Pizza Night: Pain Medicines Discussion Group

Our last pizza night was held on October 20, 2012 at Round Table Pizza in Federal Way. The discussion topic for the evening was Pain Medication. We had a great group discussion and there were a range of ages present during the night. These were some of the comments discussed.

Have you felt addicted or dependent on pain medicines?
Participants of the discussion distinguished between the terms “dependent” and “addicted.” They felt “addiction” was needing the medication and doing unscrupulous things to get it. Whereas they felt “dependency” was thinking that you need the medication every day and maybe using the medication as a crutch. Some people felt that they were dependent but not addicted. But there were a few people who admitted that there were times that they recall begin addicted.

Who taught you how to deal with using pain medications?
Most people felt that they were not educated about how to use pain medications and that it was an individual learning process. Pain meds and dosages seem to be different for each person. Pain medications seem to be managed better when people are in the hospital system as kids. However, the group noted that as they grew older and were treated as adults (18+ years) they were expected to handle the pain medications appropriately. It was generally thought by the group that the parents of kids receiving pain medications are “going with the program” and are not aware of the effects of the pain medications on the young kids. More education related to pain medication in kids would be helpful.

Some people felt that managing pain medication is part of a “maturing” process; it is very much up to the individual to navigate pain medication themselves. It has a lot to do with how the person is feeling about themselves and what time they are in their lives. Pain medication seemed to be less of an issue for those who have something to look forward to, who have people who care about them, and who goals and other distractions.

Everyone felt it was helpful to have discussions about pain medication and that further discussions should be scheduled. Everyone felt it was very important to have a medical professional to partner with as an adult.

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Published in February 2013 newsletter. Written by Alexander McClean