Saturday, July 4, 2009


Unless you have been living under a rock, no doubt you have heard about the death of Michael Jackson and the issue of his death being related to narcotic abuse. To top it off, there has also been a recommendation via the FDA committee to decrease the amount of acetaminophen allowed per day and further to also take combination drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet off the market.

Michael Jackson is certainly not the 1st celebrity to die as a result of narcotic abuse and he will likely not be the last. As sad and tragic as his death is, all of the controversy has only fostered a terrible fear in those that suffer with legitimate chronic pain, myself included.

Previous to my workplace injury, I did not have so much as a bottle of Tylenol or even aspirin in my home. As a teenager, I did not take drugs of any sort and did not allow myself to be influenced by peer pressure. That attitude carried on through to adulthood. Now, however, as a sufferer of chronic pain 24/7, without my medication, I can not function at all. In fact, without it, I can not get out of bed or even out of the fetal position as a result of the horrid pain. It has also lead to depression that I struggle with and has brought me to the point of feeling suicidal. Really scary stuff...

I have never been the type of person to even remotely contemplate ending my life, however, the pain is so very consuming that it drains the life right out of me. Anyone that suffers with chronic pain will understand exactly what I am saying. I do not wish to take these analgesics, and in fact wish I didn't need to, however the reality is, if I do not I have no quality of life whatsoever. Now, I as well as many others, risk losing access to the medications that allow us to somewhat function, and that my dear readers scares me to death, literally!

I have to assume that there is the potential for determining a method to ensure better safety with regard to taking narcotics. There has always been and will likely continue to be those whose only goal is to get "high" off of these drugs. Those with real pain however, their only goal is to obtain relief from the unrelenting pain that they live with daily. I have never felt the so called 'high' that others chase after. I have often said I wished I did, at least then I'd be enjoying myself amid all the suffering...Bottom line though-I simply just want relief from the pain.

I think with all of the issues surrounding these meds, it is about time that more research was done. Why not work toward finding an effective method of pain control that does not have all of the side-effects, including addiction. If there was a medication that decreased my pain and did not have the potential for addiction or any other side-effect, I would be first in line to try it.

There should also be stricter safe-guards put in place to make sure that those taking these drugs are taking them exactly as prescribed. I have never been asked to give blood or urine to assess the level of narcotics in my body. I would however, have no objection to being asked to do this. It certainly would be a great way to "weed out" those whose only goal is to get "high." It would be easy to tell if they were hiding something based upon their reaction to being asked to supply a blood or urine sample.

Clearly, I don't have all the answers and I don't know what the resolution is to this growing problem. I do believe though that if some effort was put into it, positive changes could be implemented without the risk of those suffering with chronic pain losing access to the meds that allow them quality of life. Anyone with chronic pain knows that it effects each and every facet of their lives and the meds that allow them some relief are ESSENTIAL. Without access to them, I have no doubt that the suicide rate would increase exponentially...

Be back soon. Until then take care and I wish for you-*good pain control* :>)


angela m suor said...

I suffer from TMJ and I take Neurontin as a result and wear a night bite. I could not imagine if they took this vital medication off the market one day. I agree they need more research. In the meantime your in my thoughts and prayers, I too have trouble with my thyroid and also have a partial frozen shoulder. Rainbows to you, Onchee1970/Angie

Jeannette said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment-I really appreciate it. SO sorry you have health issue too-*us sick folk* need to stick together...:>)
Take care & thanks for stopping by to comment XX00

Jeanne said...


The FDA is very flawed. Don't even get me started about the FDA. It is incredibly unfortunate that patients cannot get needed pain management medications.

This book (below) is an excellent, in-depth look at pain management, regulation of medications, and related topics. I am certain you would like this book.

The Truth About Chronic Pain: Patients and Professionals on How to Face It, Understand It, Overcome It by Arthur Rosenfeld.


Anonymous said...

I agree, there should be stricter guidelines. How do these celebrities have enough of the medication to constantly abuse it?

Anonymous said...

Nattjenta said:
An excellent blog post my friend. I think the point you made about blood or urine testing is excellent. I have NEVER been asked to take such a test, yet I'd be happy to do it just to show that I take only what is prescribed to me and in the proper dosage. I'm thinking of taking your blog to my family doctor and ask her why she never asks for a blood test. I have a neurologist who prescribes my pain meds, and even HE doesn't ask for proof, but is very leery of prescribing anything new or stronger.

Anonymous said...

As a chronic pain sufferer, myself, I understand how you feel. But I hardly think that pain medication will be withdrawn from the market. What we need, though, is a national database that will tell us who has been ER hopping to get drugs and who has a legitimate problem. This would quickly identify drug seekers and clear the air for those who legitimately need pain medication and are using it responsibly.

Jeannette said...


Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I really appreciate it. You are always chock full of tips, advice & ideas for coping with chronic pain. Love yah!

Take care,

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.

Jeannette said...

Hello again Yaya,

Thanks so much for your comment. I agree-and I think the issue for celebrities is that these doctors get "stars in their eyes." They become star-struck and can't seem to say NO to the celebrity...sad but true, how else would they get access to all those meds?

Jeannette said...

Thanks very much Nattjenta for your kind comment. I think most people with legitimate chronic pain would have NO problem whatsoever to giving a sample to prove they are taking the meds as prescribed. Many docs such as yours are leery about prescribing narcotics and due to the celebrity deaths, it will only get more difficult for those that need these drugs to get them. That is my fear.

Thanks again,

Jeannette said...

Hello Anonymous-(wish I knew who you were so I could personally thank you for commenting) however-thanks very much! I truly appreciate it when people take the time to comment! I wholeheartedly agree that there should be some type of database that would indicate the addicts that bounce from one resource to the other. I also do not think that all the pain meds will be taken off the market-some will of course with the acetaminophen as indicated by the FDA committee. My concern is-with all this in the media-it will be much more difficult for those with real pain to get a doc to prescribe it...Many studies show that those with legitimate chronic pain are either not treated for it or under-treated.

Thanks again for your comment.


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