Are The Media Starting to Tell the Other Side of the Opioid Story?

Are The Media Starting to Tell the Other Side of the Opioid Story?

By Ed Coghlan

If there has been a constant theme from chronic pain patients about the media coverage on the opioid issue, it has been about the media’s lack of balance.

That’s why this recent story in the Boston Globe about the “other side in America’s war on opioids” caught our attention.

“Opioids absolutely harm some patients. But they absolutely help some patients,” Dr. Daniel P. Alford, told the Globe. He is a Boston University School of Medicine addiction specialist who directs the school’s Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education program.

Alford decried what he called “opioid phobia” and “blanket regulatory changes that treat everybody the same.”

Dr. Jay Joshi

Dr. Jay Joshi

The article also caught the attention of one of the nation’s leading interventional pain physicians, Jay Joshi M.D. with whom we’ve been talking quite a bit lately.

“It would be very helpful and appropriate if the media reporting on the issue actually looked at both sides of this issue like the Globe did,” said Dr. Joshi, who is a double board certified anesthesiologist and pain specialist.

He is the CEO and Medical Director at the National Pain Centers in Illinois and the Chairman of the Clinical Board of Directors at the National Pain Foundation.  He has also spent time at the World Health Organization’s Department of Substance Abuse in Geneva, Switzerland. He thinks the media needs to work harder to understand the complexity of the opiate debate.

“It would require the media to talk to actual pain experts that understand the science, the clinical applications, and the behind-the-scene agendas,” he said.  “Placing equal blame on every opiate molecule and every opiate manufacturer is inaccurate and misguided.  Some opiate molecules have less likability, less dopaminergic response, lower buzz, and lower highs.  Some opiate manufacturers have actually been responsible in their marketing and agendas.  The media need to understand this if they are going to tell the story accurately.”

Dr. Joshi has taken substance abuse very seriously. He noted that people who work in addictionology are not pain experts. For example, he pointed out an addictionologist cannot tell you how to have a proper diet if you are addicted to food, or how to have proper mental health and lower anxiety if you are addicted to nicotine, or how to build a complex model airplane if you are addicted to sniffing glue.

Dr. Joshi will be writing for the National Pain Report in the coming weeks.

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: Ed Coghlan

There are 29 comments for this article
  1. Sandra at 8:30 pm

    Thank you all . This was good to read. We are starting to join together . We will be strong to fight back.
    Sandra

  2. N. Hamilton at 9:18 am

    In response to nemasisx::”untreated pain can definitely lead to death!”
    A decision to end your life is your’s alone.

  3. Dean at 3:45 am

    I have several medical conditions causing chronic 24/7 pain. MS, RA, cervical stenosis, bone spurs, 2 rt. Knee surgeries, 2 left leg surgeries, too many to go on. I know for fact, that untreated pain can definitely lead to death!
    I also belong to a couple support groups. We sadly have lost members, to suicide, because they couldn’t take the unrelenting, intractable pain any longer. I can honestly say I’ve had the thoughts myself. Thankfully, I have a wonderful, compassionate, pain management Dr, also specializing in Spine, Sports rehabilitation.
    I have 2 grown children, single by choice. What do I have to offer anyone, in a relationship? Pain and suffering? Been there, done that.
    Honestly, I’ve had the talk with my children should the time come, that I can no longer take the pain, or am existing and not truly living a life of quality I will make the decision, to go to sleep peacefully and end the suffering. Both my children understand and uphold my decision.
    I can’t thank Dr. Joshi enough, for his article and taking a stance for all of us living in chronic pain.
    Btw, I tried all natural for the first several years, after diagnosis. Only so much it can do. Never did I imagine I would be taking any type of pain meds, opioid, or narcotics.
    The old saying “until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes” says a lot, when it comes to this type of pain!!
    In the beginning it bothered me to be compared to an addict! Now I really don’t care what anyone thinks about me, my pain and use of my pain meds, with the exception of my treating pain management doctor!
    I urge everyone, anytime you come across any petitions, that’s help us fight this battle please sign it/them.
    Good luck to everyone.

  4. Brenndy at 12:47 am

    Chronic intractable pain patient x 20 yrs., which was adequately opioid-controlled by my orthopaedic surgeon. Since his retirement 3 months ago, I have been unable to find an MD or Pain Management Facility that is willing to write Rx @ my current dose. As a result, I educated, then weaned myself off of my opioid. Needless to say, it is not easy and continues to be an ongoing struggle.

  5. A patient with Chronic Pain at 2:24 am

    First off,

    Doug, I am sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the grief you may be struck with. I stopped and said a brief prayer for your family.

    Second, Thank you for having the insight to see both sides of the subject. To be frank, you are one of few (that I have read) that have experienced loss of a loved one (or someone close to you) that is able to process the grief, instead of becoming angry (and that is healthy for everyone – no matter what subject is involved, otherwise we all get bitter).

    Thank you for speaking your mind. I wish that we could have a group of people that could essentially be fair and balanced and try to fight for the good of everyone in society. At the end we are all the same (we are human). We all have our ailments and diseases.

    We all have at one time or another time been discriminated or marginalized because of something in our life. We are at a time now where patients with Chronic Pain are being vilified and treated like we are malingers or are scum. This is in a large part perpetuated, and even possibly created by politics and public policy. The solution, get a large group of people together (even if it is a petition, and make our voices heard, It’s sort of like, if you don’t vote, you cannot complain about anything because you didn’t exercise your right (except for people who cannot vote).

    I personally am experiencing consequences of trying non-opioid treatment of pain, and they have seriously jeopardized my health (anti-inflammatory medication prescribed to me). Now due to that and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments, it has added to the pain and suffering. Unintended consequences.The war on drugs and opiophobia are causing unnecessary pain and suffering to thousands – all in the name of politics.

    *The majority of MD’s are very stringent with prescribing, many times (under-treating pain – which can lead to pseudoaddication (due to under-treated pain the patient needs a higher dose but requests stop when their pain is better controlled (pain relief not misuse) – but it’s too long t explain on here)*.

    Anyway, I am sorry for your loss, in all honesty. I hope that you have the grace to get through it.

    Wishing you a better day.

  6. DParker at 10:56 pm

    Opioid Hysteria & The Media

    The medical use of opioids for severe intractable pain has been ignored by the media. The behavior of the citizens and medical professionals has been a complete rush to judgement similar to the McMartin preschool trial. The way FACTs were ignored and how they hand picked their research, ignoring scientific evidence to the contrary because it didn’t fit their agenda.

  7. Pam at 4:54 pm

    The media is creating mass hysteria every day with their bias reporting. The propaganda bs is sickening! Chronic pain pts deserve to have a quality of life just like the addicts do, but that is not the governments concern. Its amazing how much info is out there, mostly demonizing chronic pain pts and our lifesaving meds. Ive written sooo many times to local media, cnn, fox, msnbc, all the local channels 2,4,7,12..and so many more. NOONE ever replies and if they do I am thanked for writing and then have FALSIFIED CDC stats thrown in my face. I pray the chronic pain community can grab the hearts of some compassionate journalists that will take a chance on us, that will help us get our stories out, help us to inform the country of the genocide occurring thruout the CP community, help us to get those who are healthy on our side, I was on the SAME STABLE DOSE for eight years, after trying multiple alternative therapies,injections, otc and nsaids, discectomies, two failed fusions, years of physical therapy, massage, chiro, accupuncture, water therapy, TENS, heat,ice, back braces, nerves burned, steriods, facet injections, trigger point injections, nerves blocked, si joint injections, MY BODY, NOONE EKSES, MY BODY HAS HAD ENOUGH! When I was put in the doses that worked for me, boy did I have a QUALITY OF LIFE! For the past year, since my meds were cut more than half, my QUALITY OF LIFE HAS BEEN TAKEN AND I AM HOMEBOUND AND BEDRIDDEN BEGGING GOD TO TAKE ME!! IS THAT ANYWAY TO LIVE!?!? WHEN A PERSON HAS YEARS OF RECORDS, MRI’S, SCANS, XRAYS, BLOODWORK, YEARS OF ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES, AND EVERY NON OPIOD MEDICATION, YEARS OF DOCUMENTED DIAGNOSISES THAT ARE DEBILITATING INCURABLE,AND CAUSE SEVERE PAIN THERE SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO DENY US OUR LIFESAVING MEDICATIONS LEAVING US IN AGONY!

  8. John at 4:17 pm

    As a sector those with legitimate chronic pain would like nothing better than legislation to enable those who require medication some protection. That duality to attribute all addiction across the board, negates the responsibility to help those who are addicted in whatever format.

    Emphasis should be placed as to where these unprescribed medication are being supplied, with that supply curtailed. The pace of safe provision in conjunction with enhanced technology to secure distribution.

    The lack of security at the initial stage enables a glut of medication in the supply chain, where the deterrent to pass them on or supply is inadequate. I have responsibility for my medication, the onus to keep it safe from those who it may harm.

  9. Lana Kirby at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing Ed. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The government acts as if we don’t exist and thee are 100 million chronic pain patients in America. They made a big deal out of the fact that 10% abused (of course I’m sure they handpicked), which left 90 Million people that used opioids responsibly. 90 million people is a lot to be thrown to the wolves as junkies and treat us like crap. I can’t believe a good class action attorney hasn’t picked it up yet.

  10. Arenda at 10:35 am

    The government has an agenda with big pharma & big insurance companies all with their hand out for a nice chunk of cash flow for “Addiction & Recovery” centers subsidized by Obamacare. The Surgeon General came right out & said on his interview with Kate Snow on @MSNBC that “we know opioids do not help chronic pain and require higher and higher doses” There is no evidence to back up this ridiculous lie! Ask a Pain Management Specialist or a patient that suffers 24/7 and takes opioids to have a better quality of life. The SG has made everyone that takes opioids an “addict” in order to carry out his agenda for Ins co’s & BigPharma who will all benefit from this lie. BigPharma will push dangerous drugs with horrible side effects like Lyrica and Cymbalta that are 10x more expensive than generic opioids and Insurance companies will benefit from all the addicts that abuse heroin and street drugs. The people that genuinely need pain control and deserve compassion are the casualties in this war on pain patients. I for one am appalled and hope that someone will speak up for the disabled and sick law abiding people in the pain community. The pendulum has swung way too far and this is NOT acceptable!

  11. Jaymie at 9:24 am

    I only have three things to say on this. The people running the forefront for the war against; 1. Opioids are often people who if traced back are connected to some sort of ownership in addiction recovery centers. All of the mayhem started when Obama three a billion dollars at the Addiction Recover center insurance thru obamacare!
    2. These people are playing doctor. A dangerous game while intimidating patients w/legally prescribed pain meds to not take them for fear of being labeled an addict. Many studies show pain can do just as much damage to the body as the disease it’s self. Not taking a med that your doctor prescribes can be very harmful to you as well.
    3. Everyone is screaming Addiction Recovery. Lets start examining the success rates of the extremely expensive recovery centers. I personally know of people that have 4 times out and still aren’t recovered.
    In short this whole thing is motivated by the almighty dollar! The patient plays little or no role at all here except to be the avenue to the $$.

  12. Danny Elliott at 5:47 pm

    Katie Olmstead, you have a wonderful opportunity to speak for all of us. While you are fortunate enough to be able to use low-dose narcotic meds to help you be a functional person, by using this website, you know that there are many others who need high-dose narcotics to simply survive. Please speak out for us! As for your concern about suicides, it is real and it is happening. Short story: I became good friends with a guy who suffered with chronic, severe pain. It was awesome to be able to talk about the pain and all of the things that were affected because of it. While our pain situations were different, he “got” me and I “got” him. After a couple of years of this friendship, he began to mention how the pain was too difficult, even with meds, and he mentioned suicide a few times. I didn’t really give it much thought because I had experienced brief times of considering suicide, but never got to the point where I was serious about it. Then, during our regular monthly lunch, he told me that his daughter got her degree, was now married and she was taken care of,as was his wife (financially). They were pushing him to try a specialist at a world-renowned hospital. He said he was going to satisfy them, but if it turned out to be just like all the other doctors he’d seen, he was “quiting”. His appointment was that Friday. On Saturday night, he called me and told me how much he appreciated our time together and that I needed to be strong. Kind of strange because he wasn’t a very “touchy, feely”-kind of guy. Then, on Monday morning, I got a call that he’d “passed away” on Sunday night. I know, without a doubt, he committed suicide. He couldn’t fight the good fight any more. His family believes he died of natural causes, but I know better. I’ve now suffered for over 25 years, and I’m getting the feeling that I’m losing the fight. I am not thinking of suicide, but I know it’s a choice. Please consider this when you get interviewed.

  13. Krissy at 5:33 pm

    I am thrilled to hear that Dr. Joshi will be a part in our important conversation — indeed an important part! The pain community has been crying for doctors to speak out. The “real facts,” which because of the angled and misrepresented publicity from government’s (mostly CDC) song, being taken in by media in such an impactful way, have not been told loudly enough, nor in enough stories. And when the truth is reported, it is often blanketed by heavy, one-sided beliefs.

    Thank you to the “Globe” and to Dr. Joshi for this great news. I look forward to this very much. And I am so grateful for the work that has been done by Ed and crew at the National Pain Report in giving us news, information, stories about various patients and an unbiased platform with which this audience can come together and communicate.

  14. Loura Shares A Story at 4:41 pm

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if increased suicides are just a “pleasant side effect” for government officials. Think about it: Less folks on disability, Medicare/Medicaid, and other benefits. Like an unofficial euthanasia plan in which they don’t have to be the ones “technically” holding the bag.

  15. Misti M at 2:27 pm

    I appreciate this very much and Thank You !!
    My only concern is that it needs to be Nationally
    until then we will have to cope with Nurses that judge us when we have to call in every single month to get a script,and it is a 28 day script and I can not refill til the 29th day and she tells me I already asked why and I do not remember asking her why I had to run out to refill.. well she has been gone last 2 X’s I called it in and funny new nurse took call and I was able to refill 3 days early …. old nurse said by the way it is the law and every month for a year she has been very rude so bad to the point I considered calling the Hospital/clinic Nurse Super. – I have been afraid because if I get rude I could lose all the ground I have made to get pain management which it is low dose
    The pharmacy asked 1 time why I got pain meds I told them and they have never given me a single issue ,not to say it will not change I do not know but so far so good.

  16. Angel at 1:53 pm

    Unfortunately pain patients now get to feel targeted, concerned about when or if they’ll be able to continue effective medication regiments we all have been slighted by doctors who think we are junkies when they see our prescriptions before they even know what it’s for. All of these things cause stress which is the #1 enemy of healing. The media and federal government are multiplying stress legalizing inequitable treatment for those of us who’ve already lost our regular lives to chronic pain.

  17. Loura Shares A Story at 12:43 pm

    I much appreciated the balanced views in the Boston Globe piece, and am excited to hear from Dr. Joshi. An important distinction to me, is that he is both an anesthesiologist and a pain specialist, while all the “pain specialists” in my area are only certified anesthesiologists.

    I know that means they know how to take away pain, but I question how well they are trained in understanding the life-balance pain patients require to live. We can’t live passed out on couches or doped up in bed.

    I loved the jab at the media, calling them to count for their lack of research or investigative journalism, choosing instead quick, more profitable headlines.

  18. Mia at 12:38 pm

    This entire issue had nothing to do with what the public has been pumelled with and now believe. It was politics and money. If prescription pain meds were the true issue at hand, electronic records put an end to doctor shopping. Sanctioning a doctor that runs a pill mill was next. Done. Over. The end. But this was not the issue. In the past 13 years, the overdose rate for people on narcotics as prescribed by a doctor was 0.2%. Overdoses were narcotic pain medications mixed with other illegal drugs, and or alcohol. Stastics also included those that died in a hospital of a terminal illness, who at the time had prescription narcotics in their system. So how did this happen? Big pharma has very powerful lobbyists in Washington. The meds that we were prescribed are generics that did not generate revenue for pharmacutical companies. This had to change and they had the clout to make it happen. The media (who is never biased..sure) promoted this mis information. The public drank the kool aid. The last person who argued with me on “the evils of prescription drugs” cited being given Vicodin 10 years ago after dental surgury which she did not need and are still in her medicine cabinet. I am often told that doctors hand out pain pills like medicine. I ask for the name of even one of these illusive doctors because I would certainly like to make an appointment with him. Of course no one can actually cite a single doctor anywhere. In my state, heroin overdoses are up 300%, as are suicides and new HIV cases. Other states are significantly higher. I have read letters from widows, widowers and children of those that could no longer live with the pain and commited suicide. The letter from a widow who’s husband that had never abused his much needed prescriptions, a law abiding citizen, who out of desperation went to bad areas of his town in search of illegal drugs. He bought one pill which looked like the prescription he had been on and now refused. It wasnt. It was a Chinese counterfeit drug laced with Fentanyl. He died. I read on pain support forums of some sipping on anti freeze to determine if that would be a viable way out when they can no longer take the pain. Of course pharmacutical companies knew heroin useage would spike. I think it wonderful that suddenly there was a new drug for overdoses, now required on ambulances, etc. In many cases this is life and death. Heroin or death. Truth be told, there have always been addicts and there always will be. These laws, or in most cases are “guidlines”, but extremely threatening to doctors and pharmacists. These guidlines are being enforced as laws. I live close to a major city. There are no more pain management clinics. There are some that offer injections, which are fine to try, but only work gor 20% of patients. Doctors are highly scrutinized, alot of additional paperwork and have worked too hard to get to where they are to lose everything because of the government. Pharmacists do not have to fill prescriptions for narcotics. If they do, they also have alot of paperwork, going back one year on the patient’s prescriptions and can advise the DEA as to what they find to be appropriate. That in itself can result on a doctor’s office being raided by tbe DEA and patient files ceased. The government does not know better than a physician what is appropriate treatment. I have a chronic illness known to be on par with the pain of a stage 4 Cancer patient. I do not receive what is recognized medical protocol treatment. I have been bedridden for three years with no end in sight simply because of the government. I have a compassionate specialist that treats all aspects of my disease, who’s hands are tied by fear of the DEA. What has occured on every level is wrong. The government has no right to dictate to doctors who are good doctors that cannot treat their patients. Most of America is completely unaware of this. It is very, very dangerous to allow this. It is a play straight out of Hitler’s “Mein Kamf” and what Reagan said must never occur when he initiated “the war on drugs” due to the onset of crack and gang violence. It is the first thing to do when destroying a Democracy. We have opened up a Pandora’s box. What next? Patient too old, medication is too expensive? When this starts affecting others (and it will) people will stand up. Right now it only affects those of us who are genuinly in pain, with the bulk being seniors. I am appalled and in shock at what has happened on this country. In utter amazement when Governors sign off on this. When bills are buried between other bills and go through. If I had financial means, I would leave ,the country. Living the remainder of my life in bed, in agony is no life. Dogs are treated better than humans. If a dog was treated in this manner, it would be classified as animal cruelty. I also take great offence at the term “drug seeking behavior” Of course Im seeking drugs. I am on pain. Do Diabetics exhibit “insulin seeking behavior”? Same thing. I refuse to be deceptive or to feel shame for wanting relief for the agonizing pain that has taken over my life. What has happened is barbaric, unethical and much more. We are not addicts. We are in pain. We demand to be treated with dignity and the terrorizing and threatening to doctors and pharmacists to end. NOW.

  19. DIAHN TESSIER at 10:56 am

    This article is one of the first to give me a bit of hope. Look forward to hearing more from this doctor. Each doctor appointment has put me is such a state of panic. The fear of losing my life giving medications and how different my life would be without access to them. I have been through an inpatient pain mgmt., and a panel of 5 doctors decided that I would not be able to function without having to take pain medications. This was ten years ago! I was told, I am never going to get “better”…this is a “degenerative” disease, worsened by injuries back in my youth. Please don’t allow anymore of us to fall victim to suicide just because others abuse, they always will. Many many of us use our medications correctly. This may be the glimmer of hope we so desperately need

  20. Sandra at 10:56 am

    Finally someone can think out of the box. Some of the people who are so one sided I find out did not know what they are talking about. Other countries are making comments about our intelligence not in our favor. One thing is their numbers wrong on the people overdosing on pain medicine. They can not back it up. That’s not right. Behind all of this is dollars just follow the money then you will get to the bottom of this problem.
    We need someone like Dr Joshi to help us. We need to be heard in numbers. Please continue to help us.
    Thank you
    Sandra

  21. Lana Kirby at 10:44 am

    The saddest part of the whole Heroin War, in my opinion, is that the chronic pain patient is being persecuted. Doctors are beginning to discharge all their chronic pain patients so they don’t have to worry about the DEA’s record inspection. Once discharged, patients can’t find a doctor who wants to take them because they would “eat up” too much of the doctor’s already reduced limit of opioids he’s allowed to prescribe. Pharmacies have also been warned by the DEA to cut-back, causing many patients to not be able to get their prescriptions filled. Insurance companies are Medicare are beginning to choose not to pay for certain prescriptions. Sadly, many of the people who have been on strong pain meds for a number of years are being abandoned by their doctors, left to detox and try to deal with the pain on their own. Any wonder so many consider suicide? Because there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Someone has GOT to stand up for them NOW, before America sees more needless suffering and death … but from here on out, it’s on our government’s hands.

  22. Richard Oberg M.D. at 8:33 am

    All I’ve seen in the majority of local and national media are lies, damn lies, and innumerate ‘statistics’ from someone who flunked 101 high school math. It’s nice to see this (thanks Ed) and some others beginning to creep out that aren’t being timid about simply telling the truth.

    The media (whatever that is these days) appear to have no responsibility to say anything factual anymore – as if facts are some kind of fungible thing you can twist any way you want. Instead of being a counterbalance to government overreach, they’re now supporters of gov. propaganda – how nice. Now they’re not any different from China or other repressive regimes and say what they’re supposed to, and usually in some hyper-exaggerated fashion.

    When CNN let their fav medical ‘hack’ media physician, Sanjay Gupta, state that deaths due to opioids were the #1 cause of preventable death in the U.S. he should have lost his job. Gupta is a neurosugeon and he should stick to it – leave everything else to someone who knows what they’re talking about. I don’t suppose that’s the propaganda CNN was trying to impose on everyone though. Really nice how they muzzled the opinion of a real chronic pain patient – we sure don’t want to hear anything from someone like that now, do we?

    It’d be nice to get a new ‘mainstream media’ closer to what we had decades ago but that seems to be gone forever. This is a great opportunity for others though (and some are stepping up because we’ve been talking with them) to make the ‘big boys’ look really bad and perhaps hold government officials accountable at the same time. Now that’d be nice.

  23. Tami at 8:30 am

    Is any pain doctor willing to address the government? Granted, the media is a problem but laws are being passed. We now need new state legislation to protect doctors that care for pain patients. Is Dr. Joshi addressing it in his state?! If not, who is?

  24. ginbug at 8:09 am

    It’s about time!! Dr. Joshi is a breath of fresh air & I look so forward to reading what he writes!
    While I am NOT a Dr. I am a patient advocate w/ a back round in psychology & addiction that also has suffered chronic pain my entire life that started w/ a severe birth injury to both hips by a negligent doc.
    I have dedicated more than 20 yrs. of my life to working w/ patients that suffer pain and/or addiction & continue to do extensive research into all of it. Since the crack down about 5 yrs. ago, I have watched as people like Dr. Kolodny & prop take 2 very serious chronic conditions & pit them against each other! Cpp’s blame addicts & the addict’s family blames CPP’s, their docs. & pain meds.
    While yes, there were very bad docs that ran pill mills & caused GREAT HARM, that needed to be shut down; but many innocent docs & patients also suffered GREAT HARM as all were thrown in together!
    The ones that are REALLY to blame are: Dr. Kolodny, Prop, DEA & anyone else that helped them spread their TOXIC & DANGEROUS agenda driven lies!! It is so vital for EVERYONE to work TOGETHER to do EVERYTHING we can to spread awareness & HONEST education to inform all those that have been misled!
    It also completely shocks me that there are so many docs & others in the medical world; that claim to be experts, but in reality, are pretty clueless when it come to chronic pain & addiction!
    I cannot even count how many docs that I have dealt w/ that do not understand the difference between dependence & addiction! It also shocks me that I know more about opioids & addiction than many docs that are supposed to be specialists in 1 or both!
    Now if we can only get more docs & pharms. like Dr. Joshi, Dr. Ibsen, Dr. Webster, pharm. Steve, etc…to stand up & fight w/ us; we could make REAL & lasting changes that would benefit ALL those suffering from the 2 most stigmatized illnesses; pain & addiction!!!

  25. Prggy Lindsay at 7:59 am

    I have NEVER been the type of person to take or abuse any medications or other substance. I have now @ 58 been struck down by RSD & I have to take pain medicine & anti-seizure meds just to survive. My life would be hopeless without them. I strongly urge that pain meds be loosed to those of us that have to have them simply to survive a daily struggle in daily life!

  26. Katie Olmstead at 6:21 am

    The Boston Globe reporter had also interviewed me for this article. She got my name via this site, actually. While I have an understanding doctor and manage my pain with a low dose of opioids, and the hoops that I have to jump through are annoying but doable, this national fear-mongering is doing no one any good. I was very taken by the notion that suicides would increase. I believe that. Felice is actually doing a series of articles on chronic pain now. She is driving 2 hours this week to interview me about how I manage to live well while managing debilitating pain. I have worked hard to carve out a life of gratitude that accepts the pain and limitations that I live with. If I can help any single person with that sort of radical acceptance, then it makes my own story more worthwhile. I am nervous and excited about this upcoming interview.

  27. mary mell at 5:51 am

    Very hopeful and promising piece! And kudos to the Boston Globe for someone finally doing the right thing and telling the whole story….which can be hard road to take.

  28. HJ at 5:32 am

    It would be a real blessing to see equal coverage. It would be a great relief, actually.

    It’s the television that is the most powerful medium right now. I watch the CBS Evening News and they were doing a whole series on the “Opiod Epidemic.” They were failing to mention the other side of things… EVERY. SINGLE. EPISODE.

    I was going to just turn the TV off. I’d given up on them. Then, other stuff in the world happened and I think they’ve moved on, but my feelings about them have become unfavorable.

  29. Doug at 3:57 am

    This is all we have been asking for. I for one understand that all opioids including prescription pain medications and Heroin can be very addictive, especially if they are used for recreational purposes instead of their intended uses. Just yesterday morning in fact I received a phone call from a very good friend who was contacting me to let me know that her daughter had just passed away from an overdose. Her daughter had been addicted to heroin for years, spending time in and out of jail and rehab which obviously both failed. Yes, there were times when she used prescription drugs in place of heroin but they were never her script. A drug dealers job is to sell illegal drugs and if they don’t have a preticular drug on hand, like heroin, they will provide a substitute like prescription pain killers to keep their customers coming back. It’s a simple case of SUPPLY AND DEMAND. This women who passed didn’t become addicted from a doctors prescription. She how ever started experimenting with different drugs while she was in college. It all started with speed, (Adderall and riddlin) to help her stay up and study. Eventually someone turned her on to meth and coke. After being up on the speed and other stimulants, sometimes for days at a time, to come down she found opiates and Xanex. Then on day she just quit with the stimulants and stuck with the opiates and Xanex which then turned to heroin. First snorting then smoking and finally shooting it up. So like in this case, wouldn’t school and peer pressure be a major contributor to this overdose death?
    The intention of the letters and phone calls made last Tuesday to the senators responsible for the new opioid Tax was to better informed them of this simple truth. It was also an attempt to give the chronic pain community the positive press we know we all deserve. The trouble with our federal government is that there is absolutely no grey area in politics. No happy medium. Either they are totally against an issue or completely for it and that’s why we need a natural press reporting both sides of the story. Negative propaganda like the CNN, Anderson Cooper townhall has only succeeded in supporting one sided thinking. But as long as the chronic pain community, their families and their medical professionals continue to call and write letters every single Tuesday, more positive press will eventually come. Let’s make every Tuesday a CHRONIC PAIN SUPER TUESDAY until the national news media starts reporting truths instead of opiophobic fears.