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The Prescription Drug Addiction Epidemic: The Truth About Pain Pill Addiction

Kitty is a registered nurse. She uses what she has learned on the job to inspire and encourage others to take control of their health.

Pain Pill Addicts

Heroine. Crack. Meth. All some of the hardest narcotics to hit our streets in the history of detrimental drugs. But in more recent years, a new face of narcotics has emerged from behind the scenes, and would you believe it? They're prescribed by doctors and medical professionals on a daily basis! You most likely even know someone or are close with someone who is addicted to prescribed medications. Maybe you don't even realize they are addicted to pills. You will find out soon enough. Prescription drug addicts cannot hide their pill addiction for long, as it slowly but surely eats away at their sanity, their bodies, and their lives.


The Addiction

There is an epidemic sweeping over the nation, the epidemic of prescription pill addiction. This pain pill addiction epidemic is far worse than an epidemic of the flu could ever be and why? Because pain pill addiction keeps its victims sick for years and years.

Most pain pill addicts begin their run with pain pill addiction simply from being prescribed a pain pill or an anxiety pill for legitimate medical reasons - either they have had a surgery or some other pain that the doctor felt warranted a pain pill prescription, or the person could not deal with anxiety attacks and Xanax or some other anti-anxiety pill was prescribed. Though some people have gotten addicted to anti-anxiety pills, research suggests that the pain pill addiction is much stronger and wide-spread.

The major issue is the access to pain pills is nearly wide open! For example, I know at least two people who had merely gone to the doctor with complaints of random body-aches and the first thing the doctor did was hand over a pain pill prescription for Vicodin! I am no doctor, but it truly makes me wonder where these doctors' intentions are. Instead of trying to find a way to relieve the pain naturally or with NSAIDS, they would rather write out a pain pill prescription and send the patient on their way. I wondered for awhile if doctors actually acquire a kickback or commission of some sort from the pharmaceutical companies in exchange for pushing the pain pill prescriptions on their patients. Upon further investigation, the answer is not so clear. Some say the doctors do not receive monetary compensation for prescribing certain pain pills, while others claim that doctors receive at least perks from the pharma companies. Perks such as tickets to amusement parks, free meals, gift cards, etc. Strangely enough, I cannot find any solid resources on this theory, though. I guess if doctors are receiving kickbacks, they do not advertise it, and with good reason.

So the doctor has prescribed Vicodin or Percocet or Oxycontin for your aching knee and hasn't even done an x-ray to examine the real cause behind your achy knee? This seems to happen more than people realize. The other likely beginning to pain pill addiction is the surgery story. You were in a car accident and had to have numerous surgeries and after these surgeries were over and your body was pretty much healed, the use of pain pills continued. The reason for this was the way the pain pills made you feel and then the lying began. Lying to yourself and lying to your family and friends, and most likely your doctor as well.

At this point, the pain pill addict has become totally dependent on pills and is probably taking more than the prescribed amounts every day. If the addiction is really strong, the person may run out of pain pills and begin to blame others for their missing pills. They may go as far as saying "the dog must have eaten them" or "who stole my pills?" and so forth. Other signs of a pain pill addiction can include the addict falling asleep at sporadic times. This can be especially dangerous if the addict also smokes, as the cigarette can fall from their hands and light the person or their surroundings on fire. Depression and anger can also be signs of a pain pill addiction, specifically when the person may have run out of pills and they are experiencing withdrawals. Sickness such as stomach issues, vomiting and diarrhea, are also signs that a person may be addicted to pills and withdrawing between pain pill benders.

I have heard of some pain pill addicts taking up to thirty pills in a day! How is this possible? Over time, an addict's body will begin to need more and more pills in order to achieve the high that they are craving. It's the same concept with crack and heroine and other street drugs. What usually happens when a pain pill addict runs out or is running low on their pill stash? They scramble to get more. The first thing they'll do is probably call their doctor and make up some excuse as to why they need their pill refill early...sometimes this works but some doctors start to catch on to the lies and will limit the amount of refill prescriptions given. If they can't get more from their doctor, the next place to call is the pharmacy...and then it's on to whomever in their family or friends may have some sort of pain pill that they can beg for. And if that's a no-go, they may even resort to stealing pain pills from others' homes. I have seen every one of these actions from a pain pill addict.

It is really a sad scenario to see a loved one or friend going through this. The pain pill addict becomes just a sloppy shell of their old selves. They become dependent on drugs that were originally prescribed by their doctors and have also become dependent on family members for survival. Unfortunately what these pill addicts do not realize is that their actions have an effect on the people around them. The people around them may be depressed, physically and mentally exhausted, and losing hope in general. But the addict doesn't care, because the addict can't see anything but pills pills pills. Some people remain addicted to pills for years, some ending their lives by a predicted overdose. The lucky (or blessed) addicts somehow break out of their state of denial and try to get help on detoxing and separating from the drugs.

The life-long addicts may have a routine as to how to get their pills, and that routine could include doctor shopping or even pain management clinic hopping.


"Pain Management"

"Doctor shopping" also known as polypharmacy is a very common occurrence amongst pain pill addicts and is especially common in the state of Florida. In fact, we were taught in school that Florida has the highest rate of pain pill addicts in the country. This usually includes the downward spiraling force of the pain management clinics. These clinics state that they aid in relieving chronic pain, but in reality all they do is prescribe more pills to a patient. Usually they offer no other method of pain relief. What happened to other therapeutic methods of pain relief? These clinics are especially easy for addicts to acquire the fix that they so crave.

Some addicts at their worst begin taking the pills in other manners, such as crushing up the pills and snorting them or even shooting them up. This is addiction at the most dangerous level. Many addicts end up in the hospital for overdosing or even for infections due to shooting up the drugs.

It is really scary to me to see how much this epidemic has spread throughout the country...I wonder if other countries have the same problems, but for some reason I doubt it. Our healthcare system is horrible in the aspect that true solutions to medical problems do not seem to be offered so much as a prescription for a pill is handed over. Other ways that this disease has overpopulated include the fact that many teenagers and adults too have taken the pills as a recreational thing (partying with pills) and then wound up addicted to them. Outside of the walls of the doctors' offices and Pharmacies, there are people dealing out pills to teen and adult addicts alike. I know that in my hometown in Maryland, there have been huge busts by the police on restaurants and bars that had pill selling occurring right in their facilities.

More than one person who is close to me has experienced pain pill addiction in one form or another. We have to work together to stop this epidemic from becoming a pandemic. How do we do that? If you notice the signs that a loved one or friend is becoming addicted, take the appropriate not enable them by helping them get more pills. You might also want to mention it to their closest of kin (such as a spouse or parent). There is a lot of help out there to help addicts safely detox and also rehabilitate themselves. If rehab isn't an option, there are many supportive online resources to aid in getting through a "cold turkey" method. Withdrawals from pills are inevitable and are usually equivalent to a bad virus. Stomach problems such as diarrhea and vomiting will occur, as well as chills and mental struggles. If you can, be supportive to the addict by offering words of encouragement through the struggle of withdrawal.

Pain pill addiction is not a light is not something to mess around with. It will break down your life and who you thought you were, it will destroy the addict's mind and body and relationships...possibly even ending fatally.

© 2011 Kitty Fields


Jane Hurley on May 08, 2014:

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Former addict in the US,

I am glad you found a medication combination that works for you.

Jane Hurley on May 08, 2014:

Actually Kitty has some good points. We do need to watch out for people becoming addicted. I am not a doctor and don't know what it's like to work under such scrutiny. However, at the end of the day, care of the patient is the most important factor. Doctors need to band together to fight this intrusion into their practices. I have had personal experiences with addicts so I am not in the dark about this issue. Every human is different so it's not up to me to say who should take what medications. I do agree that precautions should be taken so people can avoid addiction. On another note, I once abused Xanax. I don't have that craving now, but it might rear it's ugly head in the future. I don't think there is a "cure" for addiction" just methods to control it or keep it from happening. Someone once told me that alcoholism, pill addiction, gambling addiction, or whatever your problem might be is just a symptom. Once you quit, you have to deal with what made you get high to begin with. What is more harmful to society?-- a person not receiving adequate medical care or having an addict among the general population. The answer is not easy and it's not up to be to be the final decision-maker.

To Former addict in the U. S.-- I am glad you found medication that worked for you. To me, a person that takes norcos for their intended use does not make that person an addict or less of a person. Getting blasted out of his mind would to avoid problems. Good luck you to and GodSpeed.

Nirvana 1952 on May 04, 2014:


Thank you for your kind words and praise. You have summed up the problem very succinctly and eloquently yourself

Former addict in the U.S. on April 30, 2014:

I was one of those patients who was receiving 240 10mg norcos a month. I MPVED TO THE PHILIPPINES where narcotic prescriptions are very difficult to get and guess what? IM GETTING ALONG FINE WITH IBUPROFEN AND AN OCCASIONAL TRAMADOL both of which are available without a prescription. Moving here saved my life.

Jane Hurley on April 29, 2014:

Nirvana, you have not posted in a while so I don't know if you'll read this. I wanted to praise you for your compassion and intelligence. I agree with you on many of the things you spoke about. I feel that a person has every right to not take pain meds when he might need them along with refusing other types of treatments. Likewise, a person has the right to take pain meds and undergo other treatments to help his medical condition. Throughout human history, there have been groups who were hell-bent on trying to control others' lives through legislation. Most things in life are cyclical. In about 25-30 years, the medical community will swing the other way. I hope it's not that long. But until then, people have to band together. I am not a pain patient but have seen the discrimination others face as a result of being one. It's atrocious. Like most other forms of prejudice, this treatment has a trickle-down effect that will harm society as a whole in the end just like drug addiction affects society in a detrimental manner. I live in Texas and can see the opposing sides to this. We can pray, which is great, but action is needed to put more control back into the hands of doctors and patients.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on April 27, 2014:

Jane - That's fine. You can disagree, but the facts remain. Thanks for reading!

Jane Hurley on April 27, 2014:

In addition, in relation to what pain meds and anti-anxiety meds are use to treat, ANTI-ANXIETY MEDS ARE WAY MORE POWERFUL. This comes from talking to pain sufferers who are not addicts, pain sufferers who are also addicts, and addicts who are not pain sufferers.

Jane Hurley on April 27, 2014:

Pain meds were invented to ease or eradicate pain. I am not sure about some "evil conspiracy" among the pharmaceutical companies, but the basic intent is to provide relief from pain caused by a stimulus or stimuli. From my understanding, "addiction" is a POSSIBLE side effect. I will never understand the need of some people to lump all people suffering from pain into one category because of the actions of a few within that group (pain patients who abuse their meds). Maybe these people feel the need to control. I honestly believe that are also people who want to remove or severely limit pain medications due to loved ones having addictions. I can understand this, but don't agree with it. Once it's pain pills. what's next? I recently read about a father who has a sick daughter in Florida and his words still haunt me. He said we are all one step away from immense suffering. This does not have to happen. People need to band together and fight this. Unless you have been through an experience such as dealing with chronic pain, how dare you have the audacity to even think you know what it's like.

PaulasPixels on April 23, 2014:

Kitty- I found your article to be true to the best of your knowledge. I am a person struggling with prescription narcotics being written for me to take for over 13 years. I admit I am dependant on these medications to get through life now without being in chronic pain from fibromyalgia and degenerative bone disease. Every doctor I have went to since moving three times has "just written me a script and basically told me not to get addicted" just as you mentioned in your article. As I write this, I'm in tears thinking what this has done to my body, mind and spirit. I am just a shell of the person I once was and just knowing that makes me cry even harder. Just about everything you wrote about in your article is so very true! Thank you for writing this!

James Ranka from Port Neches on April 04, 2014:

I agree with the info contained here, but I think you omitted one item. Not every person prescribed Vicodin, Percocet, etc. will become addicts. In fact, a very small percentage follow this path. These opiates are perfectly safe for many medical and dental procedures. I only state the above because your article suggests that MOST people will become drug addicts once they've used these perfectly safe prescription drugs. Alcohol, too, is a drug - most people drink moderately, a comparatively small percentage graduate to full blown alcoholism.

Flossy123 on January 30, 2014:

Kumari - At some point, you will realize that the cost of taking the meds outweighs whatever they were initially prescribed. At that point, contact your dr. obtain advise to ween yourself off of all meds. Then, allow yourself time to "get back to your normal body", and see how you feel. I guarantee you, you will suffer and want to take the pill(s) to feel better. Don't. You can do this. This will be the only way to get yourself back. It took me two years plus years to remove pain meds from my body. Every dr. I went to said "why" do you want to ween yourself, what will you do. We have found the only medication that works for you. Now, I am furious when I have to see the dr. and watch the catering van come out of the "large" bldg. that houses many drs., as they just finished their free breakfeast/lunch from the pharm. rep. This catering is done "daily". You can do this.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on January 07, 2014:

I am so sorry to hear that, kumari. I hope things get better for you.

kumari narayanan on January 07, 2014:

i am from india, and i have been prescribed sleep pills in my early 20s, and the doctor did not tell me it is addictive and it is not for prolonged use. time and again different GPs hav prescribedme the same meds, antiepressant without telling me. now i am 56 years still taking sleeping pillsand antidepressants and doctorshere continue to prescribe it indiscrimately. I can't hold a job, lonely, alienated, subject to physical abuse by myyounger siblings and their families.

Chris731 on December 17, 2013:

Continued, Sorry ; majority of use have such a hard, very hard time with our doctor and the prescriptions that she is afraid to write because of these bad apples. It is so unfortunate for the people that have to suffer and feel like we have to hide our medications out of fear that someone might help themselves or see how others look at us when we are dropping off and picking up our medications from the pharmacist. I personally have had to fire several employees because of my medications. Which obviously I don't take in front of people unless it's unavoidable such as it was in my situation, where I had a few employees in my truck in the last big snowstorm. I hate taking medication "IT SUCKS" but if not for these medications I would not be able to work, run my business, take care of my son, cut my yard, etc. I have serious back problems, like my L-4 and S-1 are completely missing, not to mention the 4 other diagnoses that I can't begin to type out. I go every 2 years to the Neurosurgeon with a fresh set of MRI's and have done so for the past 7 years, and have been given the same odds of surgery being of any use to me. I am not good with 70% that my back would stay the same or be worst, 30% maybe better. So what is one to do? I was given choices with my 45% permanent disability, either stay home in pain at 32 years old or take medicine and work until something comes along surgery related. I am now 41 and I chose the medicine, and glad I did! I am able to work play sports with my 9 year old son, and run around with my 6 Akitas, not to mention help out my mother since my father died 3 years ago and now with both my G. Parents living up here in Maryland from Florida now, they are both 97. It is really a bad stigma that we that "NEED" these medicines get and have to live with on top of the issues with the insurance, doctors and their fears, and then the responsibility that comes with these types of medicines that we have to deal with. I just put my Fiancé out of our house, we have been together in the same house in Montgomery County for 8 years, and she was stealing my medicine for the past few months. I sent her to her parents house, I have always told her that I would not stand for anyone asking, bothering me, and most of all stealing my medicine... I again don't want to be "RESPONSIBLE" for someone's death over these medicines either. I am sorry to ramble on to you, I never respond to these blogs. I just today was talking to my doctor about this subject and how all of the people like myself will have to pay the consequences and deal with writing our congress, MD health board, and the insurance committee, all because of the stigma that is following these medications because of the bad apples out there both patients and doctors, and I came across your blog. Quite funny actually; when I first read you blog I was so set that I was going to give you an earful. Then I decided to read some of your other blogs first, and came to read that you are not bad, I liked several of your postings. I thank you for (seeing) listening. Terribly in pain from Maryland C.R

Chris on December 17, 2013:

Kitty, I do agree with you about the drug addicts and how they are when in need of getting high, especially the ones that abuse and take prescription drugs. I feel that they should take those people and put them somewhere to rot, even worst for the ones that abuse the system and lie to these doctors to get these pills and sell them. The ones that take their medicine to get a high and continuously make early appointments, failed toxicology tests, file false claims of thefts on their medications that clearly they don't need and hold up the people that are in real pain while they cry and complain to the doctors that their toxicology report was wrong, well they especially should just vanish.. Because of these people, which is "NOT" the majority; that the people like myself and the majority of us that are in need of these medications have such a

bertha on November 27, 2013:

Man, you all have way too much time on your hands

twig22bend on July 07, 2013:

Nirvana, apology Accepted! Inform us and educate us as to what you know about this situation. Let's not fight but educate. Love and peace to you.

nirvana1952 on July 07, 2013:

Oddly enough, bobmonger, I have known junkies. had a lover who overdosed and died from mainlining dilaudid. He got the script from a doctor who should not have given it to him too. However, he was determined to kill himself and would have only found another way. This was in 1976. I have known junkies and alcoholics and people suffering from all kinds of pain, mental and physical.

Sorry I was so obnoxious, twig22bend. I did go overboard.

Bob, pain is not curable in all cases. Just because you identify the reason for thecpain does notvmean that it is fixable. That is what chronic pain is. Pain for which there isn no cure. Pain that does not go away no matter what is tried.

twig22bend on July 07, 2013:

Whoa!!! Nirvana. I have not mentioned people with chronic pain or any type of diagnosed pain causing condition, nor any medications. I was clearly speaking of abuse of unwarranted pain medications.

Thanks for being so down on me for voicing my opinion. No need to attack. We all learn more by sharing and educating each other. Your post was well taken, even so.

BobMonger from Carlin, Nevada USA on July 07, 2013:

I'm guessing Nirvana hasn't ever met a of junky. My problem has been and always will be the MD who'll pass out pills because that's a lot easier (and cheaper) than treating the condition causing the pain. "...oh, oh, the damage done!"

Nirvana1952 on July 06, 2013:

People are not willing to go back to living in mind-numbing pain rather than take opioids for relief. Imagine! What pea brains they must all be. The child born with type 1 diabetes doesn't have the sense to refuse the shot that he or she will be "addicted" to for order to live, that is. Crazy! The dialysis patient is just addicted to that damn machine. Wow! The depressed patient refuses to give up anti-depressants. Must be addicted!!

But pain patients, those horrible reviled people who should just commit suicide so that you can rest easy that they are not "addicted" to opioids, those weak half-wits are fair game in your book. And most of us have tried more things than you will ever know of (unless pain becomes a part of your every waking moment, and every sleepless moment). Many of those things became part of our arsenals in the battle against pain, in addition to opioids (finally, relief).

Do try not to be so damn self righteous about something you clearly know nothing about (lucky you), twig22bend.

Why don't we all just shoot up heroin instead. All this crap you think you "know" is just that. Crap.

You make no allowance for the drug's efficacy in the treatment of chronic, debilitating, life killing pain. Just poor patients who become addicted because of unscrupulous docs...and indeed that is also a reality. But do you even know that the drug you are demonizing...OxyContin...has been completely re formulated to prevent or at least make much more difficult, it's abuse? And do you know that there are far more docs out there who screen their patients diligently and offer relief to people truly fighting everyday for a bit of relief from PAIN. No. Apparently you don't. Give it a rest. Writing is not your forte. Sounds like you are simply kissing up to the author. Who at least makes some concessions to the actual benefit of the drug for people in chronic, unremitting pain.

twig22bend on June 28, 2013:

Your Hub is a reality that is happening to many patients, drugs that are prescribed by their physician, even after a year. I have been made aware of patients changing doctors in order to get the prescribed and addictive medication. The irony is that the new doctor will prescribe the medication again.

Now I know, that when I hear complaints about the doctor after a long period of time, it's about the medication which a patient will go to any lengths to obtain.

Doctors and prescriptions are not being tracked or flagged fast enough to protect the patient from being addicted. I feel that the doctors are at fault.

Once a person is addicted there is no way to convince them to stop taking that medication. Doctors must be held accountable for their actions.

It seems to me that it is all about money, at the expense of a patient's well being.

Grace-Wolf-30 from England on June 28, 2013:

I totally appreciate this hub. Doctors are always too quick to dish out pills before considering and trying more natural alternatives (especially with anti-depressants). Recently, I was looking after a lady who had multiple sclerosis and she was admitted with a legal cannabis spray that she had bought online to relieve her pain. The doctors wouldn't let her use it at first, but the irony is they were willing to give her large doses of strong opioid drugs. I do feel that there is a place for these types of drug during end of life care, as long as they're used in moderation. But I also think that young people should be allowed to try alternatives before potentially addictive drugs are prescribed.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on June 24, 2013:

DEE - Thanks for your lovely comment. I am actually originally from St. Mary's County...which is rather far from all of the places you assumed I am from. I now live in Florida. By the way, I don't make anything from the detox community...and when people get so passionate about defending pain pills it shows very obviously to the world that those people are addicts. By the way, thanks for the 50 must be a busy lady!

dee on June 24, 2013:

Your right to doubt addiction levels in other countries compared to the USA. Take Canada for example where tylenol 1's are over the counter.That's codeine which produces analgesia by converting approximately 10% to morphine through first pass demethylation of the codeine. WOW ! Morphine! I guess human biology does change when you cross into Canada. What part of Md are you from ? South Baltimore i.e. pig town,or up Ritchie highway to the DMV. My guess is carrol county, westminster to be more specific. Just a wild guess.Just how much $ are you making from the expanding detox business?

Zoe KATZE Phd on June 24, 2013:

At Debunktion junction ! Here we go.................

thinker on June 24, 2013:

To those who treat the 1st ammendment ias dirt remember it exists to protect unpopular speech not vice versa .If you dont like it, please move to a country you will like better like nazi Germany or russia! " When people are afraid of the truth and wish others to dwell in ignorance with them they will always resort to censorship". With that being said let me reiterate.Not much more than 15 or so years ago the USA ranked dead last in the treatment of pain among western industrialized nations according to a study by "WHO" The World Health Organization.Fact,Fact ,fact!!! Some unenlightened would have pain patients go back there but it wont happen because their being fought day and night by Dr's and patients alike.With all drugs being legal the USA was able to gain independence,form a constitution and end slavery(civil war) and many many other things as well as inventions.Fact! Has human biology changed? I think not!!

dee on June 24, 2013:

To those who treat the 1st amendment like dirt. It exists to protect unpopular speech not vice versa. Opponents should move to russia or nazi Germany and be more at home !When people are afraid of the truth and wish others to dwell in ignorance with them they will always resort to censorship". With that being said let me reiterate.Not much more than 15 or so years ago the USA ranked dead last in the treatment of pain among western industrialized nations according to a study by "WHO" The World Health Organization.Fact,Fact ,fact!!! Some unenlightened would have pain patients go back there but it wont happen because their being fought day and night by Dr's and patients alike.With all drugs being legal the USA was able to gain independence,form a constitution and end slavery(civil war) and many many other things as well as inventions.Fact! Has human biology changed? I think not!!

truth on June 24, 2013:

" When people are afraid of the truth and wish others to dwell in ignorance with them they will always resort to censorship". With that being said as well as ,every untreated pain is now on YOUR head, let me reiterate.Not much more than 15 or so years ago the USA ranked dead last in the treatment of pain among western industrialized nations according to a study by "WHO" The World Health Organization.Fact,Fact ,fact!!! Some unenlightened would have pain patients go back there but it wont happen because their being fought day and night by Dr's and patients alike.With all drugs being legal the USA was able to gain independence,form a constitution and end slavery(civil war) and many many other things as well as inventions.Fact! Has human biology changed? I think not!!

Dee on June 24, 2013:

" When people are afraid of the truth and wish others to dwell in ignorance with them they will always resort to censorship". With that being said let me reiterate.Not much more than 15 or so years ago the USA ranked dead last in the treatment of pain among western industrialized nations according to a study by "WHO" The World Health Organization.Fact,Fact ,fact!!! Some unenlightened would have pain patients go back there but it wont happen because their being fought day and night by Dr's and patients alike.With all drugs being legal the USA was able to gain independence,form a constitution and end slavery(civil war) and many many other things as well as inventions.Fact! Has human biology changed? I think not!!

Dee on June 23, 2013:

You wont dare post that ,will ya. Puzzle me this.Why did they ban 20 mg oxycontin when the 30 mg fast release oxycodone are still here. Do ya see whats happening yet.Thats right ,Theres gona be a fight over them too. Lets look into really why,ok.I watched herion come out of vietnam like gang busters just as we were leaving.Ok, now we are leaving one of the largest herion production centers of the world and herion is a$ billion market.We been there long enough to make some big conections.Pain patients being kicked off meds= a ready made market waiting.But of course no one in very very high places is even looking at a $billion market because their too good. Hardy har har, the sleeper must awaken.

DEE on June 23, 2013:

Not much more than 15 years ago the usa ranked dead last in the treatment of pain amoung western industrialized nations in a study by the world health organization(WHO). You want to go back there but its not going to happen.There are too many people in pain and Drs who are fighting you night and day.Wait till YOU are older and have pain that never goes away. You will be the first one crying about why YOU cant get legitimate treatment.Chronic pain back then was in the top 3 reasons for suicide if not #1 as I recall! Funny how when these things were legal we were somehow able to fight and win the war with england ,form a constitution,abolish slavery, as well as too many things to list here without the usa destroying itself. I guess human biology has changed (NOT) !!!

Nirvana1952 on March 22, 2013:

Oh, I wish it were than simple. I have tried at least a dozen different anti-depressants. Wellbutrin was the one I was on for the longest period of time. About eight years. I had many more thoughts of suicide taking anti-depressants than without them. 60 Minutes did an expose on anti-depressants a while back. The overriding conclusion is that they do not really work. They are a great source of income for the pharmaceutical companies though. If you feel you get relief from taking them, by all means, take them. Higher doses, lower doses, different brand, new one on the market...none of them helped me in the least. Good luck to you Babybaer. It is so very hard living with chronic pain. People with cancer either go into remission or die, meaning they usually no longer need pain medication. For us it is a minute-to-minute, unrelenting way of life.

Babybaer on March 19, 2013:

I agree with all the last 2 posters said and i too know because i live in pain. But I disagree on the anti depressants because yes they do work. Maybe you need a different type or higher dose.

Nirvana1952 on February 20, 2013:

@Cubbies. I agree that addicts need help and need to stop making excuses, but you are also attacking legitimate pain patients. You mock real pain and say that masking it is not a solution.

What is the solution to chronic pain. All the things you mention are only components of pain management, often used in combination with some form of opiate therapy. Of course they mask the pain. You would rather people suffer from debilitating, unremitting pain all day and night?

Please read "The Pain Chronicles" and gain some real insight into chronic pain, as well as addiction.

I agree about anti-depressants, they don't work.

Nirvana1952 on February 20, 2013:

@cubbies. Get over yourself? That is your reply to a chronic pain patient? Such compassion you feel.

Not every type of pain can be cured by NSAIDS, which are dangerous and kill lots of people (you should know this as a medical professional). Epidurals are dangerous because of the very real possibility of meningitis and bone infections. Have you ever had an epidural? If not, you can hardly speak to the efficacy of such a procedure. I suffer from failed back surgery (most of it is failed) and Interstitial Cystitis and osteoporosis and fibromyalgia and vulvodynia and bursitis and a whole host of other things (arthritis). All of which cause me intense pain, none of which can be controlled by epidurals. There is no cure for IC or failed back pain. There is no cure for nerves cut during surgery that do not grow back together correctly and start firing pain signals day and night. Autoimmune diseases are real and not curable and quite often very painful.

Tried yogas and Pilates and PT and often made my pain worse. I too am on disability. You seem to work only with people who have "addiction" problems, not pain problems. Otherwise you could not be so cavalier about pain. Or maybe you are hurting people who legitimately need medication to make their lives tolerable.

It is you who needs to "get over yourself" and educate yourself about chronic pain. Once again, may I recommend "The Pain Chronicles" or any number of articles/books on chronic pain that would greatly help you understand chronic pain and it's debilitating features. It is considered, by those who study and research it, a disease/condition all unto itself.

You are not a pain management specialist, so how you can speak to the issue is beyond me.

All of the things you mention, and many more that you did not, are part of the chronic pain sufferers "arsenal" of things to help control pain. None of them are a "cure" unto themselves. Pain medication is also part of that arsenal.

How fortunate you are not to be in chronic pain. How dare you pretend to know anything about chronic pain. How dare you insult someone who is.

Pills are not the enemy. Patches are not the enemy. Used under the supervision of a "qualified" pain management specialist, they are a godsend.

Please become educated about pain and please develop some understanding and compassion so you don't ever again tell someone in horrible, unremitting pain to "get over themselves". That is hardly a professional approach.

Oh, and I do agree about anti-depressants. They do not work.

Please, just try to learn about pain instead of making people feel inadequate or ashamed for having to turn to medication to help control it. The "cause" of the pain is not always fixable as you seem to think. If it were so, I would get "fixed" right away. Being in chronic pain is a drag.

Cubbies on February 17, 2013:

#getover yourself -No! The reason they are so scared to admit they have a problem, is the fact that they will be cut off from the pain pills. I live this on a daily basis, I am currently working with two individuals that were prescribed Vicodin for chronic back pain. Masking the cause of the pain IS ALL that these medications do. I apologize to all of you who say your anti depressants and your pain medications help, they don't they hurt you.

Jedi- you state in your response that you refuse to try an epidural, because it is a "short term fix". What do you think your cocktail of pain killers is???? It is a masking agent. The pain is still there, your receptors are blocked, and you can't feel it. An epidural is the SAME, only you don't do it EVERY day!!

I have worked in the medical field for twenty years, and I have seen this issue spiral out of control. Pain medication addicts do need help and understanding, but they have to WANT the help and WANT to change. Unfortunately, the vast majority do not want to let go and change a "good thing", much like Jedi stated 2 comment sections before about her situation. If we begin addressing the real issues and utilizing the physical therapies, yogas, WEIGHT issues, we will save many families and many lives.

#getoveryourself! on February 02, 2013:

You,are the reason people are scared to admit they have a problem and get help. You make these people out to sound like monsters- addiction is a disease! No one wakes up thinking "hmm" I'm going to be a drug addict and ruin my family's lives! They are human and sometimes it escalates unintentionally. If more people were supportive, maybe there wouldn't be do many remaining addicts out there!

jediwoman on January 27, 2013:

I hope I can present a picture of a person in chronic pain whose life has been turned around:

Most of my adult life has been a struggle with illness. Rheumatic fever hit me in college; I've been dealing with the after effects since then. I am retired lawyer who retook the Bar Exam bc pain forced me to spend half of my exam time vomiting in the hallway - I just ran out of time. (I was sick all the time I studied for the Bar). Up to that point I'd never failed an exam in my life. I'd graduated from law school magna cum laude.

I tried marijuana for pain. All it did was make me feel impaired. My pain was unchanged. NSAID's like Motrin caused a hemorrhage that darn near killed me. (They didn't control the pain anyway). Tylenol based meds like Darvocet nearly destroyed my liver; they were also useless.

One desperate day I was sitting on the side of my bed (literally) WITH A GUN in my mouth: weighing suicide/pain management, suicide/pain management... The entire medical bag of tricks had been tried: PT/OT, Reiki, acupuncture, non-narcotic pain meds, naturopathy (An ND who tried herbs, etc), psych therapy/group therapy, support groups, anti-depressants - everything! I even tried surgery but when they explored they found things worse than they thought. They closed without making any real improvement. I was at the end of the line: I could either try pain management or learn to "suck it up". (The neuro-surgeon had no clue how close I was to suicide). I'd been dealing with chronic pain for more than a decade at this point. At times the pain was so bad it was all I could do just to get to the bathroom. My story is NOT unique among people with chronic pain, either.

I went to a pain management clinic at a teaching hospital. They tried a few rounds of epidural steroid injections. During the last round, I went into respiratory arrest. Since I'd gotten no real benefit, I was told they were not worth the risk. I was sent to PT; the therapist called it quits after a few months of no improvement. Reluctantly, the Pain Clinic prescribed long acting morphine (MS Contin) & short acting morphine (MSIR) for breakthrough pain and Clonazepam for muscle spasms. After a few years I was stable enough to be discharged to the care of my primary care physician.

My PCP took over writing my monthly prescriptions . After a few years I sustained a very serious fracture of my left leg requiring emergency surgery, pins & screws. After surgery, the orthopedic surgeon wanted help from a pain management specialist to keep me comfortable. The pain management clinic refused to help bc they'd discharged me too long before. The surgeon put me on Fentanyl patches which, in my case, were miraculous.

After discharge from the hospital, the orthopedic surgeon thought I would benefit from a re-eval of my pain management protocol. I was referred a pain clinic that a friend had attended with success. I was initially treated by an extremely competent, caring & professional nurse practitioner . She was very straightforward & thorough. I felt that for the FIRST TIME someone was really interested in doing what she could to improve my quality of life. I have lived with pain for a very long time. The hospital pain clinic prescribed meds but the approach was not very patient centered.

The big negative is that each new pain clinic wants to put me through the same tests and the same procedures I'd been through with the prior group. They did discover previously undetected orthopedic problems in addition to the spinal problems that initially lead to my disability determination by the Social Security Administration. I asked to be continued on the Fentanyl patch. She put me on the patch & got rid of the long acting Morphine (MSIR). She kept the short acting morphine for break though pain.

Thanks to the new medication protocol, my quality of life was the BEST in years. I dropped 100 pounds; I no longer use a cripple cart when I shop. I have been more active even though the orthopedic problems are progressive. I dumped the Clonazepam. She added an NSAID gel with extreme trepidation since it can also cause bleeding.

After more than 8 years with the new pain clinic, I remain 100% stable and have never needed any medication increases. I was started on opiates almost 25 years ago but never developed tolerance. Since my undergrad degree & masters are in nursing, I am aware of the implications of taking opiates long term. I'd agreed from the start that I was probably looking at a lifetime of opiates which wasn't great. But it is a small price to pay.

Even though I am stable and have the best quality of life in 25+ years, I'm going to be forced to undergo either physical therapy (even though I have already tried it several times) or epidurals (no way I'll consent) or whatever bc they won't treat with opiates alone anymore. My feeling is - if it ain't broke don't fix it! But, I have NO CHOICE. They are under political pressure from those who want to push to prohibit the prescribing of opiates for non-cancer chronic pain - even though they offer hope for people like me!

There are too many people who moralize - whether it is about chronic pain or the right of the terminally ill to take one's own life. Yes, physically I am likely dependent on the patches. However, I am no drug addict. Drug addicts engage in drug seeking behaviors (I do not). They need increasing amounts of narcotics (I do not, and have not had an increase in all of these years).

In America, there is a right to be treated for pain, and to have one's pain addressed in a compassionate & professional way. But there is a stigma against patients with chronic pain. The assumption is that we take opiates to get high. However, I take less than half the pills I am allowed to. My urine tests are always negative for illicit substances. (Yes, as pain patients we have to submit to compulsory urine tests like inmates).

I won't take epidurals bc I have bone pain everywhere and an epidural won't help with that. Further, from the research I have seen, epidurals are not all the successful yet EVERY pain clinic pushes them like candy. (Because the DEA hassles them for prescribing opiates but the DEA won't bother them for pushing epidurals). At best - epidurals are a short term fix FOR SOME people. It seems every pain clinic is pushing patients to agree to them. This is why the fungal meningitis from contaminated steroids is so serious! It had the potential to sicken or kill many more than it did!

The people who have treated me are great (even though I hate the pressure to consent to treatments not prescribed to help me but bc some politician doesn't approve morally of the meds that have released me from a nightmare. Being physically dependent on my meds is preferable to: vomiting all the time bc pain makes me ill like that, lying awake night after night bc pain keeps me awake until I pass out from exhaustion, not being able to walk to the bathroom by myself, not being able to take care of my little dogs.

It is certainly preferable to worrying how to get my hands on a gun again bc pain makes life nothing BUT a burden. I don't ever again want to be stuck in a situation where a bullet to my head is better than living a life that's become intolerable.

Most people never hear this side of the issue. Or don't want to... Someone is always advocating laws to punish those who abuse an otherwise legitimate therapy. Unfortunately, the abusers find a way to get around laws while legitimate patients are left with their lives in a shambles.

Nirvana on January 01, 2013:

The dirty little secret about Methadone is that is has an extremely long half-life. What this means is that it accumulates in the body to such a huge extent that detoxing can take as long as SIX MONTHS or more. That is why people cannot get off it. Oxy, by contrast, is out of the body in a week, so detox is awful, but one week is nothing compared to six or more months. Avoid Methadone at all costs! My pain doc will not prescribe it.

Hope this helps you understand what your brother is going through. It is better to detox off of heroin without ever turning to Methadone. Methadone is awful stuff that really defines the term addiction because your body cannot throw it off for months and the user finds they need more and more to maintain re same levels. It's insidious!

HeidiBell on December 28, 2012:

I have sadly watched my brother throw his life away. I won't say it's because of pills, it's because of him. He has been addicted to opiates for years. About 3 years ago he started going to the methadone clinic. We were proud of him for admitting his problem and seeking treatment. They start you on a dose of ~30mg and slowly taper down until you have weened off. That is, only if you show up on a daily basis, which you are not required to do. If you miss enough days and then return, they will start your treatment over again. He describes a clinic full of drug addicts off the street who are only present because their dealer got locked up or they can't afford to buy pills that week. It sounds to me like the methadone clinic could be helpful if you attend for the right reasons and followed the treatment plan. Weening off opiates is extremely hard to do, especially if you don't have access to liquid methadone (which ruins your teeth, btw). I think the only place you can get liquid methadone is a clinic or rehab, not sure though.

My brother left the clinic and convinced his primary care doctor to write him a script for methadone and slowy decrease his dose (bad doctor). This has been going on for about two years and he is always "almost off of it"...he continues to say that he's on such a low dose yet it's hard to ween off of the pill form. You can't just cut a 5mg in half and start taking 2.5 or you will be sick. So now he's back to buying oxy off the street to counteract these large drops in dosage. I've asked him why he can't just do a hard detox and deal with the suffering and he says the pain is worse than any he's every felt, that it runs all through his body from head to toe. I wish I knew how he felt but fortunately do not.

I'm not an addict so I'm only speaking from close experience growing up with one and talking to him through the years. I attribute this problem not to doctors or pills but to a lack of self control. Careless doctors and the pills are merely ammunition. I have the same doctor my brother has, and I have been prescribed Vicodin and oxy for wisdom teeth surgery and a rib injury, yet I never got addicted. I know quite a few bad addicts, and the only common denominator is they all lack self control, not just now but starting at a young age of 6 and 7. Regardless, It's a terrible cycle and my heart hurts for anyone who has had to endure it, both for the patient and the close friends and family. It hurts everyone more than you know. Drug addicts will always feel pain, even when they are drug-free.

Nirvana1952 on November 09, 2012:

If the pain wasn't there before they started taking the pills, what did they start taking the pills for? Or are you saying that people who take strong medication during a surgery and for a short time afterward and then find that they are in chronic pain, a common outcome with back surgery, for instance, only think so because they liked taking pain pills?

What about someone who has suffered with a painful autoimmune disease for years and years and finally has to ask for pain medication just to get through the day? Chronic pain builds and builds until it becomes your life, until you cannot function and you cannot sleep, and you find yourself having no patience with the ones you love. It's awful.

I don't know where berlimedisoft12 lives, but she is right about the fact that she needs professional pain management. Why she cannot get referred to a pain specialist I don't know, but most primary care physicians who see a real need will refer to pain management. Tylenol 3's are not terribly strong and if her pain is controlled that easily, she should be able to find a doctor who would give it to her.

For the life of me I cannot understand why you think chronic pain is not real. Admittedly, I am not certain that some of the people writing to you are suffering from chronic pain, but a good number of them are and they are frustrated from not being able to get relief.

All I can say for you is that I hope you never, ever have any kind of chronic, unremitting pain. Then nothing will ever burst this bubble that you function in. Yes there are addicts, yes that is sad and awful, mostly for the addicts and their families an loved ones, not for you. And yes, there are chronic pain sufferers and that is very sad and hard on them and on their families. No one is denying any of this. It is a sad, sad, sad thing. But people should not be made to feel ashamed of being in pain.

Take a prescription for 90 oxycontin, (say 20 mg), per month to be taken one every eight hours to control moderate to severe pain. An addict, someone who cannot control their need for the drug, will take the pills to stay "high", or maybe even mainline them if possible, with a good chance that the entire bottle of 90 pills will be gone within three to five days (sometimes less), and they will be out looking for more. The chronic pain patient will take one pill every eight hours as prescribed and the 90 pills will last them 30 days. That is the difference between addiction and dependence.

Just received the new IC network newsletter (Interstitial Cystitis). It was all about pain, which is all that IC is basically. It also includes IBS, vulvodynia, and a couple of other things that make up what is now being referred to as "Pelvic Pain Syndrome". One of the most interesting things in this newsletter, and something I have read many times before, the pain from IC and IBS, and so forth can easily be likened to cancer pain. Women with IC have testified before congress about the intensity of their pain, the similarity to cancer pain, and the need for opiates to cope. Some people with IBS can get along without pain meds. Some people have cured themselves, some people cannot deal with the pain, some people deal with it for a number of years and then decide they can take no more and turn to pain meds. Everyone is different, and thank goodness there are many different forms of treatment out there.

Strength and determination to all who are suffering from and struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Kudos to all the drug and alcohol counselors and others who work in programs with the mentally ill and drug and alcohol addicted. There is a marked crossover here, something we refer to as "dual diagnosed" with both a mental illness and a substance abuse issue. People with mental illness often self-medicate. This country has turned its back on the mentally ill for decades. The ACA is going to help bring it into parity with medical health, but much more will be necessary.

Curses to all who push drugs on people for the sole purpose of creating an addiction and a future "customer". These people are evil and money grubbers.

Blessings to all pain management doctors who take care of their patients who live with unremitting, debilitating pain. Without them many people would be robbed of a normal life.

Pain is a bitch!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on November 08, 2012:

Again, I don't want to judge...but I know more than one person with IBS who aren't on pain killers and get by in life without skipping a beat. And yes, they're on NSAIDS or natural pain relievers. Your left flank pain sounds like kidney or renal problems, have you gotten checked out for that? I'm not sure where you live, but as I've mentioned before Florida is the state that has the highest level of pain pill addicts in the country due to the pain management clinics and the ability to doctor shop. So if you're looking for easy legal pain pills, hop on the band wagon. I do feel empathy for anyone in chronic pain such as what you feel you are going through; however, I feel that many people begin deluding themselves once they've experienced addiction to a certain level...the "pain" is real to them...yet it wasn't really there before the pain pill addiction began. Thank you for your time and I wish you all the best.

Sunny on November 08, 2012:

I felt the way you do, that was until I experienced chronic and acute pain. It is not easy to get prescription pain killers, and many doctors refuse any type of pain pills because of the new laws. There is a need for pain management for those that suffer from chronic pain. My pain has not been manged well because of my doctor's reluctance to prescribe me anything beside Motrin! When you throw up because the pain is so horrible and you pray that you just die, when you have excess to pain medication it is a life saver. I have severe IBS, massive scar tissue on my left flank and it surrounds my C-section scar. I run constant fevers, and now the pain controls my life. I used to be an active mom, and constantly doing activities with my children. Now, I cannot make plans with ANYONE because I do not know day to day if it is going to be a good day or a bad! My body is constantly in pain, which causes my blood pressure to rise. Without pain medication, my blood pressure rises to unsafe levels. Usually I do not need a strong narcotic to function, low doses of Tylonal 3 work wonders, and I can function and have a life. I have been refused Tylonal 3 even when I clearly was in pain. I have been discriminated against because for a time I was on medikaid , and doctors assume anyone who is poor is drug seeking. I saw a Pain Specialist and she was awful! When I found myself in acute pain, and the pain medication did not work, she would refuse to do anything! I ended up in the hospital for three days, and in great pain when I was discharged. My PMD still refused to prescribe anything stronger. I got fed up, and now get my Tylonal 3 illegally. It is ridicules the hoops you have to run through to get even a less effective narcotic and one that is legal in so many other countries. Doctors would rather have their patients suffer in pain, instead of prescribing a narcotic. What am I supposed to do? The medications that are supposed to block the pain symptoms work effectively for a while, and I end up in acute pain, and back in the ER once a month is severe pain. These new laws are punishing people that have legitimate pain issues, that will be ignored by their health care providers. What you will see from the DEA aggressive approach to doctors is an increase in illegal drugs. People will go to Mexico or find them on the internet like I did. This means that their pain is not being managed and since your playing doctor, your not sure what doses are appropriate. People with chronic pain are addicted to the drugs they are on, but it is better than being in a great deal of pain and not being remotely productive. I got tired of the runaround, of being accused of being drug seeking, and being drug tested like an teenager. Decisions of health care and how to treat pain should be between the patient and doctor not an outside agency. If I can help it I wont ever let my life be determined by another PSD and if I need stronger medication in the future, I will take a trip down to Mexico. I hope that for one day you know the hell that is the chronic pain sufferers life, and how depressing and draining it can be. When your body has break through pain like I experienced, it is because your body can no longer hold back the pain it is in, and cannot effectively block it. When you feel like you have been branded over and over by a hot iron, then you tell me your thought on pain medication.

Birlamedisoft12 from India on November 05, 2012:

Good information is and great hub.

i have provide healthcare softwares (birlamedisoft)

disturbed on October 29, 2012:

Prescription pill addiciton is as obvious and everyone in the loop knows it's's not being addressed because the money it is generating. The sad thing is the almighty AMA, the FDA and big pharma are in it together. To continue to allow this to go on is to disregard the whole of your countries citizens. It doesn't just affect the addict, it effs up the entire family, puts families in to financial devistation and we wonder why we as a country are in economic failure. It all about the easy buck and disregard for ethics. My very successful and intelligent and educated and faithful wife became dependent on prescription pills after 8 surgeries in 2 years. After her first rehab, a psychiatrist put her on xanax, remeron, gabitril, wellbutrin, and something else....because he was saying she became dependant on prescription narcotics due to "anxiety". Ha ha...what a fool and destroyer of famiies. He prescribed xanax????? First contraindication...addiction history. How is this person a doctor???? She was so looped out...that led to other things...a young punk some 15 years younger than my wife would wait until I was on duty as a professional firefighter...come over and sexually have his way with her because she was so out of it that she didn't know any better. Counselors and doctors...most of them absolutely worthless. They put blame onto me, made excuses for how she got addicted, they tried to be equalizers, they prescribed more medications. I was known by both my wife and her friends for the 16 years to her addiction to be "the most amazing husband". We were the model couple and very in love. Very independent as well as individually and mutually driven together.

The article talks about how some addicts take 30 pills in a 24 hour period! Ha wife took 240 pills over the course of 48 hours prior to here 3rd and some how (by the grace of God) last 28 day in-house rehab. I was set to divorce her...after 6 months of sobriety and separation...I gave our relationship and our family another chance. Sometimes I am curious as to whether or not this is the right thing. I would recommend immediate divorce when your spouse becomes dependent and to the point where they are lying, cheating, and financially and career destroyers. I gave 9 years of my life to her active addiction, lost a home, gave up my job as a professional fireman to only have to work my ass off for 2 years to get another badge back. My career is hard to get into. Even when you've been doing it for years. I am luck now that she is healthy, working and I am healthy and working. But, 2 years into sobriety...I still suffer from all that happened. It is no easy road and looking back...would have left while I had all of my sanity and some of my financial health. You see...the sacrifices the family make are tremendous. The dynamics between the recovering addict and their guilt and shame vs your pain and fears...hearing about how they had it as bad and not hearing what you should hear...a big thank you. It's difficult. You as the family member, the spouse, must learn to walk further away from the "victim roll". You were victimized by's true...but, you gotta get past it somehow. Listen to me...obviously it's not easy.

Last is our federal government standing by idly and pretending to fight a war on drugs?? my profession I see it all..and in 13 years of my job I've never seen anything but humor from a stoner...never conducted cpr on a pot user because of over use. Heroin, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone (both synthetic equivillents to Heroin) Xanax, Crack, Spice, on...I've seen many lose their lives to these...and saved many of them so that they could die another day to their addictions. People should be writing their local and federal politicians. Raise concern...let them know that we aren't stupid and know they are aware.

It's time to stop this unnecessary pain on our families. It's time to stop the manufacturing of these prescriptions.

see yourself on October 08, 2012:

sorry to say but alot of things in this whole affair were better not even said other then to make yourself feel better about yourself and things you have done in your lifes.there are people that have real pain i know and live with it every day.what one does not understand is if you take drugs off the the market that pharma makes in a form that is safe as perscribed.then what do you have but herion,meth labs,lsd,pcp,on and on and on that people will use for pain weather it be mental ,nerves damage,bad backs again on and all starts on education,fitness,the right foods ,a proper support group in your life and again so on and so on.ADDICTION JUST DONT HAPPEN .It starts when your a baby.What one goes through in life.If it werent for pharma there would be alot more deaths....dont even get me started on the goverment with there own forms of pop control ..the real problems are way beyound the ones who speak in this matter.there is no more we the people ..its you the person and what you one can control you and what you another country herion and many other drugs are leagle they dont have to steal cheat rob .if they want to catch a buzz to escape they work for it .its all a mental thing that is way over the people of the usa.

Pamela Lipscomb from Charlotte, North Carolina on October 05, 2012:

The American pharmaceutic industry is the legal pusher of our time. Their goal is have every man, woman, boy and girl on some prescription drug. They do not promote cures, but consumers. Great hub!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on October 02, 2012:

domnicole - I wish you all the best, and I am sorry for the pain and turmoil you're having to endure. I will keep you in my prayers.

But for now, and to address all the other negative comments that people have been trying to post, I will not be posting any negative or rude comments any longer. I'm not sure how this hub became a central focus of pain pill addicts or why you feel you need to attack me, but again, I will delete your comment and block you. Thanks.

domnicole on September 27, 2012:

My boyfriend and i have been together for 3 years on and off, we have a 2 year old son, and ive always noticed something was wrong but it has became more clear that he is addicted to pain pills!! He never could afford anything but has a great job ive had to move home with our son because we have lost everything. ive thought it was just a gambling problem he had constant excuses to fight just to disapear for hours and come home broke.. well we have been talking again i left him for "6" months and i was starting to see he was looking drawn out looking so for the love i have for him and as for he is my sons father !! i need to help him last night he wanted to go get pills bad but he refuses to get help i dont want to force him into a rehab because he needs to want that but his excuses for using is a big sign he needs real help! examples, when i get upset they help me cope, when we fight they keep me from getting upset, he has a very nasty attitude and a horrible anger issue and is very insecure and controlling... its like every normal life problem he needs a pill to deal.. someone please help my family!!!!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 21, 2012:

Nirvana - I think you have too much time on your hands. So I bid you adieu.

Nirvana1952 on September 21, 2012:

What kind of an answer is that to a woman in unrelenting pain? You basically told her to suck up and endure the debilitating pain without drugs for the sake of others.

Her husband sounds like a toad, but her girls will most definitely see her in horrible pain that is debilitating as well. They will all suffer horribly. Of course she hates taking the pills, just like anyone who takes meds wishes not to.

But pain meds come with a special stigma because of their addictive quality. There are people with diseases who take meds that literally sustain life, so is that an addiction. I guess it is.

This woman should not have to suffer because you or anyone else thinks she is "dangerously addicted". She is dependent, just as many diabetics are on insulin.

Why she wrote to you, I can't fathom, but the proper response would be to advise her to find proper pain management and a physician who can help her with maintenance and help explain what is happening to her family members. She is helped by a low dose of oxy and yet you would recommend enduring the pain.

You are losing your objectivity and approaching every case with the same advice. Would you advise an AIDS patient to get off needed medication?

This woman's cry for help dealt with unremitting pain and the shame she feels about needing meds to have any kind of life. All you did was reinforce the shame that others have already made her feel. Not good. Not compassionate at all, yet you say you know that these drugs are helpful and not abused by many, many chronic pain sufferers.

Bhargvi Sharma from jammu ( India) on September 19, 2012:

Liked it... Keep it up... :)

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 16, 2012:

foofighters - That is a very difficult situation, I'm sure. It sounds to me like the only thing you have left to do is to go get detoxed off the pills and then rehab. Most people don't want to hear that as an option, but it's really you're only option if you want a controlled and medically supervised withdrawal off the drugs. I wish you all the blessings in the world and know that you can fight through this. If you're husband doesn't understand, then that's his problem. You need to take care of you and your daughters first and foremost.

Foofighters on September 15, 2012:

Hi. I'm currently on oxy 5mg 2 times a day as last year on my honnymoon I fell and dislocated my ulnar bone in my wrist. Stuck on a cruise ship for 5 days, had a X-ray but at the next port where I saw another doctor, I was told my X-rays where not available due to technical issues so I was perscribed endone for the rest of our trip till I got home (could not afford a plane to get back). So 5 days of doing nothing but waiting and feeling crap that I had ruined the only holiday my now husband and I had in 14 years together, depression set in big time. When I finally got back home, went straight to hospital where the triage nurse told me all I had was a sprained wrist.. I lost it.. Went back the next day and they immediately got me into surgery as the stupid nurse misdiagnosed me ( he was reprimanded for it) and had my ulnar popped back in.. Was that the end?? No.. Had to go back for nerve and tendon surgery which took weeks to have done since we had to go public.. Finally had it done then went through months of having a cast on up to my arm pit... Forgot to mention I had lost 75kg over the year befor so holding up this heavy cast for almost 5 months thru my balance.. Also have 3 young girls to get to school and oh it was my right arm too.. Typical.. So I have a plate in my arm with 7 screws. Now remember I said I'd lost 75kg? Well I also lost all muscle tone in my wrist/arm from not being able to move it. After I finally had the cast off.. I kept falling over, and of course it was alway onto my right arm. Prob was I couldn't have a MRI to see if I'd done more damage... The plate. So I had ultrasounds and X-rays.. Showed only slight damage but was told its probably deeper. I have had physio, it did nothing.. I have to use my arm as I have no one to help me so my and is always swelling... The pain is unbelievable and I'm currently waiting to go back and have the plate taken out( the plate is there as they had to shorten the bone) and since losing all this weight the plate rubs on nerves that makes my hand burn or so cold I can't warm or cool it.

Now I have been seeing the same gp since this happened. I hate being on these pain killers. I can't take aspirin or ibprophen as I am allergic to it.. Panadol does nothing. I'm now 2 weeks away from seeing my original surgeon and it's taken months to get a appointment. I'm depressed. I can't talk to my husband as he has pretty much had it. My girls try to help. I have no choice but to take these meds or I can't function and yes when I do run out I cry. A lot. Because it hurts so bad. I don't want my girls to see me in pain. I don't want to have surgey that "may fix" my arm. I see a Phycoligist ( thru govt for free) and she try's to help me.. But I just can't do a lot of what she wants as my husband is a stubborn bugger who won't talk to me... Like I said I'm on oxy and it's a very low dose as I made myself take the lower no matter how much pain I'm in.. 20mg was way to much.. So, tell me, after I have this surgery and maybe the fix the nerves and tendons, what do I do if it doesn't work? I don't believe in spiritually crap as I had a friend who did all that and treated me like crap.. Long story.. If I don't have pain meds do I just go the rest of my life crying in pain?? I'm only 33. I just don't know what the hell to do anymore..

Silver Fish from Edinburgh Scotland on August 31, 2012:

Great Hub Kitty- and Hottest Hub!! Well done.

Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on August 31, 2012:

This prescription drug problem is quite a problem in South Africa as well. I had a loved one addicted not only to pain pills but a variety of psychiatric medicine as well. This person had 1 GP and 4 Psychiatrist and as many pharmacies to fill these prescriptions.

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on August 31, 2012:

Really informative hub, and such an important topic. So many people have ruined their health and relationships through this type of addiction. I like the details you included - voted up and up!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on August 30, 2012:

Thanks again everyone!

Rebecca Ardery on August 30, 2012:

Drug addiction is difficult to deal with, but like drug addiction it

it is manageable.

One simply has to want to be sober and have a better life not just for the people around them, but for themselves as well.

It's the whole concept of "don't change who you are or what you do for someone else; never change for anyone else change for you."

The one whose addicted has to want it, they have to want help and want to change for themselves. Changing for someone else doesn't make it better it puts the temptation in the back of the mind.

Some say that drug addiction is different than addiction to alcohol and to be honest it's not. Not in the least bit! All addictions when you get down to the core are the same. An addiction is an addiction no matter how you look at it. It's mental at first your mind likes the way the addiction makes you feel. You attempt to stop because it's not worth it, but then it becomes physical.

That's when it's mind over matter, and I believe that anyone is strong enough to make it through something like that only if they want to . Life can be great but it can be the worse thing that can ever happen to oneself. Life is what you make it, an addiction will only get as far as you let it.

Note: If i have offended anyone I do apologize. I DO NOT mean to in anyway.

ITcoach from United States on August 30, 2012:

It's not doubt to say that common knowledge about the drugs is the need of every body.

Thanks for sharing such an informative and professional post.

KateWest from Los Angeles, CA on August 30, 2012:

Currently concerned about anti-depressants. Going back and forth about it.

Nirvana on August 30, 2012:


Horrible story about your grandmother's care giver taking her meds and leaving her in pain. You have to be so careful!!

Terrible doc you went to. So sorry.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on August 29, 2012:

Thanks Freezeframe. Very good points you've brought up here and it is a shame when nurses and caretakers neglect and abuse their clients to support their addiction.

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on August 29, 2012:

Very interesting article and great debate you started here! I don't think you are being myopic at all. You clearly said that SOME people are addicted to pain medication; not ALL people who take medication are addicted!

When my grandmother was slowly passing away from cancer, my family and I provided 24 hour care at home. My parents hired a woman who happened to be a nurse to come in a few hours a week, just to stay and watch my grandmother. My grandmother's empty pill bottles were found by police in her car one day. She was stealing pain pills instead of giving them to my ill grandma! That is lower than low. How on Earth do you justify that?

Also, when I injured my tailbone, I went to my doctor to get an x-ray to make sure it wasn't broken or fractured. They prescribed something I was allergic to, but told me to try it anyways. I took a half a pill and broke out in hives. I called the doctor to see if I could return it and get something else since I could obviously not take it. They said no. I could only get one prescription. If I wanted to come in for another visit $$$, I would have to wait a few weeks. They said to just take something over the counter. If certain people weren't abusing narcotics, then prescribing another drug would have been perfectly fine. Did I go to another doctor? No. I survived!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on August 29, 2012:

Thanks to everyone for your wonderful and supportive comments. All we can do is pray and give tough love. Blessings!

Donna9376 on August 29, 2012:

Informative hub.

Nirvana on August 29, 2012:

Dear familymemberarrest,

Trying to deal with a family member who has addictive tendencies can be exhausting and very frightening. What you did was very hard, but as Kitty says, most addicts have to hit rock bottom before they can see how much they are hurting themselves and the people they love.

In most counties, being arrested in a situation like stealing to get high leads to some form of program. Here in San Diego County it is called Drug Court. They own you for as long as it takes to help you out of addiction. They test, if you come up dirty, it's back to jail. It's a tough love program, and a twelve-step program. In most cases, it works. I had a similar experience years ago with my surrogate daughter. I told her she had to leave, that she could not be around my young daughters anymore. I had to call the police to remove her. It was one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing I have ever had to do