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Patients in Pain, and a Doctor Who Must Limit Drugs (NY Times article)

Discussion in 'Prescription Drugs' started by deanokat, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    This is an interesting and timely article. Patients who legitimately need pain meds are facing new obstacles.

    An excerpt:

    "A growing number of states are enacting measures to limit prescription opioids, highly addictive medicines that alleviate severe pain but have contributed to a surging epidemic of overdoses and deaths. This week the federal government issued the first national guidelines intended to reduce use of the drugs.

    As politicians and policy makers decry the opioid crisis, the country’s success in confronting it may well depend on the ability of physicians like Dr. Wergin to reconcile their new role as enforcer with their mission of caring for patients."

    The full article is at this link:

    Patients in Pain, and a Doctor Who Must Limit Drugs (from the NY Times, 3/16/16)

    Thoughts?
    Zyni likes this.
  2. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    I try to look at both sides of issues. In this case, it's really hard for me. I suffer chronic pain. I don't want to get addicted to pain killers or overdose either, but I don't think people who genuinely need medicine should be denied because some people abuse it.

    In general, I'm just disgusted with the "one size fits all" approach the government tends to employ. Everyone is different. This is why the Founders didn't want the federal government to overreach into things like this. It wasn't designed to care for individuals. This issue should be a state's rights issue, handled at the local level.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    deanokat likes this.
  3. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    In my opinion, I think it is the drug manufacturers that need to be questioned here. There are some drugs that are very good for pain relief but highly addictive. If there is a way that the addiction could be curbed, it would be great.

    Each level of pain should categorized by the doctors and this should be looked in by the government and not just make a blinding law that could cost the lives of innocent citizens.
  4. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    Well, it stands to reason that if there is a growing number prescriptions written in a short amount of time then something is changing that should not be. I am going to assume that the rate of severe pain needing extensive pain killers is relatively consistent, meaning that it is level over time. It means that they are being used to treat pain more, meaning they are more available, meaning more likely to be abused. It is a tough decision though to limit a treatment for people.
  5. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yeah, I don't know. I guess everyone is different. There was another thread here talking about pain drugs. I think each person has a different relationship with this sort of thing. I've taken pain prescriptions and over the counter stuff. Usually I will have both present if something is prescribed. Like if I have something with codeine, which I have had. I took less than what was prescribed and for a shorter amount of time than what was in the bottle. I would quickly go to the over the counter as a lesser pain reliever just to have something in my system. Seems to work fine this way. There's no need to finish a bottle of a pain prescription if you don't have to.
    This is just my way of dealing with something like this. I think that there are a majority that look at a prescription pain reliever as something they want to indulge in as some sort of luxury item. Some might need it more than others, but the less the better.
    Chronic pain and severe pain is a whole other issue. But generally I feel like some of these prescriptions perpetuate pain for profit. I'm pretty sure there has always been a limit on opioids and pain medication. I guess it depends upon how the doctor writes the script.
  6. OHelloMe

    OHelloMe Active Contributor

    I could not have said it better myself. This is an issue I feel strongly about. What drives me bonkers is that the DEA seems to hunting and penalizing the doctor whose patient got out of the hospital 2 days ago. Instead of, you know, doing actual police work and nabbing the true criminals who are making and selling counterfeit narcotics.

    I hate to break to the DEA but, I'm pretty sure that cancer patient is not the criminal in this situation!
    Zyni likes this.
  7. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    But the problem is that nearly all doctors over-prescribe narcotic painkillers. According to the article at the link below, 99% of doctors exceed the recommended 3-day initial dosage limit, and nearly 25% prescribe pills for an entire month right off the bat. THAT'S how we've gotten to the point we're at today.

    Nearly All U.S. Doctors 'Overprescribe' Addictive Narcotic Painkillers: Survey

    Doctors need to be more responsible, IMO.
  8. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    Well, you do have a point. I guess doctor's do need to be held more accountable. I just don't like the across-the-board way it's being handled. I only take medication when I have to, but I want to be able to get it when I do have to.

    I think this is why doc's are prescribing so many "off label" medicines for people with chronic pain these days instead of actual pain killers. I don't want to be their guinea pig. I want the lowest effective dose I can get of something that works, without tons of additional side effects.
  9. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Senior Contributor

    I am wondering about the "overprescribe" depiction here. People are in pain, sometimes very excruciating pain. Are they now going tell, say a cancer sufferer, that he are she will not be able to get the usually prescribed amount of pain killer because people are abusing the drug? They should not seek to just simply cause the good to suffer for the bad. How come they have not restricted the amount of alcohol that an individual may have because people are abusing that substance?
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think it is better for the doctors to be reminded not to over prescribed any medications to avoid overdose. Better if those who suffer from pain could also have better medication or they will provide safer alternatives as there will be limits on those type of drugs.
  11. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    My mother had her pain killers limited also. One thing I noticed is that she seemed to be in less pain lately. I don't know if it's just my imagination but her taking less of it may have helped. I think if you become too dependent on pain killers being without them at first makes everything seem painful and more sensitive. I noticed after a while she stopped complaining about everything hurting.
    deanokat likes this.