As states implement prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), the DEA cracks down on "high prescribing" physicians, popular pharmacies, and drug distribution systems that are out of compliance with regulations, and drug companies switch their manufacturing facilities to "tamper proof" pain pills, the patients run into difficulty getting access to their medications.
This is a complex issue. One the one hand, we see unbelievable levels of prescription pain medications being prescribed, sold, and consumed by the American public. We also see unprecedented levels of substance abuse and dependency, often apparently a consequence of the prescribing. Some drug companies are manufacturing pain medicines that are more powerful than those previously believed to be for "terminal use only", meaning only suitable for people who are dying and need to numb truly agonizing and debilitating levels of pain.
We know that any people who find themselves dependent on high levels of powerful pain killers benefit substantially from medical detox. A properly supervised medical detox is a way to regain control from pain medications, and an opportunity to re-assess the drugs and doses being prescribed. It is also a way to leanr what are the latest painmanagement techniques, including the latest pain management drugs.
As access to powerful prescription medications becomes more restricted, we hope the various agencies involved will maintain a strong focus on the patient and the family, not just dollars and regulations. Patients in pain need help, and patients facing withdrawal from previous high levels of powerful painkillers need assistance.