March 28, 2023

The United States accounts for five percent of the world’s population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this personal talk, Travis Rieder recounts the painful, often-hidden struggle of opioid withdrawal and reveals how doctors who are quick to prescribe (and overprescribe) opioids aren’t equipped with the tools to eventually get people off the meds.

I was nonchalant, having given this information to many doctors this was the first time that anyone had expressed concern. what happened next really came to define my entire experience of medical trauma. according to which i divided my medication into four doses, the result is that i was launched into acute opioid withdrawal. the early stages of withdrawal feel a lot

Like a bad case of the flu. and yet if i managed to get myself out into the hot august sun, the restlessness that had made sleep difficult during that first week it was a deep sense of jitters that would keep me twitching. sadiye became concerned, and she called the prescribing doctor when she pushed him and said, “you know, he’s really quite badly off,” now, there’s no

Way that i was going to go back on my previous dose and so we stuck to riding it out and dropped another dose. several times a day i would get that welling in my chest that the pain management team provides an inpatient service; furious, we called the prescriber back and begged him for anything — so my official recommendation is that travis go back on the medication as

My brain experienced life without prescription opioids and trying violently to throw up despite not having eaten anything in days. an independent pain management clinic said that they prescribe opioids “mr. rieder, it sounds like perhaps what you need is a rehab facility are geared towards those battling long-term substance use disorder. in addition, everywhere i called

Had an extensive waiting list. and i would take only as much as i absolutely needed and for the first time in weeks i actually went to bed. i’m sorry, i have to gather myself just a little bit. because nothing that happened to me was all that unique. and so there was every reason to think that from the beginning, but our health care system seemingly hasn’t decided

And focused on those suffering from long-term substance use disorder. and it wasn’t even clear whose job such management was. but the failure of opioid tapering is a particular concern the medical community has in fact started to react to this crisis, that american physicians often prescribe medication despite accounting for only five percent of the global population,

As somebody who has had severe, real, long-lasting pain, by requiring that doctors properly manage the pills that they do prescribe. that any physician who prescribes opioids knows that that is too aggressive? someone from the cdc sent me their pocket guide for tapering opioids. is that you never start at more than a 10 percent dose reduction per week. that someone who

Prescribes this medication ought to have. i need to say that properly managing prescribed opioids reckless management of that medication is indefensible.

Transcribed from video
The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder By TED