Blenderizing Terms in Chronic Pain

Blenderizing Terms in Chronic Pain

By Steve Ariens

Editor’s Note: Steve is a retired pharmacist who has written for the National Pain Report. Today he looks at some of the terminology that has evolved recently in chronic pain and reaches an interesting conclusion

Steve Ariens

Don’t bother looking up the term “blenderizing”. It is a made up term. Basically have you ever put ingredients into a blender and turned it on frappe and after a short period of time, who believes that there is any hope of identifying any of the individual ingredients that was started out with? Most likely, whatever is now in the blender is a homogeneous “blob”.

Some of the terms – and definition – normally used in the abuse of opiate drugs are:

Epidemic: a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time

Crisis:  a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger

Abusethe improper use of something

Misuseuse (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose

Addiction: physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects

Dependency: Dependence develops when the neurons adapt to the repeated drug exposure and only function normally in the presence of the drug. When the drug is withdrawn, several physiologic reactions occur (withdrawal)

Our previous Surgeon General stated that (all) addiction(s) are part of mental health disease(s) and not a moral failing.

Many want to claim that the overdoses from opiates are part of an epidemic, but if addiction(s) is a mental health disease, mental health IS NOT a contagious disease. So now, some are starting to address this as a CRISIS, but if we are dealing with a CRISIS. Are we dealing with the failure of our healthcare system to recognize and readily treat mental health disease issues? So we are now seeing the interchanging of the terms CRISIS and EPIDEMIC.

The war on drugs has always referenced “drug abuse”, but now it would seem that more literature is attempting to make ABUSE and MISUSE synonymous.  If a patient’s disease issues goes into a “flair” and/or increased activity induce above average pain and over a month’s period of time take a few extra doses to compensate, that MAY be considered MISUSE by some, but some seem to be trying to change the nomenclature so that they could be accused as ABUSING their medication(s) ?

The CDC produced opiate dosing guidelines in early 2016 and created the term MME (Morphine Mg Equivalents) and even the websites that produce MME calculators ignored those same websites that clearly state that these conversion tables are highly inaccurate to calculate accurate MME’s. Here is an article on National Pain Report that elaborates on this When Equal Isn’t Really Equal

In 1917, our judicial system declared that opiate addiction was a CRIME and not a DISEASE. Now that we are in the 21st century and more and more experts – outside of the judicial system – are starting to realize that addiction is a symptom of a mental health disease. Should we start focusing on diagnosing and treatment?

Should we start looking at those we currently label as “drug addicts”, are mental health patients, whose undiagnosed mental issues became FULL BLOWN substance abuse when they were prescribed or experimented with some substance with abuse potential.

Perhaps all those patients suffering from any/all chronic diseases, especially those who suffer from subjective diseases and have a medical necessity for controlled substances. Ban together, and seek to declare the 1917 judicial system’s declaration that addiction is a CRIME is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

There will be no more need for the declaration by many “… we are chronic pain patients … not addicts .”

There will be no more need for bureaucrats proposing to create a “opiate medication tax” to pay for treatment of those with a mental health disease and abusing opiates.

The drug cartels will lose their $100 billion per year illegal drug market, and massive opiate OD’s will be a thing of the past.

Other articles for the National Pain Report by Steve Ariens can be viewed here.

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To the poster on why chronic pain patients aren’t more activist: We are chronic pain patients, by nature, meaning many of us could barely even write or type.. now that the necessary meds to treat our pain is being outlawed, the disability of writing and calling paradoxically goes up, while the needed attention and results go down. We need advocates so badly!


To comment on Cindy Diem post, I totally agree, if each of us would write or email weekly about the new regulations in the works, those which will hurt us, maybe we would start to be heard. I have not heard of one lawmaker or physician speak up for us in the news. Especially, Tom Price, Secretary of Health & Human Services. He’s too busy flying around in private jets costing taxpayers thousands of dollars, all of which were unnecessary.
Write, email, call your congressman/woman frequently, PLEASE!


I don’t really give a damn if the “experts” cite opioid medication not beneficial for long term, lifetime pain, even though documented prescribing has shown otherwise. I don’t care through words, if I am labeled addicted or dependent on medication. The fact is, I have, was exposed to ALL methods of pain reduction from a low back generating HEALTH CONDITION. The insistent pain was indicative of a herniated disc, followed by surgery. I.5 years later, the pain still persisting it was decided I needed a more radical approach to curb…….the pain. A fusion surgery was offered (with no way out) to stop the pain. It included an invasive procedure, surgical metal plated and screws. My medical report stated that the surgeon has a patient (me) HIGGHY motivated to remain working. This surgery was far less than effective, also. Thus began after post op to use every “treatment” short of full time opioid medication to manage the pain. Infusions, steroid injections, physical therapy, water therapy, chiropractic and all but, acupuncture. It was decided that I was NOT a further candidate of surgery. The surgeon that performed the surgeries has become known as a “high volume general surgeon”. Does nothing about this title sound suspicious? The surgeon, no longer to prescribe opioid medication after adequate healing time from the surgery, referred me to a pain management specialist where I spent the next 2 years trying different medications. After about 2 years a dosage and type medication was found, at the current place in time that was NOT considered an over appropriate amount of medication. With that pain management specialist, I was using 50% MORE medication then, than I have been using with the current provider for 6.5 years until the CDC “mis-guided-line”. Like everyone else, January, 2017 it was announced that the medication prescribed for over 15 years or so MUST be reduced to an 80% less dosage according to the CDC “policy”.I had my doubts that I could adjust, but for the sake of others’ overdose, I have given it my best attempt. I have not been employed since the last or February, 2017. I have been given no OTHER resource to manage documented beneficial use of opioid medication from my state medical board, Department of HHS OR the CDC after phone conversations, e-mails, or letters. My state representatives have shown little interest at all. Down your throat “treatment”.”Shrug it off”. This is NOT addressing the real critical situation that 90 mme daily, maximum has come to place me in. I was being self providing with now “laws” broken prior to 90 mme. At present having been reduced an asinine amount of medication, I have had to file for SS Disability where I KNOW I will not be granted a disabled status. I can’t sit, lie down, or stand to alleviate continuous pain. Even IF granted disabled status, this may help my monetary critical situation but, the pain…..will still remain. I choose not to use illicit substances, or drink alcohol so… Read more »

Kathy C

Some of these words were “Blenderized” because they sound more sensational. The real Epidemic is ignorance and gullibility. Like everything else we need to ask who benefits. Most of the more popular Articles on this subject, leave out pain patients and only use the word pain in conjunction with Killer, Pain Killers. By blurring these terms, they can apply whatever spin they want, depending on their Ideology or financial Interests. The Term “Misuse” has been re-interpreted to mean anything from Taking the Medication to get high, to not taking it, because they can’t afford it. When they use the word, it give the implication that it has do do with Addiction.


I just read with shock that CVS will begin controlling the quantity of pain medication and length of time prescribed in February, 2018, regardless of the written prescription!!!!!!!!!
Ya’ll, what is happening here? Are you kidding me? This is a physician/patient right and privilege not the business of the local drug store! Who do they think they are? Boycott NOW!
I am at a loss for words at the moment. I feel as though this is the beginning of taking the entire opioid medications off the market eventually. Why? How can they do this to us? This is my lifeline, the only reason I get out of bed and go to work every morning.
I never believed it would get this serious and we must unite and do something just as shocking!
I plan to mail my CVS card back to them with my letter, please do the same.

Michael H

Shut them all down..
Heroin hass been in high use only for the use of getting high for hendreds of years. In this country it was over the counter medicinne becore it was out lawed.
Over the years the hard working people of this country acquired extremely painful conditions. Nothing was working. They developed pills that contained opioids. Those pills were a god send. However the heroin addicts figured out they can.legally get a very similar high legally. They rook advantage.if the SYSTEM. Even though it was a very small percentage the dea figured they can look good by arrestimg the abusers. They then created a data base and were able to shut down the illegal users and bad doctors. THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH THOUGH A GROUP OF DRS TGOUGH THEY COULD.MAKE HUMDREDSNOF MILLIONS BY SAYING NOBODY NEEDA PAINESICARION AND GROUPES THE ABUSERS WITH TRUE PATIENTS. THAT WAS THE 1ST BIG MISTAKE. THEN THEY SUCKED IN THE CDC BY FALSIFYING NUMBERS AND COMBINING HEROIN USE WITH THE ILLEGAL PILL USE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE PROBLEM. HENCE THE TERM EPIDEMIC. THEY HAVE YET TO ADMIT PAIN PATIENTS ARE NOW BEING SHUNNED BY THOER DRS. BEING FORCESLD TO FIND PAIN RELIEF FROM THE STEEETS AND ALL OF RHE SEATHS ARE FROM HEROIN. FOR ME TO GET A PRESCRIPTION I MUST GET APPT. WAIT AT LEAST 5 DAYS. THEN GO THE PHARMACY. THEY ARE OUT OF STOCK 90% OF THE TIME. I MUST WAIT A WEEK FEOM THERE TO GET IT FILLLED AND IT CANT BE FILLLED UNTIL THE 29th day.
HOW MANY JUNKIES HAVE THAT PATIENCE. TJEY FIMDNTHE JUNK IN 15 MINUTES AND ITS INTHIER VEINS OR UP THOER NOSE IN 5 MINITES. SO WAKE UP MORONS OF THE CDC. CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO WHAT EVER DOSE THE DOCTOR RECCOMENDS WHETHER OT 2 norxosnanday or Ten 80 mg oxyxontins. Od they werw going to os or die they would have. Theyre just looking for pain relief and were getting it.
If a few people sell them theyll eventually get caught or not passna pillcount or urine test. If they use too many. Tjeyl.make a habit of going ro dr way to soon for a refill. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. NOW CVS WANTS DISABLED PEOPLE TO COME TO THEM every 7 days. For a chronic pain patient thats like asking him to paint his house every week. Im surw theyll charge 4x the copay too.
Shamen on all of you. My those that agree with this feel the pain we do and not have the benifot of relief. Oh mostnof you are doctors. Youl just have a griend write you a presription.


B careful what u ask for guys😉

The clinical additionologists standards will blur the lines of Prohibitionist.

I ain’t jokn’ either.

cindy deim

Honestly, I’m not sure why chronic pain folks are as complacent as they are. I write on average 2 letters a week, at least. To everyone. If all of us would do so maybe there would be some movement.

Tracy Evinrude-Coogan

Great Article, Steve!! You always tell it like it is, and pull no punches. So convenient, how the CDC continues to use language that furthers their propaganda, however when something does not support their archaic and flawed way of thinking, it is quietly released with no fanfare….case in point, the admission that their way of measuring deaths caused by pain medications, was flawed from the beginning due to the manner in which they were pulling information from Death Certificates. If only they spent as much time providing the public with factual information, as they do with do using the media to further their “witch hunt,” then maybe those in the Pain Community wouldn’t feel as though they are being attacked from every direction.
Seriously, what was the point in them hiring a firm, to provide them with constructive criticism/feedback, if they refuse to do something with said feedback….they know that Doctors/Insurance companies do not consider their suggestions as just that, suggestions for Primary Care Doctors, they consider it an Edict from a government agency. I have been lucky, I have a PM doctor that while he prescribes responsibly, has been compassionate and realistic when treating his patients. Unfortunately, most are not as lucky as I am.
Sorry for a comment, that somehow turned into a novel….I am just passionate about this subject and the effect it has had on my fellow Pain Warriors. Thanks again for the insightful and honest article. As always, you make me want to take action, rather than just complain about the current atmosphere.


Excellent article, Steve. Thanks for writing it. I wish it would go viral!

I am thinking what you have written about should be relabeled PC SPEAK for this current agenda. And make no mistake. It is a big agenda.

Great article Steve! I agree that we need to do something instead of declaring that we are not addicts & being upset about it. We need to do what you said, “Ban together, and seek to declare the 1917 judicial system’s declaration that addiction is a CRIME is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.” I’ve been writhing to my House Reps, Senators etc & even to Christie himself. I get form letters back that say nothing of my original letter. But I’m not giving up, I’m just going to try a different approach! Thank you! For the ideas and incentive! Have a great weekend!


This is so true!!!! Steve Arians knows what needs to be done. I have been wandering for years how long we are going to keep allowing them to deny us medical treatment before we ban together and go straight on. It has become a thing of the past here to get any treatment for pain including injections etc. The pain specialist have went into other fields so they don’t have to worry about going to prison for treating their patient’s. It won’t be long before the whole country is like that.

Mark Ibsen

The CDC risks the trust we place in it by misusing the term epidemic.


The definition of addiction Steve is ‘COMMITTING CRIMES TO OBTAIN THE DRUG OF ADDICTION’. Well it is in the U.K. I like my Pain Consultant’s terminology which is much more accurate: Chronic Pain Patients are on PALLIATIVE CARE FOR LIFE. I am having some success approaching the End of Life Studies team at Glasgow University to get them to include Chronic pain patients in their work. Using the Palliative Care label
would be so much more productive. Thanks for your post.