For veterans with post war challenges, pain killers carry risks.

by | Mar 9, 2012

The following quote from the above link is from The New York Times Friday, March 9, 2012.  AT War, Notes From the Front Lines.

“Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to be prescribed opioid pain killers than other veterans with pain problems and more likely to use the opiates in risky ways, according to a study published Wednesday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also found that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who were prescribed opiates for pain – and particularly those with post-traumatic stress disorder — had a higher prevalence of “adverse clinical outcomes,” like overdoses, self-inflicted injuries and injuries caused by accidents or fighting.”

I have recently weaned myself away from pain killers after extended use following multiple surgeries over several years.  It was easy to continue taking these prescriptions believing that my pain would never go away even after all the surgeries to fuse bones and replace joints were in my past.  But pain killers eventually become ineffective and cause side effects that can be troublesome over time, including aggressive and irritable behaviors.  Weaning away from pain killers takes a few weeks at the very least with several months of  physical adjustments to relearn how your body feels naturally without the numbing effects of opiates or narcotics.

The transition has been worth all the effort!  I feel much better and in control of my own feelings.  And guess what?  Ibuprofen actually works without the influence of  narcotics!

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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