60 Minutes – You Need to Report the Other Side of the Story

60 Minutes – You Need to Report the Other Side of the Story

Many National Pain Report readers contacted 60 Minutes to complain about the segment they aired on November 1 regarding the increase in heroin abuse and linking to people who had been using narcotic pain medication. While we can’t republish all that we received, we thought that Kristen Ogden’s letter to 60 Minutes was worthy of your attention:

Your story about heroin use in Ohio is another example of main-stream media hyping what’s been described as the “prescription drug abuse epidemic” while totally missing the larger epidemic taking place in our country.  Do you know that there are 100 million adults suffering from chronic pain in the United States?1   According to an analysis released by NIH in August 2015, 40 million American adults suffer from severe ongoing pain.  Many of these people are undertreated for their pain, if they receive treatment at all.  Chronic intractable pain sufferers are invisible as a group; as individuals they suffer from lack of understanding, stigma, and demeaning treatment.  They are often presumed to be drug addicts or drug seekers with no basis in fact.  Many intractable pain patients have genetic anomalies that impact their ability to metabolize medications; high doses are often required to relieve pain in these individuals.  Some long-term severe pain patients have failed all standard treatments and medications.  Treatment with high-dose opioids, as a last resort, is very successful for some of them and is the only treatment that will relieve their pain.  My husband, age 65, is one of these patients.  After suffering from severe chronic pain for most of his life, he has experienced his best quality of life for the past 5 years since he started on high-dose opioids.

Kristen and Louis Ogden

Kristen and Louis Ogden

Here is the big story you should be reporting:  that millions of American adults are suffering from severe pain, and they cannot get help to relieve their pain.  I am not talking about minimal or moderate pain.  I am talking about pain that patients describe as suicidal – pain so bad it’s all you can think about.  This nation’s war on drugs has had far-reaching unintended consequences on millions of people who are now suffering.  Overzealous efforts by the DEA have created a chilling effect on physicians and pharmacies; it’s hard for patients to find a doctor who will prescribe opioid pain medications even if that’s all that will help a person.

Intractable pain has been defined as:  “A severe, constant pain that is not curable by any known means and which causes a bed or house-bound state and early death if not adequately treated.  It causes adverse biologic effects on the body’s cardiovascular, hormone, and neurologic systems.”  Another definition:  “Pain which is excruciating, constant, incurable and of such severity that it dominates virtually every conscious moment, produces mental and physical debilitation and may produce a desire to commit suicide for the sole purpose of stopping the pain.”

I ask you to stop and really think about what these definitions are saying.  Can you imagine what it would really be like to suffer for years from excruciating headache and body-wide pain that never, ever stops?  This is what my husband’s life was like for many years.  Since his pain has been effectively controlled with his current regimen of high-dose opioid pain medications, the magnitude of the improvement in his quality of life defies description.  Although he still has limitations he must deal with, since he began high-dose opioid pain treatment in 2010, he has been able to participate in numerous activities that were not previously possible such as engaging in social activities and going out for dinner with me.  He has been able to resume an almost-normal life with his pain well-controlled.

In order to obtain this greatly improved quality of life for my husband, we have for the last 5 years traveled every 12 weeks from our home in Virginia to West Covina, California for appointments with Dr. Forest Tennant.  Dr. Tennant has operated his pain clinic since 1975, and is among the most knowledgeable pain physicians in the country.  Unfortunately, the few doctors in Virginia who, in the past, would have known how to treat intractable pain patients appropriately with opioids are no longer practicing.  Now we also face numerous initiatives being undertaken by various HHS agencies to severely restrict opioid daily dosages and duration of treatment – all in the well-intended effort to curb prescription drug overdose.  If the recent draft guidelines proposed by the CDC were implemented as written, they would impose a strongly recommended daily cap of 90 mg (MED or morphine equivalent dose).  That would be less than 5% of my husband’s required dose to receive relief of his pain.

Every time a major media outlet reports on prescription opioid drugs and fails to mention that there are literally millions of law-abiding adults who can only be helped by these drugs and who use them responsibly, a tremendous disservice is done to people who suffer.  Severe chronic pain can be brought on in a moment, and it can happen to anyone.  60 Minutes, you need to get your act together and report the other side of the story.

1 Institute of Medicine 2011 report “Relieving Pain in America:  A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research.”

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Kristen Ogden

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of

For all of those that do not understand what chronic pain is, it can be just as debilitating as cancer. What would the American public say if cancer patients could nit get their medication, or only receive a partial dose. Pluses there are many people that up to a few years ago were fully functioning professionals with children. Now they have lost everything, the kids as well, all due to suffering from a federally recognized disability. How would people act if anyone that suffered from a disability did not receive proper medical treatment. The problem ware those that illegally went and asked for this medication from a doctor without pain. Those are the people that should be gone after. In addition doctors have lobbyists and representation, the patients, those suffering from a diabilitating condition don’t, so they and their families are the ones paying for others crimes.

bwallevik, state laws govern how long medical records are dealt with when a dr retires, moves, dies. Drs medical records and hospital medical records usually aren’t kept for the same time frames. You can find out what your state laws are by putting “state of — medical records” in google. Federal law states that a patients has access to their medical records, except in certain mental health cases, for a small fee.

Taby, you need to try pain mamagement dr, if you’re having a hard time finding another type of dr to prescribe your pain meds. You will need a copy of your medical records from your previous dr to prove that you have a medical condition that is severe enough to require pain meds. A new dr may or may not give you Lortab. Each dr has their own way of doing things. You may have to try other meds first.

Taby, I feel your pain, literally. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this problem. Did your doctor not give you a referral before retiring? That seems, to me, a bit sketchy. I would think it would be their duty to see their patients with chronic or severe illness placed in the hands of another doc with whom they could relay the issues. Did you at least get your records so you can present them to a pain clinic or another doctor? If not, please get them. The doc is required to keep them for a number of years (I think 7, but am not at all sure) even after retirement. I plan to bring a trunk full of medical records with me when I move back to the States. I don’t know about the marijuana thing. You may be on to something. As they lose control over that, they take harder control over opioids? Could be, but marijuana doesn’t help my pain at all. It just makes me super paranoid and hungry so I won’t be going down that road again ever! I am contacting a pain clinic before I move home to set things up. If I find myself short on meds, I will be in big trouble so I need to make sure I have a doctor in place before I make any move. I wish you the best of luck. What state are you in? Maybe someone has a recommendation for you.

Rainette Murphy-Lopez, I’ve no idea what happened in my other post. It was supposed to say “Thank You” for your help. I can’t get the website to work, but I’m trying to get in touch with them.

I can relate to most of these stories. I have never been addicted to anything in my life. I became ill at 25 years old. I suffered for over 10 years, visted five hospitals and have seen approximately 50 + doctors. After 10 years I finally found a doctor a Rheumatologist who gave me Lora tabs 7.5 I was prescribed four per day. It made such a huge difference in my life. I actually had a semi life again. She was my Doctor for four years, then she retired. I have not been able to find another doctor to help me since. I live half a life because of all the restrictions put on the doctors because of drug addicts. ..as well as all the bad doctors that have had pain pill mills in my state. It makes me extremly angry that because of addicts, I have to live in constant daily pain. I have fibromyalgia and myofascial pain disease.

I really do believe the government is keeping the pain pills away from patients because they plan to legalize marijuana, because they know they can tax it and make a lot of money off of it. As well as keep us doped up stoned so we won’t pay attention to all that is going on in this country. I mean for crying out loud, they say marijuana is a gateway drug too! So tell me what is the difference? I call b.s. on the government.

I was a young full of life, physically, mentally and emotionally healthy and was a successful businesswoman on a corporate level. Until, I became a “severe Chronic Pain Patient” following a back surgery. Although, the root-cause of my pain maybe invisible, my symptoms, however are quite visible when I suddenly become short-tempered, anti-social, impatient, easily irritable and barely couldn’t take care of my new born baby boy. The ones who knew me could tell you how nice, gentle, helpful, accommodating and so so generous I was “before” the severe chronic pain started. My personality changed so much I was almost unrecognizable. O and trust me when I say that I have lost “most” of my friends and family because of my pain I became someone I don’t even know myself. To this day, 20 years later, I am still awaiting to go back to who I was “without” pain. Thankfully, for me, I was fortunate enough to meet my wonderful most supportive life-partner to whom I mostly owe how my baby boy was taking care of during his young years when he had to play the role of “mom and dad” for years. I don’t think he signed up for this and to tell you the truth, neither did I! When you read the word “suicidal”, it is exactly that. Although, I would never do this because my son depends on me, I would have, however, if I didn’t have the chance and privilege to meet Dr Roman Jovey, a dedicated most loyal, knowledgeable Canadian pain physician/educator I have ever met. HE, saved my life…latterly, and my entire family happy dynamic. It is because, Dr Jovey took the “risk’ of prescribing high dosage of opioids that all his patients have some kind of “normal’ life or should I say, a “quality” of life. I cannot count how many physicians closed their doors in my face, accusing me to seek drugs! Not only is it humiliating and embarrassing but also it is highly “discriminative”. The minute I started to be well-monitored, safely increased on a weekly basis, have, to this day, yearly “kidneys and liver” blood test to make sure the high dosage of opioids does not damage my internal organs, that I became “me” again. It is only since I started to “not” feel the severe pain, which is, by the way, like “pinching a finger in a door”, you know? The throbbing and aching with a heartbeat, well that’s how I feel from my waste to the toes. However, as soon as we found the appropriate amount of morphine, heroin dosage, I was able instead of remaining home on my disability pension, returning to the work force on not only a full time basis but also studying because I could not do the work I did before. I had to find work that would accommodate, walking, standing and sitting all in one day of work. When I found a suitable position in the “education” field, I became a certified… Read more »

Mike keaton, I said that I doubted that there were as many millions of chronic pain patients not receiving treatment and/or their pain meds as some say because they are not seen or heard in numbers. If you have millions and millions, you should at least have a few million that are vocal and visible. Several hundreds or Several thousands do not millions make.

If all these millions and millions of patients can’t get out of bed becasue of their pain then they have to have people helping them do activities of daily living. Where are the ones that are helping these millions and millions of pain patients ? Why aren’t they speaking out for the pain patients that can’t get out of bed because of their pain ? I know that there are chronic pain patients that aren’t receiving adequate care and having problems getting their meds. I’m just saying that the millions and millions seem to be an inflated number.

You also have to look at the chronic pain patients that aren’t receiving treatment because they don’t want to sign a pain contract or have a drug screen. They are choosing to not receive pain management. If their dr want to reduce their pain meds and they refuse and can’t find another dr and end up without pain meds, that is their choice. There is a difference in choosing to not receive pain management and not being able to find it.

To BL:
THIS WILL BE SHORT AND SWEET. YOU ARE AN UNIFORMED MORON, YOU HAVE KNOW IDEA WHAT PEOPLE LIKE ME GO THRU. I GO TO A PAIN CLINIC EVERY MONTH. THE PEOPLE I SEE,MEET AND SPEAK WITH HAVE NO CHOICE. CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE THAT ARE JUST GUESSING AND JUDGING PEOPLE ARE FOOLS. WHEN YOU SAID ” YOU DOUBT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE NEED THIS MEDICATION YOU ARE CO.PLETELY WRONG! JUST LOOK AT THE VETS THAT WERE INJURED IN WARS FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ. THEN THE ELDERLY THAT FELL AND BROKE A HIP ETC ETC. NONE OF OF WANTED TO BE ON OPIOIDS. WE TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE 1ST. NOW WHATS REALLY SUCKS IS THAT SNAKEOIL SALESLEKPLE ARE VOMING OUT OUT THE WOODWORK TO EXPLOIT US AND OUR LACK OF HELP FROM THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY, MEDIA, INSURANCE COMPANIES AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES.
DONT BE CLOSED MINDED. I AM WRITING THIS WITH THE FEELING OF A REBARB GOING THRU.MY NECK. I FEEL THIS WAY EVERY MORNING WHEN I WaKE UP.
not until i take my 1st pill of yhe day can i even try to get out of bed or even lift my head. so please we have enough people judging us we dont need anymore. we need advocates

bwallevik, state and federal laws govern many aspects of medical care that protect us and keep us safe. I agree that the regulations have crossed a line somewhat. Laws are needed, especially when it comes to opioid prescriptions. Without them our drs offices would be full of those that abuse the meds and don’t want them for the same reasons chronic pain patients do.

BL, The fact of the matter is that state & federal law should not decide how my pain is treated. A licensed medical professional who specializes in pain should have the say in my pain management. They should have that say without fear of legal reprisals. From the top of my head to the bottom of my foot on the left side of my body feels like it is covered in liquid fire. Just try to really imagine that. Constant burning as if flames were licking at your skin. I used to writhe in pain. I used to take enough opiates to knock out an elephant, yet they only took the edge off for me. I learned over time to use meditation and breathing to help deal with my horror mentally. Still, I can not get through a day without more opioid pain relief than is considered acceptable in the US. I have no family or friends here in Asia. I want to come home so much, but I am terrified. I know that suicide becomes an attractive idea when I have to go without my medication. I have tried every alternative there is and after 7 years, I have found what works for me. No politician should be able to destroy my life by denying me the only thing that works. Chronic pain may not entitle a person to opiates, but if it is the only thing that works, it darn well should! As far as people being more vocal, I really don’t have an answer. Personally, I will scream from the rooftops if it comes to that.I think the stigma of being a drug addict may bother some people, I’m not sure.

Rainette Murphy-Lopez

Lorikate, I am so sorry you have had to go through that. I have not been in your shoes, but I fear that if I come home, I may well end up in them.

bwallevik, unfortunately there aren’t enough of us being vocal and visable. For those that are receiving pain management and can’t do it physically, what about their families, friends, neighbors ? Sayng that chronic pain patients are in too much pain to let their voices be heard is not getting them anywhere. There are other conditions that affect people and their lives as bad as and in many cases worse than chronic pain does and they managed to be visible and vocal along with their families, friends and neighbors.

Personally, I don’t believe that there are the million and millions of chronic pain patients without pain management that truly need it. They have to adjust their life style and accept that they aren’t going to have a pain free life and I believe that the majority have done this. They also have to use non medication forms of pain management along with pain meds to manage their pain and I believe the majority of them have done this. They also have to educate themselves on the federal and state laws that govern their pain management and the meds that they take and I believe that most havedone this. They also have realized that their pain management is up to them. Being in chronic pain doesn’t entitle you to a prescription for opiates.

I have been a chronic pain sufferer for many years now, I have lupus and fibromyalgia. Anxiety and PTSD. Also migraines, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other things. My migraines, hypertension and diabetes get treated instantly, either at the doctor’s office or the ER. But because of my “youth” (I’m 37), my chronic pain and my mental health gets ignored. and I’m usually told that if I treat my basic physical problems…then the rest will go away. Or that if I lose weight then I won’t be in so much pain. My mental health gets almost completely ignored, I’m lucky to get a vistrol in the ER having a panic attack. Any problem that requires opiates to solve gets waved away and I’m looked at and have been labelled a “drug seeker”. My doctor won’t even.entertain a thought of prescribing opiates, xanax or muscle relaxers. Anything that can be sold on the street is never prescribed. I gave up trying to legitimately fix my health issues. Do you know what that resulted in?

Me becoming a heroin addict.

Not because I WAS prescribed opiates…..but because I WASN’T. And although I’m no longer addicted, I still try to find pain relief in that way from time to time with a lot of success. I know my limits and am careful.

But if just one doctor, just ONE, would have taken the initiative to actually DO thier job and prescribe me ANYTHING to alleviate the pain….then that never would have happened to me. I could have been educated on opiates and how they work. I could have been monitored. I would never have been addicted to a horrible drug that hooks you with the slightest continuing use.

That’s your JOB, Doctor. YOUR job. And you all failed me. Fortunately, I was able to get clean on my own…..which, by the way, is so close to impossible to do….I called doctors and clinics and rehab centers….and no one would help me. Told me I had to get clean first, THEN they would help me manage my addiction.

So, in a nutshell… the government forced me to become an addict because they’re trying so hard to keep highly addictive drugs off the street so people like me don’t become addicts.

Good job, good ol’ US of A. Good job.

Wow. That has opened my eyes to something about my mom. When I was 6yrs old she was in a bad car accident that should have left her paralyzed from the waist down. Her back surgeries helped her walk again but unable to have a job. She had to be on high doses for her pain as well and had been on several pain medications thru out the yrs til she passed away in 2011. Several times she had overdosed symptoms, most were as she was also drunk some times so couldnt take her other medications properly either as she was also badly bipolar. I had to keep track a lot of times of which medications she was skipping and which ones she was taking too much of, sometimes on purpose to kill herself. She was mostly bed ridden. Her bipolar plus being an alcoholic and her bad back pains (scar tissue dont go away), all together made her suicidal. If she wasnt bipolar or alcoholic and had to deal with the bad pains, I still think her depression would have made her suicidal from the pains she had daily. It was said she developed RA. Which I found out this yr is genetic. Now, I have bad sacroilliac joint disorder and only able to take Tylenol. I also have an issue in lower back but only if I lift something above my weight limit or do to much bending over and such as next day I will be stuck in bed for hrs. Over the yrs my pains are getting more often and worse. I will be 28 come spring. Could I also have her RA passed to me? I am not suicidal tho. I do think it is a good idea tho to keep tract of strong pain prescriptions as my moms doctor and her therapist had prescribed the same pain medicine at the same dosage and to be taken at the same time. I caught it and that was causing overdosing. So I made sure my moms doctor and her therapist kept in contact and I’d be more in contact too.

Rainette Murphy-Lopez

I’m with you on your pain strugle. I’ve had RSD/CRPS for 15 years.

There is a qualified doctor in Virginia. Dr. Austin Churchill at. http://www.killpain.com. 703-894-2224. She is very knowledgeable about RSD and various chronic pain. She works Tuesm Wed. and Thurs. There are other associates in the office if you require the other week days. Good luck and God Bless

Thanks to the War on Pain Patients, my PCP of 17 years tampered with my urine tests in order to discharge me from the practice on October 1. I am, once again, without a prescriber. If the local clinic doesn’t help me on December 2 (soonest I can get in), I am going to die. The last time they LOWERED my dose, the pain caused my BP and pulse to spike and then STOP.

My body can’t handle the excess adrenaline and cortisol

Thank you Kristen for all you do for Intractable Pain patients and their families. You and Louis are such an inspiration! This is so wonderfully written. Thank you Dr. Tennant for the tireless care you provide for these patients with rare pain conditions!! This is an excellent letter and I hope 60 minutes will consider doing a piece on the real epidemic..untreated and undertreated pain and the many bias’ these patients face day to day because of the attention on addiction. Why are they being lumped into the same category as addicts? This is insulting. We can turn this around. It’s not too late. We need doctors who can treat Intractable Pain in every state and legislation that considers humane and compassionate care for these rare Intractable Pain patients who need non-standard care…keep speaking out families!

Fred, you are correct. I have lived for 9 years in Europe, 3 years in Australia and so far for 6 years in Singapore. I think that the area where Americans overuse opioid drugs, in my opinion, is not for the chronic pain sufferers, but for the small things. I had my wisdom teeth out in Copenhagen. I was handed 2 Tylenol and sent on my way. Being an American, I was stunned. Where was my vial of Percocet? My Vicodin? The dentist stood firm and said I shouldn’t need anything more. She was right. I didn’t really even need the Tylenol. In Australia and Singapore, I had root canals done. Again, I was only given acetaminophen or ibuprofen. I was amazed but got through it without needing heavy meds. As Americans, a lot of us are conditioned to think that the smallest procedure requires heavy painkillers. I truly think that this is the area where great reductions can be made in the over prescribing of opioid pain relief. I had my stroke, which led to central pain syndrome, while living in Australia. When other drugs did not work, I was given heavy opioids to help with the excruciating pain. I was not given a hard time about it. Once I moved to Singapore, they were hesitant but gave me the drugs due to my having a complete medical file with me to show my previous treatment. Here, they keep opiates in a vault and I had to sign a government document saying I would not give them to anyone else. That said, I can even have it delivered to my door without having to take a paper prescription into a pharmacy for every refill.On the other side of it, they also promote meditation, exercise, acupuncture and other methods of helping a person to cope right along side of opioid pain relief. So, other countries may promote more coping techniques, but they do use opiates for chronic pain. They just don’t use them for every little thing like dental work or back tension. Serious back injuries require opiates, but muscle strains do not. Many Americans have come to believe that if something hurts even a little, it requires opiates. That is an area we seriously need to improve, in my opinion. I am glad that you have found some benefit from all the alternative methods that you are using. BL, There are a LOT of us trying to get the powers that be to listen to the plight of people in excruciating and unrelenting pain. Not many want to listen. As LouisVA said, the media doesn’t want to focus on boring pain when they can focus on the more colorful stories of overdoses and doctors abusing their priveledges. Sadly, good doctors are now afraid to do their jobs for fear of reprisals. Politicians don’t get re-elected by supporting pain patients. They get better publicity by appearing outraged by an epidemic of drug abuse. It is truly devastating to the people… Read more »

Severe, everyday pain can drive you crazy…I know because I have had severe, everyday pain for almost 7 years. AND THERE ARE PEOPLE AS BAD AND WORSE THAT MUST TAKE OPIOIDS EVERYDAY…AND THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR AS LONG AS NEEDED.
But something doesn’t add up. The U.S. makes up less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes 80% of prescribed opioids. How then can 95% of the world manage on 20% of prescription opioids?? One must presume that the percentage of people in pain is similar all around the world…perhaps even more in more impoverished countries.
I am one of those people with severe pain tat puts in about two hours a day on alternative pain management techniques…proper exercise for my conditions; yoga; mindfulness meditation and guided imagery; faithful stretching; stopped smoking; modified my diet. Took 3 months; EVERYDAY to see any positive results. There were times I thought I was nuts and many times I was in more pain after dong some of the exercises…all these alternative techniques were VERY HARD to do, everyday, for months. But people MUST give these techniques oodles of time to work…and I think that is the key.
But after 3 months the results started to come through…almost 7 years later and I now only need opioids every other day or two days.
My guess is there are different explanations for how people in other countries are managing their pain without opioids. But I bet one of them is the use of alternative pain strategies.

BL said: “If chronic pain patients and their family members were as dedicated to raising awareness about chronic pain as this mother is in raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and overdoses, these shows would also be having segments about how chronic pain patients are being affected by those that abuse these drugs.”

You may be right, BL; however, my gut tells me it’s about ratings. It is simply more sexy to speak of an “overdose epidemic” than to give someone’s pain story. Either way, patients and caregivers need to speak up LOUDLY!

Thanks Kristen for your advocacy. Yes we hope CBS will report on the rest of the story. The war on opioids is misplaced, and it appears CDC is focused on the wrong “epidemic.” Prescribing opioids is not profitable, and this treatment comes with a significant administrative burden and “overhead” according to input from a local physician.

CDC reports approximately 16,000 “overdoses” and we are finding evidence that many intentional suicides are tallied up as “overdoses.” Families who lose their loved ones to suicide may not be willing to report as this would null and void any insurance benefits.

It appears there is an “error of omission” in the CDC 2013 statistics. The agency conveniently left off Preventable Medical Harm in their list, which is now the 3rd Leading Cause of Death — and kills as many as 440,000 people each year according to a July 2014 Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging:

“Preventable medical errors IN HOSPITALS are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States.” The Chairman of this Senate hearing stated: “Medical harm is a major cause of suffering, disability, and death – as well as a huge financial cost to our nation.”

Number of Deaths each Year in the United States (2013 CDC Statistics):

Heart disease: 611,105
Cancer: 584,881
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 149,205
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 130,557
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,978
Alzheimer’s disease: 84,767
Diabetes: 75,578
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 47,112
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 41,149

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

Thank you!

That is the best letter I’ve read! I am a person who suffers from central pain syndrome after a stroke. One-half of my body is in constant excruciating pain. I currently live overseas but have to move back to the States soon. I am from Virginia and this letter has me frightened. Without my opiate medications, I am not able to function at all. Dear God, I hope I can find a doctor willing to help me! I don’t want to have to fly to California every couple of months! Who can afford that sort of thing? These restrictions are ridiculous. Those of us out here with legitimate pain issues are paying a heavy price for the misdeeds of others. We should not all be lumped together as junkies seeking drugs to get high. I just want to be able to play with my sons without crying from the pain. I want to be able to be an active mother, not a person bound to her bed because she can’t find any relief. I don’t want to start thinking that death might be preferable to another day of writhing in pain. I’ve been there and I do not want to go back!

Wow! This is an excellent piece of writing! It is concise and succinct to the central portrayal of the backlash chronic pain sufferers endure on a daily basis due to the media hype surrounding Heroin addiction and its declarative, yet biased, statement on its connection to opioid prescription overdoses and dangers in generals of the use of pain medication. Thank you so much for writing this beautiful piece of writing and standing up to give voice to the often voiceless: chronic intractable pain sufferers. Thank you so much!

Beautifully written.
I have nothing to add.
Passion can be hard to find. You written passionately about a very intense subject: the Human Rights Violations
Occurring right under our noses.
Thank you KO.
You hopefully have scored a KO.

There was a segment on The Doctor’s today (Friday November 13, 2015) Regarding Prescription Drug Abuse. The parents of a young man that died was also on there, This was in connection to Dr. Lisa Tseng was recently found guilty of second degree murder in the deaths of three patients. Dr. Tseng was also convicted on 21 counts of over-prescribing drugs, including highly addictive pain killers, and could be sentenced to life in prison.

If chronic pain patients and their family members were as dedicated to raising awareness about chronic pain as this mother is in raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and overdoses, these shows would also be having segments about how chronic pain patients are being affected by those that abuse these drugs.

Drs. Exclusive: Doctor Found Guilty of Murder by Over-Prescribing Medications-
http://www.thedoctorstv.com/videos/drs-exclusive-doctor-found-guilty-of-murder-by-over-prescribing-medications

They also need to bring to light, how pain management doctor contribute to the growing chronic pain population, due to their mistakes in procedures performed. Also, FDA needs to be held accountable for not fining doctors usage of epidural shots, that have not been approved by the FDA. Have you all forgot the victims of the Fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012? 60+ died & 700+ permanently injured. This was due to greed, the doctors made money off illegally bulk processed medications and not filling out individual prescriptions for each patient (required by law) or filling out scripts for Mickey Mouse. They happily injected mold into the spinal fluid of patients. $20 for medication & $2,00 for the procedure there is a cash cow for you. Everyone, who handled that product knew what they were doing was wrong. From the salesmen down to the end user. Everyone, handling this case made money off the pain and misery of others, leaving pennies for the survivors. Stop stigmatizing people, who live pain filled, miserable lives, 24/7. Imagine not being able to function and complete day to day tasks due to severe pain. In the mean time the gov’t hides hoping not to be caught for not following through with regulations. Of course, they are more than happy to fine these companies, take the money, and nothing happens. Companies know thats how it works and expects to get a fine. It’s cheeper to pay the fine and write a letter on how they improved their procedures (which they never really do) knowing in the long run it’s cheeper to pay the fines. Where was OSHA in all of this? Healthy people don’t truly understand this pain because they have not felt what it’s like to suffer in so much pain. Where is the compassion from the medical community, SSDI, & people in general? There is none but, they are the first to throw bogus statistics out pointing fingers at chronic pain sufferers. So, let’s get real and dig down to the nitty gritty truth of the facts. Yes, I am angry that once again the media is biased and fails to report on the entire truth. Thank you for your letter and I hope 60 minutes rethinks their reporting on this subject.

Excellent article my wife, lover, best friend, and caregiver extraordinaire ! Did I make any points?

This letter is very well written and I hope it gets sent to 60 minutes. I thought of taking all the letters written by pain patients and deleting their names and personal information and send them. I remember when my pain first started I would lie in bed and hit my head against the headboard just trying to get something other place on my body to hurt so I would not feel the terrible nerve pain in my legs. I know that sounds crazy but when you are experiencing unrelenting pain day after day you start to go crazy. Thank you for this beautiful letter. It is sad that you have to travel so far to get treated. No other illness or disease would this be tolerated. Shame on the DEA and the CDC!