Friday, September 30, 2016

Living with Chronic Pain After Being Labeled an Addict

I am writing this article from the perspective of a patient who has chronic back pain and also an unwarranted, doctor-imposed label of “addiction.” 

As most people can imagine, having both of these problems -- chronic pain and a substance use disorder -- can be very difficult for a healthcare provider to manage. Imagine though how harmful it is when someone is diagnosed or labeled as an addict and it is not an appropriate diagnosis. 

The new polite wording for addiction is "chemical dependence," "substance use disorder" or "opiate dependence." 

But these terms are not helpful either, since they have the same meaning to most healthcare professionals, as well as the general public.

To make matters worse, I was totally unaware that this diagnosis was ever made and it was never explained to me that it would be in my medical record. I want to share some of the problems this has caused me. 


Pain News Network- By Patricia Young, Guest columnist

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