Saturday, January 11, 2020
In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids is a very interesting and important book. However, I would like to note that in my experience (and not going into details), having pain that isn't controlled is a significant problem (to put it mildly). Dr. Rieder makes this point to some extent in his book, but the main focus is on his withdrawal. I have, unfortunately, been on opioids a number of times (and sometimes for many many weeks) and never had any withdrawal issues. But I have had uncontrolled agony that, as I've written elsewhere, broke me and made me want to die.
This is not to diminish anyone's experience, downplay the issues of the opioid epidemic, or argue with Dr. Reider's policy proposals. I just want to make the point that many (I hope most) people don't know what devastating pain is like, and thus find it hard to take it as seriously as it should be taken.