The Opioid Crisis
At this point I want to emphasise I am not a Dr of any sort and other than first aid courses I have had no medical training. These views are my opinion based on what I have read and witnessed. There has been much in the news for the last few months about the opioid crisis and I have not really commented on it in the past so I will address that now. My views on this are simple. There is a growing concern over the long-term benefits of taking opioids. This concern has caused the medical profession to clamp down on issuing opioids. On the face of it this seems like a sensible reaction, however, this is not a simple situation.
Existing opioid users
New patients are easy to manage because they have not been taking opioids, the doctors therefore have to come up with an alternative way to manage their treatment. But what of the patients on long-term repeat prescriptions? From what I have witnessed the doctors are removing the medication without providing an alternative solution. Good medical practice requires a Dr to: Make the care of your patient your first concern
as stated by the General Medical Council. Removing long-term opioid medication has two effects; the physical experience of reducing pain-masking medication in the body, and the mental experience of understanding that a crutch is being removed. When a person goes into rehabilitation to come off drugs like Heroin, the practitioner gives them Methadone (an opioid!) or similar. The experience of cold turkey i.e. instant removal of drugs is not the recommended method. When they remove opioid medication from someone with a condition like Fibromyalgia, the same cold turkey experience will kick in.