Doctors across the nation are recklessly prescribing dangerous, addictive, and harmful medications to patients without considering the consequences on the individual, their family, and the opioid crisis. I personally have been offered prescription pain medicine by several doctors simply by complaining about chronic or reoccurring pain. Of course, I know the dangerous effects that can arise from using these medications. Even if I do not have the intent to abuse the pills, there is a strong chance my body will not be able to stop using them and I will end up abusing them. For that reason, I always decline when I am offered pain medication.
Pain pill addiction
When I was just fifteen-years-old, I got my wisdom teeth out. When I woke up, my recovery had already begun. I was feeling minimal pain, and unlike most post-op patients, I could carry a conversation. The doctors sent me on my way with a prescription for Vicodin and Penicillin. The Vicodin was given to me under the impression that I would use it when I was feeling any pain from the operation. The Penicillin was given to me to prevent an infection.
My mom is a nurse, so she see’s the harsh realities of addiction first hand. She was shocked and angry to learn that I was given both of these medications as a teenager and given no warnings about the possibility of developing a lifelong addiction. My mother locked up the medication immediately, and only gave it to me when the proper time had passed between my last dose, and I truly felt as though I needed it for my pain.
It is crazy to me that a simple operation such as getting your wisdom teeth out means getting on dangerously highly addictive medication for up to two weeks. Once my pill bottle was empty, that was that. I no longer had pain and I was almost fully recovered. I had no reason to seek out more pain meds. I had successful gone through recovery from my surgery without developing a pain pill addiction. Others are not so lucky.
Prescription pain medication
This past Thanksgiving, I slipped and fell in my parent’s kitchen when trying to chase my cat and grab him before he ran out the front door that had been left open. In the process, I knocked over a wooden chair and landed with all my weight on my left ribs. I fell down so hard that I knocked the wind out of myself. I was sure that I had broken something.
For two months I ignored my pain. I slept only on my right side and I practiced doing deep breaths. By late January, I was almost pain free, but there was still a slight pinch that I felt when I wore tight clothing or accidentally slept on my left side. I decided to go to my local patient first. During the visit I was given an X-ray and told that my fifth left rib was fractured and beginning to heal.
Let me make two things clear. One, I had visited the patient first in Baltimore. Two, I was not going to see this doctor for pain. I was going to see the doctor to make sure that I did not injure my lungs duding my fall, and that everything was on the track to healing correctly. After I talked to the doctor, he asked me if I was still experiencing any pain. I said I had a little, but nothing that was preventing me from completing my daily tasks. He then asked me if I would like to get any pain medication from a pharmacist.
Of course, I declined. I felt as though I should have said something. We were in Baltimore of all places. Drugs are everywhere. All that it took was me saying I had a “little” pain for him to offer up prescription pain medication. I wanted to scream, “No wonder we are in an opioid crisis! Stop doing this!” Instead I kept quiet. I didn’t speak up because I was afraid one day, I might actually need pain medication and I want to be able to easily obtain it.
Outpatient rehab for substance abuse
When doctors hear the word “pain,” their first impulse is to prescribe pain medication as a quick solution. Pain medication is not a way to fix issues. If anything, the pain disappears but an addiction takes it place. Millions of individuals are addicted to prescription pain pills at this very moment, and people are dying every day.
Many are discouraged from seeking treatment for a wide variety of reasons. A lack of healthcare can be one reason that a person does not want to get treatment for their addiction. Sometimes jobs will not let people take off work for rehab. Sometimes a person cannot access childcare for their children while they are in rehab. Outpatient rehab centers are perfect for people in many different unique situations.
Phoenix recovery centers for addiction can specialize in care for every type of person. While the root of the opioid crisis stems in doctors overprescribing pills and not giving proper warnings to patients, most often the blame falls on the addict themselves. It is the addict’s fault they are where they are, and society sees them as ‘deserving’ because they ‘knew the risks.’ This is false. Not everyone knows the risks involved when they are given prescription medication from a doctor.
Recover centers all over the nation are working to decrease the negative stigma attached to addiction and help addicts of all backgrounds recovery and prevent a relapse. If you or a loved one is every suffering from addiction, do not be afraid to reach out for help.