Prince didn’t die from pain pills; he died from chronic pain
Alexis Thompson

Prince didn’t die from pain pills; he died from chronic pain

This is a powerful piece that resonates with so many whether you suffer from chronic pain or a loved one does. It is a condition that is not only under-treated, but misunderstood. Admittedly, this article helped me better understand.

Even though Prince was prescribed Percocet for pain, the narrative has shifted to he died from an overdose.

“An overdose is a self-inflicted wound. It’s a moral judgment. That’s how we react to it. “He was such a talented actor. Why overdose?” Or, “She had such a powerful voice. But she was a demon for drugs.” That story allows us to distance ourselves, to see it as the fault of a weak personality, an “addictive” personality. It’s part of the mythos we create around talented folks. The idea that the truly gifted are also the ones in the worse psychological pain, and their psychological “weaknesses” make them ripe for drug addiction.”

Shifting the narrative is necessary. 

“Chronic pain management requires, in most cases, the taking of strong, often-opiate based medications. ANY patient who takes these drugs on a daily basis will become “physically dependent” in a short time. Physical dependence is not addiction. Diabetics are physically dependent on insulin, and yet we do not call insulin an addictive drug. Without it, diabetics would die. Stopping pain medication that has been used for chronic pain can kill you if it’s done abruptly. Under a doctor’s care, a change in pain medication is handled on a strict schedule in which the body is weaned off one drug in order to either start a new medication, or to determine whether the body is reacting in a different way to the condition causing the pain.”

Jamie Lee Curtis in a blog post “Kill the Pain” for Huffington Post wrote, “I am one of the lucky ones.” She has been recovering from an opiate addiction for more than 17 years.

We are weeks from getting Prince’s toxicology report, but definitely food for thought.

And although it may be too late for Prince and so many others, I’m glad we’re having these conversations.

Like the myTalk Roundtable discussion “Addiction in the Headlines” tomorrow from noon to 1pm on Colleen and Bradley.  Along with experts from Hazelden, they will discuss the growing epidemic of addiction to painkillers, how addiction can start, how it can be treated and how to discern between use, abuse and addiction.




co-hosts "Jason & Alexis" weekdays from 5am to 9am on myTalk 107.1.

Jason & Alexis | Email | @lexandthecities

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