Cicely on Barriers to Pain Relief

Myths about addiction

Fear of medication

Meaning of pain

Myths about addiction

But of course there is evidence across the states and elsewhere that patients are still suffering pain because they are not getting the drugs that are available because of the myths and the misunderstandings that surround their use. What I was able to share with my early work at St. Joseph's that there was no problem of tolerance, there was no problem of drug dependence. You could use drugs for weeks and months on end out of the strong analgesic group. There were no problems if you could control the pain by other means such as radio therapy. There was no difficulty in withdrawing the drugs as long as you did them slowly. Physiologically they might have some dependence, but psychologically, not at all. Drugs taken to control symptoms and drugs for kicks are completely different things. They are different as having a glass of sherry before a meal and somebody sitting on mountain side drinking mists. It's absolutely different. People who have drugs to control pain, and even the word drugs has sort of an aura about it, let's call it medication or whatever, they are seeking relief. They are not seeking kicks. You may be a bit sleepy the first two or three days when you have something strong for pain, but that wears off without the control of pain wearing off. You need to start with small doses. You need to start with mild medications. The World Health Organization has an analgesic ladder for mild pain, moderate pain and severe pain. The longer you have had good pain control, the less you will have trouble at the end. People think I don't want to have it, I'll get used to it and then when I really need it, it wont work. That's completely untrue. It's absolutely the other way around. People should expect relief, not expect pain.

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