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(17,227 posts)
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 02:31 PM Aug 2023

Watching Painkiller on Netflix

Holy cow! These drug companies are just nasty. I am so grateful that the government cracked down on that horrible drug OxyContin. What a disaster that’s been for our country. Basically all done behind the scene until a smart women questioned the drug. It’s a powerful movie. I highly recommend it. I’m not done but needed a break. Lol.

It’s a mini series that has real actors and a very informative and true storyline.

It is totally eye opening

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(1,495 posts)
1. I didn't like it. I think shows like that cause people to have to live in chronic pain because Drs
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 03:26 PM
Aug 2023

are afraid to prescribe opiates now.

I have a friend who is in an inpatient rehab now to detox from suboxone, a medication that his doctor prescribed to get him off opiates, which he needed (and still needs) because he had chronic pain. The anti-addiction treatment is worse than the pain medication.

Oxycontin itself is a good pain killer, although I've never tried it myself. My grandmother was taking it daily for the last 10 years of her life and it helped tremendously with her back pain and allowed her to enjoy her life. She was on the lowest dose and she never went to a higher dose the entire time.

I think the real issue was doctors were offering it to patients that could have taken a lesser pain killer like Vicodin or codeine. And the corrupt clinics that were just passing it out to everyone without any medical evidence of pain.


(17,227 posts)
2. I'm shocked the government sanctioned it.
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 03:44 PM
Aug 2023

The deaths from the pill was way more than Covid. Perhaps they need to find a pill that will help pain but oxy unfortunately isn’t it.

Ms. Toad

(34,777 posts)
5. You are lucky that you have never experienced significant enough pain to need it.
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 11:33 PM
Aug 2023

I had a spiral fracture of both bones in my leg a few years ago The pain when the spiraling long, jagged edge of the break tore into the flesh of my leg as the doctors worked to stabilize it was excruciating - and required narcotic pain relief to quell - including a prescription for oxy, which I used for 3-4 days. Earlier, I had surgery to remove my top rib. The incompetent doctor used a method of anesthesia that required him to administer Narcan. Because of the risks of medically untrained staff transporting me from recovery to my room I was refused pain medication until I got to my room, where I was not moving fast enough to move from the transport bed to my hospital bed, so the staff folded me into the sheets, forcing the flesh in my chest (and the weight of my upper body) onto the rough edge of the bone which had just been cut. Then, because they forgot to put in a food order, I couldn't have any pain medication until after they corrected that error. Again, that pain required opioids to quell - and for the first few days of recovery at home.

Those are the two worst pains I've experienced.

I have also had around 10 more surgeries, and I live with chronic pain. After most surgeries, I needed oxycocone for the first couple of days home. Pain slows healing, and best practices dictate you stay ahead of the pain. My chronic pain does not require opioids - but I know people who have chronic pain that does require opioids.

I hoard the remainder of each prescription (I've probably got about 40 pills) because of the restrictions on prescribing - solely designed to minimize abuse - mean that when we need opioids for pain relief we have to pay for a doctor's visit (and visit the doctor while we are in significant pain) in order to get pain relief. My spouse has frequent kidney stones. She and her doctor both know exactly what is going on when she has another. But her doctor cannot call in a prescription for her to take the edge off of the pain while she waits for it to either pass or have surgery. Ditto for the shingles she has had around 5 times. Their advice: Go to the ER (a waste of resources) because they are not permitted to prescribe pain medication for these known conditions which require opioids to relieve - because they don't have any available appointments for 1-3 weeks, and they are prohibited from prescribing without actually seeing her. They know we have opioids hoarded from prior times when we needed them, and have authorized her to use them in both instances.

There is nothing inherently wrong with oxy. It is a powerful medicine, and it should not be prescribed like candy. But it has valid medical uses for which there is no substitute. Restricting it so that people who need it cannot have access to it when it is needed (or forcing those who need it to jump through hoops/pay additional money (doctor's visits and ER visits are not free))is completely unaccceptable.

As for comparing deaths from oxy to deaths from COVID - it is not even close.

US Deaths involving prescription drugs (including deaths from a combination of prescription and other drugs - and the prescription drugs involved were not all oxycontin) hit 15,482 at their all time peak in 2017. In 2021, there were 9173 US deaths from ALL prescription drugs (including deaths resulting from a combination of prescription and other drugs.) In contrast, in 2020 350,831 people died from COVID. In 2021, there were 415,000 deaths due to COVID. It is out of touch with reality to suggest that deaths from oxy were "way more than COVID."

Crunchy Frog

(26,774 posts)
8. Ever since I had my kidney stone and was left screaming in the ER
Mon Aug 21, 2023, 03:37 AM
Aug 2023

for hours with nothing for the pain, and then accused by my own dr of being a "drug seeker" because I asked for a small prescription to get me through the 8 weeks it took me to pass it, I have very little patience for people pushing these anti-opioid narratives.

And I know that what I went through was child's play compared with chronic pain patients.
And yes, I know there was a problem with over prescribing (I've experienced that too), but the pendulum has swung way to far in the other direction. And most of the problems these days are with street fentanyl, not prescription meds.

I watched my nephew try to detox from suboxone. Absolute hell. I don't know why it's being pushed so aggressively as an anti-addiction med when it's more addictive than just about anything.

IOW, I agree with you.


(17,447 posts)
3. I couldn't get very far with it
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 06:13 PM
Aug 2023

Two episodes and gave up. There's a series from a couple of years back that is much, much better tells pretty much the same story - 'Dopesick' with Michael Keaton in a leading role.


(15,429 posts)
9. you made it further than I did which was about 15 minutes. Read Dreamland or
Mon Aug 21, 2023, 03:49 AM
Aug 2023

Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America's Opioid Epidemic: Meier, Barry

Both are excellent.


(22,184 posts)
4. This documentary too: American Pain
Sun Aug 20, 2023, 06:35 PM
Aug 2023

Will check out Painkiller, thanks.

It was like any Tom dick or Harry could open up a pain clinic. As long as they found a crooked doctor to sign off on the scripts..


Maru Kitteh

(28,433 posts)
6. I had to pause when it looked like they were going to kill the dog
Mon Aug 21, 2023, 12:11 AM
Aug 2023

When the addicted father is driving his truck in a stupor. Should I skip that part? Because I’ll freely admit I can’t handle even fictional accounts of animals suffering.


(55,584 posts)
10. My experience
Mon Aug 21, 2023, 07:55 AM
Aug 2023

I have taken 20mg of Oxycontin twice a day with percosets up to four times a day as a kicker for the Oxycontin for the past twelve years (doses adjusted over the years).

I would not be a functioning person right now without these meds.

What's the solution? I don't know but taking them from people that use them responsibly is not the answer.

I can't speak for all pain management Doctors, I can only speak to the one I have. With the education & urine testing has kept me in check. I believe maybe that's where we start to need to look for a solution.


(1,228 posts)
11. Came here to do a sarcastic post, but....
Mon Aug 21, 2023, 09:27 AM
Aug 2023

Instead I will do an honest and outpouring kind of post. Ignore it as a lot will.

Is there an opioid epidemic? Not really sure. I have not seen the studies and don’t really care about them? Why not? Because I am deeply affected by the doctors being unwilling to prescribe these pills to anyone.

Background: two years, almost to this very day, I was rear ended by a car. I was stopped at a red light, so it is not like I am one of those folks who break this arm just to get pills. There were 8 cars stopped in front of me. So, me stopping should not have come as a surprise to the guy behind me.

The ambulance took me to the ER. I left with a single lidocaine patch, a Valium (they said it would relax my back spasms) and Motrin. I was told if the pain keeps up, take some more Motrin.

Since then, I have been in constant, unrelenting pain. The type of pain where I started not brushing my teeth, because I hurt too much and would cry afterwards. I could only brush my hair once every couple of weeks, because I could not be able to do anything else in the next few days. It was a twofer with brushing my hair. My back hurt but since my accident, raising my arms over my head hurts a lot. Enough to bring me to tears.

I was in such unrelenting pain, I started having suicidal ideations. It was too much. The pain was so bad, sometimes it kept me up for days.

Some of the medical professionals saw my pain, my speech therapist saw me cry through entire sessions. My first PT gave up after only two sessions. They stated I was in too much pain to help. When I went for a sleep study, they saw me cry and tick back and forth for 7 hours straight. In the report, they said I used a whole box of tissues.

The only reason I am here is my son suggesting I try Delta 8 edibles, which were legal in my state. When I told my concussion specialist I was doing them, he said they will use it against me in court and how it is not regulated by the government. I explained the pain would have caused me to commit suicide if I had not started doing them. He shrugged.

If you want to get an idea of how people in chronic pain feel, go to the chronic pain subreddit.

It is ok to fight illegal drugs out in our society. I have nothing against that, except work on the hard stuff and not marijuana. And even though we (chronic pain folks) have copies of government guidelines stating it is ok to prescribe opioids for pain, doctors have become conditioned to all of us being drug seekers, even when we have several different professionals saying they have personally witnessed the abyss of pain some of us experience.

I hope anyone who is behind the opioid crackdown never has anything happen to them that is out of their control - like someone rear ending them. It can happen. And most reasonable folks would think it is ok because if you really need pain pills, the doctors will give it to you. Wrong! Wrong ad anyone can be.

Go to the chronic pain subReddit and see how many people talk about the doctors and ending it all. It will shock you. Remember, this can easily happen to any one of us. Please think of the people who are suffering and unaided in their life changing pain. Please, for the sake of goodness, advocate for those who are in pain but are then labeled drug seekers.

That is all I have spoons for. I hope you and yours never need pain pills the way I do. No one cares. Not a single freaking one of them. Going off to cry now. Even talking about it is traumatic. So much has been stolen from me!!!!!


(36,530 posts)
12. question
Mon Sep 4, 2023, 01:17 AM
Sep 2023

First, I was horrified by your story. Yes, this could happen to any one of us.

So here's a thought about a possible solution to this problem of doctors not prescribing painkillers when needed.

I know it is true that doctors overreact and refuse to give pain meds and it's not just pain meds, either. There are other beliefs they have (a good example is prescribing estrogen for hot flashes) and they will not budge, no matter what the research says. In fact, with this example I just cited, an online source/company has sprung up with doctors who will prescribe for women needing these hormones. That's how bad it is--because regular doctors wouldn't prescribe them. There was a big story in the NY times about it and an extensive interview on public radio. This was about 18 months ago.

When I asked my doctor about it (out of curiosity; I don't have the need for them), she told me it was the insurance companies who would raise her premiums if she prescribed over what the insurance companies decided what the "norm" was.

All of which leads me to ask if this might be a possibility as to why doctors are so scared of prescribing pain killers.

Has that ever been discussed on the sub-Reddit?

I won't go to the sub-Reddit to find out because I'm afraid of reading too many horror stories. I have an over-empathy problem to start with and that would put me over the edge.

Besides that, I generally dislike Reddit, but that's another story.

But I have to ask because if the insurance companies are the real cause behind the behavior of doctors, that is a remedy for legislation.

Again, I am so sorry this happened to you and for all the pain you have endured.

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