I worked at a pain clinic in Appalachia mentioned in the AP article, 4 Hours in Huntington: How the Heroin Epidemic Choked a City. As an MD seeking retirement, I covered another doctor when he was gone for a week and was shocked to discover that everyone who came was needing an Rx for hydrocodone or xanax-type meds or they would suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.
Like the woman in the article who was given a prescription for an ankle injury, thousands every day are being given a free ticket to drug abuse and addiction when there should be NO need for such addictive medication. Ruhling says he practiced 40 years without Rx’ing hydrocodone for someone who had never taken it. Tylenol with codeine or Darvon were the strongest meds he prescribed or used personally after broken bones in a car accident. He offers the following info.
In those situations. People should be told to expect some pain, use an ice bag to reduce swelling and pain, and let pain be their guide of what they can or can’t do. Patience and use of crutches or a cast or sling will enable most people to live well in spite of injury until it heals. Impatience and use of Rx’s is a ticket to drug abuse and addiction.
Much drug abuse would never exist if alcohol had never be used. It is a gateway to trouble for millions who should turn the TV off when they see the damn beer ads that depict a false happiness associated with drinking. He relates the example of a 37-year old man—
Since 2013 I’ve been fighting for my life on a daily basis, every single second was a living hell. Every week required multiple hospitalizations and I mostly lived on IV’s and meds. Basically my stomach was dead, my internal nerves were permanently damaged, blind from both eyes, no ability to remember things or perform basic functions, uncontrollable defecating on myself, always covered in vomit. So much pain.
At the end of February I was on 17 prescriptions and every single doctor and specialist completely gave up on me. The state and my family still believe that hospice or state care is my only option.
At the end of February I gave up on all of them too! I stopped all meds. I stopped all doctors. I stopped all attempts to ease the pain. I then endured the worst 3 months imaginable. On May 25th, 2016 this physical body of mine died.
Miracles have since started and have not stopped. So many that I can’t keep track. I am in the best condition of my life and am fully healed. [He credited God as the source of healing.]
There are worse things than living in pain and the body learns to adapt and healing can occur with we give the body time to mend without rushing back to full activity while taking pain pills.