Addiction requires being honest with yourself

(Adobe Images)

(Adobe Images)

And the opioid debate continues.

Those who use them on a regular basis will defend their use to the end. Sometimes, that actually is the end. I have spoken out many times about this subject. Most people who take these drugs will tell you, "I am not like those others. I am not a drug addict, I just have chronic pain. It is different for me."

I think the rest of us know that is rarely the case at all. I have already said time and time again, "What makes YOUR pain different than everyone else?"

In the old days, you were only given pills to manage pain for a very short time. Even after a hospital stay, it was usually a five-day prescription. Lots of people had aches and pains, but they somehow muddled through it. Pain must be different now, right?

We can no longer manage ANY pain without drugs. Maybe no one had arthritis 50 years ago. You think? Maybe those who had back surgery and never got well. You think?

Just imagine for a moment that you have a broken arm, and it is in a cast. Does it still cause pain after it is casted? I don't think so. After you had a baby you got an aspirin, if you really needed it. It was for discomfort.

Perhaps the word discomfort, now just means PAIN. Somewhere along the way people seemed to have lost the ability to distinguish the different between the two. Have a headache? Take an aspirin or Tylenol. Have a surgery, take pain pills for the rest of your life.

Almost every day I read in our local paper where someone is defending their use of opioids, "I had surgery, and it left me with chronic pain." When in reality, they were given pain medication from day one and just kept getting it. Do you know that you can become addicted to opioids as quickly as heroin? Bet your physician did not discuss that with you. Bet you did not get a five-day supply, but instead a 30-day supply with several refills available.

Everyone has someone to blame. "It is the doctor’s fault. It is the pharmacies that just keep refilling them. It is my friend’s fault because she gave me some of hers when I sprained my ankle."

We live in a state that really believes marijuana is the root of all drugs. "A gateway to heroin and other hard drugs." Many of these same people are opioid addicts. Not a very pretty word, I know. But true, none the less. The world is full of addicts. Everything from alcohol, cigarettes, and some of us, to coffee.

Perhaps it is time to take a minute and look up the word addiction on the computer. Stop trying to justify what you are doing to yourself, and don't wait until you become another drug-death statistic in Arizona.