The See-Saw Battle over Pain Meds

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We are a country of fads fueled by our bipolar swings from one extreme to the other. I remember entering the field of medicine and the pervading attitude about pain meds was to limit their use as much as possible and be judicious with quantities and dosage. Then the culture changed fueled by many external influences and doctors were chided for not being compassionate enough in dispensing pain medication. Charts were developed to help patients communicate with the medical staff on how much pain they had based on happy faces(no pain) to crying faces(extreme pain). Now the overriding issue is the explosion of opioid misuse. We even have “opioid induced constipation” as if this is a real disease cast on innocent people. No responsibility……only doctors are at fault and only doctors can cure this scourge. The Surgeon General has proposed limiting the dispensation of opioids by physicians.

Certain facts need to be laid out. Pain meds given post treatment and used for actual pain control are not habit forming. When someone no longer has pain but decides that the way the drug makes him feel is worth continuing the medication, that is the point of ” crossing the line”. This is a decision no different from smoking or drinking. Secondly, most of the opioids are obtained not through a physician’s office but on the street.

Now while we are worried about the opioid epidemic, the medical field is finalizing guidelines for the use of medical marijuana, even for children with specific diseases. The appropriate use of this medication will eventually be mishandled or changed and ………the doctors will be blamed for activity out of their control.Image result for pictures of scylla and charybdis