Chronic Pain

The health section of today’s New York Times has a fairly decent article (not well written, but very informative to the lay person), about the challenges of treating chronic pain these days, and isn’t very nice to the DEA

Now the federal government, and especially the Drug Enforcement Administration, is working overtime to make it even harder for doctors to manage serious pain, including that of dying patients trying to exit this world gracefully.

The article even addressed the fact that most people (and even some doctors) don’t understand the difference between addiction and dependency:

An addict uses a drug to get high, becomes tolerant and needs ever-increasing amounts to maintain that high. Patients taking narcotics for pain don’t get high; they get relief from their pain, and when larger doses are needed, it is usually because their pain has become more intense, as often happens in patients with advanced cancer or degenerative diseases.

Always nice to see a major paper take on an issue like this.

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