In a compassionate approach to headache treatment, there is sometimes a place for a limited amount of narcotics. Some headache patients are introduced to narcotics early in the course of their disease and then become dependent on them, both for relieving the pain and psychologically. Sometimes, if they use them more than a couple of days per week, they become truly addicted.
Patients in the Pacific Northwest have, on average, an unhealthy fear of medications that we use to treat and prevent headaches. However, often there is a lacking of fear for those medications, such as narcotics, that can kill you.
Most of our patients have been very good about understanding this limit. However, some of our most difficult confrontations are from patients who want a dangerous amount of narcotics.
Here is s sobering report showing how dangerous narcotics can be and why we are constantly pushing down the number of narcotics that patients want from us.