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Oct-30-2009 16:07printcomments

You're not addicted -- It's Pseudo Addiction

There's a book very popular right now called "The Seven People You Meet in Heaven." I hope one day someone writes a book entitled "The People Who Will Be Found in Hell."

Oxycontin ms

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - In 2003, I traveled to New York to attend a conference at Columbia University on addiction. The reason I wanted to attend this conference was because a medical director employed by Purdue Pharma was a speaker. His name was J. David Haddox.

Marianne Skolek

Haddox was a dentist turned psychiatrist who became an illustrious speaker for Purdue Pharma. Haddox worked his way up Purdue Pharma's corporate ladder to I believe now being a medical director and in charge of "risk management" for the company. One of the reasons Haddox fascinated me was the word "pseudo-addiction."

The meaning of the word "pseudo" is "not genuine but having the appearance of". Pseudo-addiction is defined as an abnormal drug-related behavior making chronic pain patients look like addicts.

Interestingly, this behavior ceases when opioid doses are increased and pain improves (Weissman and Haddox, 1989). *

It further is stated that this drug-related behavior is actually a search for relief – “pseudo-addiction.” It is noted that there is little specific evidence for the concept of pseudo-addiction, which originated from one case report (Weissman and Haddox, 1989).

With the exception of one large-scale report as an abstract (McCarberg and Laskin, 2001) – no studies on pseudo addiction exist. Although the pseudo-addiction concept lacks significant scientific support – it has become widely accepted within the pain-physician community.

So here I was in the audience sitting in front of Haddox as he dazzled his cronie physician attendees and others in the audience with his brilliance. At one point during a question and answer segment, a well spoken physician looked over at Haddox and said "Dave there you go again." It appeared that others on the panel weren't as impressed with "Dave" as Dave was with himself. So drug related behavior is "actually a search for relief -- or pseudo-addiction." And Dave was involved with the one case report on pseudo-addiction. This could be very good news for all the drug rehabilitation facilities all over the country trying to save the lives of their patients who are hopelessly addicted to OxyContin. They are not, in fact, addicted and may be "pseudo addicted." So the conference at Columbia University breaks up and the speakers leave the stage and walk through the audience. I find myself walking up the aisle and Haddox coming toward me. I was in awe. What a brilliant man before me. As we passed each other, Dave somehow lost his footing and ended up crashing into the folding chairs in the audience and was on his knees with the clammer of chairs around him. I couldn't help but think that this is the position that people addicted to OxyContin find themselves when they are going through horrendous withdrawal. But then they were never addicted were they? It was nothing more than pseudo-addiction. There's a book very popular right now called "The Seven People You Meet in Heaven." I hope one day someone writes a book entitled "The People Who Will Be Found in Hell."


Marianne Skolek is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin and Purdue Pharma - "a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company"
You can send Marianne an email at:

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Henry Clay Ruark November 3, 2009 11:53 am (Pacific time)

Book will never make it via any publisher, since if worth its first page, also worth some following million or so names and incidents...from our drug-war experiences alone !!

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