Tag Archives: Pain Relief

I Hate My Life

I hate my life header

Often, people use an expression like “I hate my life” as a response to discouragement or to reflect a lack of motivation.

Sometimes, however, it is an indication of a more deep-seed despair–or even a struggle with mental illness.

In situations where a person is experiencing this feeling on an ongoing basis, there may be underlying conditions–like crippling depression or debilitating anxiety–that perpetuate this mental state.

When “I Hate My Life” Becomes Life-Threatening

One of the unfortunate effects of mental disorders is that they can compel someone to unhealthy behaviors. Many addiction victims report that their primary motivation to begin using drugs or alcohol was to avoid pain.

Research suggests that more than half of those struggling with addiction also have a co-occurring mental disorder. Thus, sufferers of various forms of depression and anxiety may be inclined to seek relief from their mental duress by taking illicit drugs or abusing prescribed ones.

Victims of an addiction that started from the desire to escape the feeling of “I hate my life” often feel powerless to stop the cycle of substance abuse and depression.

These substances alone cannot provide long-term relief as the body quickly adapts to each increase in the dosage amount. There is a limit to this adaptability, however, and this is often experienced in the form of an overdose.

There is hope to be free of this cycle, however.

Help For Co-Occurring Diagnoses

It’s no secret that addiction can be difficult to break. Nevertheless, a holistic treatment approach that addresses the underlying causes of addiction makes recovery possible.

A reputable treatment center that understands the correlation between mental health and addiction can provide appropriate care to help them experience recovery for life.

The Heroin Epidemic Has Spread to Middle-Class Women

Female Heroin Use Middle Class Women - Fight Addiction Now

Women are dying from painkillers now more than any time in America’s history. Real people, true stories, harrowing destruction.

Charlotte’s Story

Charlotte* still has the track marks crawling up her arms. Her face has broken out with red bumps, and her bleach-blonde hair has grown the roots halfway out. She sits on a bench at a rehab facility in Arizona, picking at her bitten fingernails, unaware of the stares she’s getting from the seasoned patients.

Charlotte comes from a middle-class family, replete with a minivan, loving parents and a comfortable suburban lifestyle.

What has brought her to this state of fallen grace?

Charlotte’s boyfriend started selling Oxy in high school because the profits were so much higher than working in fast food restaurants like his peers. Over time, the boyfriend started using his own product, and so did his girlfriend.

The addiction took hold of Charlotte in less than a week, and the ecstasy and relief from the stress and insecurities felt by your average teenage girl was amazing. She felt like she needed more drugs around her menstrual cycles.

Dependence grew to tolerance, and tolerance grew to seeking more and more and stronger and stronger drugs. Before she knew it, our girl was shooting heroin with her boy behind the bleachers.

Now, in her late 20s, Charlotte awoke in her own vomit and soon found herself on an Arizona bench.

Charlotte survived, but more women than ever before in American history do not.

As women, we have an increased biological vulnerability to drugs. We get addicted much faster than our male counterparts, and we are affected by our hormones and a half dozen other factors. It’s not fair; it’s biology.

Mandi’s Story

A Californian mom of two beautiful teenage girls, Mandi* was rear ended by a drunk driver and sustained a shattered kneecap. The outrage and pain Mandi endures is still unbearable, years later.

“I was in so much anguish and anger, I couldn’t see straight,” she says.

Though Mandi went to counseling and was prescribed Percocet, her pain never completely went away. After only a few weeks of round-the-clock medicine, she was getting less relief with more pills. When Mandi had to quit her job due to the knee injury, she lost her health insurance.

Still suffering, Mandi had to find an alternative numbing product. What she found was that prescription drugs sold on the street are expensive and she couldn’t afford her habit.

The first time Mandi snorted the comparatively inexpensive drug heroin, she felt better than if she were smoking a fat joint or drinking cranberry vodkas. Snorting quickly turned to heroin injecting, which brought on shame and guilt. How could a woman with teenage daughters be shooting up?

Mandi was fearful of talking to her doctor about her heroin use. Like many of us moms who might find ourselves in similar circumstances, she worried she would be ostracized by others – or worse, that her children might be taken away by Child Protective Services.

The stigma around illicit drug abuse causes isolation, depression and creates a cycle of more drug use.

We can’t scream it loud enough: Women addicted to heroin are only human, regular people, no less worthy than other men and women who don’t have to suffer with the insidious disease of addiction.

Pill Mills Make It Too Easy

Pill mills are places that:

  • Take cash only.
  • Use their own pharmacy.
  • Let patients pick their own medicine, no questions asked.
  • Are illegal.

A recent study conducted by the U.S. Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Division found that narcotics are the second-most abused drug (just behind marijuana). These opioids rank above meth, cocaine, heroin and crack.

Controlled prescription drugs are accountable for tens of thousands more deaths due to poisoning than illicit drugs are. Many come from pill mills.

Female Heroin Use

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2004 and 2013, heroin and opioid use among women has increased at a rate twice that of men.

By 2013, a new type of female opioid user had emerged: a woman in college, a suburban mom, a working professional pulling in more than $60,000.

Women bear a heftier burden of emotional sensitivities and mental health issues like depression, trauma-related disorders and anxiety. Our brains are just wired differently.

This emotional make-up means women are more likely to be prescribed benzodiazepines and opioids.

Additionally, one in three women have experienced domestic violence. This type of trauma predisposes us to mental health issues and drug and alcohol abuse. Being hurt by the one you trust and love creates emotional scarring and scathing brain changes that endure long after the physical scarring dissipates.

Palliative Ponderings

Female Heroin Users - Fight Addiction NowIt is truly startling that this epidemic has crossed all demographic lines and spread its wrath among every income and social bracket.

If these stories and facts shock you, maybe they shouldn’t. Out of all of the heroin-addicted, middle-class suburban women, more than 75 percent of this group started with legal prescription opioids, reports the acclaimed JAMA Psychiatry journal.

Even though we are becoming more aware since the Trump-proclaimed national health emergency, it is hard to resist a drug that takes away your pain, physical and emotional. Sometimes, for women, the line between what is physical pain and what is emotional pain is blurry.

Women are particularly vulnerable to diseases like fibromyalgia, a disabling illness which causes both physical and emotional pain, including a host of other symptoms.

What Is Your Picture of a Heroin User?

Before our culture understood that addicts are just people, and that we’re all in this world and this predicament together, we might’ve assumed a woman that uses heroin lives on the street. Maybe she turned to sex work to afford her heroin habit, or maybe she had to take heroin to endure selling her body.

Did you picture her as uneducated, unemployed or on government assistance?

Well, maybe that was true…40 years ago!

Who Is Immune?

The heroin epidemic is so widespread it makes us wonder if there is a demographic that’s immune to opioids.

Painkillers are, in essence, heroin packaged in pharmacy vials.

This gives us a false sense of security about taking them. In America, we hold our doctors in high esteem and leave them to decide what’s best for our health. They’re the experts, right?

But when the doctor says, “Enough. Your surgery was three months ago,” it’s too late: We’re hooked. And once the addiction has taken hold, it is normal to feel there is no way out.

So, who can truly be immune to the opioid epidemic?

Hooked on Heroin

Once the addiction has hooked us, it is then that women often turn to finding that same drug in new places rather than experiencing the dramatic rise in pain and sickening withdrawal systems? Who can cast blame? We’re only human.

By now, the effects of the painkiller are not as good as they once were, anyway; a tolerance has set in. We have become physically dependent.

Women go to pill mills, multiple doctors or, embarrassingly, the black market. After paying $20 or more per pill, we hear about heroin. For $10 a bag, you can get even more pain relief, your suburban neighbor says.

It is humiliating for a mom to admit she has a heroin addiction, so the secrets and lies begin. And the relief felt with heroin is sooo much better than pills; the first dose is orgasmic.

Pain Alternatives for Women

What can we do to deal with chronic or intense pain? The medical community is working harder than ever to come up with alternative treatments for women suffering from pain.

Some options to consider for physical pain include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Nerve block treatment
  • Anesthesia via IV or injection

Emotional Pain Alternatives for Women

For women suffering from emotional pain, which is often tied to physical pain, some non-pharmaceutical treatments to try are:

  • Massage therapy
  • Counseling
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Electrical muscle stimulation

Reach Out If You’re Affected

If you are a woman dealing with a heroin problem, we really hope you’ll give us the chance to help you find solutions difficult time. There is a better way.

Women suffer from unique challenges in life. If someone you care about is struggling with heroin addiction – or you fear they’re heading down that road – don’t let her become another statistic. We implore you to reach out to us for help in finding treatment. Call or send us a note now.

Learn More About Heroin Addiction

*Real names withheld


The Effects of Prescription Drug and Alcohol Abuse on Your Kidneys

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The Effects of Prescription Drug and Alcohol Abuse on Your Kidneys

It’s fairly common knowledge that excess alcohol consumption takes a toll on the liver and kidneys. But did you know that many pharmaceutical drugs put a strain on the kidneys, as well?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the toll that prolonged alcohol and/or prescription drug use can have on your kidneys. We will also touch on whether your kidneys can heal if you’re able to put a stop to drinking or prescription drug use.

The Kidneys’ Role in the Body

The kidneys are not only a cornerstone of the urinary system, but they are two of the most vital organs in the body.

Among the kidneys’ many functions in the body, here are five of their primary roles:

  • Filtering the blood to remove toxins and waste
  • Regulating the volume and concentration of the body’s fluids
  • Helping keep the body’s blood pressure balanced and under control
  • Releasing a hormone that impacts the body’s production of red blood cells
  • Maintaining the right amount of water in the body

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Kidneys?

Even casual alcohol use will put the kidneys to work, filtering the toxins out of the blood and trying to bring the body’s fluid back to normal levels. Alcohol also has a drying effect, which will lower the amount of water in the body, even if the person is sipping water in between alcoholic beverages.

While a drink or two won’t affect a person’s blood pressure in the long term, prolonged heavy drinking can lead to high blood pressure, which usually isn’t an issue among moderate and non-drinkers. More than two drinks per day increase one’s chances of developing high blood pressure. Furthermore, high blood pressure is one of the chief causes of kidney disease.

In the short term, binge drinking does run the risk of causing acute kidney failure, which is when the two organs essentially give up because they can’t keep up with the demand of filtering toxins from the blood. This usually doesn’t have long-lasting effects, so long as person survived the kidney failure, but repeated binge drinking episodes could lead to lasting kidney damage.

It’s worth noting that not only does alcohol use make the kidneys work much harder at the moment, but excessive, prolonged drinking can actually change the chemistry of the kidneys. This means they will no longer perform as efficiently as they did before the person started drinking heavily. The individual will be perpetually dehydrated, malnourished and lethargic if his or her kidneys ever reach that point.

How Do Prescription Drugs Affect the Kidneys?

Certain prescription and even over-the-counter drugs can make the kidneys work overtime. In some cases, it’s the active ingredient that comes into conflict with the kidneys, in other cases, it’s the additives in pharmaceutical drugs that pose a problem.

In fact, medications play a role in up to 25 percent of acute kidney injuries. Some doctors will even warn patients with kidney issues not to take certain over-the-counter medications.

According to GoodRx.com, these are some of the worst medications for your kidneys:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen, Motrin, Advil, etc.)
  • Vancomycin (an antibiotic that treats MRSA)
  • Diuretics (aka water pills, which help the body release excess salt and water)
  • Iodinated radiocontrast (a dye used in CT scans with contrast)
  • Jardiance (a newer diabetes medication)
  • HIV medications (antiretrovirals)
  • Zoledronate (aka zoledronic acid, used to treat osteoporosis)

Opioid painkillers are also known to be hard on the kidneys, especially ones like Vicodin and Percocet, which contain acetaminophen. Just as Motrin and Advil cause issues in the kidneys, acetaminophen-based medications like Tylenol can be nearly as damaging. Long-term use of drugs with acetaminophen can lead to renal failure or chronic kidney failure. If the condition gets severe enough, the person may have to undergo dialysis and, eventually, a kidney transplant.

Prescription opioid abuse can break down muscles and tissues in the body, releasing proteins into the blood. One of those proteins in myoglobin, which can cause obstruction and kidney damage. Excessive protein buildup in the organs and tissues can lead to kidney failure.

Can Alcohol Cause Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts inside the kidneys. As you’ve probably heard, or may know firsthand, passing a kidney stone is incredibly painful. Sometimes these stones can get stuck in the urinary tract, which could cause infections and require surgery.

Those who don’t drink enough water or who sweat a lot are at a higher risk for kidney stones. A diet high in salt and sugar can also increase one’s risk of stones. And if you’ve already had a kidney stone, you’re at risk of getting more of them.

So, can alcohol cause kidney stones? Quite possibly, but there’s not a clear answer. First of all, medical experts still aren’t 100 percent sure of many of the causes of kidney stones. They have only identified a few scenarios that seem to put people more at risk.

An Indirect Connection Between Alcohol and Kidney Stones

To be clear, drinking alcohol is not directly tied to kidney stones, at least at this time. However, alcohol may put several processes in motion that could lead to the development of kidney deposits. As mentioned earlier, alcohol dries out the body. And as you just read, not enough water in the body can be a precursor to a kidney stone.

People who drink a lot of alcohol may try to drink large amounts of water concurrently to try to avoid dehydration, but this is rarely the case. Alcohol is going to deplete the water level in the body regardless, so getting back to a normal hydration level is going to entail refraining from alcohol for a while. It’s also true that alcoholics tend to make poor dietary choices, and this often means sugary and salty foods, which can make kidney stones more likely.

And finally, it’s worth noting that beverages such as beer and spirits with grain alcohol have a heavy purine count. Purines are chemical compounds that have been tied to uric acid kidney stones. A high purine count in the body can lead to the accumulation of uric acid, which may result in a kidney stone.

What to Do If You’re Addicted to Alcohol or Prescription Drugs

If you’ve had kidney problems and become dependent or alcohol or a certain pharmaceutical drug, then it’s time to seek help to learn to abstain from the damaging substance. Especially if you’ve already had a kidney stone, then you’re at risk for developing and passing another. Stopping your alcohol or prescription drug use will help immensely.

The good news is that, like the liver, you kidneys can regenerate themselves to a degree – so long as you haven’t reached the point of kidney disease or other permanent damage. If you’re able to abstain from the substance you’ve been abusing, improved kidney health is possible.

Entering a professional rehab program will not only help you learn to let go of substance use, but many programs have nutritional counseling and therapy services to help you make wiser dietary decisions. Following their advice and staying sober will improve your health comprehensively, kidneys and otherwise.

Fight Addiction Now can help you find the right recovery program for your needs, no matter where you are in the United States. Contact us for expert guidance in your search for treatment.

Take the ‘Am I Addicted to My Meds?’

Can You Use Marijuana to Get Off Opioids (Heroin/Painkillers)?

Can You Use Marijuana for Opioid Withdrawal Heroin Painkillers - Fight Addiction Now

The American opioid epidemic rages on. More than 2 million Americans are reportedly dependent on opioid drugs currently. In 2016 alone, some 42,000 people died of an opioid overdose. That’s more than 100 opioid-related deaths every single day.

Understandably, opioid addicts are terrified, and many are beginning to turn to unconventional treatments to overcome their addiction. As the number of accepted medical uses for marijuana has steadily grown over the past decade, many wonder if cannabis can be an effective treatment for opioid addiction.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence showing that marijuana can help people suffering from opioid withdrawals. However, marijuana use may be of some benefit during other stages of opioid addiction treatment.

Marijuana for Opioid Withdrawal: Does It Work?

Opioid Prescriptions In States With Medical Marijuana Statistic - Fight Addiction Now

It would be nice if simply smoking weed or eating marijuana food for opiate withdrawal were an effective treatment, but to put it bluntly, it’s not. There is very little that can be done to make the symptoms of opioid detox less miserable.

Once you’ve decided to get clean, you’ll inevitably have to suffer through opioid withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cold flashes
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea and vomiting

Now, there is some anecdotal evidence that marijuana may be able to partially relieve some of these symptoms, like nausea and insomnia, for example. But as a general rule, marijuana is not an effective replacement for opioids during the early stages of recovery.

Marijuana as a Replacement Painkiller

Many people who become addicted to opioid drugs began using them for legitimate reasons. There are countless stories of doctors prescribing painkillers to patients who, over time, become more and more dependent on the opioid medications.

And when their prescription runs out, many of these patients turn to street opioids to satisfy their drug dependence, which can eventually lead to heroin addiction and even death.

While marijuana may not treat the physical dependence on opioids, it can bring relief to the underlying chronic pain issues that led to the use of opioids in the first place.

Studies on Marijuana to Treat Chronic Pain

Harvard researchers recently performed a systematic review of 28 studies examining the effectiveness of cannabinoids to treat numerous chronic pain conditions. The Harvard team found that of six general chronic pain studies, all demonstrated that marijuana use resulted in a significant improvement in pain symptoms. In addition, five out of five studies showed that marijuana helped to alleviate neuropathic pain.

Two studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association also seem to indicate that states that legalized medical marijuana observed a significant reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions written by doctors. While these studies only show observational correlations, the research teams were confident that the drop in opioid prescriptions is related to the availability of legal marijuana, as there was no change in the number of non-opioid prescriptions during the study.

It’s hard to say whether marijuana can be an effective chronic pain treatment in all cases, but the research appears to show that many may be able to find relief by replacing their opioid use with marijuana.

Marijuana as a Recreational Opioid Replacement

Marijuana Food For Opiate Withdrawal - Fight Addiction Now

Not everyone uses opioid drugs for legitimate medical reasons. Those who use prescription painkillers or heroin recreationally may be able to replace opioids with marijuana. People abuse opioids for a number of nonmedical reasons, such as to relieve social anxiety or just unwind after a stressful day. Marijuana can provide similar effects to opioids in this regard, and is much safer in both the short and long term.

Whereas opioids have a tremendously high potential for addiction, marijuana does not. People can use it for years with little risk of developing a physical dependence. And while opioid overdoses claim tens of thousands of lives every year, it’s nearly impossible to have a fatal overdose of marijuana.

Now, we’re not recommending that people take up marijuana use just to have a good time, but if the choice is between marijuana and opioids, it’s safe to say that marijuana is going to be the safer option nearly 100 percent of the time.

Beating Opioid Addiction the Smart Way

If you are serious about kicking an opioid habit, there is no better way to do it than through a medical opioid detox program. For someone going through the process of quitting opioids, marijuana will not do much for the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but there are other medications that can.

If it’s deemed necessary, a trained physician at a medically assisted opioid detox facility may prescribe any of the following medications to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms:


An opioid and opioid antagonist, this drug helps with managing withdrawal symptoms and can be taken by injection, as an implant, under the tongue or as a skin patch. Be mindful that this medication has the potential for addiction if abused or taken for too long of a time.


This medication, sold under the brand name Dolophine, can treat pain and help wean patients off other opioid drugs. Detox centers must be certified by SAMHSA to legally prescribe this medication, as it can be addictive if prescribed for too long or too heavy of a dosage.


Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that has proved to be effective in treating opioid withdrawal symptoms. This drug works by affecting the central nervous system, and can be prescribed by any licensed physician.


Zofran treats nausea and vomiting that accompany opioid withdrawal. Any licensed doctor at an opioid detox center can prescribe Zofran to patients.

Help with Finding an Opioid Detox Program

In the end, the decision comes down to each individual whether they will choose to use marijuana as a replacement of the symptoms or reasons they started taking opioid drugs. One thing that is certain, however, is that if someone is already addicted to opioids, marijuana is not going to magically get rid of their withdrawal symptoms. But don’t lose hope!

No matter how hopeless the situation may seem, with professional help and personal determination, anyone can start down the path toward a life free from opioid addiction.

Learn More About the Detox Process

Denying Chronic Pain Sufferers Pain Medication Can Only Worsen the Opioid Crisis in 2018

Denying Chronic Pain Sufferers Pain Medication Worsen The Opioid Crisis In 2018 - Fight Addiction

If pain is your constant companion, shouldn’t you have the right to pain relief according to current medical advances?

Is it fair for the public to look down on you for needing painkillers? How about being met with indifference and discredited by the doctors you are reduced to pleading to help you?

This is the situation many chronic pain sufferers are finding themselves in today.

The New War on Drugs Could Worsen the Opioid Crisis

The opioid addiction epidemic in America has sparked much concern over the staggering death toll it is taking on our citizens. So, we have waged a new war on drugs: prescription opioids.

Prescription opioids, or opiates, derive from the poppy plant and can be natural or synthetic. Opiates have been used since the dawn of civilization. From Hippocrates prescribing juice of the poppy to the morphine used for injuries in the Civil War, opiates have been the mainstay of pain relief.

Here are the most common prescription opioids today:

  • Vicodin, Norco, hydrocodone
  • OxyContin, Percocet, oxycodone
  • Codeine, Tylenol with codeine
  • Fentanyl patches, Duragesic, fentanyl
  • Dilaudid, hydromorphone
  • Demerol
  • MS Contin, Kadian, morphine

The class of opioids even includes the illegal drug heroin and some illicit forms of fentanyl and opium.

Opioid Addiction Help or Harm?

Does putting restrictions on opioid prescriptions help or harm chronic pain sufferers?

Political issues, the big business of pharmaceutical companies and health insurance all have a big impact on the practice of medicine.

With the mounting death toll related to opioids, doctors have been prescribing less pain medication. Similarly, state governments are implementing new laws on how much pain medication doctors can prescribe.

These restrictions make it harder for people with legitimate needs to get their pain medicine, even causing them harm in some cases. But, restrictions on painkillers will not be able to prevent all opioid use or solve the opioid epidemic. (It’s not like all of the current laws against illegal drugs are preventing heroin addiction.)

Q & A and Debates

Opioid Death Statistic 2016 Infographic - Fight Addiction NowIn the debate on how best to handle opioid abuse and overdose, the group with the softest voice is those patients who rely on opioids to get through life.

People with lifelong chronic pain issues have few or no other options for effective relief. Facing a lifetime of suffering from a non-curable condition or an old injury significantly reduces one’s quality of life.

Q: Is it fair to people needing chronic pain management to treat them like drug addicts or worse, that they are not really in pain and not credible?

And where does that leave people in pain who are now suddenly unable to get the medication they need to manage their lives?

How can another person, even a medical professional, adequately deduce your pain?

A: Individual pain is as unique as our brains are from each other, and everyone has a different tolerance.

A few will find an alternative holistic plan for some relief, but many are turning to illicit opioids, as evidenced by upward trends in heroin abuse. Some are looking for pain relief in alcohol and other substances. Others will lose the ability to contribute to society as pain cripples them into being unable to function or work a job. Unore people will be forced to apply for disability or government assistance.

There is even a debate among doctors and medical professionals regarding the opioid addiction epidemic. Doctors focused on the dangers of opioid use tout the belief that chronic pain patients should concentrate on their emotional reaction to pain with coping and acceptance strategies, and only secondarily try to reduce their physical pain.

Physicians focused on compassionate care take the stance that if a patient has tried several other treatments without positive results, painkillers should be provided so the patient retains some quality of life.

Who Should Make Health Care Decisions?

It is true that the numbers of accidental overdose and death attributed to opioids have risen significantly and are disturbing. Drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin need to be prescribed and monitored carefully by a conscientious physician.

But the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers showing 30,000-plus opioid-related deaths each year can be put in perspective with the 15,000 anti-inflammatory (like ibuprofen) drug deaths per year that no one is talking about.

However, when we have politicians and businesses dictating to doctors what the best medical practices are, we are not allowing the most qualified people to make decisions concerning patients’ health.

Medically trained physicians judge best which treatments suit their patients, not the government, not the pharmaceutical industry or lobbyists with the most money, and not the insurance companies.

Some pharmacies are imposing distribution limits on opioids. Some insurance companies, formerly the champions of opioids as an inexpensive front-line treatment, are starting to require a prior authorization for medications like morphine and fentanyl.

The Politics of Opioid Dependence

President Trump established a commission last year to examine the opioid crisis and to present solutions. Furthermore, the president declared a national public health emergency after hearing the commission’s findings.

While no one can deny opioids are dangerous, according to some people, this new war on prescription drugs is mostly a political move. Winning wars for a good cause early in a presidency tends to result in positive gains the opinion polls and can set a candidate up for winning a second term.

Prescription Restrictions Causing People to Turn to Stronger Drugs

It is worrisome that the current trends toward limiting doctors’ abilities to legally prescribe painkillers could only worsen the opioid epidemic by pushing more people toward heroin and opioid addiction.

Due to increased awareness, state government oversight and doctors’ fears of punitive measures for prescribing too many narcotics, prescription opioid numbers have decreased over the past few years. However, as rates of prescription opioids dispensed have gone down, rates of heroin use have gone up.

The original crackdown on prescription opioid medications is what led many to switch to heroin. Heroin is very similar in chemical makeup to prescription pills, only much stronger and more powerfully addictive.

Because of current societal views, people dealing with chronic pain can be left untreated or under-treated. Additionally, they are often stigmatized as drug abusers and criminals.

Alternatives to Limiting Painkillers

Instead of penalizing the majority for the troubles of the minority, we could focus on monitoring patients for risky behavior in opioid use.

We already have stringent state monitoring plans in place on controlled substances. These programs check for multiple prescriptions, multiple doctors and early refills. This helps identify patients who are misusing the drugs and are thereby at risk for accidental overdose.

By putting control of patients’ health back in the hands of qualified physicians and the patients themselves, mutual responsibility for safety can be shared by the ones most affected. It is a better than forcing chronic pain sufferers to choose between a life of agony and criminalization and addiction.

An Engaging Discussion on Human Rights

How does the risk of societal harm stack up against the rights of the individual to have effective pain relief?

Not everyone who uses pain medication is a drug addict. Should people with a legitimate need for medication be denied it because other people abuse it? By that logic, we would re-establish prohibition.

Denying painkillers to those in pain will no more stop the use and abuse of opioids than prohibition stopped alcohol use and abuse. Addiction and drug abuse are much deeper issues than a prohibition-type regime could ever solve.

Have you been denied medication or found it more difficult to obtain legitimate prescription medications? What have your experiences or your family’s experiences been with prescription opioids? Join us on our forum to discuss this hot topic, or learn more about the risks of prescription drugs by clicking below.

See Our Prescription Drug Fact Sheet