Taking Painkillers All the Time Doesn’t Make Me an Addict

Published in WNYC, 2/19/2016


In our latest episode we talked to Peter Grinspoon, a Harvard doctor who struggled with painkiller addiction, about the dangers of drug abuse. He says drugs – other than marijuana – are evil. Our listener Jen O’Neal strongly disagrees.

O’Neal, a 23-year-old college student in Austin, Texas, has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which affects connective tissues between bones, skin and vessels. She’s been struggling to manage her pain since she was 6 years-old, and says she has a four-page medical history including a heart problem, hip preservation surgery, gastrointestinal problems and chronic fatigue. O’Neal believes the system that causes drug addiction also stigmatizes people who need painkillers to go about their daily lives.

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