Should every patient who uses prescription medication for chronic pain be treated as a potential addict? That’s the stigma one Oregon man says he has faced while trying to get the pain medication he needs. Doctors in the state are trying to reduce the amount of opioids they prescribe to help cut down on the state’s high rate of addiction and overdose.
“Chuck,” whose real name we are withholding at his request, says that he’s jumped through hoops and has tried many other alternatives to opioids, but the medication is the only thing that really works. He says doctors’ skepticism and the obstacles they present make managing his condition even harder — and he’s still in constant pain. Chuck says he’s afraid if he uses his real name that his business will suffer and it will make dealing with the medical system even more difficult.
- Chuck and Michelle: Chronic pain patient and his wife