Too Many Prescription Pain Killers in the U.S., but Too Few in Other Countries

Although there is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in the United States, many other countries cannot get them and their populations suffer extreme pain. These drugs are restricted or unavailable in poor and middle-income countries, even in such cases as terminal cancer and AIDS, where there is no pain relief. The U.S. opioid drug epidemic is partly to blame, where misuse is a cause of addiction and overdose death. In some countries, it is easier to purchase morphine products on the street than being prescribed them by a doctor. Listen in to this podcast of a group of people who are recovering from opiate addiction, as they discuss this two sided issue.

Discussion Guide:

Did you become addicted to opiates following a medical problem in which you were prescribed pain killers?

Is your personal physician overly cautious about prescribing opiate pain killers?

Have you been abruptly cut off opiates by your physician, causing withdrawal symptoms?

If you still suffer chronic medical pain, how do you manage it without opiate pain killers?

Have you tried alternative types of pain control (to opiates)?

Supplementary Reading:

Much of World Suffers Not From Abuse of Painkillers, but Absence of Them, by Rick Gladstone, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/18/world/much-of-world-suffers-not-from-abuse-of-painkillers-but-absence-of-them.html?_r=0