We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, June 14. 2019
Many or most people in the US have used opioids whether for surgical or dental procedures, cancer pain, etc. The number of those people who become addicts is extremely low, but I do not have the numbers.
I know that there is some recreational use too, which seems, intuitively, more likely to lead towards addiction.
The few times I have used opioids (prescribed, of course), I have found them to be sort-of ok for pain relief but generally unpleasant (sleepy, stupid, unsettling) so I switch to NSAIDs or Tylenol as soon as I can.
Others find opioids to provide a feeling of deep, warm well-being if not euphoria. That sounds appealing, doesn't it?
What are your experiences with opioids?
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Many or most people in the US have used opioids whether for surgical or dental procedures, cancer pain, etc.
I know most people undergo some sort of dental procedures. But I thought these involved the use of local anesthetics that are injected into the gums prior to the procedure and that was it. I was not aware that "most" people underwent surgery at all.
You haven't had real dentistry.
Try having your gums slit open on both sides, then the wisdom teeth within chainsawed in half, then those halves pulled out and your gums sewn up again. It makes "Marathon Man" look like pre-school.
I hit the Oxycodone after that until I saw a rainbow over my TV.
Guess not because I never had wisdom teeth grow in the first place.
I've been prescribed them many times, found it vaguely pleasant but disruptive. I did used to say, "Nothing better than a half a Percocet and a 12 pack" when I went out fishing on a party boat, though.
I fell and broke my shoulder several months ago which caused a rotator cuff tear. I was given a script for oxycodone. I took three in the first 24 hours. I was surprised how little it helped so I just didn’t take anymore and switched to a NSAID regimen with a very small dose of a muscle relaxant, both of which helped me manage the pain better.
Narcotics have their place. I am concerned about people who are in legitimate pain whom the narcotics can help. I also am a RN who gives enormous amounts of pain meds to people in the immediate post-op phase so I see how we can help people with them in the short term.
That being said, we also have a lot of people who insist they are having excruciating pain even though they are so heavily medicated that they can’t keep their eyes open or finish sentences without falling asleep. There are a lot of people in the country who honestly believe that they should never feel any pain, that the medical establishment has a duty to keep them from all pain, and that if they are not given enough pain meds to knock them out, we have not cared for them properly.
I've had a couple of tendon injuries, nothing serious. I just used Advil to deal with the pain.
My wife had an experience with pain where they gave her some opioid pain pills (I don't what they were). She took one, which knocked her out for 24 hours, and refused to take anymore. She really hated them, even more than the pain (and she hates pain too). The problem went away on its own over a week period.
BTW, I did a round of senolytics (5 days of Fisetin and Quercetin) and it actually helped with the tendon injury.
I am one of the ones for whom the opioid provides a deep sense of peace and happiness. Therefor I am very very careful of them.
Same here. They're pleasant enough them to make me careful. I use them when that's the kind of pain relief I need. After that, it's my responsibility to stop.
I have no patience with the idea that no one who needs opioids for pain control should ever be able to get them again, because some people will do anything to numb psychological discomfort, even if it's deadly. There's always a way to numb yourself to death. Drinking is slower, but fairly certain, and because it takes longer you'll probably do more damage to others along the way.
I was run over by a car 10-years ago. Broken arm and sprained knees and ankles. The hospital gave me one of the oxyies and a prescription. I went home and slept for a few hours. When I woke, I was dull and sluggish. It was worse than pain. I switched to ibuprofen.
I will admit my last experience with pain pills involved the illegal use of pain pills. If you've ever had a kidney stone, you'll be frantically asking around to see if anybody has any pain pills handy, too. Or a gun.
I've been prescribed opioids following serious dental procedures (wisdom teeth extraction and a root canal). I only filled the prescription the first time because I took them and they didn't address the pain very well, made me feel dopey and woozy. Switched to NSAIDS which were very effective. I never experienced the deep warm, well-being or euphoria.
I tried them one time after surgery to strip the tarsal nerve in my ankle. Took one but no more. Gave me excruciating headaches and very bad stomach ache. I just have to deal with the pain which would almost cause me to pass out at times.
The disorientation and anxiety that came with the pain relief overwhelmed any value of relief from big drugs. It was bad enough to add frightened to the anxiety But I’ve also had that from OTC cough medicine with high fever. I just don’t metabolize drugs well so I avoid anything more than aspirin. So far I’m in the healthy and good genes crowd so haven’t been challenged in any real way.
When I first had part of my lung removed I had some really bad pain, mostly from the broken ribs, sternum separation and the very large incision. I was prescribed Oxycodone and Percocet. The Percocet worked slightly better than the Oxycodone. When the pain became unbearable I would take a Percocet and slowly the pain mostly subsided. No drowsiness, no good feeling, literally no side effect at all.
The second time they did this was ten years later and they used micro-surgery. What a difference. No huge incision, no broken ribs and associated injuries. Still had pain but not nearly as much. Percocet again took most of the pain away.
I can't use nsaids because I'm on coumadin. I can take Tylenol but I don't trust it because of the health risks it presents. Believe it or not I still have pain daily from the first operation 15 years ago. But there is nothing I can really take for it.
An Addiction Crisis Disguised as a Housing Crisis: Opioids are fueling homelessness on the West Coast.
Homelessness is an addiction crisis disguised as a housing crisis. In Seattle, prosecutors and law enforcement recently estimated that the majority of the region’s homeless population is hooked on opioids, including heroin and fentanyl. If this figure holds constant throughout the West Coast, then at least 11,000 homeless opioid addicts live in Washington, 7,000 live in Oregon, and 65,000 live in California (concentrated mostly in San Francisco and Los Angeles). For the unsheltered population inhabiting tents, cars, and RVs, the opioid-addiction percentages are even higher—the City of Seattle’s homeless-outreach team estimates that 80 percent of the unsheltered population has a substance-abuse disorder. Officers must clean up used needles in almost all the homeless encampments.
For drug cartels and low-level street dealers, the business of supplying homeless addicts with heroin, fentanyl, and other synthetic opioids is extremely lucrative. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the average heavy-opioid user consumes $1,834 in drugs per month. Holding rates constant, we can project that the total business of supplying heroin and other opioids to the West Coast’s homeless population is more than $1.8 billion per year. In effect, Mexican cartels, Chinese fentanyl suppliers, and local criminal networks profit off the misery of the homeless and offload the consequences onto local governments struggling to get people off the streets.
West Coast cities are seeing a crime spike associated with homeless opioid addicts. In Seattle, police busted two sophisticated criminal rings engaged in “predatory drug dealing” in homeless encampments (they were found in possession of $20,000 in cash, heroin, firearms, knives, machetes, and a sword). Police believe that “apartments were serving as a base of operations that supplied drugs to the streets, and facilitated the collection and resale of stolen property.” In other words, drug dealers were exploiting homeless addicts and using the city’s maze of illegal encampments as distribution centers. In my own Fremont neighborhood, where property crime has surged 57 percent over the past two years, local business owners have formed a group to monitor a network of RVs that circulate around the area to deal heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamines. Dealers have become brazen—one recently hung up a spray-painted sign on the side of his RV with the message: “Buy Drugs Here!”
Some mentally ill folks off their meds, too. If you removed these and drug addicts, nearly the entire problem would disappear.
After two surgeries (throat and shoulder) once the post-surgery morphine wore off, they gave me oxycontin, the other time oxycodone. The first dose helped endure the immediate pain, in any case I wasn't feeling so chipper anyway.
I could only take them for a day and a half, after that first dose they made me feel so miserable I couldn't stand it. A very oppressive feeling, felt like I struggled to take a breath, very hard to describe but I just wanted to die or have the drugs wear off, whichever came first. Depressed and anxious and nauseated.
Immediately switched to ibuprofin and dealt with the pain, it was less distressing than the feelings from the oxy. I can't imagine abusing the stuff for any reason.
Had a partial knee replacement, was prescribed Oxy. Not only
did I sleep pretty much for a month hi (between physical therapy sessions), but the constipation! I have never had such a problem before. Nearly 2 weeks before I could "go". I can not understand why anyone would WANT to take the stuff.
If you ever have the misfortune of trying to push a calcium oxalate pebble through your urinary tract, you will bless sister morphine. The other times I’ve been prescribed painkillers, occasional back spasms and three orthopedic surgeries, I’ve taken at most one or two, and gone to ibuprofen ASAP—I don’t like feeling stupid.
Total right knee replacement October 2018, hospital sent home a bottle full of hydro-morphone. Took 3 of them. No thanks.
Like Santana says, "pain never makes me cry, but happiness does"
In my youth had several serious injuries to my back, add in a disintegrating spine and I am constantly in pain, sometimes worse than other times. Knowing that after doing something that escalated the pain to unbearable, doesn't take much, if I could take one #3 Tylenol and codeine and sleep at night, I can carry on my life. Took me 2 1/2 years to go through a bottle of 60. Now my doctors will not prescribe it, so I take 1000 units of Tylenol 3 to 4 times a day, and have had to let my playing with my grandchildren, maintaining my home, visiting with friends...all gone. I do not like this new, cruel medical system.
You can drive over the Canadian border and buy these in a drugstore and drive back to the U.S. legally.
Love them. Too much. But, I get no more pain relieve from them than I do from NSAID's. Reading the responses, it is interesting to note the variation in reaction to opioids. Everyone is different in their response to chemicals. I took amphetamines and cocaine in college as a "study aid". Hated them. But, there are a large number of people that are extremely susceptible to their effects. Same with alcohol. Not my drug, but it has ruined more lives than any other substance.
I was given an oxycodone prescription for gum surgery several years ago, and stopped taking them after the first day or so because of the reasons listed: they made me drowsy and confused, and a little sick to my stomach. Tylenol works perfectly well, even for my arthritis.
I was given something, don't remember what it was but it was an opioid, after my wife knee dropped me an broke two ribs. I remember taking one of those things before going to the office. When I got there I felt like I was walking on a mountain of titties. While I like titties, quite a lot, I did not like that walking on titties feeling. Tossed the down the toilet.
I've had them (usually percocet) after surgery a few times.
For me they work like this: the first dose makes everything better. No pain, no discomfort, no anything - I feel great. The second dose only works about half as well as the first; and by the third or fourth dose, they're not doing a thing and I'm starting to think I need to double them up, or something. Then I realize, "this is how people get addicted," and I take some ibuprofen instead.
Here is the shopping list of ailments:
67 yo old male. 204 #
I have had one major surgery on the lower back that helped me get back to mobile in '06. (I could barely walk prior)
Spinal stenosis (lumbar) with all 5 lumbar disks collapsed. They rub on each other and some days it can be really interesting. Nerve damage right leg limits some mobility the older I get.
Arthur Itis is becoming a regular visitor.
Been taking 7.5mg x 325mg 3 times a day for 13 years. They keep the worst under control. I only feel something if I miss a dose and the pain ratchets up. I have added CBD 25mg for general pain reduction. It seems to help. If I get really achy I can add a 25mg CBD chewable that dials it back a touch. Note: The CBD has no fun in it. just analgesic effects.
Stretches are done daily.
All of this talk about the dangers of opioids are for the people not under a doctors care. The pain doc helps keep me grounded. I take the meds as prescribed and if I have a bad day, I have a bad day.