I usually do not write 2 times in a day but after reading some of the responses in a blog on opiates and chronic pain patients I had to write.
One writer seems to think the terms 'user' and chronic pain patient who is prescribed pain medications is synonomous. It is the same misinformation that allows writers and others to not differentiate between addiction and physical dependence.
User is someone who uses. It is the term we tend to use for addicts, for those who take narcotics for 'fun' and getting 'high'.
I know of no person in pain who enjoys taking narcotics. The feeling of being tired, clumsy, doped, and dopey, cotton-mouthed, and more is as far from enjoyable as you can get. If, however, it lets us get out of bed, tie our shoes, get around, for me use my eyes for a few minutes more before the pain becomes intolerable, it is a life saver.
Most pain patients do not become addicted. "Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her." This definition is from the NIDA, National Institute of Drug Abuse. They may become dependent, described as"...when the neurons adapt to the repeated drug exposure and only function normally in the presence of the drug. When the drug is withdrawn, several physiologic reactions occur. These can be mild (e.g., for caffeine) or even life threatening (e.g., for alcohol). This is known as the withdrawal syndrome.
Often I hear pain patients lament, "I cannot stand taking these drugs. They make me feel awful but they help me to function. How do I accept needing them in order to live?" The reply is that "We are no different than diabetics. If this is what we need than think of it as an insulin for pain. Diabetics need it to live and we need to take these in order to continue our daily lives"
As long as those with chronic intractable pain are seen more as fakers, drug seekers, and liars, what some in the other blog refer to them as (and some of this from doctors) than people in pain who have run out of other therapeutic options, we will never be on an equal par with others who suffer from a medical disorder.