What usually starts innocently enough as taking pain medication appropriately prescribed by a doctor, can turn into a deadly addiction for some. On this segment of Myth or Medicine: Do pain medications lead to addiction?


Major funding for Second Opinion is provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association:


  1. I have severe chronic pain disorders, none of which I asked for, none of which I planned on and none of which are curable. I have tried everything there is to take or do for treatment regarding each of the many chronic pain issues I deal with daily, 24 hours each and every day. There is nothing that takes away all of the pain, but opioids make it as tolerable as one could hope for under the circumstances. I am sure I could have a much livelier existence if I received an adequate amount of pain medication, but as things have developed, if you’re an addictive type person, your life is of more value than that of a person in chronic pain.

    The basic numbers I keep hearing are slightly less than 17000 died one year from opioids (and other substances, some possibly died on purpose, most had no prescription for an opioid) and 100 million chronic pain patients, who by and large, take their medications as directed. By using the logic of taking away opioids from those who suffer chronic intractable pain in an effort to stop the overdosing of people who chose to ingest meds for which they did not have a need, EACH ADDICT’S LIFE is worth just under 6000 TIMES THE LIFE OF EACH CHRONIC PAIN PATIENT.

    I will say it again, because it’s important:


    Explain that to this chronic pain patient, and I will never bring it up again. Until you can explain that, DEA, CDC, PROP, opiophobe mothers, I will just have to go on believing you see our lives as invaluable and not worth the trouble of treating our painful conditions. I believe you have no interest in how much we suffer every hour of every day because someone else may make a choice to put drugs ahead of their lives, their families, their jobs, and behave in a fashion that suggests they need treatment, while we have no choice.

  2. Can BCBS explain this to the pharmacists who refuse to fill legitimate prescriptions for people in chronic pain?

  3. I think most people do not know the difference between dependency and addiction that certain medications cause.. People are dependent on insulin, blood pressure meds and most are dependent on Anti- depressants. FYI, More people commit suicide on anti depressants than ANY other drug! But that’s not important to the government because of the whining addicts and their family members blaming pain pills. Those pain pills didn’t just jump down your throat on their own. FYI, There are millions of types of accidents that end up causing chronic pain along with plenty of diseases too. New debilitating diseases like Lyme that are not curable. So, do Americans think these people who are NOT addicts, should just suffer because of those who are? Stop being so selfish and start having some compassion for your fellow brothers and sisters suffering pain.
    Pain patients are Not the problem. Its those who have a disease called Addiction! Get treatment.
    STOP the BS, start controlling yourselves.
    Your harming innocent people who are getting some quality of life from opioids!

  4. An addict takes drugs and their quality of life decreases. They continue to use the drug despite negative consequences. Pain patients lives improve when given pain medication.
    Addiction seems to be the hot topic of the times and all eyes are focused on addiction to ëvil Opiates, their dangers and taking them away from the very people who’s lives they’re saving.
    When I began experiencing debilitating pain, I knew I’d need help beyond all the previous (non Opiate) methods I’d tried. I was in so much pain from CRPS and Adhesive Arachnoiditis that I was losing my mind. I was at the jumping off point. I wish that were an exaggeration. Pain drove me to be seriously suicidal.
    I avoided Opiates for fear of addiction and it drove me to the depths of despair. I had good reason to want to avoid Opiates. I had quit drinking alcohol six years prior and feared I’d like the effects of pain medication as I did the effects of alcohol.
    But, when it came down to my life or taking a chance with pain medication, I knew I had to take the chance. Where there is life, there is hope. If I killed myself there was absolutely no hope – EVER. I was put in the hospital and put on pain medication. Finally, my pain was controlled.
    Twenty years later, I have never increased my pain medications, only decreased them. I’ve never gotten a high from them and I take them exactly as prescribed.
    Repeated Psychiatric testing shows "no evidence of alcoholism or drug abuse."
    Now I face the very real possibility that the very medication that saved my life will be taken away. I fear for my life.
    This video is a well done, informative and accurate description of what is addiction and what is not. if you have serious pain, watch this video.

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