In terms of substance abuse, dependence, or addiction, the substance can be defined as a prescribed drug, an illegal drug, alcohol, or a substance used in an unintended manner to produce mood or mind-altering effect. According to Mayerson and Julian (2017), Drug or substance addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Very often, under the influences of substance/ drug addiction, the individuals are facing not only psychological but physiological consequences.
According to Webster (2008), “prescribing is defined as ordering or advising as a medicine or treatment said of physicians, etc.” (p. 1136). However, when we are talking about prescribing pain medication, due to the inherent cultural beliefs of pain and pain management, the treatment decisions can be influenced by cultural perceptions. For example, besides the influences from Stoicism, religion such as Buddhism, and or Confucianism, Chinese perceptions regarding pain management greatly influenced by their history experiences with The Opium Wars in the 1800s. Chinese patients and families hold strong beliefs and fears regarding pain management options and administration of opioids. They believe by administering opioids, although as a prescribed dose, craving must occur, which eventually lead to unintentional harm to the family. Therefore, prescribing as a treatment said of physicians, but pain can be undertreated in this group of population. Thus, patient and family education is vital in such a case. For example, in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who are experiencing pain and hesitating regarding pain treatment options. The patient should be educated regarding medication regime (opioids and or non-opioids), and consistency regarding medication administration, in which including regular periodic laboratory testing as needed with RA treatment plan of care. The patient should always be provided information regarding the use of any complementary or alternative therapies and should emphasize and update with the current treatment plan of care. If opioids are in used for pain management, the purpose, as well as, significant effects associated with medications should be included into medication teaching prior to medication prescribing and routine medical visits to enhance patient safety.
In conclusion, we should stay aware of the situation regarding pain management in different cultural populations, be able to stay alert and be able to react properly regarding patient medication prescribing, medication administrations, and monitoring, and of course with sufficient patient and family educations.
Mayerson, E. A., & Julian, T., (2017). Acute pain management for patients on medication-assisted treatment for opioid-use disorder. Topics in Pain Management. 33(3). P 1-12
Webster New World college dictionary. (2008). Prescribing. Webster New World College Dictionary, 4th ed. 1136