No I will not become a herion addict because I need pain meds for my RA

No one would argue that there is a heroin epidemic. No one argues that something has to be done. Politicians and pundits seem to have two ways to address it. The first is long overdue. Treat the addict as a patient versus a criminal.

The second is demonize all pain medications and regulate doctors to prescribe less. The press is hell bent to tell stories of how most heroin users started out with a prescription of Vicodin or Percocet. They don't tell the story of the thousands of us with chronic degenerative conditions that reply on them for pain management and are not addicts.

In my opinion a prescription of pain pills does not start a person on life long addiction of heroin. It is the way the person's DNA is wired and even without the first prescription, they could have found other ways to become addicted to illegal drugs. On the other hand, when my elderly mother broke her hip and was prescribed Percocet for over 2 months, she did not end up a heroin addict and in fact had no problem ending her prescription when the pain went away.

I too can be prescribed a prescription of Vicodin or Percocet and in my worst flare-ups 30 pills can last me 4 - 6 months. I am fortunate to have a doctor that does not question my motive when asking for a prescription. I have friends who are not so fortunate. Their doctors will not prescribe them pain meds. I know none of these women are likely to become addicts and I believe their doctors know it too.

Heroin addiction is a complicated problem that is ruining communities. Like all complicated problems, we look for easy answers, fixes, and someone to blame. Regulating doctors on how much pain medication they prescribe might be a tiny Band-Aid fix, but it will not fix the epidemic and is unfair to the thousands of us that need them.

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