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JLeslie's avatar

Are drug companies and doctors responsible for prescription drug addiction?

Asked by JLeslie (58943points) August 26th, 2019 from iPhone

What if the doctor warned the drug can be addictive? Is the doctor at fault if he believed the line that he was told that treating for pain will not cause addiction? That was what was believed for many years. Did you ever believe it? What if the drug manufacturer does have warning the drug can be addictive, then are the void of responsibility if someone becomes addicted? Should narcotics and opioids be prohibited except for very extreme situations? What situations?

What about the news recently coming out that ecigs/vaping has negative side effects? Did you ever believe it was completely safe? Do you think the ecig companies should be liable if people have bad side effects? Should ecigs be made illegal to sell and use?

What about high fructose corn syrup?

Trans fats?

Adding fat to foods in restaurants without disclosing it? Like butter on steak, or butter in steamed vegetables. Are you in favor of calories and fat grams on menus?

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41 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yes, I believe so. They are the trained professionals, as well as making money off the scripts, insurance, etc…. They are the ones who swear an oath to not cause harm.

If nothing else, they should be required to pay for rehab for any person with a script.

chyna's avatar

How are doctors making money off of prescriptions and insurance? The doctors I work for do not make any money from that. It would be called kickbacks and be illegal.

zenvelo's avatar

My ex had a doctor that had her on duragesic fenatnyl patches to address her “pain” from fibromyalgia. the strength and amount of the prescriptions were way out of line with the extent of her pain. The doctor was willing to write her scrips just to get her out of the office.

She did reach a point where she would have had to resort to street drugs if she couldn’t get weaned from the prescriptions. It was not at all easy.

Drug companies were encouraging scrips of OxyContin and fentanyl like they were m and m’s, and many doctors went along. Yes, they are both complicit.

Same with the vape companies. Their “good citizen alternatives to tobacco” were quickly marketed to teens that had never smoked cigarettes.

canidmajor's avatar

A number of doctors that did business with Perdue Pharma are now under investigation for kickbacks related to over prescribing OxyContin. The Sacklers (allegedly) offered some very attractive “incentives” to physicians.
Comparing that, however, to the use of butter in restaurants seems a bit extreme.

kritiper's avatar

Drug companies, no. Prescribers, possibly. People who take them, absolutely.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Prescribers gain absolutely nothing from prescribing them except maybe shutting the patient up as @zenvelo suggested.
My oldest daughter suffers from severe and crippling back pain, and has for the past 5 years. There was a point that she realized she was addicted to the pain meds that were rightfully prescribed to her and she quit, cold turkey.

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_lll The “prescribers” are physicians, and not all are ethical. The same types that perpetrate Medicare fraud are the types to take kickbacks from the drug companies.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Of course the pharma companies, sales reps and their street pusher docs are to blame. Throw the book at them. I have known too many people who have had their lives destroyed because of this not to be over the top fucking mad about it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Short answer is yes.

YARNLADY's avatar

Drug companies state they are not addictive. Sales people convince doctors drugs are safe, and doctors see they are effective in treating pain. Doctors willingly use blinders. The real issue is the greed of pharmaceutical companies.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@YARNLADY I believe that most doctors know just how addictive these drugs are and that they put their patients at risk when prescribing them.

JLeslie's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me I think a lot of doctors believed it was ok to prescribe. They believed that if a patient is in pain they won’t get addicted. I’m not excusing the doctors, it just feeds into my paranoia and anxiety regarding the incompetence of many doctors.

I have never had a doctor say, “these pain pills can be addictive, only take them if Advil or Tylenol isn’t helping the pain to be tolerable.” Never any warning of any kind ever from doctors.

It’s hard to believe any adult doesn’t know narcotics and opioids can be addictive. Aren’t we taught it in jr. high? Don’t kids sell them in locker rooms and all the kids know it’s bad?

I almost don’t care to hold the pharmaceutical companies culpable, because it’s insane anyone believed their bullshit. The problem is, it was all so purposeful and malicious that it seems they should have some sort of punishment.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There are docs out there with integrity and won’t prescribe drugs like this to people who don’t need them. Even they can be fooled though and the drugs really do work well. I’m hesitant to paint them with a broad stroke. It’s the pill mill docs that need to be locked up.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’m not looking to lock any of them up. I’m afraid doctors will go too far the other extreme and people will suffer. It’s already getting ridiculously difficult to get a Xanax when it’s very justifiable to prescribe it. Now, they prescribe antidepressants instead saying those aren’t addictive. I don’t believe it. I think they are addictive, and for acute anxiety in acute situations, bensos are often much more effective. If once every ten years I ask for ten Xanax I shouldn’t have to beg like a crack addict. At least now doctors can see your pharmacy history right in their office online. That’s a good thing I think.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I know as a fact SSRI meds are highly addictive. Just not like Xanex is. SSRIs don’t get you high they are just notoriously hard to wean off of.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’ve never been hi when I took Xanax, but I have been able to eat instead of starving to death, and stopped shaking. It was a life saver. I take a very very small dose,and I never take it for long. I have a friend now who has lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks. She is weak, and barely able to keep anything down, and I am really worried about her, and I want her to take a Xanax or similar just to be able to eat and keep her electrolytes in balance. I’m worried she could have a heart attack. Maybe she could try Buspar, which is much much less addictive, some say it isn’t addictive at all. She has been through something awful, and having trouble coping emotionally, but it is very understandable. She is just in the acute part of it.

As far as SSRI’s they always tout those an no addictive, but as I said I don’t believe it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Those cases are what Xanax is for.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Are You I tried it for a year and hated xanax. My doc said I was the only person he’d ever had willingly give them up. I didnt have any withdrawal symptoms.

With opioids, it doesnt seem near that easy. And even pain mgmt docs increase your dosage, its crazy to me how dependent people get. And quickly. Good people have turned into bad people, people I’m close to. Part of me wishes they were illegal for that reason, just the depth of the addiction.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I was prescribed opiods, multiple times, in my life. Never once have I been addicted to them.

When I had my first anxiety issues, I was prescribed xanax. I Did get a euphoric feeling from them. So I asked my doctor, to switch to to something else. So, I was switched to lorazepam. No high, but with the addition stress of my past 8 months, I had to take more, and more, to help. So. I asked to be switched again. Currently, I take diazepam (valium.) But I take far less, than I’m prescribed, unless I get a serious panic attack.

It’s been recommended that I start an anti-depressant. But I’ve known too many people who have had terrible sidesign effects, and when they try to get offof them. They live through a nightmare, sometimes for weeks…
The last few times I’ve been offered opiods, I declined them, and just loved with the pain. I don’t like the way they make me feel…

I suppose it’s a case by case thing, and genetics play a role, as well…

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm You’re probably right. Valium works well on me, in really rough times. I get deathly ill from oxy’s, cant take them.

There are mild antidepressants in several meds, I wish you could find one of those that suits you.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Xanax for a year and you didn’t like it. Why on earth would you take a drug you hated for a year? Especially a drug like Xanax that shouldn’t be used for a year anyway. It’s for acute situations. Had you been told it has addictive properties? I stopped taking Xanax as soon as I thought I could do without it, fir fear of addiction.

Plenty of people take it long term, but I think it’s a bad idea. Like @ARE_you_kidding_me wrote, it’s good for short term extreme situations. Some people don’t like it, which happens with all drugs, some people benefit and some don’t.

@MrGrimm888 Do you know what dose Xanax you were taking? They might not have started you on the lowest dose. Not that I’m pushing the Xanax, I’m just curious. Valium is extremely addictive too. The problem with all of the bensos is the withdrawal anxiety is bad, so taking the drug can make anxiety worse. It’s like caffeine and headaches.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^They started me(xanax), on a fairly large dosage. I usually never took the full.dose though. If I felt an attack coming on, I would start with a quarter of a tablet (the mgs, I don’t recall,) and would take another quarter about 30–45 minutes apart, until the attack stopped. But like I said, I did get “high,” from it (in large enough doses,) and was only on it for a few months, before seeking an alternative.

I would sometimes go days, or more, without taking any at all. Same with the lorazepam, that I replaced it with. The lorazepam took longer to act, but lasted longer, and didn’t give me a sense of euphoria. I’m currently prescribed diazepam, 5–10 mgs 4 times, a day (I’m sure my size has a lot to do with the dosage recommended.) Don’t worry. I think that’s way too much, and typically just take 5 mgs, when I wake up. Occasionally, 5 mgs more before bed. I have not noticed any euphoria, and have had a noticeable drop off in attacks. I barely drink anymore, and typically go weeks, or months without drinking at all. Mixing benzos, with pretty much anything else, is something that I avoid.

I have researched the drugs thoroughly, and am aware they are potentially addictive, and of the withdrawal issues. I typically just carry a couple pills, in case of emergency. I’ve had 3 attacks, over 5 years, that landed me in the ER. So valium, is the lesser of the multiple evils…

@KNOWITALL . I have seen WAY too many horror stories, regarding anti-depressants. Remember that I have no insurance either, so I can’t afford even the cheapest ones, and I am also concerned that the price could raise dramatically, if the pharmaceutical companies decide to, on a whim. Which would mean that I would have to come off of them completely. I’ve heard terrible stories, about how that goes… I have been constantly trying to find alternatives, that don’t involve any drugs at all. Everything from meditation, to thousands of years old breathing techniques. Unfortunately, I have not had even remote success, with anything I have come across. Especially if an attack starts.

The main variable, is stress. Although, I do have problems with lots of flashing lights, and/or loud environments. Which made working at nightclubs, and music venues a real challenge.

I don’t take hot showers (research has shown that they can lead to temporarily high bloodpressure, which can exacerbate the problem,) and listen to calming music on the way to work. That seems to help. Some.

Thereis a direct correlation, between how stressful my life is, and the frequency of my attacks. I have recently started a new job. That plus the valium has resulted in actually having not had a bad attack since. Plus, I’m finally coming to terms with the loss of Wanda. I’m not over it. But I’m making progress…

I was in a counseling group, for about 6 months (3 x a week,) for people dealing with heavy loses. I don’t know that they helped much, but I’ve been working hard, to improve my coping skills.

I was insured under the ACA. If it wasn’t for some political issues we’ve ALL covered here, I would consider the SSRIs. Some changes weremade in my state, so I lost that, and as we know if Trump/the GOP get their way, it’ll be gone for good. So. No reason to get started on a SSRI, when it could become unobtainable.
Right now, the ER is my only real source of medical care. I do have a primary care physician, but can only afford to see him once, or twice a year. There are state run clinics, and such, but I fail to meet the stipulations, either because I make just a little too much,or oddly too little money in some cases. My republican controlled state refuses medicaid help, so that’s off the table too.
I’m just making do, with what I have available. Right now, that’s all I can do…......

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I had high bp and anxiety for awhile when I was younger. I asked for help, he gave me .5 xanax. They didn’t calm me, they just made me tired, so I gave them up.

No, I wasn’t aware they were addictive, but I knew they had neuro affects.

I’m very anti-pill/ Big Pharma.

@MrGrimm888 Good for you, there are lots of free groups that can help, even if meds are out of reach. My mom has gained so much from 15 years of peer therapy. She still struggles with depression but she says moving in with us and retiring has helped a lot, too.
I’m always here for ya if you need to talk, I’ve been learning how to handle it for most of my life, living with mom. :)

seawulf575's avatar

I think the only way the pharmaceutical companies are responsible is that they haven’t really dug into alternative pain control drugs. They have something that works and they stick with it. The doctors CAN be responsible if their first and only action is to prescribe opioids and don’t make any efforts to verify it is being used responsibly. But let’s not forget the responsibility of the user themselves. They are oftentimes adults and have the responsibility to use their meds correctly.
Another one I’m waiting to hear is being abused is marijuana. Everyone raves about legalizing marijuana and there are some benefits. However pot smoke is almost chemically identical to cigarette smoke. We had decades of smoking before the ties to a variety of issues were dragged into the light. The tars that coated the lungs for example. And many times, marijuana users smoke through unfiltered means, so it is about the same as smoking unfiltered cigarettes. Eventually there will be enough data to show a variety of health issues from smoking pot and the lawsuits will start. And then we will be discussing if the pot growers or sellers (of legal pot) should be held responsible for the damage done.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL You are another example of my point, the doctor didn’t warn you Xanax is addictive—it’s negligent in my opinion. Probably the pharmacy information says it (I don’t know for sure) but doctors should not be relying on a patient to read what the pharmacy provides. Moreover, you should have been started on .25, unless he instructed you to break them in half so you could save money on the prescription, which some doctors do, which I am ok with, but it sounds to me like you were taking .5. Some people break the .25’s in half and it’s enough to take the edge off.

I wasn’t assuming you are a pill popper, my questions are related to how the doctors prescribe and fail to inform patients. Some of them do it on purpose, some are ignorant, and some are too rushed and not thorough.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I read all the packaging, I hate pills so much, but I truly dont recall seeing that. My husband has a sleep disorder so he has them, i’ll check the inserts next refill.

My doc is a friend and politician as well, so knowing me and my dislike for pharma’s, he may have skipped the talk. I argue a lot in RL, too, or debate lol

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL LOL Love it. I’m like you that I debate a lot. I call it lots of questions, but I am sure the doctors think I am being argumentative. Yeah, he might have purposely not told you thinking you wouldn’t take the drug if you knew it might be addictive, and so he decided not to tell you. I have a problem with that, but it is not uncommon for doctors to do that. Even if the insert has the information, I think a doctor should tell a patient something like that, but since he prescribed it for a year, he either didn’t know it was addictive, or didn’t care.

I think significant downsides to drugs doctors should tell us. Like take lots of water with certain drugs. It says it right on the pill bottle usually, on the sticker, for those specific drugs, but patients are unreliable to read and unreliable to follow directions. Anything put on the pill bottle is important.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I agree he should have said something.

Dont get me started on the RL opioid addictions, I know far too many of them. The stories I could tell would make you sick. And doctors up the dosage, playing right into the addicts desires. Sometimes I wish I could tell them what happens, make them see how they are ruining lives, marriages, etc..

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I know you have strong feelings on the topic. It is very upsetting. I just saw a Ted Talk given by a woman who talked about her own addiction to alcohol and how the alcohol manufacturers purposefully targeted women making fruity hard liquors and wine coolers and wine for mommies. She gave some specific statistics.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I know I spent about a week in the hospital once, for an animal bite. I was on something called dilodinum (no way I spelled that right.) I was infected every 4 hrs, for the entire stay. I was high as a camel’s cunt. I could barely talk, and slept most of the time. As my final day approached, I couldn’t wait to leave. Some of my nurses, were surprised. I asked why. They said lots of patients try to stay as long as possible, to keep getting the drug. I was like, I wanna go home. I never once had a craving for it, after I left. Going by most data I’ve read, I should have had withdrawal, or something. But nope . This was about 6 years ago, before the opioid “epidemic,” was so public. I guess I’m glad I didn’t get addicted to it… I find it kind of odd, that someone would want to be THAT high, all the time…

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm Dilaudid probably. Used a lot with cancer.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Sounds about right. My left hand was mangled pretty bad. They gave my first dose (think it was a 1 ml syringe full. It didn’t touch the pain. So then they gave me another whole syringe. From then on, that was my dosage q 4 hrs. I remember being surprised that they upped the dosage 100%, but it definitely helped the pain. I vomited, a LOT, after the injection, so they added an anti-nausea drug too. I guess people who use it illegally, just throw up each time. Before they pass out. I don’t see the appeal…

JLeslie's avatar

^^You could have always asked to skip a dose, or get a half dose.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@MrGrimm My husband says morphine was like that, instant relief. For kidney stones.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m allergic to morphine. Terrifying anxiety reaction the instant it starts to enter my vein.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Yikes, scary, powerful stuff. Highly addictive for our Vietnam vrys I heard.

I’ve always wondered what theyd give me since opioids make me so sick.

JLeslie's avatar

Fentanyl I had no negative reaction. It was great. Lol. There is a lot of bad publicity right now with that drug though. I can take Tramadol, but I don’t like it, I have a little bit of a spacey side effect from it.

I’ve never taken opioids/narcotics more than three days straight, and even then it was only maybe two doses a day when I could have had it several times a day, but didn’t want it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Be careful with that Tramadol. My husband (and many others) have seizures after taking it. He almost died with his first one (at age 36), grand mal, after only a month on Tramadol. Seriously, be really careful with that one.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I’ve only taken 3 pills I think. That was 6 years ago.

Was that your same doctor as the Xanax? Maybe he prescribes high doses in general. Not that I would risk your husband taking it again. Just something to consider.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Oh good, that worried me for you. He was diagnosed with generalized epilepsy after a second, but frankly I think it’s purely a manufactured illness due to medications. Now he takes keppra every day, so they get even more money with the diagnosis. I’m not a doctor hater, but I wish Caravan or someone could offer us some insights.

No we’ve never had the same doc, different insurance, etc..

JLeslie's avatar

I hate taking pills. Not to worry.

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