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If you have ever gone to the doctor with severe pain that needed anything stronger than Tylenol, you probably have had doctors tell you that narcotics are addictive and that there are other medications that you won’t get addicted. Doctors sometimes even try to trick you into thinking that Acetaminophen is a miracle drug, which many us chronically ill and disabled folks know it’s just another way of saying “go take Tylenol” As a disabled person, I do not need to take narcotics on a regular basis but I have had many surgeries with severe pain, such as a hip replacement, where it was necessary. When it comes to pain management I am a huge believer in taking over the counter medication like Advil for pain that is not that bad because narcotics are not always necessary for all types of pain but depending on where your pain is it might be your only choice for relief. When I am in the hospital I usually will take Tylenol for lower pain levels because I don’t like the way stronger pain medication make me feel as it makes me constipated very quickly. If you have ever gone to a hospital to have surgery you are probably very familiar with the opioid crisis because before a doctor will even prescribe a narcotic they often will try to sell you on over the medications and warn you that narcotics can be addictive. I think when doctors prescribe these medications it is important to educate them on dangerous side effect and my biggest issue is that anyone who wants anything stronger than Tylenol is treated like an addict. In this post, I am going to talk about my opinion on the opioid crisis and how it affects people with pain who take their medication responsibly.
It affects chronic pain patients the most – People are always talking about how bad narcotics are but what you don’t hear people talk about is how it helps people recovering for surgery or have chronic pain with higher pain levels. I think the bigger crisis isn’t that people sometimes get addicted to their medications but it’s that patients with real pain who take their medication responsibly are being denied access to pain management that works. I do not blame doctors for under prescribing medication because a lot of the time it’s not a doctor’s fault that they are under prescribing medication but it’s that the laws don’t allow doctor to prescribe doses that would help patients. The opioid laws make it a little harder for people who have an addiction problem to get a hold of narcotics but it’s not the addicts you should worry about but it’s all the people who have real pain that are being denied access to life saving medications. People in pain are the ones who have been the most negatively impacted and it’s not fair because it’s not our fault some people abuse their medication and shouldn’t be punished for the actions of someone else.
I do believe that some people get addicted- As a disabled person I do not believe that everyone prescribed a narcotic will have an addiction problem because I have certainly never had the problem of not being able to stop pain medication I get after surgery and try to get off if it as soon as possible. I think a vast majority of people who have real pain will not get addicted to their meds because pain medication sometimes is necessary and allows you to have a life. Some people will say that a vast majority of people prescribed a narcotics will get addicted but I don’t know if I am comfortable saying a vast majority of people don’t get addicted because I do not know the statistics of opioid addiction. I am not going to say I don’t think anyone struggles with addiction because it does happen and there should be services out there to help people that struggle with not being able to stop but there has to be a way to do it that doesn’t hurt those who are truly suffering .
There is needs to be alternatives before we shut the narcotic industry down- As a disabled person I have never understood how people get addicted to opioids because they make me constipated and I can never get off of them fast enough People sometimes will say that that we need to shut the narcotic industry to solve the addiction problem and I am all for that but before we can consider shutting down the narcotic industry there needs to be options for people in pain that actually work because Tylenol doesn’t work for people with severe pain a vast majority of the time. I have had many surgeries where I was denied pain medications hours after a big surgery because my blood pressure was too high or too low and it would have of been dangerous to give me pain medication and to this day it gives me nightmares. People sometimes think that shutting down the narcotic industry is the solution but that is not going to solve anything until their are other alternative medications that treat severe pain because pain doesn’t disappear when you stop taking your meds and it only makes them worse and negatively affects your quality of life. If I am recovering from surgery and there are other medications that are not narcotics that will effectively treat my pain I go for that option because I will take anything that doesn’t have a side effect of constipation but a lot of the time there are not other options and it’s either take stronger pain meds or suffer.
There is always a risk that you could become addicted when you are prescribed a narcotic, but the problem isn’t only addiction but it’s also that people in pain are being denied access to life-saving medications. Some people think that shutting down the narcotic industry is the solution for stopping addiction and although I do believe that we could solve the addiction problem if no one could get their hands on a narcotic, it would also create a mental health crisis because people would not have pain under control and would become so depressed due to high pain levels. Addiction is bad, but it can also be just as harmful to take away something that gives someone pain relief because when you have unbearable pain levels, you have no desire to live, and it increases your risk of committing suicide. It is important to know the risks when taking any medication but, it’s not a solution to take pain medication off the market because it improves some people’s quality of life. Opioid addiction can be an issue for some people, and I am not suggesting that doctors start over-prescribing narcotics to ensure everyone gets more than enough medication and I just want to point out that it hurts patients who really need them when no one can get the correct dosage of pain medication. What do you think of the opioid crisis?
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