Do you believe that US doctors giving out narcotic pain meds contributes to addiction?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/08/2011 ( 27 moms have responded )

6,434

12

67

I don't have as many channels in BC as I did when I lived with my parents in NY so instead of whatever's on TLC or WE I've been watching Intervention on A&E .

I've noticed that a lot of the people on Intervention (aside from having a lot of different stories) also started by being prescribed narcotic pain meds by their doctors after a minor surgery or after pain from a misscarriage or something. And needless to say they become addicted.

I've noticed the trend myself. Back in 2001 I had my wisdom teeth removed and my dentist gave me a script for Tylonel with Codine. Back in June of this year I had laproscopic surgery to remove an IUD from my abdominal cavity and I was given a script for Vicodin. I did fill the one for the Codine but only took 1 the entire time becuase I hated the way I felt. I never filled the one for the vicodin because I'm breastfeeding and didn't know the effect it would have on my daughter. Plus I have a high tolerance for pain and just about gave birth to her completely natural 3 months prior to the surgery.

I have seen addiction first hand although thankfull not from someone I was related to. I took care of a lady who's daughter was addicted to Oxycotin and would get someone to drive her to her dealer while I was there. It was lovely- they were on food stamps and welfare and only had this POS house because of the lady's son in Florida. They were telling the woman (their own grandmother and mother) that they couldn't get her food. But they had no trouble finding a few bucks to get pills. It made me sick.

I heard that doctors are actually pressured by pharmacutical companies to push the heavier drugs when a regular OTC pain killer would do the job just as well. So I'm wondering what the rest of you all think.

I'm sorry this isn't very well thought out. But it's my first debate thread. And I found the topic appropriate after the one about the woman who may have killed her son by meth laced breast milk.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/10/2011

4,455

6

379

I dont think I KNOW it contributes to Addiction..I have seen it first hand in many people that I know or know of...these pills may help, but they Can be addicting and life changing for the worst. They damage the liver and other organs over a period of time; they make a person do crazy/messed up things to get their “Fix”



I say if they okay this shit they need to okay marijuana!

Mary - posted on 08/10/2011

3,348

31

119

I don't know that big pharma "pushing" docs is really the issue with narcotics. Meds still under patents - yeah, I'd by that, since they are still ridiculously over-priced, ut things like vicodin or percocet that have been around forever and are (relatively) cheap - not so much.

I do think that a part of the issue is the "pain is whatever the patient perceives it to be" mentality that has become prevalent in pain management over the past decade or so. It really is a fine balance between blowing off a patient as a whiny wuss, and taking their (legitimate) complaints seriously. It really is hard for a practitioner to know who is "for real", and who is either just drug-seeking, or who is just completely intolerant of even the slightest ache. This is particularly true in a setting such as the ER, where the staff really doesn't "know" the patient, and has no history by which to gauge a patient's complaints.

If they give someone with a sprained ankle ice and ibuprofen, they are accused of being uncaring and insensitive to their discomfort. If they give that same person a script for percocet, they are accused of handing out unnecessary narcotics like candy. It's really a no-win situation no matter what they do, since someone will inevitably find fault with their treatment.

A perfect example of this is sciatica in pregnancy. It's a fairly common occurrence. I had some pretty significant issues with it from about 32-34 weeks. Now, for me, I just figured it was something I just had to deal with as best I could. I tried to avoid physical actions that exacerbated it, and took lots of warm baths, and the occasional tylenol. However, during that time, I continued to work in L&D. I vividly remember caring for two women in our triage who were roughly the same gestation as me, and came in complaining of the same damned issue I was having. In each case, these women cried and carried on, demanding "relief" from their docs. I just sat silent, as they ranted on about how "we" had no idea how much pain they were in, and how unbearable this was. Both of them were discharged with notes relieving them from work, and scripts for flexeril (a pretty potent muscle relaxant), and my 38 y/o pregnant ass, back protesting in pain, pushed them out to their cars in wheelchairs, all the while chanting in my head, "Pain is what the patient perceives it to be".

Erin - posted on 08/09/2011

6,569

25

232

I'm an Aussie, and a medical secretary for 4 GPs. I can say for certain that a lot of our patient's addictions were triggered by being discharged from hospital with a shit tonne of narcotics. Where I am, it is not the GPs but the hospitals who are the problem. We have a very strict narc and benzo rule that is posted on the wall of our waiting room. Basically, unless you are a regular patient with documented reasons for your pain, don't even bother asking. We turn away new patients all the time (who apparently can't read) who go in to their first consult asking for drugs. They are then put on a Doctor Shopping list and marked Not To Be Seen.

There are very strict rules regarding pharmaceutical companies in Aus though. They aren't even allowed to give us stationary anymore because it is seen as a conflict of interest for the doctors. They do provide samples and literature, and bring lunch for a meeting with the docs a couple of times a year, but that's it. There are no kickbacks for the docs, and no other benefit for them to prescribe their drugs without medical indication.

What I see most often is the doctors I work for having to come up with a treatment plan to wean people off the drugs they have been given elsewhere. How that goes will depend on how compliant they are. If they are being difficult or acting reckless, they are only given scripts for a week at a time. This means not only must they ration the pills out appropriately, but they have to present to the doctor very regularly for monitoring.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/10/2011

18,939

9

3002

I agree with you 100% E, if they would legalize pot, it will help with pain, help cancer patients on chemo to eat, and be a good relaxer instead of Valium. Hell, it helped me not be depressed! And, it really isn't addictive. Pharmaceutical companies would not really lose out, cause I am sure they would have their hands on different forms of it, and way to use it.

Katherine - posted on 08/10/2011

65,420

232

4956

For sure. I got addicted to Vicodin. I mean I wanted to get off of it and couldn't do it by myself. I had to take meds to help me. It's not something to play around with.

Then you run out and say you still have the pain and need more. I do have 2 bulging discs in my back so I need some kind of pain meds. Once I got off of the Vicodin I was prescribed non-narcotics like robaxin and nuerontin. They help a little but not really.

The thing is though I don't want to take narcs. So yes, you can definitely get addicted.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

27 Comments

View replies by

Jurnee - posted on 08/10/2011

3,790

22

110

Personally I never liked it, so whether it was legal or not wouldnt be an issue to me, and Im sure not for many. If it was regualated like alcohol, it would actually be harder for kids to get. It's easier for kids to buy drugs, than it is to walk into a liquor store.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/10/2011

18,939

9

3002

Laura, you are absolutely right. It would fix many "problems" to legalize. The country may be stoned for a few years, but it would subside once the hype was over.

Jurnee - posted on 08/10/2011

3,790

22

110

@ Marina, legalizing marijuana could not only help medically, but it would bring in tax money. Keep people out of jail who are being busted for small amounts for personal use. It would also create jobs. It has to be grown, cultivated, distributed,and regulated like alcohol. I know Im off topic, but aside for the medical benefits there are many others.

Jurnee - posted on 08/10/2011

3,790

22

110

Just another thought,I wish they would have given me something other than Motrin after my csection. I was in so much pain, and they only offered Motrin.finally they gave me one pain pill(cant remember what), but just one in the hospital and a script for 4 to go home with. Just had to vent about that for a sec

Jurnee - posted on 08/10/2011

3,790

22

110

I live in Florida, which is like the pain pill capitol of the US. There are many clinics here that will just give you rx for oxycontin. People come from other states to get them. you basicallly walk in, pay your money,, say you have sever back pain, no xrays, maybe a cursory exam, and you walk out with an Rx. I know of a 20 yr old that was in an automobile accident, not severe, but had some whiplash. His lawyer sent him to a doctor that rxed oxycontin, he quickly became addicted. I work for a doctor and we wont prescribe any strong narcotics, we refer to a pain management doctor, who regulates the meds, tests drug levels etc., they are experts in pain control. Not to be confused with pain clinic/pill mills that i previously describes. Although they are sometimes easy to confuse. Sometimes the ER also gives pain meds out easily, I went once for a cut on my finger, they gave me a RX for a 2 week supply of Vicodin, I didnt have it fixed. I ve als seen the ERS give Vicodin scripts for urinary tract infections. People who are truly in pain really do need help, unfortunately, the ones who abuse make it difficult for thoe who really are in pain.

Jenn - posted on 08/10/2011

675

1

47

Well, my mother-in-law is an Army veteran nurse with many health issues and the VA Clinic sends her a giant bottle of Percocet every month. She panics when she is down to 12 pills and we have to sit at the VA pharmacy to get refills because she can't wait for the mail to deliver them. I have voiced concern to the doctor and she insists my MIL is on a lower dose than many veterans. Seriously!! My MIL also has vascular dementia and I really fear the day she overdoses. She refuses home health care ( of course,because she is a nurse herself!)

So, yes, I think some doctors don't try other methods than pain meds to treat an issue. Therapy isn't offered nor is alternative choices to pain meds. Very frustrating!! Some people simply can't or won't know when to stop taking meds and they become addicted, completely reliant on them.

Lacye - posted on 08/09/2011

2,011

31

160

I think some doctors do. After I gave birth to my daughter, the doctor prescribed me pain medication the day I was released, even though I was walking around and I felt freaking awesome. I didn't go get it filled because I didn't see the need for it. A couple weeks later I had to have surgery to have my gall bladder removed and once again they gave me some pain meds to take and yeah I filled those because I hurt like a bitch. After my surgery I ended up back in the hospital because the surgeon left a gall stone inside me and it caused a lot of complications. When I went back in the hospital, the nurses would not give me the pain medication until I walked around for a little while (I couldn't hardly move because of the complication with my surgery). If it wasn't for those nurses, I might have become addicted because the pain meds would wear off in about 30 minutes and they would hold off giving me more for 4 hours.

[deleted account]

I used to go to a doctor in the "ghetto" part of my town and every time I would walk in I would have to go through a knot of people who would all say "ask for painkillers and we'll buy them off you at $____ each!" I always reported them to the front office staff, but they were always gone by the time to cops arrived. It's crazy too, because I know they wouldn't be there if it never worked! I also used to work with a couple women who were serious pill abusers. One was in an accident years ago (over 5 years ago) and still had a standing prescription for Oxycotin. She would fill her prescription using the welfare insurance (so she didn't pay a penny for it) and then turn around and sell it to our other co-worker for $10 per pill! The co-worker who was buying the pills would get advances on her paychecks so she could buy the pills, but her kids were at her house with no food and she would always complain about how she didn't have any money (yet spending $300-500 per month on Oxycotins). Sick...

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/09/2011

6,434

12

67

LOL Dyan I don't know. I used to live in Western New York before I moved to Canada and I knew of a few different people who were able to get their controlled substances one way or another. Hell the woman who I took care of- her daughter saw me popping an 800mg Motrin (prescribed by my primary care physician) that I take sometimes when my shoulder becomes unbearable due to my line of work and asked if she could buy some off of me! She was upset when I wouldn't give them to her.

I've heard about kids being prescribed ritalin when they didn't have ADD or ADHD as well which makes me made because then it makes it harder for people with actual problems to prove that ADD and ADHD aren't just made up mental disorders and you're not just acting out for attention.

Mrs. - posted on 08/09/2011

1,767

6

30

I'm sorry for your ex-mother in law too. It sounds like she has been mismanaged and not given/or upped her own dose as a means to actually get high, as opposed to dealing with pain.

I'll disagree with you that Oxycotin, in a slow release, as opposed to the Oxycodone, the fast release (fast high, used mostly for acute pain not chronic pain), is a drug that shouldn't be used in the home. As I said, I have some experience with the slow release drug and know a wide variety of chronic pain patients who have used to responsibly and with great effect. The ideal would be for the drug to ease your pain and improve function in your daily life. I know many for whom this is the case with slow release Oxy.

However, I am well aware that many, like your mother-in-law (ex), who up their own dose, are not prescribed the proper dose or have not gone through a series of medications to find the "right" one for their body.

It sounds like for her, Oxy is not the right drug. She might have done better on something else and improved function...not become less functional and a slave to dosing. That is a true shame. This has a lot to do with, I think, lazy docs just throwing shit at a fibro patient, thinking, "This will shut them up." They don't bother to actually find out if that is the best drug for them or even follow up.

Let me say though, coming off a narc is near impossible and dangerous to do without the help of a doc. She could have a seizure and die doing it on her own. I hurt for her knowing the pain of fibro, combined with the fear of withdrawal without the proper support of her docs.

If she ever wants help finding the right people to work with in Van or TO, let me know. I'd be happy to give her some names.

Rosie - posted on 08/09/2011

8,657

30

315

i live in the united states though megan. just like i hear of kids getting prescribed meds for adhd when they don't have it, but i truly don't see that here as well. must be the crazies in the south, lmao. sorry sara you know i love you. :)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/09/2011

6,434

12

67

I believe it also depends on the person. If you have an addictive personality then you may be more prone to becoming addicted to the pain meds you're given.

For some unknown reason when I was recovering from the birth of my baby back in March I was given high dose Motrin or something for the pain of my stitches and everything else and I had to ask for it because the nurse had it locked up/ WTF! I was on an IV of Magnesium for 24 hours because of my BP and couldn't get up or eat the first day. But they locked up my motrin!

Dyan, I think all those doctors are either in the States or down in Vancouver handing out the free needles to drug addicts while people with diabetes have to shell out their own money for them.

Rosie - posted on 08/09/2011

8,657

30

315

yes and no. i have been given narcotics like oxycodone, or vicatin for pain after surgery, but have only been given the one prescription. i was not allowed to have any more. big fat no.
my husband had surgery on his ankle after a car accident, and was given morphine and lortabs in the hospital, and was sent home with a little whiles worth, i honestly can't remember, but it wasn't that long. he wanted more, and they would not give him anymore, even though he couldn't walk.

i honestly don't know where all these doctors are that are giving people MORE drugs. i hear of it all the time, but have never seen it.

Amanda - posted on 08/09/2011

2,559

3

365

No I have never used a doctor in USA, thank god I would never want that bill LOL. Oxy is the only pain med shes been prescribed other then percs for her fybro, you can understand my frustation with her doctor, as my mother also with fybro has tested out many other drugs until she found the one that works best for her. My ex mother inlaw actually is pretty useless as a human now thanks to oxy. A woman who once was a clean freak, now lives in total disgusting home, once shes taken her oxy, everything else goes out the window. She actually now looks like a drug addict, I have many times tried to convince her to ask the doctor to ween her off her oxys, but she wont she claims it works. Reason for the withdraws is because she was so ill (the flu) she had forgotten to take ONE pill, which landed her in an ER each time. This is not a drug that should just be handed out to people, to use in their homes.

Mrs. - posted on 08/09/2011

1,767

6

30

Amanda, I live in Toronto, but I have been treated in the west coast as well. I had a similar arrangement with my docs in Van. In Van, they also gave me a doc that just looked after any drugs I was taking and monitored how it was going. He was a specialist on drugs and their effect on those with chronic pain. It was actually really nice to have someone to have an honest conversation with about dependancy vs. addiction.

Here's the deal, I'm quite sure you might be able to get a 12 days worth of fast release Oxycodone (not the slow release version used to treat most long time pain patients...and I should know, I was on that one for a while) or Percs in some docs office in Canada. For some, that might be enough to get them high and hooked. Usually those who are seeking to get high off those drugs have taken them before and are, in fact, drug seeking. However, trying to get a long term script for any of those drugs, including Vicodin, is damn hard in Canada, unless you have been seen by the proper people, sign a contract and honestly have a life long chronic illness.

Now as far as your ex-mother in law goes, it sounds as if she may need better management on her side. If she is in the ER due to withdrawals because of her narc pain killer and has been diagnosed with fibro...this really shouldn't be happening if she is managing her script and her docs correctly. As far as the other drugs people are put on for Fibro that you think might be better....if been on the lot of them and I can tell you, many of them aren't as controversial as Oxy or Percs, but they create as much dependance and withdrawal as they do. I mean, heck, I was on Tramadol, which is not even classed as an opiod or addictive, it gave me a heart problem and I had hallucinations when I went off it. Lyrica gave me hallucinations and the shakes. So, what I'm getting at is sometimes, the drug a person is given a script for from a doc is the one that suits them best. That might be why is was chosen by your ex mom-in-laws docs, it may not be, I really don't know for sure.

In the states though, in my experience Amanda....and I don't know if you've ever been treated by a doc in both countries, they have more sample and are more likely to line your cabinet with drugs that they are being pushed to sell.

One last thought too, those people who are drug seekers or abuse their scripts are the ones who make it hard for those who responsibly use the drugs that after years of work with their docs have found work best for them and help them function. It is a sad thing and I wish it wasn't so.

Kate CP - posted on 08/09/2011

8,942

36

754

I've never been treated as a drug seeker and I've been in and out of the hospital for pancreatitis quite often. But...I'm well known as "That woman who has serious issues" at my local hospital. I'm not kidding. I walk in and the triage nurse smiles and says "Hey, how ya doin'?" Which, to me, is rather comical...'cause if I was doing good I wouldn't BE at the friggin' hospital. Every time I leave the hospital I'm given an RX for a narcotic analgesic. Sometimes I fill it and use it sometimes I don't. If all people are treated the way *I* am treated when being discharged from the hospital then I can see how it could be considered a problem. But, I don't know how others are treated and what instructions they are given at discharge so I don't know. I know *I* have never abused prescription medications, though.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/09/2011

18,939

9

3002

Anytime that I have had severe debilitating pain, I have been treated like a drug seeker. I don't understand how anyone could say it is handed out like candy.

After my daughter was born, I had SPD during the pregnancy, and my tear was aweful...plus I had ridiculous varicose pain. The nurses gave me pain meds, and when my midwife came to release me, she cut all my pain med doses in half, and only sent me home with 1 weeks worth of pain meds. I had to go back to the office because my sutures fell out. I could hardly sit (I was breastfeeding, so had to sit a lot) walk, stand, I was a mess. I had to drive 1 hour to and from my appointment to check my healing. The midwife gasped when she saw my open wound. She asked how much pain I was in, and I just started crying. She ended up given me meds, but it was not a supply that outlasted my pain. I suffered through these ordeals greatly, because of others ruining and abusing the drugs. I still don't understand how people get them so easily, because when I have needed them, I had to jump through hoops, or just suffer.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/09/2011

18,939

9

3002

My son got a pretty nasty injury that required 5 sutures. Granted he was only 4 at the time, and the ER would only give him Motrin...that barely cut the pain.

I have had some pretty major pain, and have not been prescribed painkillers.

After my son was born via c section, I was given 1 months worth of pain meds and prescription strenght ibuprofen. The ibuprofen gave me stomach problems. When I was out of the pain meds for 1 week, I could barely walk. I went back to the gyno for a post check up, and let them know how much pain I was in, and how the ibuprofen was making me sick, and was not even touching the pain. They essentially told me to suck it up. I went home crying, I was in so much pain. They treated me like I was drug seeking. I called the office in tears, and actually told them that is how they made me feel, and tried to re explain how much agony I was in. They did eventually give me a script, for a lesser drug....it maybe cut the pain in half. They would not give me the drug I asked for. They really did think I was drug seeking.

Amanda - posted on 08/09/2011

2,559

3

365

I dont know where you live in Canada Rebecca, but I can walk into my doctors today and ask for oxy and have it!! I do believe doctors are in MANY cases the first step to drug addiction. I have seen many people I know on Percs and Oxys for nothing. Right now my ex mother inlaw is addicted to Oxys for Fybro, it really pisses me off that her doctor would even prescrib that kind of drug to her, when its well known many other drugs can help with fybro, and are way less addictive. She has ended up in the ER twice now (that i know of) due to with draws from being ill and forgetting to take her Oxy. It disgusts me how easy it is to get major drugs in Canada, we sure as hell are no better then USA when it comes to drug addiction.



My ex and his brother could go to my doctor and have a prescription for 400 precs without blinking an eye, and their injurys are over 10 years old, which no longer bother them.



If you go downtown and ask a meth head how they started drugs I bet most of them will say it all started with a minor injury and a major prescription.



Btw teenagers now start their first drugs with prescriptions in their own homes. Pill partys are very popular with the teenagers.

Mrs. - posted on 08/08/2011

1,767

6

30

Well, I live in Canada and have a disease that requires pain meds. There is quite a difference in the two countries.

In Canada, I have to sign a contract with my doc that says I will never abuse, drug seek, never sell or use more than one pharmacy with my meds. It is quite a process of going through different pain meds that are non-narc before you move up a class. They monitor carefully those with chronic pain conditions to make sure there is no addictive behaviour going on with those who may be dependant, but not addicted.

Recently, I went to the states and made the relisation far too late that I only picked up half my script before leaving Canada. This is a huge problem with my particular drug.

In Canada, they can't cross border transfer a script via pharmacy and a doc can't really do much for you from Canada.

So, I had to go to my mom's doc, a couple walk in clinics and my aunt's doc to see if I could get a script. It was horrible, I will never forget my meds again.

Anyway, they offered my everything but my drug, which require the "three" copy script deal. Only certain docs have this. I had three docs basically offering everything from Vicadin (apparently not on the three script list) to Hydromorphine. I'm so sensitive to drugs though, I was afraid to take anything new.

So, long story, short, I had to take some pain meds to deal with breakthrough pain still for a few days before leaving. I look into my parent's med cabinet and apparently there was no need to go to the doc. My father, my mother and my younger bro had all been written a script for very minor things...for a very popular morphine based pain killer. Seriously, this was major stuff, way more addictive, fast release pain killers that could get a sensitive person's body hooked in a matter of weeks, for like a toothache.

So, yeah, American docs are script happy. However, they like to avoid those writing scripts for those "buzz" drugs of the moment that people get hooked on. It used to be Vicodin, now it's not...they are shelling out that stuff like candy.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms