Pain Killers are Killers

Pain Killers are Killers

Our culture seems determined to kill pain, but instead of killing the pain, it ends up killing too many of us.  The death rate for women hooked on opiate pain killers like ocycodone or hydrocodone has increased over 400% in the last ten years.  For men, the death rate for those addicted to pain killers increased over 250% in the last ten years.  These pain killers caused more deaths than addictions to heroin and cocaine.  The medical director for one of New LIfe’s treatment centers recently said that 70% of the people in rehab today are addicted to pain killers!

About one third of our population–over 100 million people–say they have chronic pain.  Women have more specific forms of chronic pain than men, such as migraines and fibromyalgia.  What’s a doctor to do when his or her patient has a serious complaint about chronic pain?  It’s not an easy situation.

I found out recently that pain has a purpose.  I had my knee replaced, and the next day after surgery, I thought, great this isn’t going to be too bad.  No pain!  Of course, the nerve block hadn’t worn off yet.  That was to come several hours later.  That’s when pain like I couldn’t even imaged hit me.  But I had my hydrocodone/norco, and it helped immensely!  But I was afraid to take too much, so I took too little.  Finally, my physical therapist warned me that I had to take more medication in order to stay ahead of the pain.   Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to do the necessary physical therapy.  I upped it a bit, and the pain became more tolerable.  But could see how easy it would be to even take even more–it felt good!

But I learned my pain had a purpose.  If I didn’t experience some pain, I wouldn’t be motivated to  face the pain that came with the necessary exercise.  And as long as there was pain, it told me I needed to continue the therapy.  All pain in life has a purpose.  If there is not pain experienced, there is no challenge–no reason to get out of ben in the morning.  No Pain–no gain, is how people say it.

The misuse or abuse of these two drugs, in particular, led almost 1 million women and over over million men to emergency rooms this past year.  They become lethal when combined with other drugs, and especially when combined with alcohol.  Addiction occurs when one builds their tolerance of these drugs and then need more just to maintain the same level of effectiveness.  Addiction to these drugs suck the meaning out of life, and unless one gets help to break the addiction,the end is never good.

Question:  Anyone in your family abusing pain killers?  Do something before they become a statistic!

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3 Responses to Pain Killers are Killers

  1. Deanna Mata says:

    Hello Dr. Stoop,

    So sorry to hear you had to have knee replacement. That’s a big and long ordeal! I’m sure you are being diligent about the healing process and all the physical therapy involved. To address the pain! Keep it up and our prayers for a complete recovery for you!

    Deanna Mata

  2. Michelle says:

    What about the drug Valium and other anxiety medications like lorazepam and Xanax?

  3. DJ Wheeler says:

    I so agree with your comments. I have a 52 yr old daughter dealing with multiple issues, failed back surgery, liver transplant, chronic pain, and addicted for over 5 yrs. Please talk more about how to get help for them when they have little hope with out believing God has a plan for their life.

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