Imagine two people walking into the same doctors office looking for a prescription for pain medication. Susan Shinagawa is a forty-four year old Japanese American that lives in SanDiego California. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and has had recurring problemswith the cancer every since. She has been in constant, chronic pain ever since her original diag-nosis and she takes prescription opioid narcotics through an infusion pump every day to lower her level of pain (Rosenfeld 57). Reid Ferris is a successful twenty-three year old entrepreneur.He owns his own house and his own business, but his wealth has led him down a destructive pathof partying. He originally took oxycontin pills as a way to get high, but now he needs them justto function (Biaso).As these two, very different people went to the doctors office, imagine that they got treat-ed the same way when asking for pain medication. Reid, who is actually addicted to the drug,continuously makes it harder for patients like Susan to receive the prescription medication theyneed. This causes Susan to be handled with suspicion as she struggles to prove to her doctor thatshe actually needs the medicine to relieve pain. According to the Institute of Medicine, we arein a “public health crisis” regarding pain and medication (IOM 1).In today’s society, when pain killers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin are brought up, weimmediately jump to irrational conclusions. We think of celebrities spiraling out of control dueto their prescription drug use, or of patients that can no longer function normally because of their drug abuse. In reality, these opioid drugs were created with a specific and careful purpose; to re-lieve chronic pain. The public perception of pain medication and the underlying goal of painmedication seem incongruous. While the public views daily pain medication as an addiction thatcan ruin lives, the main goal of pain medication, taken properly, is to help people function nor-mally in their everyday life.