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.
Never forget that pain relief is one of the miracles of modern medical practice.
Agreed. It is accomplished in many ways.
In the case of family members with terminal cancers, we found it annoying that the doctors held off on pain reduction for fear of addition. If the patient is going to die in several months, what the heck is the issue with becoming addicted? But once that issue was worked through, their remaining lives were without pain.
The much needed pain/irritation relief for my case of shingles was a drug used on psych patients, but at about 10% dose- or whatever % it was. In any event, much lower dosage for shingles. The pain/irritation went away, with no side effects- as long as I stuck to the dosage routine.
I experienced some of those anti-psychotic effects when, due to traveling, I missed a dose, and decided to double up one time on the dose. I felt very sleepy after having done so. I learned my lesson: don't double up your dosage if you miss taking it one time.
For the most part the two issues are two separate issues only conflated because it benefits trail lawyers and some politicians. Addiction to pain drugs when used as prescribed is rare. Opioid overdose/death from prescription drugs is rare. Almost all of the overdose deaths are due to illegal fentanyl and almost all of the addiction from prescription drugs are either intentional and/or due to using them differently than prescribed.
There are some cases of inadvertent addiction with patients who have severe and long term pain but in these cases overdose is almost non-existent.
The bottom line is for various reasons this "pain crisis" in medicine is totally created by politicians and lawyers and the people who will suffer from it are those who need medication and a few doctors who get caught up in the dragnet.
What I have noticed here in my state of mass. Is the doctors have eliminated compassion for their clients (I can no longer refer to them as patients)and have developed a business mode. Our state (govenment/politicians are showing great compassion for marijuana,heroin and other substance abusers prooblems. Devoting time, real estate and money to accommodating them. The rest of us who used to have legally prescribed, medically supervised pain control stumble about in a sea of misery. Oh, and work and pay taxes so our state can afford the very expensive drug addicts.
I've seen more than one neighbor succumb to opioid abuse. It was obvious to everyone paying the least attention that they were going under one way or another. They'd been overdosing to deal with physical and psychic pain for a long time, using anything that came to hand, including heroic quantities of alcohol and any pain meds that could be acquired either from compliant doctors or on the black market. And you can get anything on the black market.
I've also watched two elderly relatives die in a whole lot more pain than was necessary. It's true that long-term opioid use will get you some intractable problems with constipation, but even that isn't as bad as the howling pain that lasts for years. I don't get the preoccupation with addiction. The toughest problem really seemed to be dealing with the temptation to theft among medical staff, which was considerable.
One execrable creature at a nursing home told me my aunt would "just have to work through her process." I didn't have her power of attorney. Life lesson: never give your power of attorney to someone who's squeamish about getting you adequate pain relief in your final months, after you've become just a little to addled to stand up for yourself effectively.