Healthcare and Pain

This is a story from last year, but with the new administration, healthcare is getting worse, not better.

Talking to doctors made me realize just how little doctors know about both pain and about the medications they prescribe…

When I was tapering off pain meds (Oxycontin, Morphine, Vicodan and Soma), I did a lot of research on both what they drugs were and did, how they were prescribed and how to get of the dang things. I was working with a pain specialist and a drug counselor and they told me the same things.

Washington state had the highest amount of us Oxycontin users in the country and the least amount of resources to get off of the drugs. I found that to be true. The state government panicked at those statistics and overreacted, putting limits on how much could be subscribed, which left a lot of people with cancer and chronic pain with nothing.

Now if you’ve ever tried to get off of pain meds, you know just how hard it is to do. Most doctors don’t understand this. It took me two years to taper down from 360 mgs of Oxycontin a day (in addition to the other drugs), going through mini withdrawals the entire process. Even with that, when I got down to 1mg every five hours I had to do a jump to nothing, and I went through 2 weeks of extreme withdrawal.

I know understand why most addicts stay addicts. I have had a lot of challenges in my life, but nothing, and I mean nothing, was as painful as going off of prescription pain medications. Not cancer, not my daughter’s death, not the car accident.. nothing.

And doctors and politicians just don’t have a clue as to what this is like. This is why so many Oxy addicts switch to heroin. It’s cheaper and easier to get, but a whole lot deadlier. These guidelines will do nothing to reduce addiction and until they finally educate themselves about prescription meds and deal with the cause and not the effect, nothing is going to improve.

I didn’t understand it very well when I started using these drugs either. I went on the antidepressants in 2000, not knowing how addictive they were and the pain meds in 2006. Ironically, I questioned and researched everything else in my health, but medications.

Another thing that doctors and the government don’t take into consideration is how these drugs alter the mind. Every time there is a mass shooting, they “suggest” mental illness. I would like to “suggest” two other possibilities.. One is pain. Pain can cause you to react very violently, like an animal who is hurt and will lash out or attack anyone who comes near them. The other is paranoia. A side effect of many pain meds, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs is being paranoid. I experienced that first hand. Both pain and paranoia can cause violent behavior. With the new healthcare restrictions, in addition to the sense of entitlement due to fear and hatred and the call from Trump to destroy those who don’t fit with his “make America great” agenda, I suspect we will see many more violent attacks on people. It’s all coming together in a perfect storm.