From the headlines, prescription painkillers sound pretty scary. Some of the people who take them switch to heroin, and some die of overdoses. The problem is so bad that the FDA has mandated black-box warning labels about the risk of abuse. But at the same time, these drugs are common and useful tools to manage pain.
The medications in question are opioids, drugs that work in the same parts of your brain as opium. Heroin and morphine are opioids, but so are the main ingredients of prescription drugs like Vicodin and Oxycontin. These drugs obviously relieve pain, and in some circumstances, they can induce a euphoric feeling. For many, they’re essential tools to manage pain, either from surgery, injury, or for people with chronic pain, their everyday life.
I would hardly call ibuprofen and muscle relaxants part of “pill mill” culture or some “big pharma” conspiracy. You can walk into any pharmacy and grab Robax Platinum without a prescription which is Ibuprophen+Methocarbamol. That prescription is more along the lines of “nothing is seriously wrong, this should placate you” which is more indicative of a culture of patients not willing to hear “it will heal on its own” from a doctor.
Even larger dose NSAIDs like say 500mg Naproxen if you pop 2.5 [of Over The Counter] Aleve it’s exactly the same drug and dose.