For my illustration class, each assignment consisted of 4-6 articles or short stories we could choose from, and then create an illustration for.
For this assignment I chose an article about the challenges doctors face in prescribing pain medication. We didn't have access to the full article, only the summary from the publisher to work with, but it described the different ways each patient reacts to the medication, the varying doses for varying types of pain, the ways people mask or hide pain, and the diminishing returns of opioids in general etc.
The piece seemed to be targeting doctors and people in the medical field, but I wanted to shift the focus to patients. To portray the challenges faced by people who experience chronic pain, the hoops you sometimes have to jump through in order to be prescribed pain medication, the diminishing returns, and the ever present fear of addiction and over-dependence. Not to mention problems of dealing with your pain, if those problems do arise, and how to get help.
Relating this struggle to the image of Sisyphus was appropriate, as each day, pain is in an ever present problem that must be faced with temperance, lest control is lost and the sufferer is overwhelmed by their own medication. The risks associated with that loss of control can and has ruined lives.
We must be doing better for both pain sufferers and all the new addicts that these drugs have created.