it all is one of the reasons my partner will not if he can help it mention his medication when he has to go into hospital, because of FEAR of how his treated because of medication he was put on last time he was in hospital which was about 2 months ago he had to under go a procedure called an EBUS which for those of you who does not no what that is its basically biopsies taken from the lung , along with fine needle aspiration , a basic test to see if a person has lung cancer or not among est other illness, the procedure was made to believe that he would be completely sedated , as soon as medication was mentioned the face of the nurses changed and he was treated very badly , the procedure that he was meant to be sedated for they left him wide awake. im disgusted with the so called caring nursing staff judging a person by prescribed medication and assuming always the worse, i believe this is called DISCRIMINATION in the most appalling disgusting and mean methods of abuse to any people/persons under the judging biased eyes of few discriminative staff of the NHS, shame on you and your torturous treatment on presumption what a person is by the medication they take, these people are also human and deserve to be treated as such , if you have a problem with a person because of there medication in the future next time speak to their consultant , you no the one who prescribed it in the first place.

February 16, 2014 at 9:53 am
(175) redir.ec says:

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February 16, 2014 at 12:41 pm
(176) Rae says:

As a chronic neck and back pain patient , I am 36 and have been a passenger in over ten accidents,,the driver in two ,and 1 was my fault…my question is ,,why do I get treated like the crack and cocaine ,heroin,and crystal meth addicts any where I go when I say I take methadone for pain??

February 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm
(177) Dean says:

Having worked in construction for year I can disprove your first conclusion. I know at least 20 people that will disprove your “if you have a prescription your not an addict” statement. They take Oxycontin and hydrophone and others. They can tell you how to go to the doctor with a “back ache” and get a script. Then how to go back and say the did not work you had to take two at a time to be “ok”. Then when the dose is at max (tens) you find another doctor and work another angle. They trade pill when one runs out, (called covering). They have been doing it for years, that is the ones who do not OD, get killed in a wreck or die from complications. You need to get more experience in the real world.

February 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm
(178) betty says:

I have a daughter cancer and bowel problems one thing after another they have gave her so much and now shw been on all this meds pain pills you name it she has it she livves with me and now she has to have all this she is so mean to me I do not understand why they do this all the doctor says chrocic pain I really think see takes it because she been on it all this time 4 years how do I deal with I am 75 years annd she blames me for everuything please help

February 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm
(179) jessie says:

I would like to add frommy own personal hell. I suffer fromsystemic lupus and wound up with sores all over my face in complete terror. Unfortunately because people have abused the system so bad I was neglected by countless doctors emergency rooms you name it. The ignorant physicians thought the lacerations on my face were from long term meth use. I was crying in pain and scared and every doctor would keep receding me to another saying they didn’t know what to do. Shortly after seeing countless doctors for this problem my medical record looked like an addicts that’s when I got swimmers ear to top it all off now I’m sitting here in agonizing pain hating all the ignorant judgemental doctors that put me in this predicament terrified that something worse is going to happen and I will be screwed and die thanks to all to all the disgusting addicts and ………..fine physicians that put me here

February 20, 2014 at 4:42 pm
(180) Jane says:

I have suffered from chronic neck and mid back pain for almost thirty years now. Within the last eight years I have had two cervical disc infusion, the second surgery was to retrieve an anomaly that my new surgeon was unable to figure out what it was. After the first surgery my pain was even worse, but after the second I can feel the relief of that strange feeling like a rock in my neck. Though I am still living with extreme pain on a daily basis, and after years of constantly switching medication to find the one that was going to give me relief turns out to be an addictive narcotic.
After four years of college I graduated with a BA in psychology and got an interview for a local mental health facility. The company takes me through the steps of physical examination, and drug tests. I put down all the medication that I am on, and I was told by the attending physician that I am an addict. First of all I am taking medications that are prescribed to me, I am not walking dark alleys in the middle of the night to buy drugs.
This doctor basically gives me the impression that because of my pain management treatment will cost me my job, which I have yet to start. I am very discouraged because I take what is prescribed, and it helps me to go on my daily life with some normalcy compared of years of balling up in a fetal position for hours because it was too painful to even get out of bed.
I want to work, so I told the physician that I have no issues with my back because in fact as long as I take what is prescribed it helps to keep my pain at bay.
Are there no laws that prevents one doctor’s opinion of whether you are a drug addict, and cost you your career? I don’t always feel a 100% but I do not feel that I should throw in the towel and give up what I would love to do and just sit at home and collect disability.

February 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm
(181) Confusion says:

There is so much misunderstanding about the effects of true chronic or severe pain on society and the role of the government. As I see it, the DEA has a war on LEGAL drugs because they’re trying to prevent teenagers from overdosing on their parents or others pain meds. These drugs were invented for pain control and to increase quality of life. Misconceptions: people in pain have increased blood pressure and heart rate; more become depressed and withdrawn because they can’t function. I recently read i under 10% become addicted. But don’t make a mistake; zero tolerance for losses. I just cold turkied of a very potent pain med Ive been on for over 3 years and cannot function without. I had absolutely no withdrawal symptoms except to be incapable of handling my personal affairs, walk the dog, etc. “.

February 21, 2014 at 8:27 pm
(182) Diana says:

I suffer from Osteogenesis Imperfecta and have been in a chronic pain clinic for well over 15 years and have had to be put on high doses of pain medications have tried and used all kinds of new drugs from pharmaceutical agencies and have had pain patches and dilaudid and oxycontin and morphine and shots of morphine. I have had well over 100 breaks and fractures in my femurs and tibias where to a point I could not walk or take care of my daughter, who is a special needs person was born with her soft spot fused and plates in her head fused and has had multiple surgeries, if she did not have these surgeries she wuld have been brain dead or just a vegetable. I have been at one pain clinic for well over 9 years or so and my recent pain doctor lost his medical licence due to a patient took all her pills because she wanted to DIE! Which she did. I call that patient responsibility, that was her choice. That should not have effected me when i have been at this very clinic for well over 9 years with no issues not one bad urine test or fill early i only use my insurance to what i need. and use my prescription drug plan to get my meds years ago it was a bit difficult to get a doctor to write my scripts, but now in 2014 i find it almost impossible to get a doctor to write me the same dose or even the medications that i have taken for a while, Even though I have a chronic bone disorder and deformity I cannot get the medications I deserve or need to control my pain and to help me function on a daily. Its ridiculous and the ones that are lying to get high get what they want but me with a no cure bone disorder I get a big NO! What is up with doctors lately they cannot see the difference between a chronic pain patient and a drug addict. There is a difference being dependent and addictied!

February 22, 2014 at 3:02 am
(183) Amy says:

Thank you for noticing the difference between “an addict” and someone “chemically dependent” on a prescribed medication. That is my case. I do not wish to be on pain meds but if I’m not it’s like knives sticking me in my back continuously. to the point I can’t bare it, and would rather not exist anymore then deal with that pain & the lack of help, or caring, or love from my pathetic joke of a family. Also, I have ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT when dealing with my depression, PTSD and my horrible non-stop back pain. My mother is an ice queen which is odd because she wasn’t always like that but when I’m having an extremely bad day and I’m sobbing, my mother will NOT even reach out to comfort me, yet I do it for her all the time. I’m on Medicaid and cannot get the drs. I need such as a Psychiatrist to help with my meds. The depression and the physical pain is so bad that I called a suicide hotline and wanted to speak w/a female.. and the the man told me I could call back. THE SUICIDE HOTLINE TELLS ME TO CALL BACK AS I’M SOBBING. Why DON’T I MATTER?”m afraid she is dying. Due to what happened to me, not once but twice, I haven’t dated or been interested in dated since the last rape and beating in April ;98. I am completely alone. After another horrible day of just being ignored and feeling like I don’t matter, BECAUSE I DON’T, I’m ready to pack my stuff and move. I just don’t know where to reach for help because I don’t believe anyone cares anyway.
Amy

February 22, 2014 at 5:06 am
(184) krazispeed says:

but my insurance isn’t paying for anything not my doctors appointment or my MRI done at the hospital)

but my KNEE MRI left and right knee, show severe problems..

Left knee – Tracking Disorder with early chondromalacia patella

Right knee – Pes anserinus bursitis

and has been causing very severe chronic pain in both of my knees and I cant get ANY treatment for this and am starting to lose my mind.

I am getting to the point of just giving up on everything and end my life, because I cant take my pain anymore and I cant even get proper treatment.

I’m supposed to have surgery done at a commonwealth orthopedic Surgery and they don’t except my insurance so I cant even get anything done that can minimize my pain so Iv started taking narcotic meds again, I cant go with out them, I WILL SAY, THTA ITS WAY BETTER THAN HEROIN, EVEN OXYCODONE IS NOTHING LIKE HEROIN.

I MAY TAKE THE MEDS ILLEAGALLY, BUT I DO NOT AND WILL NOT EVER ABUSE THESE MEDICATIONS, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE THAT DO IS ONE REASON WHY I CANT EVEN GET THE MEDICATIONS THAT I NEED TO RELIEVE MY PAIN, MY PAIN IS JUST SO BAD , NOONE EVEN BELIEVES ME AND TREATS ME LIKE A DRUG SEAKING ADDICT, I DIDNT EVEN SEEK THE MEDS I HAVE, A FRIEND OFFERED THEM TO ME FOR FREE AND I ACCEPTED THEM BECAUSE I NEED THEM, AND I WILL NOT STOP UNTILL I CAN GET WHATEVER SURGERY DONE AND FIX MY PROBLEMS WITH MY KNEES OR ANYTING ELSE THAT SURGERY CAN FIX..

OTHER WISE, IF I DIDNT HAVE THIS MEDICATION I WOULD HAVE ALREADY KILLED MYSELF/….

I NEED HELP

February 22, 2014 at 5:36 am
(185) krazispeed says:

I used to be into Extreme sports like Skateboarding and Racing Import Tuner Cars like Honda/Acura Mazda Toyota etc. tuning them and such.but I think the skateboarding and a SEVERE car accident Back in August 28, 2008 has been causing very severe pain in many areas of my body..My arms, shoulders, shoulder blades, neck, entire upper and lower back,
my hips (occasionally) but my most severe pain is in my knees, and I had lost my job in 2009 because I started having many troubles in doing every day tasks, and yes I have taken non-prescribed pain medications because they were the only thing that helped my pain, and I never got addicted to them , but my pain wasn’t as bad then an was able to quit, but back in 2011-2012 al the pain in area I listed above got worse, and has kept getting worse, and I never had health insurance, so when I had the accident I never got looked at, I was and still am afraid of hospitals and doctors, I have a serious problem with social anxiety and I cant be around anyone except friends, but now no one not even friends because I had friends that forced me to do things I didn’t want to do.this friend forced me to inject heroin and after a few days,

February 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm
(186) coreyn stinson says:

I’ve had surgery on my neck in 2009. Pain has been a horrific reality daily. I am given minimum pain relief,due to people that have abused them,. Doctors are limited due to the abuse & addiction,and laws that have restricted what I can receive for pain. I am bed bound, I do not drive & I take my medications as directed, I am facing another surgery, in the mean time I feel ,I have the right to be treated properly. Addiction does not run in my family, I have been labeled, judged,since my pain is so bad, I don’t have a voice. I have to believe I’m not alone.

February 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm
(187) east tennesse compelled to reply says:

I am compelled to reply with my own experience with this topic after finding these posts by mistake online. I could relate and just couldn’t stop reading.

I have never been prescribed narcotics long term in my life. I have never been to a pain clinic and I am 32 years old, almost 33. I honestly avoid going to the doctor like the plague, and sometimes that has its consequences. Last year i got sick. I didn’t go to the doctor, just a cold. It kept getting worse and worse. I went to work, managed the house, had relatives visit from out of town. I even went hiking, but I found it increasingly hard to breath. The pain in my back was overwhelming, but I kept pushing. A very high fever and a very persistent husband got me into the ER where I was told my right lung was completely filled with fluid. I had infection pockets around a huge mass in my right lung, another in the sac that holds your lungs, and yet another in the abdominal space below my lungs. I was immediately admitted to the hospital where I was to have a surgery the next afternoon to install drain tubes and have my lung scraped and a wedge resection to remove the mass. I was in misery, and I was only prescribed 1 hydrocodone every 4 hours prior to surgery by mouth. Post surgery I was in ICU with a pain pump and once the tubes were removed I was put back on hydrocodone orally. I was in the hospital for 11 days. Upon release home, recovery took about 3-4 weeks, during which I did not use all my medication or refill the prescription. The mass had been benign, and they found 2 small other masses that I have a CAT scan to check annually.

February 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm
(188) east tennesse compelled to cont says:

So what is my experience? Pre-surgery I was treated horrifically in the hospital by the nursing staff. I was about to have major lung surgery, and was in real legitimate pain and I was met with hostility and out right disgust when I requested my pain medication which in all honesty, felt could have been more. I was at the mercy of an unkind staff, who was rude to me when I buzzed them, which I didn’t do by the way until after they were an hour or more late bringing it. I was suppose to have 1 pain pill every 4 hours but I only received 3 pre-surgery in the slightly more than 24 hour period. Society dehumanizes those with prescription drug addictions, doctors don’t always prescribe as much as they should because of it, and nurses who have probably seen the effects far too often, miscategorize and label ANYONE receiving a pain pill as just another one of “those” people. The prescription addiction in this country is staggering and far too real, destroying far too many lives, and its grasp is not confined to just those with addiction and their families, but by those without addiction who need real relief from pain, by good doctors who prescribed what they felt they should and had negative repercussions, by everyone who ever got a side ways glance for buying allergy medication. What can we do about it? I have no idea, but it could start with us trusting doctors to do what is right for each patient, and for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to stop the labeling and be worthy of that trust.

February 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm
(189) east tennessee compelled to cont says:

And for those of you who could potentially claim that this is an isolated event (which it is not by any means) at a single hospital:

I moved to East Tn 4 years ago from Mississippi. Back in 2007, I had severe, wake you up at night, rocking back and forth couldn’t help it pain in my right upper abdomen. I went to the ER. Given a shot, no tests, nothing, sent home. The periods were reoccurring and were a nightmare each time forcing me to the ER. For 6 MONTHS, yes 6 months, this happened sometimes a couple times a month. My PCP blew me off, the ER staff labeled me one of “those”. I was never given a prescription or any attempt to find out what the problem was. Just a shot and sent home each time. Finally, I went to the ER and I said, quite rudely, “DO NOT GIVE ME A SHOT, DO NOT GIVE ME A PRESCRIPTION, I DO NOT WANT A SINGLE THING FOR PAIN, SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY WRONG, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD FIND OUT WHAT IT IS!” They did an ultrasound and I had golf ball sized gallstones, and had my gallbladder removed 2 days later. The moral of the story: Same as before. This isn’t isolated its happening everywhere and has been for a long time.

February 27, 2014 at 12:37 am
(190) Biggie says:

I think the phrase ‘drug addict’ is an adjective. Not offensive, just descriptive, doesn’t matter what drug you are addicted too. I was prescribed painkillers by my VA doctor for the past 5years. I’m addicted, it doesn’t matter to me what road I took to get here, I’m a addict…..it’s a living hell. I think about taking my scripts all the time. I wake up thinking about taking pills. I’ve been clean 57 days now, but I will ALWAYS be an addict. I don’t take offense to the phrase, its just a fact, that’s what I am…..

March 2, 2014 at 9:43 pm
(191) Bjs says:

I’m 57 yrs old with a myriad of health problems. To name a few, bipolar( dx 30 yrs ago ), lupus, add, narcolepsy, fibromyalgia. The past 9 months have been hell & I have gone through 5 psychiatrists noome will prescribe my add meds. I forged a script but pharmacy refused to fill it. Now I got a call from attorney general’s office I’ll probably will be put in prison – what do patients do in these circumstances?

March 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm
(192) rocky says:

Back in 2005 I injured my back, had multi disc fusion in 2008 L1 threw L5 disc replacement… well the surgery went well for 3 years now the pain is unbearable. I see a pain doctor in Columbus,Ohio for 2 years now , was on a good regiment until last week he took away my oxycodone and put me on hydrocodone a complete different med and my fentanyl 75 to the 50 I didn’t know he done this until the nurse came in my room and handed me my scripts so I told her hey I think the doctor made a mistake can you see if he did so she took my script and came back to the lobby and said that is his medical decision, I was like what do you mean she didn’t know anymore than that. I’ve been on 10/325 and my patches for almost 3 years..he’s the type of doctor who don’t ask you how your doing, how’s your meds doing nothing, I feel like there iss no patient to doctor relationship what so ever…I do urine test every month and pass them all so I don’t get it… I have all the documents he needs a and he still keeps cutting me back on my meds I don’t know what to do anymore I’m really suffering as it is scared to see what’s going to happen the next month

March 25, 2014 at 5:54 pm
(193) kATHY says:

I have been treated for pain management due to transverse myelitis, myofasil pain syndrome, and RLS for the past 5 years. During my last visit he THREATENED me to “fire” me if I did not quit smoking by May. He has treated me for 5 years knowing that I smoked the whole time. Is it legal for him to threaten me like this. What I have is a degenerative nerve disease that will never get better, only worse. Additional stress causes flares that make it much worse for periods that sometimes go away and sometimes do not. Why did he not tell me this during my first visit if this was his policy? Is this legal?

March 26, 2014 at 4:33 am
(194) lori powell says:

J absolutely agree. And everyone suffers with real pain rather its an addict or real chronic pain both have pain and needs to be met with healing compassionate medical people who truly Wang to heal and help.

April 2, 2014 at 9:01 am
(195) Bryan Thomas says:

I was in an accident one of my lower disc’s was herniated and one torn. I was given 30 mg oxycodne Wich controlled my pain. After two months for some stupid drug problems. I couldn’t git them anymore. My doctor moved me to 15 mg . To make a long story short. A nightmare. I had open back surgery to stop my pain. Another nightmare. I work full time and now I’m in a constant battle to git the medications I need.i can’t git 30 mg oxycodne . I’m treated like a drug dealer. Y am I treated like this. I’m so mad that I’m treated like this because there’s people out there who use the system like this.

April 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm
(196) mhill says:

I had to go to tge ER after I was detoxing without anything and tgrowing up uncontrollably. The doctor and staff judged me and some of the other pts for bac levels, heart problems. ..it got to tge point I was having panic attacks in my room. Soo inevitably I left began getting nausea and all tge signs but I also gerneralized anxiety..I went to anotger doctor whom I was honest with and helped me talk about tge alcohol..all my test came back neg but I m still freaked out! Alcohol is a drug and it hurts me to admit but I was being judged because I knew the ativan woukd ease my detox!

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