Emily k. California

Shaking Addiction

Pain killers don't just kill pain, but kill the people that use them.

Dear President,

Pain killer addiction is a large problem that I feel not enough people know about. Narcotic pain medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, Norco and Hydrocodone are common pain killers prescribed to patients by their doctors. These are the medications that more that 4.7 million Americans are addicted to. 

Many people don't know how addictive their medication is; 7% of patients prescribed pain killers become addicted. I know that statistic doesn't sound like a lot compared to other concerning problems, but to those that are affected by it means a lot. I should know, though I'm not the one addicted to this drug, I'm close to someone who is. Someone who raised me and I have the utmost respect for was unknowingly looped into this terrible situation, something they had no control over because they didn't know the long term effects to something that was supposed to make them better. Instead it caused an at most a two week injury into a thirteen year addiction. This is a problem and though it may be "small" now, in the upcoming years I know it will become an increasing problem for many. Two percent of U.S. adults are addicted and the numbers grow every year.

What's worse about this drug is the difficulty to shake the addiction. This is because pain medication works by raising the sensitivity to pain. So after a prolonged use of the drug the intensity of pain is significantly risen, which increases  someone's need for the medication than initially needed. Withdrawal of the drug causes extreme discomfort, causing people who try to cure their addiction through treatment plans to bail out because of the pain.

Although not many people know about this problem, I do. I know this drug that is used to cure pain, can cause even more pain. Not only to the person addicted, but to those around them. What I am asking is that the dangers and repercussions of this drug are more widely known, so people know the effects these drugs can have when not used correctly, so people who you love and care about don't crumble before your eyes from something they had no control over. Pain killers don't just kill pain, but kill the people that use them; not just physically but mentally.