By Richard A. (Red) Lawhern, Ph.D.
Editor’s Note: The following “call-to-arms” was distributed to 25,000 people in 40+ Facebook groups last Saturday. National Pain Report supports “Red” Lawhern and his efforts and is happy to help spread the word.
Anyone who reads the Facebook groups where this announcement appears, will know that pain patient communities are in deep trouble all across America. We are being made scapegoats for the incompetence of our own government in its abuse and desertion of people like us — all in the name of solving a so-called “opioid epidemic” which we didn’t create. Our doctors are leaving pain management practice. Our legislators are imposing anti-opioid laws which deny us pain relief and plunge many of us into disability. Some of us are dying of suicide or medical collapse as we are denied pain relief.
We’ve seen online petitions come and go. We’ve seen letter writing campaigns come and go. And nothing has gotten the attention of Washington DC or our Statehouses. It’s time to do something different, and the Opioid Policy Correspondents’ List (which I support as corresponding secretary) needs YOUR help and your FAMILY MEMBERS help and your FRIENDS help to do it.
Instead of writing letters, it’s time to “get in their faces” with our State and Federal legislators. We want you or your family members to make a commitment to doing the following — in every US State, and multiple legislative districts within each State:
- Look up the phone numbers and locations of the nearest local offices of your State Senator, State Assembly person, Federal Senators and Congressional Representative.
- Call and schedule an in-person appointment with either the office Chief of Staff or a Healthcare Legislative Assistant (or equivalent) to talk in their offices.
- Drive there and sit down for half an hour to tell the legislator’s staff what we want them and their boss to do.
- We want them to tell their boss that pain patients’ lives are being destroyed by legislation which restricts access to effective pain medications and drives pain doctors out of practice. As their constituents, we demand that they take a stand in stopping this abuse.
- We also want the staff member to tell their boss that they need to schedule hearings for legislation to get the government out of medical practice and to repeal existing laws which restrict doctors from providing pain management to people in agony.
- At Federal level, we want staff to tell their boss that the legislation most needed is direction to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to immediately retract the 2016 Opioid Guidelines for a major re-write by an unbiased expert group including pain patient advocates and pain doctors as members.
The Opioid Policy Correspondents List is a group of 50+ medical professionals, healthcare writers, journalists, blog writers, support group administrators and informed patients. We are lobbying US media to stop the lies and hype which dominate much of the present public conversation on pain and addiction. We will support committed legislative advocates with accurate and unbiased information, briefing papers, telephone interviews and backup for your efforts to confront our legislators.
If you or a family member are willing to commit to actually DOING something rather than just talking about it, then please contact Red Lawhern at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will invite you into a google group where our internal discussions occur, and help you join a national movement to lobby for change with the people who might be able to make it happen.
Please join us in effective advocacy to STOP THE WAR AGAINST PAIN PATIENTS!|
Email Red Lawhern at email@example.com about this opportunity to make a difference
Regards and well wishes,
Richard A. “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D.
Personal Homepage — “Giving Something Back” http://www.lawhern.org
Twitter: @Lawhern1 ‚ Facebook #SpotsOfLight
About the Author: Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D. is a technically trained non-physician with 20 years of experience in peer-to-peer patient support groups for chronic pain patients. His work and commentaries have been published or featured at the US Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, National Pain Report, Pain News Network, The American Council on Science and Health, The Journal of Medicine of the National College of Physicians, the National Institutes for Neurological Disorder and Stroke, Wikipedia, Mad in America, Psychiatric News and other online venues.