Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chronic Pain Patients and Drug Addicts

I have read several studies indicating that chronic pain patients do not become addicted to their medications. You can build up a tolerance to the medication and require a stronger dosage over a period of time but you do not exhibit the drug seeking behaviour that drug addicts show.

To me this is a very important piece of information to have.

I know a couple of people that use "chronic pain" as a way to have access to narcotic pain meds. They are constantly running to the ER after office hours to get a "pain shot" because their pain is unbearable. But when you ask them about their pain they are always vague and non-specific. "I hurt everywhere." As they suck on their opiate lollypop and drool runs down the chin.

One lady, we used to be fairly good friends, lost her job because she was getting wasted at work and actually sleeping at her desk. They fired her after they obtained several hours of video tape of her sleeping, once she had her face in her lunch. This is the action of a drug addict and not someone with chronic pain.

If your pain is so bad that you are having to go to the ER for shots of anything, then you need to find a new MD and get on a good pain control regimen.

Controlling pain is a 24/7 venture. You have to stay one step ahead of it or else it will kick your butt and getting back on top of it is a long hard road.

I think that is why I like my pain patch so much. As long as I remember to change it every 3 days, I'm okay. My MD just raised my dosage for the first time in 3 years and it has made a big difference, my break-through pain is much less. In the 11 years that I have had chronic pain I have never gone to the ER because of the pain in my back... ie. I have not had a shot of Demerol in the ER for my pain in all these years. This is because I had good doctor's from the very beginning who educated me on the mechanics of pain and what I had to do to stay ahead of it.

Talk to your doctor if you feel that you are in more pain than you need to be. Be specific about where your pain is. Be assertive and change doctors if you have to. If you feel that you have an addiction problem please get the proper help, don't put yourself and your loved ones through the hell of drug addiction. My friend, former friend, is miserable and is alienating everyone who used to be near and dear to her... all for the sake of a high.