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The other side of the opioid crisis – a first-hand account

We’ve done some coverage of the opioid crisis lately – particularly in Wilmington, one of the worst cities for opioid abuse in the nation.

While taking an unflinching look at the very real problem and its very real human costs, it’s worth considering another aspect of our reaction to it.

Last month Lynn Frank, 64, wrote a thought-provoking piece for Philly.com about living not with opioid addiction but with chronic pain that is made manageable by her use of prescription opioid medication.

From that piece:

I am the other side of the opiate crisis. I am not an addict. I take pain medication to function at a minimal level and not allow my chronic pain get the better of me. It lets me feel normal for a short time every day. I never feel “high” from taking it, just almost “normal.” It allows me to focus and to do simple tasks that I could not otherwise perform

There are other things chronic pain sufferers do to relieve pain. In an effort to distract ourselves we meditate, pray, and have hobbies such as knitting (my personal favorite) and reading. We do many things to take our minds off of our pain, We attempt to stay positive even when it feels impossible. A short relief from pain helps. Pain medicine helps us function, at least for a short time, in a way that most people take for granted.

Please acknowledge those of us who suffer from chronic pain. Recognize our need for these powerful medications. Understand that we are only trying to live our lives by managing the nonstop pain. We want to survive and overcome. We will.

Read the whole thing here.

 

One Comment


  1. Edward Barnard

    July 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for publishing a rebuttle about pain medication abuse. As a result of the current outcry regarding opioid abuse, most doctors are no longer willing to prescribe these medications for people suffering chronic pain. Most of the alternative medications for relieving pain either have no effect on pain whatsoever – such as all the variations of neurontin, or these medications have serious and traumatic side-effects – another bracket into which neurontin and its variants fit appropriately. I should know, I suffer chronic pain day in and day out, have tried almost every alternative pain medications – including hypnosis and depression medication (which also doesn’t work), and struggle to live a normal life in what is becoming an ever grester nightmare by the day. I am not certain I would choose to take opioid medication on a daily basis but it would sure be helpful on those days when I am at the end of my rope with constant suffering. There will always be drug abuse, the same as there will always be alcohol abuse, but what is being overlooked in the current frenzy regarding pain medication is that as our population increases exponentially, so do all types of abuse. Something much more sinister than abuse is driving the current outcry against opioid medication and it has more to do with the corrupted machinations of Big Pharma than it does addiction.

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