Opioid Pain Management and our Economy


Dear Readers, Did you know that Heroin (diamorphine) used to be a legal medication about 100 years ago? It was invented by Bayer; a German company that also invented Aspirin at the end of the twentieth century, one of the most important discoveries at that time. Heroin was prescribed by medical doctors all over the United States and Europe as cough suppressant for those having a bad cough and experiencing pain. Bayer Aspirin is up to day a well known medication in US households. Diamorphine (heroin) has been pulled of the market as you are likely aware of. Although you may think Heroin is a street name this is the actual brand name that Bayer used to promote this medicine.

Heroin received its name due to the heroic way of making pain and cough disappear. Nowadays your doctor will likely prescribe Tussionex or an equivalent if you suffer severe cough combined with pain. Tussionex contains Hydrocodone Bitrate; the same ingredient that is found in many narcotic pain tablets such as Vicodin, Norco, Lorcet, Norco, Zyban and several other brand and generic medications.

Especially in patients with Open Lung Tuberculoses Heroin is very effective. Unfortunately the drug was highly physically addictive and only after several years the drug was taken of the market after England experienced a large outbreak of heroin addicts. The patients would get addicted during treatment and than continue to drink the cough syrup.

Heroin (Diamorphine) was also prescribed to people suffering morphine addiction. At that time several doctors believed it would be a beneficial replacement… little did they know that Heroin caused faster and stronger physical and possibly psychological dependence.

The story repeated itself with the introduction of Oxycontin (a time released Oxycodone product) in 1996. Many doctors believed this medication would be useful to help patients with a Hydrocodone dependency from medication such as Vicodin ES, Lortab 10/500, Norco 10/325, Lorcet 10/660, special compounded Hydrocodone products such as Hydro/APAP 15/80 and for other narcotic medications. Because Oxycontin is time released and Oxycodone is not a natural occurring opioid it seemed that this medication could indeed offer hope to a diverse group of patients. Later research confirmed that Oxycodone is more addictive and stronger than Hydrocodone. Not all patients agree with this statement however, claiming an equal dose of Hydrocodone works better to fight their pain.

Unfortunately it seems that Oxycontin has been one of the main causes of the ‘war against prescription drugs’ in the US and the 160mg tablets have been taken of the market in some countries because of the danger of overdose if a pill would be chewed by a person without tolerance, braking the time release protective coating. Abuse such as crushing and snorting pills to remove the time-release mainly seems to happen among youth stealing these medications. The pills are often bought at schools at high prices because other kids steal them from their parents. If you are using narcotics and you have kids or if you often have kids in your home do not keep your medication in the bathroom cabinet but at a secure place where nobody can not access them. Although your kid may not have any intention to use this medication a story from a fellow student could wake his curiosity creating a potentially harmful situation.

Is it really fair towards legit chronic pain patients to declare a war on prescription drugs? The answer is probably no for patients with a low income or those among us without insurance. Since pain medications have become much harder to obtain and doctors do not prescribe the quantities and refills they used to give several years ago this means an increased cost for legit pain patients. Unless you can not afford to pay $500 or more monthly for treatments, consultations, and medications you can forget your visit to most pain clinics. Usually the initial consultation only costs around $500 not to mention that a month supply of Oxycodone at your local drugstore can cost you more than $500 also. Most patients can not afford this kind of prices and are currently buying pain medication online as this is often their only alternative.

In my opinion pain medications are recreational and I can’t picture people using it for other reasons then pain or great discomfort. I do understand that people with emotional pain may be tempted to continue using these medications as narcotics also numb feelings and not only physical pain. Opium derivatives such as Hydrocodone have proven very effective against depression in various studies but use by such patients is only recommended under close supervision as they may quickly increase dosage or do things one would regret since depressed people may be suicidal or have suicidal thoughts.

I do not promote any form of illegal activity but I do strongly believe that pain patients have the right to proper pain relief. Although there are many people that obtain medications illegally it is a mistake to assume that all these medications are being abused or being used for recreational use.

Many patients that can not afford expensive clinics are treating their conditions with medications ordered on the internet without prescription or by using medical phone consultations where the doctor talks to the patients and evaluates the complaint. Usually this concerns patients that have been prescribed these treatments before but they can not afford the local pain clinic or doctor any longer.

Also non-addictive medications such as amoxicillin and others are often bought online to save money on the medication and consultation. Just because some substances are controlled does not mean that they are bought with intention of abuse. Another important factor is the convenience. If you have 2 kids to take care of and you need to work 60 hours per week to pay the bills taking a day off is almost impossible, not to mention regular visits and check-ups.

There will always be people that abuse substances and those are the people that may cause problems and get in the news, yet millions of tablets and capsules are sold to legit pain patients from which you never hear anything negative as they often are respected members of our society.

In my humble opinion the most dangerous substance and biggest killer is alcohol; easily available in almost every supermarket at low prices destroying thousands of lives each year, yet we the freedom to buy and consume alcohol without permission. Violence, liver disease, car accidents, death, heart attacks, strokes and broken families are only some of the results of consistent alcohol abuse.

Cigarettes can be bought even though they harm your body and are likely to cause cancer over time. Why is it a crime for adults to obtain pain medication to improve the quality of a life if we don’t misbehave and are functional within society? People would be able to do their jobs better and the amount of ‘sick days’ would reduce saving the company money and improving economics in general.

In addition medication is functional whereas alcohol and cigarettes do not have any medical use and only cause damage to ones health. Restricting sales of pain and anxiety medication to legit adult patients by scaring doctors resulting in outrageous high prices for consultations and medications will only cause friction within our society and create a bigger distance between the poor and the rich.

Esther Watsonwww.findrxonline.comewatson@findrxonline.com

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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