Chronic pain as the gateway to drug addictions

What I am going to say here my be somewhat controversial but I think it needs to be said anyway. In some 15 years as a prison volunteer, I will say that chronic pain has been the gateway to more prostitution, drug addiction and the training ground for drug dealers than any other force in this society. This observation comes from about 2,000 one on one private conversation with men and women in state and federal prisons. Where as objectively it is anecdotal and subjective from a scientific research perspective these trends, themes and patterns of behavior are threaded throughout some 2,000 interviews more than any other.

Kids learn from the energetics of the parents and the story line is irrelevant. If mama and papa have a pain or problem then they take a pill to fix the problem be it a psychological or physical pain. There are some 116 million men and women that suffer from chronic pain in this nation whose medical bills are at least $558 billion. The reasons are irrelevant, it is a fact. Much and I mean much of the pain is treated with psychotropic/pain drugs. These sit in the medicine cabinets of the home.

Kids see them and the precedent set by the parents is that if something hurts then fix it with a pill. If something goes wrong then fix it with a pill. As the story goes, at some point between the ages of 9 and say 13, kids make a connection and experiment. If life is not so good and the experiment works then they have just started down the road to an addiction.

Middle and high school are the training grounds for prostitution and dealers. Some kids bring pills to school because they need money and have access to their parents pills. Some kids got started on drugs at home but either the supply was cut off or discovered and denied. If the demand is strong enough then the kid will do whatever needed to have it meet. The more creative and energetic become middlemen in this gray area of barter.

I have known men and women getting out of prison and returning home to not only relapse but return to prison because they could not get past the pills in the medicine cabinet. The pressures associated with reentry to the world from prison with an untreated addiction were just too much.
Too many patients think a pill’s the answer, she said, when there are multiple different ways to address pain including physical therapy, stress reduction, weight loss, and teaching coping skills. Patients who take control of their pain fare better, but too many have unrealistic expectations. for more on the scope of chronic pain, follow the links below.

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