by Ed Coghlan, Editor, National Pain Report
When National Pain Report columnist and chronic pain sufferer Kerry Smith saw 60 Minutes on Sunday, it riled him a bit.
OK, maybe more than a bit.
The Tennessee artist, who has written with great humor and passion about his own chronic pain journey in recent weeks, thought 60 Minutes had missed the mark in its story on heroin addiction.
60 Minutes did a segment on heroin use in Ohio, which it indicated was growing there, as well as nationally, because heroin is cheaper than opioids.
Smith said, “I contacted 60 Minutes to tell them they missed the story,” he told the National Pain Report this week.
The real story he believes that should be told is about chronic pain.
“The story is not about thousands of addicts who are using heroin, but millions of pain sufferers who use pain medication responsibly and are being denied access to it,” he added.
So he wrote the venerable newsmagazine’s producers an email, and to his surprise, they responded.
A production employee for 60 Minutes indicated to Smith via email that they had received his comments and might use them in the show’s viewer comments on this Sunday’s episode. They did warn that the time for viewer comments is often truncated because of the length of segments and the coverage of NFL football on CBS.
Sure enough, Smith followed up with 60 Minutes on Friday via phone and the producer said they didn’t have time for comments but encouraged him to contact correspondent Bill Whitaker and express his concerns.
Smith did that later on Friday via email.
“There are millions of people affected because of the concern over thousands of addicts. I urged them to cover the bigger story, the story about chronic pain.”
What heartened Smith was that he received a response.
“I think other pain patients should do what I did,” Smith told us on Friday. “Let them know politely, but firmly, that the issue is a big one, and they should cover it.”
We urge you to read Kerry’s story that the National Pain Report published on Tuesday about the 60 Minutes episode. (click here)
Kerry’s column received a tremendous amount of reaction both on our website and on the National Pain Report Facebook page as did the other stories that we ran on the 60 Minutes segment. (click here)
By the way, if you want to contact 60 Minutes directly, you can do it here. (click here)
We’ll give you one tip: Kerry Smith’s advice is very good. If you write them and complain and call them names, they’ll ignore it. Write them and communicate your thoughts reasonably and they’ll be more inclined to react.
Let us know if you hear back (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Finally, Kerry Smith’s art can be seen on this website. Support it if you can.
Follow us on Twitter