Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let's Just Give An Addict Prescription Pain Killers

Following my husband's recent roll-over car accident, and in light of my experience in the Secret Society of an Alcoholic's Wife, I have been made very aware of how easily our current health care system has set it up for people to become so easily addicted to prescription pain killers.

I understand my husband is in some bodily pain. His trucked rolled. I get it. The emergency doctors gave him a prescription for 12 Percocet AND 30 muscle relaxers (Robaxin). 6 months ago, Rocky had his wisdom teeth pulled. He received a prescription for 50 Vicodin. Luckily he was so anesthetized that I was able to have the dentist rewrite the prescription for 25 - and even that was hard with a combative, doped up, recovered alcoholic patient listening in - AND attempting to argue with me with a mouth full of gauze.

Because Rocky is an addict, our story is a little bit different. Addicts see the world in a different light - in which the world revolves around them and their addiction. Even when the immediate threat of relapse isn't so pungent,  addicts still breath in a routine toxicity of their own addictive perfume. Rocky has not yet fully realized that he can become addicted to anything - even caffeine. So imagine my horror when the Dentist prescribed him 50 Vicodin. 

I'm almost of the belief that addiction should be placed in a person's medical file much as a heart murmur or type I diabetes is.

The bigger picture though is how easily it has been to get these high count prescriptions. There was NO mention of ice packs and ibuprofen with both the car accident AND teeth pulling.

And yet, I pumped 8-lbs of baby through my vagina TWICE - and somehow survived with several strategically placed ice packs and 800mg of Ibuprofen. I was offered 6 prescription Vicodin with my 1st delivery (which I never filled - because who really wants to go to the pharmacy 2 days after giving birth), and the 2nd delivery I just declined all offerings.

Here's some interesting facts from the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
  • -In 2009, 16 million Americans age 12 and older had taken a prescription pain reliever,                 tranquilizer, stimulant, or sedative for non medical purposes at least once in the year prior to being surveyed.
  • In two nationally representative surveys, about 2% of mothers with at-home children under the age of 18 reported symptoms meeting the clinical criteria for abuse of or dependence on illicit drugs or prescription drugs that are being misused. 
  • Of that 2%, 1.1% (the highest percentage of responders) reported their drug of choice to be PRESCRIPTION PAIN KILLERS.
What has been your experience with prescription pain killers? Do you think they are overly prescribed, or is there a 100% valid reason for their existence and use?

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  1. I grew up in a single-parent household raising my littler sister with my mom, who is a prescription pain medication abuser. It is a hard path. You're right- they live in their own little sphere of addiction.

    Anyway, as a result I grew up being basically deathly afraid of prescription pain medication because almost everyone in my family has some sort of related addiction.

    I agree with you about it needing to go in their chart. I would go with my mom to all of her appointments whenever I could (much to her chagrin) to make sure she wouldn't lie to the doctor to get meds and tried to tell the doctor that she would abuse them and watch in horror as my mom would pop handfuls of unnecessary pills.

    It occurred to me back in March of 2010 that our medical system does make these drugs too easily available when I was recovering from an emergency appendectomy. The nurse tried countless times to get me to take morphine. I didn't get actually angry until my second or third day in the hospital and they wouldn't let it go about the fact that I DID NOT WANT the morphine. I even explained my family history, and I was still met with strange looks and comments about how crazy I was.

    However, since it was in the orders that the pain medication I was allowed was morphine and that wasn't getting changed, I simply recovered without any pain medicine at all. None. And you know what? It really wasn't that bad.

    1. I don't think people are taught about managing pain sans pills properly. I also think it's easier for them to pop a little pill than it is to learn pain management techniques. Just my opinion.

  2. Managing the pain can be done. It depends on how effective the medication is.

  3. I definitely think that it should go in the charts when someone is an addict. The bad thing is....when someone gets hurt and actually is in pain, it's kind of hard to not take something EVEN if you are an addict.

    I feel for you. My boyfriend is an addict and is right now currently clean but at any time I know he could get hurt or have a relapse.

  4. There needs to be proper administration of the drugs. This is to avoid potentially harmful effects.

  5. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are among the most common pain killers. It is essential for an individual to take these medicines with extra caution. Drugs like Tylenol should be taken with extra caution too because it is known to be toxic to liver.

  6. Pain killers like paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common medicines being used today. Acetaminophen has analgesic and antipyretic property too, but it has a hepatotoxic effectwhich that damages the liver's integrity and functionality. This can be used along with other drugs when experiencing flu's signs and symptoms.

  7. Sore throat can be painful too. It is important to cure any kind of pain in the body to prevent other problems from arising. It is recommended to take pain relievers especially if you have a very low tolerance to pain. However, you have to ensure that you only take the medicines as prescribed. For sore throat, you can try sore throat remedies like strepsils. It can be taken without any prescription.

  8. I usually tolerate minor illnesses, but I don't tolerate anything that has pain, I always take a painkiller at the slightest sensation of pain.

  9. Pain killers are made to alleviate pains, thus they must not be over used. Even my dentist Kansas city prescribes pain killers and antibiotics to relieve pain and combat infections, respectively. Analgesics like paracetamol and acetaminophen are hepatotoxic, thus taking more that what is allowed can cause hepatitis. For me, pain killers really help especially if used properly.

  10. From my own observances in life, prescription pain killers are given out to addicts (maybe they know how to talk to the doctors the right way?) while people who really do need pain medication and want to take them the way the doctor prescribes, do not get a prescription because the doctor's fear losing their licence from writing pain pill scripts. It is sad all the way around.

  11. I agree with you about it needing to go in their chart.Pain killers like paracetamol and ibuprofen are the most common medicines being used today.but it has a hepatotoxic effect which that damages the liver's integrity and functionality.
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