60 Minutes Segment on Opioids Draws Ire of Chronic Pain Community

60 Minutes Segment on Opioids Draws Ire of Chronic Pain Community

On Sunday night, CBS 60 Minutes aired a segment that has raised the ire of many chronic pain advocates.

It asked “Did the FDA Ignite the Opioid Epidemic” and asserted a label change in 2001 by the FDA expanded the use of opioids without what 60 Minutes said was “any evidence”.

Cindy Steinberg, Policy Advocate for the U.S. Pain Foundation, tweeted;

“Shame on @60minutes for its 1-sided coverage: https://cbsn.ws/2IvwL7B   that somehow forgot about the 20 million Americans living with hi-impact #chronicpain”

The Director of Research for the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain wrote a scathing letter to 60 Minutes Producer Ira Rosen and Correspondent Bill Whitaker. Richard “Red” Lawhern blasted what he said was “sloppy journalism and thoughtless propaganda”. Lawhern wrote in part:

  • CBS 60 Minutes has accepted and represented as fact, the assertions of Andrew Kolodny as a supposed “expert” on opioids and chronic pain. He is in fact neither. His only board certification is in psychiatry, and his name appears on only 15 research papers (sole author on only three) published by peer-reviewed journals and indexed on PubMed. It may not be going too far to characterize Dr. Kolodny as one of the most hated figures in American medicine. His unsupported assertions are directly responsible for the deaths of multiple pain patients (possibly hundreds) who have descended into disability, social isolation, depression and suicide as a direct consequence of being deserted and denied pain management by doctors now afraid of losing their licenses in a hostile regulatory environment. This is an environment created in large part because of Kolodny’s prominent misrepresentations.
  • You have also asserted as fact the outright silly idea that opioids are ineffective for chronic pain — a notion which Kolodny and his cohorts in “Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing” successfully slipped into the 2016 CDC guidelines for prescription of opioids to adults with chronic pain. The guidelines conflate (deliberately confuse) a relative scarcity of long-term double-blind trials of opioids, for a lack of opioid effectiveness. This scarcity is wholly attributable to the difficulty of retaining patients who are placed on placebos for trials. However a group of Oxford academics have published a fundamental critique of this conclusion, demonstrating that the CDC writers applied a substantively different standard of research adequacy to opioid therapies versus those used with non-opioid drugs and behavioral therapies. This un-acknowledged bias violated the research standards of the CDC itself.
  • It is telling that no less an authority than the American Medical Association is now on public record repudiating almost the entirety of the CDC guidelines. AMA specifically advocates against any and all “one size fits all” limitations on dose levels or duration as determined by healthcare providers who prescribe opioids. Go look up “Resolution 235” of the most recent meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.
  • Opioids have been used for literally centuries precisely because they DO work for both acute and chronic pain. This reality is witnessed by the fact that over 18 million people in the US are treated with opioids every year. HHS/CMS acknowledges that approximately 1.8 million of these people are treated with high-dose opioids, at levels exceeding the 90-morphine milligram equivalent dose level advocated by the CDC as a threshold for safety review between doctorand patient. This threshold has regrettably and entirely inappropriately been “weaponized” in State and Federal regulations and laws restricting the availability of opioid therapy to people in agony. Likewise, recent papers establish that HHS/CMS Opioid Overutilization Criteria for Classifying Opioid Use Disorder or Overdose have very limited predictive accuracy in identifying patients at risk for opioid abuse.
  • It is also apparent in your program segment that you have accepted the equally silly notion that our US opioid crisis was “created” by doctors over-prescribing to pain patients. I say it is silly because this narrative fails unconditionally when CDC data on prescribing versus opioid mortality from all sources (legal, diverted, or illegal drugs) are compared State by State.   There is no observable cause and effect relationship between prescribing rates versus overdose mortality. The contribution of medical opioids gets utterly lost in the noise of illegal fentanyl, heroin and other street dregs. And there never has been such a relationship.
  • Likewise, CDC data establish that the demographics of chronic pain and opioid abuse are almost entirely separate. Seniors are prescribed opioids nearly three times as often as young people, but seniors have the lowest rates of opioid related mortality of any age group — stable for 17 years. Mortality in kids has soared over that period to reach six times the rate in seniors.   The typical initiating substance abuser is a young male with no history of visiting a doctor for pain, while the most common chronic pain patient is a woman in her 40s or older. If her life is stable enough to be able to visit a doctor repeatedly, she will almost never be identified as a substance abuser. There are many other sources in medical literature which contradict the over-prescribing mythology.

If you want to leave your own comments with the program, you can email them at 60m@cbsnews.com.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Louis Ogden

Don, I am so sorry for what you are going through and have empathy as well due to my own painful circumstances. I am 69 years old and have suffered with pain since childhood. For eight and a half years, I was on a high dose of oxycodone and it treated me well. I also have a spine that looks more like the letter “S” than anything else I can compare it to. Like you, I also have muscle spasms that can be absolutely debilitating and also I hide my pain well. I’ve never been one to act like a drama queen and I believe that my stoicism has worked against me. Now, I have lost access to my meds in this climate of fear and the only thing I can get is dilaudid that I must inject. It is better than nothing, and keeps me out of withdrawals, but does not work nearly as well as oxycodone and I have gone from a functional human being with a high quality of life to one that is couch-bound with pain and anxiety. My blood pressure and pulse are very elevated now in response to the pain I feel and I think that my days on this planet are numbered. That saying “no pain, no gain” sickens me. Pain that is bad enough to elevate blood pressure and pulse can cause death by stroke or heart failure.

Don Prue

Finally someone who understands the life altering dilemma of chronic pain is being heard.
Trying to describe chronic pain to someone who doesn’t suffer from it is like trying to describe the sky to a person born blind.
I have congenital scoliosis and have lived in pain for 72 years. I have also had 7 back surgeries, the last leaving me with “failed back surgery syndrome.” My spine is fused from the T9 vertebrae through the sacroiliac (SI) joint. Further, many of the screw anchors have pulled out of the bone or are loose allowing movement. My surgeon and my pain doctor said there is nothing that can be done to rectify it. Additionally, the only pain med I can take is Oxycodone. Others intensify the pain and cause full body excruciating pain.
My pain tolerance is, in the words of my pain doctor, “off the chart.” Consequently my tolerance for pain meds is equally very high. I get such little relief from meds I document when I take them to avoid double dosing.
I do not exhibit pain which only makes [doing things I do] confusing to others who have knowledge of my condition. I’m in a squirrel cage where the pain causes anxiety and anxiety causes muscle spasms which causes pain. Trying to treat pain with scheduled and limited doses does not work! My pain is not on a schedule.
I have never let pain set my limits. Marine Corps boot camp was challenging but I served 4 years in spite of it.
Thanks to people like Ed Coghlan and others [finally] investing the other side of chronic pain, I felt like I was alone in a world of my own.

Louis Ogden

Great post, Angelica. I do not like the anger and rage I feel toward that man but, alas, I wish he could walk around for just one day in my shoes to see what chronic, intractable pain is like.


Andrew Kolodny and his group of misfits have harmed and even killed patients who had been on a stable dose of opioids and were then kicked off. I have been questioned, forced to submit to monthly urine tests, and at times outright inhumanely denied relief from pain although I’m older, have substantiated pain syndromes, and have never had an addiction. This time in the history of America will go down infamously as one of the cruelest. How a nation treats its most vulnerable members says a lot.

It shouldn’t surprise us since America has been sliding into a police state for some time now. Next, just like Nazi Germany they’ll be mandating euthanasia to the “useless eaters.” May God have mercy on Kolodny and his misfits because none of us will.

Carole Proffitt

@Louis Ogden, no I am praying that 60 minutes will interview him!

Louis Ogden

Carole Proffitt, has this interview with Dr. Forest Tennant been confirmed? He was my doc for 8 years until the DEA raided his office and house. A year later and no charges have been filed. He did nothing wrong and neither did I but my pain gets worse on a daily basis and my QOL goes down.

Carole Proffitt

Just emailed 60 minutes with my personal story, plus 15 links, this one included! 🙏 they will interview Dr Forest Tennant and present the other side of the story before it is too late for us CPP’s!

Louis Ogden

STEphen R BAJON, ALL people do NOT become addicted if they take opioids. I was on a high-dose opioid program for eight years and they were the best 8 years of my life.
I was dependent but not addicted. Find the facts b4 you state such nonsense. Now, I am back in pain because of the idiotic, ‘so-called opioid epidemic.’


All opioids will eventually cause addictions in all people born with DISEASE OF ADDICTION. EVERY PSYCHIATRIST/ADDICTION OLOGIST KNOWNS THIS.


You will become addict
You will have hyperalgesia
You will want to commit Suicide

Louis Ogden

S. Dixon, I understand your frustrations and I have the same one’s you do. I’ve never been a vindictive person but I also finding myself wishing my pain on Kolodny. I am 68 years old and have suffered pain as a child and throughout my life. I had eight wonderful years with well-controlled pain while a patient of Dr. Forest Tennent until the stormtroopers of the DEA ruined that. The man knew more about pain than anyone in that out-of-control, rogue government organization. The REALLY sad part is after ruining the man’s life and career, there still have no charges filed against him. Why? He did nothing wrong. Now the DEA and Kolodny are ruining my life (not to mention the lives of 150 other patients) as well. I wish a life of torment for those bastards while they lay on their couches screaming in agony. I’d love to say take an aspirin!!!!!!

S. Dixon

Great article Ed. Unfortunately our families and friends buy off on the propaganda put out by the mainstream media. Many of the “news” programs use incorrect and outdated information to make their point. If there were some way to stop the Kolodny’s of this world, we would certainly love to do so. I never thought I would wish something awful to happen to people, so they could experience a bit of untreated pain, but lately I’ve found myself doing just that.

Donna McLellan

I, and lots of members of my groups have emailed 60 minutes. Their Facebook page is now a “war zone”. And, we will never stop talking about this, and demanding equal time for CPP’s. What is the REAL purpose of this mess? I have been following Kolodny before it was the thing to do, so NOTHING he does surprises me. He is shameless, and we only have to follow the money to see the reasons behind this.


I am so very disappointed in this news outlet! We the people should be able to depend on integrity in journalism. That would include an unbiased view from more than one angle on this subject. I’ve been using opiates for 40 years with no problems, allowing me a quality-of-life that was quite tolerable. In six months at a pain management clinic my medicines were discontinued and now my life is mostly miserable. How does CBS not cover our side of the story? 26,000,000+ people should warrant news. In case you’re reading CBS there are at least that many of us suffering each and every single day. Where is your coverage for us? Give us a reason to believe in our journalists again. Please , look at our side. Report on the horrible toll this Crackdown on our MEDICATION is taking on
Us. We, who use OPIATES as they were intended, as Medicines’s to improve quality-of-life .


To Sandy Sullivan:

First and foremost, how awful of a loss you have suffered in this lifetime….I am so very sorry for the loss of your child. My heart aches for you and what you must be enduring! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Secondly, finally someone who gets the whole story, right back to the two in Florida and Poppy fields left in Afghanistan!

Thank You got writing it out.


I did not see that episode of 60 minutes…I don’t need to. Maybe 60 minutes could report on chronic pain and the needless increase in pain, the suicides, the lies that are told…the toll it takes on the pain community. The loss of human compassion. I’d like to scream….what is wrong with people, what is the goal?

sandy auriene sullivan

It’s a genocide by design. Kolondy reminds me of the disgraced Dr Wakefield. Only a matter of time before he’s found out and has licensed removed. The waiting game is the hardest.

And I say this as a watcher of history; but not conspiracy. Iran-Contra? Put crack on our streets and the government admitted in open court to being complicit. That was 1990’s. Los Angeles county was especially destroyed. Gangs, guns, crack – wars.
Government FED…street drugs. 🙁

The “opiate epidemic” propaganda started around 2011. Even the worst pill mills in Florida were closed early because they busted the 2 brothers who operated under a loophole in S. Florida’s Broward County. The database didn’t change much for patients. What was the US government doing around 2011? Leaving Afghanistan.

Everyone’s seen the videos of our troops in the early part of the 2000s guarding Afghani poppy fields right?! Instead of buying that opium at a reasonable price for the PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES…. the US government stopped OVERSIGHT. What happened next was the flood of heroin onto our streets and it was coming from the ME. It had stamps on it with goofy names and then… they started cutting it with fentanyl and the first *HIGH PROFILE DEATH* was the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman – cut fentanyl.

Fast forward to 2017-2018-2019 and another problem has arised. 80% of people leaving jail who abuse substances; from mental health to straight up addiction [a form of mental health too] are not DYING after release as they have ZERO STREET TOLERANCE.

80% coming out of jail – DEAD. GENOCIDE. And that stat? I *knew* and warned my eldest child age 29yrs; It didn’t SAVE HIS LIFE. It killed him. He was turned away from hospital too!! Only to die in a field – purposely took that dose. He had NO access to resources just ‘dumped’ out of jail after 4 years?! NO ID! He couldn’t even get a photo ID!! WE are FAILING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE!

CPP of 20yrs with injuries, tired of lies!!!


Share this article, scream at 60 minutes for their utter failure to report anything true. We need to speak up. We need to support each other and stand together to fight the lies from the government and media. The government and corporations should NOT be telling me that they know better than my doctor’s about my pain management. I wouldn’t wish my pain on anyone but I’d really love to see these people live with chronic pain or have their grandparents ripped off pain meds to understand how we feel. Dependence and addiction are NOT interchangeable. Addicts take as much as they can when they can. We chronic pain patients need those precious pills to be there for each day and night until our next refill. We can’t take extra when we have a bad day because there may not be enough good days to borrow from. Why are addicts getting drug therapy to get off illegal drugs but those of us who follow the rules are simply cut off? It’d almost be better to turn to illegal drugs just to receive the proper medical treatment to come off! We need to start telling the corporations and politicians that we will not quietly stand by while we are being completely discriminated against because of our disability. Please, speak up in what ever way you can, share the reports and actual facts with friends, family, medical providers, post on social media, write letters to the corporations and your representatives, make YouTube videos about what is happening to you. We are the vulnerable but that doesn’t mean we can’t go down screaming!

Brenda Bennett

I did send email to 60 minutes. To have more stones thrown at us in pain when we’re already in so much pain is awful. If only those wthout pain cld feel what we feel for just one day


I’m living proof they work and 9 surgeries trying to get rid of pain.


The WHO (World Health Organization), the International Board for Narcotics, and many more….all state PAIN RELIEF IS A HUMAN RIGHT.
The UN & G8 Countries created Agenda 21 in Rio in 1994, and NOT in secret. It clearly states DEPOPULATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY.
No one wants to believe the US is reducing the population….but what better way than to brainwash the masses “opioids are EVIL, opioids KILL PEOPLE”.
Addicts die from illegal opioids & polydrug use, & CPP’s die from pain or side effects of untreated pain(suicides).
The DEA is paid per bust on a Dr, (incentive), scaring other Dr’s, and never saying how much is exactly TOO much.
The DEA held a public (on YT) press meeting saying they have nothing to with pharmacies closing….then who closes them? They claim it’s DEA.
Dr. Forrest Tennant, addiction specialist & Intractable Pain Dr, refused to cut back prescriptions (on YT) a month later his office & home was raided…by DEA.
He worked with the DEA, NFL, etc in his career.
Why is the DEA over the most knowledgeable Dr. in the US?
Why is the GOVERNMENT, on State, Federal, to the POTUS cutting back on the production of pills, happening? The DEA has been making cuts since 2010.
There were severe shortages in 2014 where I live.
It’s the GOVERNMENT going against WHO & every other International Agency dealing with narcotics/pain meds.
*prescription rates have plummeted, but OD’s are continuing to rise. But the gov goes ahead on the same path. Dr. Kolodnsky, while slimy & devious, doesn’t control the POTUS, the DEA, or any other Gov agency doing the REAL harm, invading the Dr./patient relationship.
We need to start researching ourselves, instead of blindly following ANYONE. Or be satisfied with lies.


If I had a penny for every misinformed propaganda news article about the “opioid crisis” I’ve seen, I could afford health insurance! Thank you for setting the record straight, we need way more visibility on this issue. It doesn’t help that the disabled community is disproportionately affected, and historically ignored, trampled, and oppressed. I refuse to be ignored, I refuse to endure torture in silence. Because refusing pain relief to patients amounts to torture, no matter how you spin it.
I have an autoimmune disease that destroys my bones, soft tissue, and organs. This is an excruciating process, and one that is going to become increasingly more painful for the rest of my life. There’s no cure. I was forced off of the Hydrocodone that gave me the freedom to continue working for five years with no warning, no taper, and no justification. I never abused my medications, never asked to increase the dose, never took anything with it that I wasn’t supposed to. I was the model patient, all I wanted was to work.
The detox period was unbearable, even though I wasn’t addicted, my brain was dependent on the chemicals, and going through withdrawal without pain relief almost drove me to suicide. The NSAIDs I was given instead of the hydrocodone gave me severe GI side effects, and my stomach still hasn’t recovered. I was forced to leave my job. I have to maintain a liquid diet after NSAIDs destroyed my stomach. I have no social life, no income, and no purpose. When I was on opiate therapy I had a job, I paid taxes, I had friends, and I was fulfilled. I just can’t imagine that anyone can look at my life before and after opiates and say that I’m living my potential now.
Opiates gave me the ability to participate in life. Without them, all I want to do is escape from it. Shame on everyone who thinks I don’t deserve pain relief.


I’ve had surgery for intestinal problems (balloon dillitation for a birds beak and achalasia) and then a back injury. I can no longer get pain medication when I need it because of this stupid ignorant overreaction to the “opioid crisis”. My doctor and health care service does not dare allow me to renew my prescription without a visit each time to the doctor, and how the heck am i going to travel when I’m in horrific pain? This overwhelms the doctor who has better things to do and more needy patients to see, and forces me to travel each time I need pain medication. Ten tablets will last me over a month, but when I get searing pain in my back, Tylenol is my only option if I’m out of pills. I cannot take aspirin or ibuprofen because of stomach issues. There must be thousands like me. Constant pain destroys lives, WAY more than pain killers. Good doctors know when their patients need pain medications. Instead of passing stupid laws, maybe just focusing on doctors who prescribe pain medication inappropriately is the right way to stop pain medication abuse. Listen up all you do-gooders: until you have had severe chronic pain YOU DO NOT KNOW what it is like. You will not know, and your stupid laws are causing much suffering. Get a clue.


I sent my scathing letter

First of all, I’d like to send a heartfelt thank you to Ed Coghlan, Richard Lawhern, Terry Lewis, and many others too numerous to mention who relentlessly continue to fight on our behalf! I also sent 60 minutes a harsh letter telling them they needed to report the truth, that our government had shaded it in lies. I told them them to read the National Pain Report for there they could find the truth! I let them know of the many suicides being committed by pain patients whose only crime is chronic pain and not being able to function (live) as we use to thanks to our government playing doctor with absolutely no qualifications to do so. Hopefully with people writing in it will help, it certainly won’t hurt. It took all of 10 minutes if that. May God continue to bless each and everyone of you and send us the miracles we so desperately need.

To add to what some have already said, every single person in the U.S. will ultimately be surveilled via the PDMP’s (Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs) in their state (many are suggesting a federal database) and assigned a score by a private company named APPRISS.

The DEA and others (most anyone and certainly any hacker) have unfettered access to these databases, which will most definitely include inaccurate personal information and good luck getting that straightened out. Just take a look at your credit report and it’s not government run.

Under the Third Party Doctrine a warrant or probable cause is not needed to access, look at and/or copy YOUR medical records. This is all in violation of the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution however, the ACLU seems to be fighting a losing battle in federal court but we’ve yet the hear from the SCOTUS on this most invasive issue.

This is very much far out of hand. There’s much misinformation both in the media and coming from certain government agencies. Let’s hope the media takes a step back and actually does some credible investigative journalism instead of simply regurgitating what it hears.


I wrote to 60 minutes also. Their dimwitted understanding is irresponsible and unacceptable. I chastised them for giving Andrew Kolodny a forum to spew his lies. They have a history of unenlightened journalism. It was a horrible segment.

I feel that Dr.Kolodny needs to be investigated and find what other motives he has for what he has said and The CDC needs to be investigated of all the ones they listen to to make those types of recommendations?I feel like I am paying now to get worse.To me it is like being tortured! I feel there is insurance companies and others involved in making sure that they don’t have to pay.No real chronic pain people wanted to be hurting.WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE THAT HAS BEEN ON FOR YEARS AND NO PROBLEMS GETTING TO LIVE THE REST OF THEIR LIVES AS WELL AND HAPPY AS THEY CAN??? WHAT OTHER HUMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY HOW MUCH SOMEONE HURTS??


All the false information in the 60 minutes program really does a disservice to not only the public at large, but to Americans who have painful diseases or injuries. Everyday people are dying and NOT because of prescription opioids!!
But because our leaders and news people are sitting back listening to the anti-opioid group PROP, parents have no idea their children are either using or overdosing on the TRUE CRISIS, which is illegal fentanyl being made in China then mixed with other illegal drugs like heroin or into fake pills on the street like narco.
Conversely millions of people who have serious diseases or injuries and desperately need opioids to ease their chronic, ongoing pain cannot get them because of the BIG HOAX blaming prescription drugs!
So kids keep dying because they don’t know the drugs they’re taking could have deadly fentanyl in them and sadly pain patients are dying everyday because of suicides, due to being cut off from lifesaving opioids or many patients are dying from heart attacks or stroke due to untreated pain. With either group it’s because of the lies and ridiculous mischaracterizations of opioids and their benefits.
So instead of reaching out to TRUE experts on opioids, out comes the “second father of lies” Andrew Kolodny!!
This man has caused more suffering and deaths among both groups than anyone in the country!


This is for Misty , I have also said pretty much the same thing about the millions of cpp’s , giving just 1$ each etc…..will buy great lawyers or TV ads etc. Looks like great minds think alike ! If the AKA can do what it does , so can we. Just need to organize . From one person to another in this fight , KEEP ON !


I grew up on 60minutes , watching even as a teen, and then actually learned much , but , this episode? Omg , this old schooler won’t watch again. I thought 60min actually researched their stories , but seems that money bought this one , shame on you. To have kolodny , promoter of suboxone, another opioid , why is he getting paid to do so? Then there’s the rehab centers , doling out bupe and subs , for which his interests lie? Shouldn’t there be transparency? Also why did PROP make the laws in secret? Btw, isn’t the FDA the one that disagreed with this idea in 2013 , and should be the entity to make guidelines ? Shady? Kolodny has a md, but , as a mental issue dr , how is he ‘THE’ voice of opioids , that never treated chronic pain? So many questions . Do you know the answers? Why did the CDC make up stats to fit their agenda and continue to do so . The CDC finally had to admit they ‘overguesstimated’ the numbers of deaths , begging the question , why are they continuing to lie? Plus get away with it? And have the media , such as yourself promote their lies ? Another cpp, who went to law school to be able to stand up for those with disabilities , just passed , from a heart attack , due to among other things , her insurance company refusing to pay for medication , pushed into getting an invasive procedure rather than give her the opioids she needed to function. This is affecting cpp’s on so many levels , which some insinuate will lead to many many more deaths , either by suicide from undertreated pain , or od from using the streets as a pharma , getting fentanyl analogue infused drugs. Why would they go to the streets you ask? Hmm, maybe because drs now too afraid to continue to rx a drug used compliantly for years . Thank you kolodny for the passive genocide occurring today. Let’s hope your staff doesn’t get cancer , or painful disease , as they might find out the healthcare doesn’t allow for your pain to be apeased but given tylenol. Folks are 1 prob away find out


Shame on you 60 minutes for not doing responsible journalism! To say I am disappointed is an understatement! It is very clear what this crisis is, it’s illicit Fentanyl and heroin it has nothing to do with intractable/chronic pain patients! Why won’t you do a segment on what’s happening to us?! My prescription pain medicine that I was responsibly taking for 13 years, was allowing me to be an active part of my family, go to the grocery store or out to dinner. My medicine got drastically cut in January and I am terrified for what my future holds, I am afraid every day! I am now bound to my bed or chair in my living room. I cry from the pain every day, I scream from the pain every day, I wake up screaming in pain and I can barely sleep due to the extreme level of pain I am in! What do you think this is doing to my husband, daughter, parents and my sister that love me so much? I have Osteonecrosis which means bone death, my bones are literally dying inside of my body. I have this rare disease in 12 joints not to mention DDD, SIJD, migraines and the list goes on. I was a strong, positive, happy person despite living in non stop pain because the prescription pain medicine that I was on did take the edge off just enough so that I could be the best version of myself concidering my circumstances. To say there is no evidence that long term prescription pain medicine works is just nutty, we are all proof that it works. Doctors prescribing prescription pain medicine is at an all time low but yet overdoses are at an all time high. That in itself should speak volumes!

Misty Hoffman

I’m with you Alan, where are the lawyers to fight for our rights? This is government sanctioned torture. Apparently politics rules again…. it’s important for politicians to be perceived as fighting addiction and saving addicts’ lives, legitimate pain patients be damned, even if it is to death. I have been mulling over an idea for a while now….it may be hare brained, and I’m sure there are many road blocks to it but…… money is big in this – fact. The Andrew Kolodny’s of the U.S. are happy to have those govt funds for rehabs, etc. for this “epidemic.” We need millions of dollars to attract a bulldog attorney or attorneys. There are tens of millions of us, PLUS our friends and family who are infuriated and sickened by what is happening. I know that most of us are disabled and on a limited income, but if each one of us and family and friends could contribute $5 to $20, that would be a lot of money to hopefully attract the right army to fight this legally….if there is extra money perhaps it can pay for pain patients who are physically able to travel to Washington to protest at the Capitol….just a thought… I’m tired of being in so much pain that it hurts to exist. I’m still fighting because of my family. I don’t want to destroy my you son,but I don’t know how much longer I can hold on. Our rights are being trampled on because of a group if people with an ENTIRELY different health issue…. addiction! If anyone has any non profit organization experience, etc and wants to correspond my email is mademoisellemh@hotmail.com.
I have other ideas… perhaps hare brained, but at this point I don’t have much to lose.

Alice Carroll

I wrote to 60 Minutes immediately after the show saying what Red said. I added “Will 60 Minutes ever have the balls to show the other side of this anti-opioid crusade. This reporting leads to death as Chronic Pain Patients are denied medications that have worked for them for years. Choosing suicide or black market drugs for pain relief.

Why is 60 Minutes continually pushing stories that seek to manipulate public opinion in favor of those suing the FDA and pharmaceutical companies? What do they have to gain? Why do they refuse to listen to patients who have used these drugs successfully for years and put us on their show?

Harry Edgar Lee

But when the young man heard Jesus tell him to give away his money, he was sad. He didn’t want to do this, because he was very rich. So he left. ( In the interview I heard no true remorse for his profiting from manufacturing opiods)

Harry Lee


I totally agree. 60 minutes used to be a good source of tv. journalists. The reporters should know their facts. I am 63 years old and disabled. I have multiple sclerosis and other pain issues a back fusion. Had to re-adjust my busy active life. If some people want drugs to get high it hurts people who need them to try and do. ECT. Sounds like the old saying throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Marilyn Pittman

We are in the beloved United States of America and yet our chronically ill patients are treated like they are in a third world country!! Sorry, but I truly hope that one or more of the ‘powers to be’ get struck down with intractable pain that they will be begging for help! I am so disgusted.

andy o'connor

The opiod epidemic is patients needing releife and patients not being able to get them. There are already incidents of suicide. I am sure people are turning to street drugs which are again possibly deadly.

If they really want to make a dent than make it so addiics can get the help they want and need. Buprenourphene programs are far too expensive for the people that want and need it the most.

I say pretend like this country is about freedom and make opoids available to those that need it and offer help that want to get off opoids.


I have been trying to sound a horn that Government and CDC,DEA,FDA have been using the media to get public backing by stories like this online and TV programs so they can enforce their agenda . It is a giant puzzle
Where does the main ingredient for our pain med come from ? start there. DEA will get away with busting doctors if the public believes the lies.
Not enough chronic pain patients are able to fight for their right for care either.
Judicial Watch needs everyone who is in pain and caregivers to ask them to investigate the fake opioid crisis …. Government is being sued by this group for millions of fake voters in Calif.and many other things I believe if enough of us contact them they will help us I did…
Judicial Watch is lawyers that go after government that over reaches their power…

Dale Long

Face it, 60 Minutes hasn’t been a News organization for quite sometime. They air one-sided drivel as fact. How can anyone who calls themselves a journalist lack any semblance of curiosity as too take what they have been told by one source as fact, taking an opinion as fact, without further investigation.
By this time they must have come across many examples of evidence counter to what was aired. They really WHITTAKERED another story.

Clara J King

I, as many in the chronic pain community have been left to suffer with few choices as to “how” to manage our lifes with no relief to our debilitating pain. All our suffering began when the CDC imposed new guidelines with no consideration or forethought to the devastating consequences it would have on the chronic pain community. As a chronic pain patients we no longer have discussions with our drs as to function vs pain level. Now its a urine test, pill count & a script at a predetermined dose (CDC guidelines dose) with a “I hope this will help, its the best I can do my hands are tied, sorry”. The whole dr/patient relationship has been destroyed. The chronic pain patients can no longer search out drs to find one that we feel is qualified to treat our difficult, painful, conditions. Instead we take what we can get. If our previous dr is still in practice & willing to continue opioid therapy, it comes with our doses being cut drastically. So now, not only do we still live in constant pain & we are now treated like we can no longer be trusted or believed, & that somehow the same meds we’ve taken for yrs are now suddenly cause for great fear that we can only be trusted with very small doses & amounts. Fearful that any day for no reason of their own, just like their painful condition, the small amount they are given, will one day be taken away.

David Drancek

I as well as millions of others suffer with chronic pain. I have been on everything from Tylenol 3 to 100 microgram fentanyl patches. Thankfully I am only taking 10 mg Percocets 4 times a day now and and using medical grade marijuana and am getting by. I am one of those that would most likely end my life without any pain medications. I supplement my Rx with aspirin 3-4 times a day and goodies powder for extreme bouts. Putting all of us sufferers in one box and eliminating our meds will cause us either to end our own lives or turn to street drugs.

Loretta Holscher

I saw the “show”. Please explain why Oxycontin takes away my pudendal neuralgia pain. Maybe I am just imaging it?

Louis Ogden

We humans evolved to have receptors for opioids. In other words, we are meant to use them for excruciating pain or we would not have co-evolved in this manner. To leave people in misery is torture which I thought was against the Constitution.

Mareaeric Campagna

Wow, I didn’t have to see the segment to understand how incorrect and misguided it was. Our country is headed down a scary direction.
My dear friend just suffered this past weekend from having a hip replacement on Wednesday, sent home on Friday, and literally did not sleep for 3 nights because of no pain medication!! A hip replacement!! Now, you have medical staff not prescribing and individuals scared out of their wits and afraid to take much needed pain medication to heal, from the public’s b.s., not taking what they need to heal!
I am also a chronic pain sufferer who must deal with this nonsense. I suffer on a daily basis (for 18 years now) from numerius diagnosis and have had my medications reduced, as well, and even more to come.
My recent Lumbar MRI shows even more issues but will change nothing as far as my medication goes. Needless to say, I am unable to function normally.
In closing, I have one thing to say, the Lord is weeping!!


I was upset and infuriated by this segment on 60 Minutes. I sent my comment immediately after the program ended. I’ve been a long-time viewer (and fan) of 60 Minutes. In general, they have presented responsible and well-researched journalism over many years. However, they lost me completely on this issue. What a one-sided report demonizing opiates and completely ignoring/dismissing long-term pain patients who use these meds responsibly to maintain functionality and quality of life! On this issue 60 Minutes is no better than any supermarket tabloid announcing the birth of an alien child from a planet far, far away.

Accurate and complete media coverage of the “opioid crisis” from ALL sides–including its effects on those who can be described as collateral damage–is seriously needed. It is extremely disappointing that a well-respected source such as 60 Minutes is not providing it. According to their report, an 82 Y/O with several ongoing painful medical conditions is the same as a 20-something who overdosed on drugs he obtained illegally for recreational purposes! His death is sad, but how does that make sense?


Thank you Ed!!!
I just wrote them a blistering reply as well. I really appreciated the 60 Minute email address!
To NOT mention that less than .19 of opiate users go on to become “addicts” was reprehensible and biased reporting. I loved 60 Minutes for decades. Right up until that segment aired.

Ken Brown

My mother might still be alive if Purdue hadn’t lied, if her doctor wasn’t a gullible fool (or just greedy), or the crackdown had happened sooner. I have plenty of sympathy for pain patients, but my mom was a pain patient AND an addict. I recognize there is a distinction, but how do you protect the addict while treating the pain patient? Doctors and pain advocates overlooked that step, and people like my mom paid for it. Purdue duped thousands of doctors into creating millions of addicts, and now they want pain patients to pay for it.

Hold the right people accountable. I am sorry if the truth is making your medicine harder to get, but I see it as denial of the facts to insist the FDA, doctors and bigpharma are not responsible for the current predicament facing addicts. The problem is they’re still not doing the right thing: Treating the addicts. Instead they’re just switching who is getting the raw end of the shaft, because now addicts are better protected (except for the ones having to turn to the street and dying on fentanyl) , but pain patients are left to kick rocks.

There’s got to be a middle ground.

I would like to know just what it would take to get the truth out there that hundreds of people a day are soon if not already being tortured out of exsitence by government decree? The CPP is being exterminated as sure as the Nazi death campaign. Has humanity become so distusting to sit by while fellow man is tortured to death? Why dont CPP LIVES MATER? Make personal. Everyone is going to die and now theres can be horrific too! How about that EVERYONE?


After watching that segment went immediately to the CBS 60 Minutes link and fired of a stinging letter. For every step we think we are making, something like this takes us back three steps. Why this non-descript man, Andrew Kolodny is viewed as an expert is beyond me.

In 2013 when President Obama allocated millions to rehab, Kolodny just happened to open Phoenix House in December of 2013. He saw the yellow brick road was paved with green–as in money. So many patients suffering unrelenting pain have had their lifeline, opioid pain medication reduced or stopped, often with no tapering, placing the patients very life in jeopardy. Far too many of us have had this medication abruptly stopped and we are in or 50’s, 60’s and up.

This so called journalism is what fuels suicides. Pain patients just give up. Unless something changes I hope everyone realizes there will be no opiates next year at this time. Be as active as you can now folks.