Opioid Epidemic
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7/17/2019 CBS news.com: Data show "tsunami" of opioids across U.S. as death toll rose

Lost in the hysteria over the so called opioid epidemic is the fact that for the thousands that abuse opioids there are millions that rely on opioids for relief of chronic severe pain. Millions that use hydrocodone, oxycodone and oxytocin responsibly. Millions for which opioids are the only effective medication for pain relief. As a sufferer of severe degenerative disk disease I speak to this with first hand knowledge.

I have suffered pain from degenerative disk disease for about 15 years. For 14 of those years I relied on chiropractic adjustments and over the counter pain medications for pain relief. Over this past year, however, these have proven ineffective at reducing my pain lever from a debilitating 8-9 (on a scale of 10) to a tolerable level. I currently take hydrocodone at a dosage well below what is considered the maximum safe dosage. While it does not eliminate my pain it does reduce my pain level to a tolerable 4-5. I have tried non-opioid prescription pain meds, such as gabapentin, as well as physical theropy and epidurals with little or no relief.

Since the onslaught of negative press concerning opioids it has become increasingly difficult to obtain a hydrocodone prescription. Even though my condition is well documented physicians have become increasingly reluctant to prescribe and refill any opioid medication. My requests for hydrocodone refills are increasingly met with lab tests, scans, referrals and consultations.

As a responsible user of an opioid I ask physicians, legislators, drug manufacturers and ambulance chasing attorneys to give consideration the millions for which this medication is the only effective medication for pain relief. Do not force us to turn to an 'unlicensed pharmacist' for pain relief. Do that and a whole new set of problems is created.


November, 2019