Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Opiate Crackdown... Again.

So the New York Times has written about the newest opiate prescription crackdown. This will come as no surprise, but a deep burden, to pain patients everywhere. Like life with the kind of pain that gets opiate attention is not already hard enough.

I know that my life is not indicative of all lives, and that my experience is not universal. But it is already hard enough, dammit. I already have to schedule, attend, and pay for doc visits I do not need (as opposed to the many I do need) in order to "check in" on my pain script. I have already mentioned several times that it is no longer cutting it, and we are going to have to find something better that still leaves some upward mobility in this area for the rest of my life.

That is part of what I mean when I say it is already more difficult than it should be. I have to plan to be in pain for the rest of my life. Imagine that, if it is not your life:  you can never, ever have a pain free day. Not once can you ever go to sleep thinking that tomorrow will be better. That maybe, one day, you will find a way to not actively suffer throughout your day.

Just think about that for a minute.

So, your pain is incurable, but "manageable" through drugs. Opiates. And at every turn, it feels like someone is trying to remove the one thing that makes your daily activities possible. That allows you to not spend your day curled up in a ball, in tears, on the bed you rarely leave now.

Also: no one believes you. No one truly has a hint of a clue as to what life is like in your chronic pain body. And they simply cannot fathom the amount of pain one human being can feel and still be here, still be trying to function, still be trying to make some thing of their life. And they cannot imagine that one may need an evil, addictive opiate to manage. They do not understand the difference between addiction and dependence. Hell, a lot of detox programs do not understand that difference.

So sure, they may catch some people abusing the system. And some doctors may, from what was in the article, find some other, maybe even more effective treatments for a few. But what this really means is that a lot of law abiding patients are going to be in a lot more pain in the name of... Hell, I am not even sure. It will not matter to those patients. It does not matter to me. I just want someone to have an idea of the hell that some people are going go through in the name of it.


  1. The thing that always gets me when this sort of coverage comes up is how "concerned" some doctors and the general public seem to be abut ZOMG POSSIBLE ADDICTION!!11 and/or existing addicts who do not suffer from chronic pain and yet doctor-shop for pills. It's a pretty amazing example of throwing the many undertreated pain patients under the bus for the needs of the few who abuse the system or who *might* abuse it.

    1. Exactly! It is meta, real life messing up, concern trolling. And it contributes to a singular public image of the opiate user as an addict, or misguided, or otherwise wrong and in need of guidance. I want people to see the opiate user as simply someone else taking their Rx so they can otherwise just try to live their life, you know?

      (Can I say that I have been reading you for a while and I am totally happy that you stopped by, let alone left a comment!)


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