This is such an important issue and I am so glad your are taking it on!! We have two family members who continue to be negatively affected by prescription pain killers which makes me very aware of the tight line one walks, starting from the very first prescription. Not that your bill addresses this but I think the root of the problem is the narcotic in the pain killer and I just can’t believe that we can put man on the moon but not come up with a way to manage pain that does not in the meantime cause insane addictions. How can we make doctors more responsible with their prescribing habits? On the flip side of the issue raised earlier about not being prescribed enough to get through the first few days of pain, two of my kids have recently undergone surgery for wisdom teeth removal and both have been prescribed ridiculous amounts of oxy’s. One was an easy procedure and was prescribed 18 oxys!! I was absolutely floored!! I only picked up 4, knowing that this would get him through 2 days of “discomfort” and let ibuprofen take care of the rest. I addressed my concern with the oral surgeon and he agreed that he thought 18 was a lot for this procedure and then spoke in generalized terms and admitted that he only starts to monitor patient use when a patient has called for their 3rd refill!! From what I understand it only takes 10 days to become addicted. A third refill of 18 absolutely puts the patient over the edge.
The second event was when our daughter went in for a more complicated wisdom teeth extraction this holiday break. Okay, I agree that she needed more than 2 days worth of pain relief but not 9 days like they prescribed – interesting how that’s just one day under the 10 day physical addiction. A week later, however, she developed an infection and in addition to prescribing antibiotics she was given another oxy prescription for 18 more pills!! What? She reported her pain level was a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10. How does anyone think that oxy’s are okay for a pain level that ibuprofen will handle. Its like hitting a thumbtack with a hammer. I mean come on, she didn’t loose an arm or something like that?
To me the issue is with the prescriptions themselves both in ingredients and in quantity. Is it possible to get to a place where we view pain management in the first few days differently than subsequent healing days?
Is there any way we can figure out how to foster more research into non narcotic pain meds?
Such a complicated issue. Thanks for being there for us!