Ignorance increases our pain! We don't need to listen to it!One of the many things life in the new "normal" of chronic pain sufferers is at times having to justify taking our medications to those rude enough to question and even argue with us about using them, as well as finding ourselves involved in the subject of pain meds coming up in general conversations.
Attached is a link to the study released this year by the National Institute of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2089371
This article is very informative regarding the statistics of pain sufferers and the use of opioids.
In short, the percentages stated in this report are: there are 100 million in chronic pain in the USA, up to 40-70% suffering are not being treated to being under treated, with 25 million in moderate to severe, chronic pain. 2% are illegally using prescribed narcotics. That to me means, 98% are not abusing their prescribed narcotics.
The facts of these statistics are unknown to most people. Many accuse chronic pain sufferers as abusing their much needed medications. Medications needed in order to be functional in our daily lives! Many of us do not want to take these meds! We certainly don't take them for no reason! I am sure 100% of us would rather be able to live a life without pain and without any meds! Just my opinion! Who'd want to suffer like this? Who wants to be demeaned for it? But, many report being demeaned in many ways due to the fact that they are misunderstood because of living with chronic pain and what it does to ones life.
It is good that the NIH is addressing this crisis in America. Many lives and the lives of loved ones are tragically forever changed by the horrible losses and death by those abusing their medications. The addictions and deaths are a very serious problem in the USA. That is NOT even arguable! But by the grace of God go I, as the saying goes.
No one can disagree that the NIH does need to look at how these are prescribed, the education of the doctors, how these meds get abused, other ways they are obtained, etc. All of this is also discussed in the article. We can not ignore this crisis of chronic pain in the USA!
HOWEVER, it is sad that many demean chronic pain sufferers that try to live their lives in horrendous chronic pain every single day! It is an injustice to be caught up in the crossfire of being demeaned, degraded, (being called pill poppers, addicts, druggies, fakers, etc.) and treated as abusers because we need these medications to survive! It is not right to judge the majority for what the minority do! But, as many report this is in fact happening to many of us. This is not acceptable, especially when we are trying to deal with this pain in a multitude of ways other than these medications.
It is hard to respond in a kind and forgiving manner when this happens. It is our first instinct to become defensive. Most of us have heard demeaning comments and are unjustly accused because of the 2% abusing their medications. It hurts! It makes us angry! It cuts deep!
Educating ourselves as best we can about the statistics in the newly released NIH study on the use of opioids, and sharing that information, is a "tool" we can implement to help ourselves, as well as those we come across that do not understand how it is to live with chronic pain. Those that do not have the knowledge of facts are more apt to say degrading comments to sufferers that rely on medications!
We need to learn to to reply to those discriminating against chronic pain sufferers, by educating them with the facts, in order to be an advocate for ourselves and others to increase awareness.
Ignorance increases our pain when we are verbally accused by those that have no facts. We don't need to listen to it! As difficult as it can be for some of us, we do need to defend our selves with the truth and stand up to it!
National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain