Letter: The other side of the opioid crisis

Letter: The other side of the opioid crisis

Not all opioid users are addicts

So unless you live under a rock or are completely oblivious to the world around you there is a serious health crisis affecting all of North America / Canada including our little city of Penticton.

But there is another side to this opioid epidemic that unless you are effected has probably never crossed your mind. It does however and unfortunately affects myself and I’m sure countless others and that is the issue of living in chronic pain.

Understandably doctors are under scrutiny about what they can prescribe their patients now for pain and reluctant to prescribe pain medication. I myself live with sometimes debilitating chronic pain due to arthritis and the medication that I have taken for the past 17 years is-now slowly being taken away. In its place, a variety of other non-opioid drugs and over the counter medication are insufficiently being prescribed to me. So at the age of fifty-five, I am struggling to keep working in sometimes enormous pain at a job I have done and love for nearly 20 years.

I am by the way a health care worker. Also, there is another problem as every drug comes with new risk factors and for me taking anti-inflammatory drugs as well as over-the-counter medication puts me at risk now for heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, if I want to continue to work and not become a burden on society I now have no choice.

Due to the medication that had effectively worked now being taken away my life has dramatically changed and not for the better. I am unable to do the things that I used to enjoy and even things like cleaning my house.

It is my wish that doctors could look at people as individuals and not lump us all into the drug-addicted category. That is the reality for people like myself who live with chronic pain.

Cathie Holmes