Chronic Illness and Opiate Use

Chronic Illness & Opiates

What are opiates?

Opiates include a variety of drugs ranging from legal drugs such as fentanyl, codeine, and morphine to illegal drugs such as heroin. The one thing they all have in common is the ability to depress or slow down the body’s central nervous system. (

My experience

The “war on opiates” has been making the headlines for some time now. If you have been reading for a while you will know that I do use alternative methods to deal with my chronic pain, however, opiates are still necessary at times. I have used standard over the counter pain medications and these really do nothing when I’m in severe pain. On my worst days, my pain medication “co-codamol” (a paracetamol and codeine combination) just about takes the edge off.

When the topic of opiates come up people often assume that only stronger illicit drugs like heroin are being spoken about. However, prescription medications are often misused and people who really do need these medications are penalised. I have been denied prescription refill because according to my doctor’s surgery I should still have medication left. Despite explaining that I had a cracked wisdom tooth, at the time, on top of my usual chronic pain. I also was due to travel so I wanted to ensure I had enough medication to tide me over.

READ  Working with Chronic Illness

Chronic pain is really one of those things that you don’t understand until you experience it. There is literally not a single moment of any day when I do not experience pain. Fortunately for me, my pain is usually quite mild. However, when it becomes severe it definitely takes its toll. Opiates are the only way I can function on some days. They allow me to complete normal everyday tasks. The effect chronic pain has on mental health is often underestimated – for many people opiates provide the pain relief that stops them from giving up entirely.

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