Welcome to Part 3 of our series, "The Slot Machine." Today, we are discussing the social aspect of addiction. The "third 7" addresses how available and socially acceptable an addictive substance is. We discuss how we have created a culture of pain management that is behind the staggering opioid statistics we see every year.
This is the final episode of Season 1. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with us while we prepare for Season 2.
In the podcast, we mentioned the article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980. Here is the letter in full:
Recently, we examined our current files to determine the incidence of narcotic addiction in 39,946 hospitalized medical patients who were monitored consecutively. Although there were 11,882 patients who received at least one narcotic preparation, there were only four cases of reasonably well documented addiction in patients who had no history of addiction. The addiction was considered major in only one instance. The drugs implicated were meperidine in two patients, Percodan in one, and hydromorphone in one. We conclude that despite widespread use of narcotic drugs in hospitals, the development of addiction is rare in medical patients with no history of addiction.
Here is a link to an article from the Atlantic, breaking down its background and impact. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/06/nejm-letter-opioids/528840/
Addiction is treatable, treatment works, and people recover.