There was an article today in Time Magazine online posing the question “Are Doctor’s too reluctant in prescribing Opioids?
With millions of people suffering from chronic pain, it makes one wonder why there is still so much stigma attached to opioid use.
I am not embarrassed to say that without Opioids being a part of my daily life, I would not be able to function. That doesn’t make me an addict, it doesn’t make my drug use problematic – and I do not represent any part of the ‘label’ society has formed about people who use these drugs. I view opioid use in my life as a necessary ‘evil’, and until something better is put on the market for chronic pain, I have accepted that this is part of my treatment plan.
I have had SO many questions in the past month in regards to how we can make loved ones understand that opioid use does not define us as people… Many people have asked “How do I get them to understand that I am not an addict?” – and the simple answer to that is you do not have to justify or defend yourself to anyone…. but in a perfect world you wouldn’t have to. It is so hard to make people understand at times that we do not take our medication because we WANT to… we take it because we HAVE to in order to have quality of life.
If you read the Times article today you will see that studies show that based on research, a middle-aged or older person who takes opioids to control chronic pain have a less than 3 percent chance of becoming addicted! (that is IF there has been no history of past addiction).
I am not saying I am an opioid advocate…. what I AM saying is I DO support having a quality of life… And many people who are suffering silently without proper medical intervention do not have ANY quality of life.
It has been a really long journey for me to accept the role that medication plays in my life. I started out this process fighting my medical team and refusing to take certain drugs out of fear…. I have now educated myself fully on every medication I put into my body – and I am thankful that some of these drugs have changed my life.
I am also very thankful that I have a doctor who understands that the role opioids play in the treatment of chronic pain IS a valid and important one. She doesn’t over prescribe, but she doesn’t under prescribe either…. she is working WITH me and FOR me to help me gain back some of what I have lost in my life due to pain.
So if you are someone who is battling the stigma of being on some of these drugs – here is another article that you might find validating….
I hope you all are having a pain-controlled day!!