A few years ago, I had vascular surgery at a Veterans Affairs hospital. After a few days of refusing the prescribed painkillers, I received a visit from one of the surgeons.

He gave me a strong lecture that my refusal to take the medications would have a negative effect and prolong my recovery. My answer was that if I couldn’t do some of the rehabilitation exercises because of the pain, I might then reconsider my refusal.

I believe that everyone has a different pain threshold, and mine is fairly high – I don’t believe that it’s a “one-size-fits-all” solution. I did take some of the painkillers for a few days so I could sleep, but I think that the overprescribing of these medications bears much of the responsibility for the upswing in the use of these drugs.

I was sent home with a supply of oxycodone, which I never used; I finally deposited them at a drop center.

Ben Emery

Old Orchard Beach

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