Resident Review  |   February 2014
No Pain, No Gain
Article Information
Education / CPD / Pain Medicine / Resident Review
Resident Review   |   February 2014
No Pain, No Gain
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 60-61.
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 60-61.
From the countless adages and anecdotes to the fatalistic and sensationalist media coverage, Americans are constantly inundated with warnings, admonishments and doomsday lectures about the harms of pain medications. Sayings such as “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” adorn bumper stickers and T-shirt designs or are heard in pop songs. The idea that only the weak – or worse yet, drug-addicted – seek pain control is at the very least misleading and at worst dangerous.
Of course, the adverse outcomes related to pain medications cannot be ignored. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control notes that more people die from prescription pain medication overdose than cocaine and heroin combined.1 -2  These gloomy statistics color our perception of the issue and encourage media representation of prescribing physicians as overeducated drug dealers. Understandably, after being exposed to such a negative image of chronic pain and pain medications, the members of the general public and physicians themselves are often wary of aggressive pain management. We have come to fear dependency, addiction, overdose and death. This may explain, at least in part, the mismanagement of pain in our society.
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