Presently there is overwhelming concern over the “epidemic” of opioid use. In conjunction, there are now restrictions on physicians as to how much pain med at any one time can be prescribed (even for appropriate post-op management). In our present day culture few are held responsible for their actions, the blame is on someone else. Let’s be honest and understand that this “epidemic” is not like the swine flu, bird flu, or Zika where completely innocent people become affected. The decision to continue taking opioid pain medication after the pain has resolved is a choice. We have free will and with it comes responsibility for our actions. Yes there is chronic pain but that group constitutes a small number and certainly does not add up to epidemic proportions. A large percentage of opioid use involves illegal procurement. Doctors, too, need to say “no” to unfounded calls for pain control.
It’s ok to have pain for a short period of time; it’s ok to be sad or depressed when tragedy strikes; it’s ok to be anxious in important situations. Drugs do not need to be employed in normal living experiences. Drug companies take advantage of this new American culture of the “need” for no anxiety, depression, pain or other psychosomatic illnesses.
The “epidemic” will be controlled when we expect people to control themselves and not enable them with more drugs that help legitimize this behavior.