The Tolerance Problem

In my last post I described two common story lines in news columns about opioid dependence; the doctor-shopping pain pill addict and the pill-pushing physician. I described how the truth…

Does This Hurt?

Every day brings a new set of headlines about the epidemic of opioid dependence.  The stories usually take one of two positions.  One common story line is to blame people…

Blissful Ignorance

Thanks for the feedback so far– one of the comments included a question about depression and drinking:  I don’t drink at all – haven’t for 25 years – by choice,…

Living On Two Levels

When we left our fictional patient with back pain, she had become tolerant to hydrocodone prescribed by her doctor, and because she was taking more of the ineffective medication, she…

Tolerance Develops

I described what initially happens when a person with back pain goes to the doctor for pain relief.  The doctor has concerns about being a pushover for prescribing narcotics, and…

The Pain Pill Pattern

I’ve been writing about my own progression from a person who seemed—at least on the outside—to‘have it all’ to a person struggling with opioid dependence.  There are so many aspects…

Got Desperation?

Doctors sometimes joke about how our medical specialties affect how we view the world.  When I was an anesthesiologist, I became more and more aware of ‘the airway,’ a collection…