Thanks for bringing your question to Google Answers.
I bet that if someone is in pain and leaves a doctor without a
prescription for relief, he or she might agree with your
characterization of doctors and pain killers.
But it probably depends on the doctor.
Here's a paragraph from a University of California-Davis website:
"Over the last several years, physicians have taken a new, aggressive
approach to treating pain, and sales of prescription painkillers have
tripled as a result. Now, for
millions of Americans these medicines are a blessing, but constant
physician care is a must."
I guess "constant physician care" is the thing that stops doctors
short. There are a lot of bad things associated with pain-killer
prescribing, including the danger of a doc being "pulled over" or even
losing a license to practice.
Here is an excerpt from a San Diego news story:
"When state authorities began investigating Barrett [a doctor], they
found a pattern of over-prescribing pain medications that federal
health officials say is being repeated across the United States by
careless, inept or greedy doctors."
Even if the over-prescribing doctor isn't "careless, inept or greedy,"
there could be a fear--valid or not--of causing addiction by
"In the United States in recent years... there has been a wave of new
addictions to prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin,
Percocet etc.) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab etc.). The U.S.
Government is now taking steps to reverse this epidemic, which it has
blamed on easy access to prescription drugs over the Internet. The
bigger problem however is doctors over-prescribing these drugs."
Among the adverse effects associated with opioid prescription pain
killers, are tolerance and dependence. "Tolerance" is the diminishing
of the drug's pain killing effect and "dependence" is the increasing
need to take more of the drug to accomplish the pain killing effect.
In the United States today, the average primary care doctor spends
about six minutes with each patient (
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2004/07/time-is-money.html ). This is
something to think about when wondering if each doctor has enough time
for "constant physician care."
When all else fails in getting a primary care doctor to see it your
way about prescription pain killers, it may be time for a pain
"Pain management is a new specialty of medicine that deals with the
evaluation and treatment of people with acute or chronic pain. Acute
pain usually follows surgery or injury and resolves as the body heals
itself. Pain is chronic when it persists after healing has taken
Pain management is usually a sub-specialty of anesthesiology or
neurology. Pain specialists are trained to treat pain and no doubt do
spend more than six minutes with a patient. They have the training
and background to select the right drug or other treatment to deal
with the pain problem.
Thanks again for coming to Google Answers.
All the best,