Narcotic painkillers are very useful and very effective in short and medium-term situations. Unfortunately, they can be extremely problematic with extended usage. That’s why chronic pain sufferers like soldiers that come home from duty are of particular concern; they are likely to consume narcotic medications over a prolonged period, in which case they can become heavily addicted.
Narcotics are harmful, so why prescribe them?
Everyone knows narcotics are dangerously addictive, so why do doctors continue to prescribe them for chronic pain? There is a three-fold answer to this question: First, because most primary care physicians have easier access to pharmaceuticals than alternative treatment. Second, their skill set is too limited to deal with musculoskeletal complaints. Third, their desire to provide immediate relief to the patient coupled with the constant marketing of pharmaceutical companies creates a formula for ill-advised treatment.