CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain May See Updates in 2021

CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain May See Updates in 2021

People with pain can’t wait two years. That was one of the resounding sentiments shared by individuals living with chronic pain during a public meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (BSC, NCIPC). December 4 marked day one of two where members of the BSC, one of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) federal advisory committees, presented updates and data relating to health issues, including overdose prevention and opioid prescribing.

The hot button agenda item, which most attendees commented on during the meeting’s public comment period, was the “Background for Updating the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids,” presented by Dr. Debbie Dowel, Director of the Overdose Response Coordinating Unit. Dr. Dowel’s presentation gave an overview of the guidelines since its inception in 2016, noting that the guidelines met their goal in the area of opioid prescribing. When asked why updating the guidelines was now being proposed, Dr. Dowel stated that science is always changing and that there had been instances of misinterpretations of the CDC guidelines.

Another agenda item heavily commented on by the public was the “Charge and Request for Establishment of Opioid Workgroup,” presented by Dr. Robin Curtis, Medical Officer for the Division of Overdose Prevention. Dr. Curtis listed what types of healthcare and medical professionals would serve on the workgroup. Members would be responsible for making proposed revisions to the existing CDC guidelines. In the next two years, the workgroup would publicly release the revisions, accept public comments, and finalize changes based off of the Opioid Workgroup’s findings, recommendations, and input from the public by 2021.

Each person who weighed in during the public comment period was given two minutes. The theme of the comments was desperation. One participant pleaded that federal government agencies not wait to make changes that will help pain patients, saying that many with chronic pain won’t be able to wait. Several comments related to suicide. Forced tapering was also brought up. One woman provided her personal experience with being abruptly cut off from medications. A clinician, who retired early to care for his wife with chronic pain, discussed how she also was forced tapered. Another individual gave testimony while fighting through tears, admitting he was crying from the stories and pleas that had been shared by others.

Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Pain Foundation, I explained the significant impact the existing guidelines have had on individuals living with chronic pain. I also welcomed the opportunity for the U.S. Pain Foundation to serve on the Opioid Workgroup, as Dr. Curtis indicated nominees could be suggested at the meeting. Our statement at the meeting, written by Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, and myself is below:

Shaina Smith

My name is Shaina Smith and I’m a director for the U.S. Pain Foundation who also lives with chronic pain.

We’ve received countless stories from individuals negatively impacted by the existing CDC guidelines. The guidelines should be updated for the over 50 million Americans living with chronic pain.

Since its release, the guidelines have crippled an already vulnerable and stigmatized population due to misinterpretation by policymakers and clinicians. The misapplication of the guidelines can be punitive, a disservice to patients, and has led to irreparable damage such as forced tapering, prescribing limits, negative health outcomes, the firing of patients and even suicide.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received accounts of serious harm in patients whose medications have been discontinued or the dose rapidly decreased; its April 9 safety announcement warned prescribers that no standard opioid tapering schedule exists that’s suitable for all patients.

The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report notes in section 2.2 titled Medication that there should not be specific dosage limits, such as 90 morphine milligram equivalents, or MMEs, per day, especially since therapeutic needs vary from individual to individual.

In a Fox News series titled Treating America’s Pain: Unintended Victims of the Opioid Crackdown, Part 1 – The Suicides reporters spoke with doctors who said they knew of patients who took their lives after losing access to opioid treatment. With the CDC aware that those with chronic pain have died by suicide, as confirmed by Dr. Debbie Dowel, a lead author of the CDC guidelines, it is evident that change needs to happen sooner rather than later.

The updating process of the guidelines should be transparent, allowing ample time for the public to digest and comment on proposed changes. Pain management doctors, chronic pain patients, and nonprofit pain patient advocacy organizations must serve on the Opioid Working Group, as well as the Guidelines revisions committee. Language that clarifies individuals with chronic pain who have been medically stable on long-term doses of their opioid medication must not be forced off them but be permitted to remain on them if the patient wishes must be included in the updated revision. Thank you for the opportunity to speak to the planned updating of the CDC guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

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Authored by: Shaina Smith

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It is a highly addictive drug because it affects and rewires the functioning of brain in a way that it is no more able to work normally without the drug. When the drug reaches to brain via bloodstream, it stimulates the production of dopamine and endorphins which are the two neurotransmitters associated with the feelings of happiness,


Not only shouldn’t people continue to be forced to taper their pain medication but the vast majority of patients who have already been forcibly taken off their medications or had them drastically reduced need to have their lives restored! Since being forced to taper to 90MME down by over 40% I have become bedridden and developed 1 new autoimmune disease and 1 new painful central sensitization. I am sure that this was my bodies response to the inadequate treatment of pain resulting in severe pain, especially the development of another central sensitization condition. So it’s highly unlikely that the same dose before this cruel implementation of Lebensunwertes Leben will now be as effective. I want restorative justice and not just platitudes about no longer needing to worry about the continued forced tapers foisted upon us by the CDC’s inappropriate alliance with zealots!

S. Holland

I cant wait another month! My doctor of 3 years was shut down by the DEA for prescribing too many pain pills His patients were not warned. Meds we have been on for years were cut off right then! No tapering down or off! When we went to try to find a new doctor, no one will take us as a patient and IF they do, no meds at alll! I have been looking for a doctor for 11 months who will just prescribe me a pain med period and can not find one. I have had 5 back surgeries. I have been to 9 different doctors and no one will see me after the first visit cause i am too complicated and have had everything already done! Although when they look at me and see I am almost folden completely in half hunched over and can not stand up straight and look my CT Scan and see i am in severe pain, they say there is nothing they can do. They are not able to prescribe pain meds anymore except Tramadol! Really, I took a drug test once a month at every appointment for 6 years and complied with everything I was suppose to do, but the government shut my doctor down for trying to give us a quality life, so now I am bed ridden and in soo much pain I can not take it much longer and won’t!! Thiey are hurting the people that actually need the meds instead of the idiots that are just looking for a high and OD!!!

William Sanford

Please read Violation of a Nation by Lauren DeLuca, who spoke out for us at the UN in NewYork City. Informed consent laws make a no-consent population-based experiment HIGHLY ILLEGAL.
Can we find a judge who will rule fairly? First person who figures out how we can loophole SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
gets the Nobel Peace Prize.
…and No one died at Sandy Hook.

Gail Honadle



New insurance will kick in Jan 1. It’s a delivery only now and they won’t cover and opoids pain meds except one.
Oxy er. I couldn’t get pharmacy too fill it. So I just found a pain med that is helping my nerve pain. And it won’t be covered. New insurance is optumrx. They sent letter out in old drugs I dont take saying no coverage.
I’m in chrome pain due too a drunk driver almost killing me. 3 and yrs ago. I have hardware in neck and ribs. Nerve damage from car wreck and doc who did neck surgery.
I have a feeling this new insurance is going too be a nightmare for me. Oxy er worked but my body is dependent on this one drug. And withdrawal is horrid. I don’t want too go through that ever again.
I think the new insurance is a planned for the so called epidemic. I’ll take my life first before suffering.

Ann Sable

Just read my 2 comments on the article of migraine/asprin…pain is no friend of mine and I’m am untreated entirely. As for your guidelines, you know where to stick those.


I don’t know if this is the right forum to bring up another issue. First my insurance company told us we were only allowed to use the one and only pharmacy that they’ve selected. Now they sent us a letter telling us they would no longer be covering certain opiates that I take. So now I have to pick some other non-opiate to control my pain, and I’ve been taking oxycodone for the past ten years. I am going to try morphine and of course I will be going through horrible withdrawels. I just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and if there’s anything we can do?

Kate Johnson

Every time these guidelines are mentioned or quoted they say that they are supposed to be with the patient’s consent. When were we ever given a choice?
The longer it takes to change these guidelines, the more patients we will lose. That is a simple fact. I’m happy to see that something is being done and that the problems are being addressed, but changes need to happen sooner than later. Two years is too long to wait!

Kelley Eubanks

I am in chronic pain. I WAS pain controlled before the cap was put in force. Now I can’t do anything I was able to do and it’s heartbreaking and they shouldn’t clump everyone into the same category. I am very compliant, so why am I being punished for something I haven’t done? I guarantee if any of these idiots who put a cap on what we can and cannot have could step into any of our bodies for just 10 minutes they would be in a fetal position on the floor crying for their mamas. And I guarantee any of their family members who are in pain are getting exactly what they need but we are not. They put their nose in where it didn’t belong and doctors are trained in this area of pain management, they are specialists and you are taking that away from them also. They know who is drug seeking and who isn’t, they know who is compliant and who is not. So to everybody like me who is in chronic pain I am so sorry and you are all in my prayers. And to the federal government and the CDC you people need to open your eyes a little bit more and don’t clump everyone into the same category because like I said not everyone is a drug attic and drug seeking. Some of us have legitimate problems otherwise we would not be getting what we need, but then you stepped in and took that away from us. Would you do that to your mother or father? Or your daughter or son? No you would not. So please give us our lives back. Because there are too many people committing suicide because they cannot handle the pain any longer when before you decided to put a cap on our medication they were living a good life. And you took that away and that is on you. So all of those suicides are on you. I hope you can look at yourself in the mirror every day and see all of those people who took their own lives because you decided to put a cap on our medications because of course you know how much pain we are in. Thank you and have a blessed day. Kelley Eubanks


You’ve got to be kidding!!! There had been instances of misinterpretations of the CDC guidelines? Give me a frickin break!!! Nobody misunderstood anything, just ask the DEA who sent threatening letters to pain management doctors and took away medical licenses. And now they’re talking about revising the guidelines in 2021?!!! This has to be a joke. If the people writing these guidelines had chronic pain 24/7 they’d surely have made sure the guidelines were fair to chronic pain patients. This isn’t hope! This is a big fat nothing burger. Way to go government jerks!!!


It’s way past time for our pain Dr.s to say enough is enough! Stand up for us! Do something! Hippocratic Oath “FIRST DO NO HARM” HELLO???????

Rosalind Rivera

I absolutely cannot hold on for 2 years. My body and mind have for some time now been looking for a way to end my constant unbearable pain due to a lowering of my pain medications by my pain management doctor!

Fred Brown

It seems as though the various government agencies that are involved with individuals, who live a life of chronic pain in a way think of it as a 9 – 5 job. Please, I am not putting down people who work during these hours, I am only using it as a reference that chronic pain patients hurt 24-hours a day. To add a further comment to what Shaina Smith said, to a pain patient looking at the year 2021 is a lifetime away.

Recently, I wrote a piece, and as stated, I do not think nor walk around wanting bad things to happen to others- It will be listed in a second post.


Ok been on PAIN MANAGEMENT since 1998. Last December the tapering began I know it had something to do with a Pharmacist I needed to use a different R**e A*d. My family doctor had me under control mostly but it helped. Since being reduced down ( new doc told me 40 mg was max CDC guidelines). He put me on physical therapy trouble with that in pass 3 failed back surgeries Domestic Abuse I told him pain was out of control and so was BLD pressure PT caused extremely intense pain pain goes up blood pressure goes up dangerous high 2 PT appointment pressure went up to 250/100 . NO I have never had High blood pressure . After my family doctor tried different pills taking them only if it went over 180 blood pressure bottom out to 60/40 tried sm dosage daily. 59/45 I was hitting the floor….. finally Pain doctor increased to max of 50 mg then said this is only temporary pain severe blood pressure dangerous …. He said he sure my doctor will figure something…. Like what I am between a rock and a hard place
Have Crohn’s the meds caused cirrohosis of my liver have complex seizures but having trouble with seizure meds old neuro put me on too much meds and caused Gran mal seizure so she wants me on no seizure meds right now
Here is my question pain doctor knows pain needs to be under control for blood pressure to be normal yet he’ll do nothing If I stroke out can my family go after him. Everytime I see him he asked me things that I told him 10 times do they read the chart. I feel like I am there so he can get of. I thank God I am to much of a chicken to commit suicide because we’ll I hope I stay a chicken Hang in guys😇😇

Stephen Abbey

Why another two years anyway?. It’s already been since 2016. And after all the comments from everyone including patients it is way,way past time to give the patients what they need, and what they need is what should never have been taken away, from long term patients with no signs of abuse or reports of overdose. I was taking 60mg. daily before the crack down. I was doing very well with pain management. I have tried alternatives with no relief just worse pain. Now is when something should change; since “yesterday” is to late!. I am way behind in my personal work that causes pain flare ups. With my 60mg back in my regimen I can get things done!!.


Until they stop automatically sending report to the DEA whenever any doctors prescribe opioids above the 90MME mark, nothing will change. I don’t blame doctors for not wanting to risk their licenses – they need to provide for their family too. I was stable on the same opioid dose for 19 years and my doctor was flagged for prescribing to me and investigated. The DEA reported back that i used my meds as prescribed. Yet, they still investigated after every script, wondering why i hadn’t tried things like acupuncture (i go weekly) or other meds (been on many). The CDC did this, but so did the DEA. Until doctors are no longer at risk, and pharmacists stop thinking they know better, chronic pain patients will still be killing themselves at record rates. Or turning to the very drugs causing the problem in the first place – from the streets. I went from 8/day and a patch for 19 years to 4/day and no patch. I couldn’t work, when I’m the main earner for my family, and couldn’t parent. Luckily i found something else that does work, but even then, it’s about $500/mo to get. This is killing me. I can’t wait two years – my family can’t either.

Angela OBrien

I suffer from intrac spinal pain…been dealing with spinal issues 38 yrs now…after a head on crash with a commercial truck…no seat belt…i was 17…i NEVER took opioids and used chiropractors as my source of care….for 30 yrs!!!…after another accidents…i endured 5 continuous spinal surgeries…including total neck…n…lumbar replaced…ive developed intrac spinal pain…2016 drs in oregon rediagnosed me…without even looking at my history..mri s…other drs diagnoses…etc…just to taper me off…i was quickly tapered off with NO follow up care..etc…i was dying…severely dehydrated..prolonged diarea…my insides bleeding out..BP 196/87…chest pains….my husband drove me to az…where my last spine surg. n Drs were….they hospitalized me….for severe dehydration..chest pains..etc…I CAME VERY CLOSE TO DYING!!!..things NEED to change…ASAP!!!….or more INNOCENT ppl will die!!!

Gail Honadle


Heroin use jumps 33% among NYC teens: Health Department

Air and Marine Operations Interdicts $81.5 Million in Cocaine



Ann Sable

I can no longer repeat myself nor can I, any longer, function in all aspects. I WILL NOT explain what is wrong with me, what I go through and how it affects everyone around me…as well. I’m sure that the majority of us are already there at this point. The point -it doesn’t matter to THEM at all. I will not allow them to sit down to their Sunday sips of tea reading our pleas, plight and sufferings all of sorts…without one shred of tear from them, but a smirk and to feel finalized in where they are headed with it all. This a continual, vicious and manipulative circle that they have put us all on.

The bottom line is just this…
We Are… (TORT) …period.

To all of my fellow ‘TORTURED’ CPPS/IPPS, much LOVE, SINCERITY & RESPECT…,

Ann Sable

Thomas Wayne Kidd

These sick evil [edit] continue to kill us who suffer from daily chronic pain. Our Federal government and State governments are either insane or beginning population control. It’s a pity people will not rise up and take back our country. But sadly this insanity is touching even those who are suffering. The suicides from illegal street drugs and deaths from those who have been taken off their opioid medications will continue. I must encourage all to stay home on election day because we have no one who gives a damn on either side. I have resigned myself to endure and die while still praying that God would intervene. It is most plain that compassion and empathy are gone. Money and power drives the darkness behind this wickedness. Lord Jesus Come Soon.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

The evil continues.


Thank you Judith in comments! When you get denied pain meds in Hospice Pallataive care this country has went to he*l!!! THANK YOU BRUCE MITCHEM!!!! I would turn to illegal marijuana so sick & done fighting to get pain meds back with stage 4 cancer cut cold turkey! Now it’s not strong enough *not dispensary grade thx to prohibition, if it was it would make a difference. So if I go obtain heroin vs suffering in this terminal cancer pain and blood work showing I’ve had a heart attack, kidney function is low, glucose up, seizures, liver enzymes up – so I’m just another addict right, a heroin addict, a junkie who ruined it for those needing pills?? Truth is I’m a victim of the CDC/DEA negligence and will be just another addict judged by the pain community “think about that” judged by society, the media!! I see it as dying with dignity as it’s numbing pain vs suffering of cancers last days wrath! So really think about judging those dying and addicted – you don’t know their story!


In my small corner of the world, I have a father in-law who is a veteran and has chronic pain. The VA cut off his pain meds so he is now either cranky and fighting mad at everything or he’s so high on pot he can barely walk. Then there’s the family friend who was forced tapered by his new pain management Dr after years of consistent and stable opioid use. He has completely withdrawn from society and rarely leaves his house. And then there’s my close friend who was taken off pain meds cold turkey by her Dr. After about 6 months of “attempted” suicide and several forced inpatient mental health stays, she managed to play the system long enough to stock up on enough sedatives, antidepressants, anxiety meds and tranquilizers to get the job done. It took her over 6 hours to die. 6 hours of stomach pain, seizures, delirium, and agony before achieving her final rest. And then there’s me… I was force tapered not by my doctor or any other health care provider but instead by my pharmacy’s parent company because they felt all patients should be below 60 mme. Note that the CDC guidelines recommend 90. Then my insurance stopped covering some procedures and infusions that helped me survive the dark days when I feel trapped by pain. And why did insurance stop paying? 1. The Cadillac clause in the UNaffordable health care act, the self funded insurance provided by the company my husband works for was too good so the government threatened fines unless services were cut. 2. Telling lies about things being “investigational” despite years of scientific evidence to the contrary. This country is going to hell in a hand basket at mach speed. Americans would never allow a one child rule like China so to clean up our overpopulation, the government, corporations and insurance companies pressure doctors and patients until the undesirables have killed themselves off.

Bruce Mitchem


… ADL, will not have the emotional strength to face chronic pain and the havoc it will bring to their lives and there will be an increase in willful suicides from internal overdoses or other means.

With all the studies I have read and believe me I have read about every, investigative and research article written since the CDC and even non-medical state legislators decided the best solution for the abuse of illegal, street versions of legitimate chronic pain prescription medications and the concurrent high rate of overdoses deaths in the population using these drugs, was to take away the legally prescribed pharmaceutical pain relieving medications that were acquired by chronic pain sufferers through their licensed physicians at regulated pharmacies.

How smart is that? To use the excuse to crack down on all physicians and take away their ability to prescribe medications based upon clinical evidence because a miniscule number of physicians abused their status and behaved illegally is beyond ridiculous; it’s evidence of the incompetence of the CDC and other government and medical agencies to find appropriate solutions.

It is also ludicrous to blame the loss of control in resources. How long does it take to scan a database and see anomalies, some so far out of the norms, that it would not trigger an onsite investigation?

I believe you will see deaths from suicide and overdoses to increase because of your arbitrary prescribing guidelines. You don’t cut off people who receive medications from legitimate sources and force them into dubious or illegal settings and out of desperation, buy the very drugs that authorities (CDC) know are the cause of the out-of-control overdoses and deaths.

It is a preposterous solution. Read the research into the cause of the overdoses and deaths and it clearly shows you are punishing the wrong people.

Bruce Mitchem

This is an email I recently sent to the CDC after reading portions of the extensive but poorly drawn conclusions of their guidelines for opioid use. The research totally misrepresented the cause of most overdoses and deaths, attributing them to legitimately prescribed opioid medications when most recent investigative research has attributed the majority of accidental overdoses and deaths to street or illegal versions of prescription pain medications.

I have just scanned your guidelines for addressing the opioid crisis and look forward to reading every single line since your policies are wrecking my life and by the time you spent out your “misconceptions” I will be dead, either from a miserable existence my remains years, or, because unless you rocket scientist, I have read that must overdoses and deaths are the result of using illegal, “street” versions of prescription pain medications.

By denying pain medications from legitimate sources, what do you think is going to happen to all those people who have followed their physicians’ instructions for years and now have had their medications arbitrarily reduced to ineffectual levels and are suffering? Do you think this strategy will reduce overdoses and suicides? Really?

NO! You are moronic if you think so. For those people you have arbitrarily capped their quantity of medication and, as result, have caused many who were well maintained become chronic pain sufferers again, as well as those like me who have never been effectively treated to relieve my pain, we will resort to (if we have the connections which most of us don’t since we have never broken the law or sought illegal drugs!)) finding those “street” versions of prescription pain medications and will likely die from accidental overdoses because of the widely varying strengths of them. Or, some of these chronic pain patients who had been receiving the right medications in the right quantity and strength, who were living “normal” lives, able to do all the ADL.

The whole situation is out of hand. We have seen prescription type drug overdoses already come way, way down, while Fentanyl has seen a huge rise. This may be because ME’s are now looking for the drugs that really kill, Fentanyl and Heroin, instead of taking the easy way out and putting in their report what ever medication was found in the deceased medicine cabinet. I have been in chronic pain since 2009 after a botched hernia mesh repair. I am now disabled but can’t get a doctor to take care of me in Oregon where I currently live. I have to drive for 18 hours round trip back to California to see my original doctor that treated me during and after the hernia surgery to get pain medication, but even then he will only give me 75% of what I used to get, so I am in more pain more days of the month making those days unproductive and very depressing. I just don’t understand why doctors have let the DEA and CDC control their patient care and also why I got treated like a drug seeker or addict/criminal when I moved form California to Oregon after 10 years of being on the same medication, never having flunked a drug test or abused my prescription? It’s ridiculous that I can’t get a medication that works for me personally, with no apparent side effects and no misuse after having been taking that medication for 10 years. I have tried every other known remedy for pain, from pain specialist to hypto therapist and chiropractic care with nothing working for the deep nerve damage I have form the mesh repair.

Please don’t destroy what life I have left. You have no understanding of what it’s like to fear your pain coming on, or if just waking up from a fitful sleep and feeling worse that when you finally fell asleep. Pain is stressful, it takes over your mind, it affects everything you do and prevents you from doing those things you used to love to do, those things that used to make you feel better but now cause crippling pain. I didn’t ask for this, don’t make my life worse.

Cindy too

As a long term opioid patient, I thank you, but, what about newer CPP’s who need access to opioids and who are being denied from the outset?

Can they expect any help?


Why O why must we suffer so and finally our so called doctor fires us. Has anyone been Stoned 24/7?. Just dumb? Is there something else?


Pat’s on the back all around.

In the meantime I wont be alive in 2 years. I dont know if I can live with this level of suffering for another 2 months. My neighbor came banging on my door because I was screaming in pain. They thought I was being attacked by someone. Little did they know it was the govt in conjunction with my fearful dr who was doing the attacking.

Good luck folks.

Ted W Cole

Hopefully with all these interactions, they Will come out. Just like the present climate in the White House, this information will come out, and there will be egg everywhere. Possibly by then the legal council will realize the cash cow that was used on us will be realized against the agencies that have caused this extreme human crisis and then they will have to pay!
Hang in there and never give up. Keeping writing as it will eventually come out.

Judith Heinemann

Thank you! My husband is chair bound in unbearable pain. He can’t stand up nor lay down to rest. I have him in Palliative Care but Palliative Care no longer provides pain relief. I’ve taken him to Pain Clinics but they won’t help him either. Our only other option right now is to turn off his heart device and put him on Hospice, ultimately cutting his life short. But the pain is killing him so if this is the only way to get help then it will have to be.
No, people suffering so terribly cannot wait two years for help.
“ First do no harm” is out the window along with compassion.

Brenda Bierens

While I appreciate that the CDC is acknowledging this problem, I’m afraid 2 years will be too late for many with chronic pain. I’ve been an intractable pain patient for over 15 years, until these guidelines came out I was comfortable and very functional. I am the mother of a disabled adult child that I have guardianship of so laying in bed all day isn’t an option. However, over the last few years I have been force tapered off my opioids for no reason other than these guidelines. I followed my doctors orders to a T, I never failed a drug test, I’ve never over used my medication or illegal drugs, I am on an opioid contract that I follow carefully. I’ve never overdosed or needed medical attention for accidentally over using. The only reason I have been tapered is because of the CDC guidelines. At the same time my Medicare (yes I am on social security disability due to my disease) has also decided they will no longer pay for injections as often to reduce inflammation, nerve pain and joint/spine discomfort. So I was force tapered and now I can’t get the injections which in combination kept me walking freely and caring for my son. This has put great stress on me and my family, my blood pressure is up, I’m now dealing with depression due to an increase in severe pain, and I have to use a walker or cart outside of my home. I am 46 and my life has been turned upside down because of this! I have been discriminated against by a dentist, pharmacist, and medical staff, treated like a criminal for something I can’t control… I was born with a rare genetic condition that is affecting my joints, spine, heart, and connective tissue yet I am being treated as if I have done something wrong. I’m begging the CDC to revisit these guidelines and give intractable pain patients their life back and allow doctors to treat them as they deem fit. While I understand there is a drug problem in our country, targeting the disabled will not fix this problem and will only cause new problems. Thanks


All hogwash and the majority of people not patients because doctors are not doctors they have killed their people at the government insistence instead of putting a union in place. Half or more have been forced to pain relief by forced death by heneious means. It is a holocaust. No one who is sicker 90 mme must die. Same with mental illmess like anxiety. Bastards that will face GOD for murder.


Until the medical boards stop disciplining doctors for helping those with chronic pain, nothing will change……

Did the United States wait 2 years to form a committee after we were attacked on 9/11? Did the United States wait 2 years to issue a report after Pearl Harbor was attacked? There is no good reason that these guidelines should take more than 30 days to update other than political reasons. Could CDC be using delay tactics to wait on a new President who will fully support CDC’s addiction specialist anti-opioid biased guideline committee’s guidelines 2.0 ? Seems that CDC is more focus on politics than on what is best for the US public and especially what is best for pain patients. CDC created this epic disaster and have proven themselves incompetent in helping clinicians develop sane prescribing practices. FDA alone has the authority to regulate medicine and FDA alone should be taking the Pain Management Task Force’s Report, the AMA Resolution 235, and comments recorded in public record to CDC and to FDA meetings held this past year, then develop guidelines for clinicians that are done right next time.

CDC blames the misinterpretations of its 2016 guidelines on 33 state governments, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the majority of the US Senate and US Congress, most state medical licensing boards, most private health insurance providers, and the vast majority of practicing physicians, why should they be allowed to waste 2 more years cleaning up the mess they alone created? If they botched the job up so badly that the first time, why should we have any faith that they will get it right next time? Just take a look at the 3 CDC reports that got leaked to the public recently.

After 100 pages of propaganda and mythology, when you cut to the chase in the 2019 opioid report, CDC admits that the 2016 guidelines were based on ZERO long term studies and the leaked update in 2019 was based on ONE long term study. Who wants to trust these “scientists” with guidelines that will impact 25 million chronic pain patients?


Thank you

Shaina, Cindy and USPF, thank you for all of your ongoing efforts to fight on behalf of us all! God bless you and Merry Christmas.
Let’s pray for major, positive changes in 2020!


What they are doing with patients are unbelievable I have RSD fibromyalgia neuropathy myopathy and they’re lowering my patch bad news it only last 24 hours whereas I was on the hundred and it lasted almost the 36 hours then they put me on Zoloft because I was coming off of a benzoid and it caused a bad reaction to where my pain level went to a hundred plus burning in my arms that was so bad that I could not sleep eat and I’ve lost weight the the pharmacist said do not take no more my doctor said no more because it was affecting my heart and I could have had a heart attack I don’t know what they’re doing to us but this is wrong they should be the patients that are in scruciating pain because of a medical condition alone it’s in my records from the Air Force dating back to 1979 I have MRIs CAT scans and all the other records that they need to show what pain I’m going through they need to evaluate every patient if they do not have sufficient x-rays CAT scans and MRIS and all the other things that’s needed to prove that the patient is really in pain when they gave me that Zoloft my arms were on fire so bad I could not sleep and the muscles were hurting so bad because of the medication then they lowered my pain patch from 100 to 75 does not work as well only works for 24 hours while I just don’t they leave me alone and give me the quality of life that I so do deserve at this rate with no good quality of life my life will be shortened and I don’t want it to be that way because I love my life my family and I enjoy every minute that God has given me yoy are they doing this they need to educate these doctors more so and to leave those that are in such pain leave them where they’re at and not decrease their medicine whatsoever if you all agree please email me at she Gomez 2015 at I would like to know what I can tell my pain doctor and what you need to also contact my pain doctor and let them know exactly what’s going on with each and every pain person Sheila G Gomez


The struggle i am losing .Tomarrow ill ask the communists to increase the dose as they know it would benefit me and my family and my grandchildren need me more now than ever which i can barley walk without the medicine 🙁 It makes no sense other than a commercial intent to control and raise the price of medicine which once was so cheap but now my insurance is being billed exspensive amounts ? Shareholders are making huge profits as the collaspe continues in the west ! This is not anything more than commercial piracy without regard to human suffering and life which does in a small part rid the world of elders like me that are unable to work and dependent on the permissive matrix system of control . The world agenda (sustainable development ) seeks to rid the population chart of the weaker such as granpaws and grandmoms which are the biggest population now above the babys born which looked like a perect A WITH THE YOUNGEST ON THE BOTTOM AND ELDEST ON TOP post ww2 while the controllers who own everything including the credit debt currency (federal reserve and corporation called UNITED STATES ) decided overpopulation is a threat to there wealth and subjogation of the commons like me ,with a signed volunteered enrollment into AGENA21 BY G,H,bush in 1992 this has become very real and control of medicines and humans are part of this !! Of course there is the point in peoples lives where the suffering cannot be continued and i myself fear that moment as its reasonble to conclude . My hope is the profits and gains these shareholders want will be achieved soon and this policy will be abandoned which will save the lives of many hanger ons like me and you !! In America every law is commecial and anyone cares to study law will understand how and why this is true since 1871 . It is a crime in intenational law for a provider to knowingly under prescribe a patient as its called a (TORT) TORTURE and against the law as torture is illegal ! Perhaps its time, PEOPLE V, CDC ?

Kathy Clark

Pain patients need pain meds without MME’s. We have Waited too long! When I look back ( more than 3 1/2 years ago, ) , I can’t understand for the life of me, how everything turned into a snowball effect. It seems like we are swept under the carpet. There are MANY pain patients who have lived productive lives , while taking their meds as prescribed. Why is it that the pain patients take second place? We have had input from everyone who does not live with pain-telling us what we can and cannot take! How is this right? How can PROP members sleep at night-after so-o much harm has been done? Why can’t WE Pain patients hold these individuals responsible & call them out? It’s time for straight honest answers. Our healthcare system is extremely broken. Many pain patients are struggling to make it-yet their pain is overwhelming. We have State Legislators interfering. Pain patients were supposed to be protected. There is supposed to be a pain patients Bill of Rights. It’s time for common sense solutions!
Sincerely, Kathleen Clark, RN ( Retired)


2 more years is reason enough to totally scrap the guidelines.
So flawed they need 2 years to revise…
OK, there’s 2 choices here,
pull the plug
or allow the harm to continue.

They obviously don’t share the sense of urgency that prescribers and patients do… there’s no way they can fathom the pain and suffering,
or maybe they don’t care.
In any case, they blew it.

CDC’s first attempt at recommending medical treatment has caused untold suffering, because they were UNTRAINED and wrong to do FDA’s job in the first place!
CDC didn’t listen before the Guidelines, they didn’t listen in the 3 years since and they aren’t listening now.
Are we going to wait 2 years to see if they miraculously get it?
It’s undeniable CDC Guidelines are seriously flawed, they were warned from the start, and yet they went through with unscientific recommendations based on seriously flawed data.
Here we are, prescribers are unable to do their job and patients are suffering and suicidal.
Wait for a response that’s 3 years overdue and now they want sufferers to wait 2 more years.
Beyond irresponsible!!

They are showing their true colors, that they don’t have any interest in the American people. Their own data shows illicit drugs are responsible for the overdose deaths, not prescribing.

Either CDC has no idea what they’re doing or they have no interest in saving addicts or patient safety. REPEAL THEIR GUIDELINES NOW AND MAKE SURE THEY STAY IN THEIR LANE FOREVERMORE!

Thanks for your contribution, Shaina — to the meeting and on behalf of people in pain generally. I spoke among several others in the first day of the Atlanta meeting. I also filed a three-author paper with Dr Stephen Nadeau and Dr Andrea Trescot, largely debunking the claims of the guideline writers and demanding that the document be rewritten from the ground up.

If anyone finds a link to an online gateway where CVs can be submitted for participating on the pending opioid work group, I would appreciate hearing about it. I can be reached at

I am not repeating everything over & over & over again!! So this is the Last time I will do so: MS, Broken back twice, Back surgery to give me back the use of my legs worked, however put me in more Pain, blown Discs, DDD, Spinal Stenosis,for years, 2 Strokes one blinded me & had to have surgery to get my eyesight back, Chronic cluster Migraines, Spams everywhere that make me almost scream….& More 🙁 🙁 Blood Poisoning in my left leg & foot that almost killed me & left my leg & foot permanently Damaged, My Liver Flushed 3 times while I was in the Hospital because of all the tylenol built up from a Pain Medication I was on, I was changed to Morphine & told No More Tylenol for You!! More years than I can count, I was a long term Pain Patient & I had a life, right now I have nothing including my Medication!! Almost 2 years of pure Hell & Still I am NOT getting my Medication, so those of you who are feel lucky…I am Frustrated being in the position of unable to assist myself, I have been verbally & emotional abused by doctors, I have gone through everything there is, I can’t have NSAIDS, Alot of Muscle relaxers, shots in my back. massage therapy, Sooo much BS, Oh yeah in the beginning they put me through the Anti-depressant Stage, most of those I can’t have. The only Medications that we found that worked I am now being refused by PM Doctors who are young & don’t know what they are even talking about, No Emergency Room in Michigan will give you anything that works…they Prefer Mental Meds. that were not meant for this kind of Pain or any kind of Pain, I refuse them!! Now I am just Debilitated & getting even worse, this is going to kill me because I have No Doctor that will Prescribe My Medication!! 🙁


And Why Exactly is the CDC (Center for Disease Control) being yet again allowed to write Nationwide Opioid Guidelines Using the same exact group of Unqualified Individuals that are known members of the Anti-Opioid Group PROP and addiction Specialists who have never treated anyone with Chronic or Intractable pain? Let’s not forget this is the same group of people that created this god forsaken mess that has caused Mass Hysteria surrounding Opioids, Caused countless Suicides & Deaths, and Caused mass suffering to hundreds of thousands of CPPs most of whom were force tapered off or down to such ineffective doses they might as well have been completely tapered off. My God, what this group of individuals has caused with their 1st set of Opioid Guidelines is unforgivable and yet somehow they are again being able to Re-Write Opioid Guidelines? What in the hell is wrong with this picture? Anyone? My god let’s get Pain Management Specialist’s, Anesthesiologist, Real Doctors who are the ones QUALIFIED to treat Chronic and Intractable pain and then Re-Write these Guidelines until they bring in Qualified Doctors I expect nothing to change for the better…in fact it may get worse. These individuals are all anti-opioid and they are out for blood. In fact they are the same ones doing all these recent fatally flawed studies to fail Opioids on all levels for the treatment of any kind of pain…if you look closely at all these studies saying Opioids are Ineffective for pain, Ineffective for long term treatment etc…In small print somewhere you will be guaranteed to find the name of one of these PROP CDC Guideline writers behind it. Get rid of this entire group, bring in Qualified pain specialists and anesthesiologists and only then will we see a balanced approach come to this utter mess.

Gail Honadle

2021 many of us can’t wait that long! Many are now Suicidal. Or turning to DOPE for pain relief, both can lead to death, Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Suicide. FDA needs to get off it’s butt and make drugs they let go OTC work as well as Prescription medications. I take two 40 mg Nexium a day to prevent Barrett’s Esophagus from GERD as I have Gastropresis. Had my 3 yr with is 1 yr more than the normal Upper Endoscope as Barrett’s is a Pre-Cancer, and a 2nd spot was found as the OTC Name Brand Nexium lets breakthrough GERD HAPPEN DAILY’ which Tricare Life took off the Formulary and even a letter from my Gastro WROTE, IT WAS DENIED, IT is the only one of 3 I can take, the rest break me out in Hives.


Excellent! You guys did an amazing job. Thank you, from all of us!

Please, everyone, continue with comments to the CDC and comments regarding the 2021 timeline…that’s simply way too long!

Having served on numerous committees, it doesn’t take that long to rework the existing G/L’s. One retreat could have it done quickly. The disputed areas could have correction, and be published via the same Public Relations company the used the first time. It’s really not that hard!

They also need to reduce the psychological community from having so much influence in an area where they are not practicing or have an immediate degree. There should be as many, if not more, Pain Management experts who are currently practicing and have credibility, as well as the same number of PM Advocates.

It’s just not that hard! Let’s keep up the pressure to have the correct people, schedule and public relations company complete this shortly. It’s truly a matter or death for most of us.


The question still remains, “what do we do until 2021, suffer in daily pain”.

Gail l

What kind of fresh he’ll is this? The government’s error in thinking has already killed off many people who did NOTHING wrong, and yet they are facing torture they didn’t cause!!! Doctors, patients pharmaceutical companies, etc are being destroyed at record rates, while the CARTELS, Pushers and Addicts go on their merry way!!! How come I’m the only one that can see this!!!


I suffer from chronic pain, I’ve had 3 neck surgeries through the front, and a 4th surgery going through the back to put 2 titanium rods on each side of spine with 14 screws through my vertebrae! The surgeon botched my surgery! Making my pain excruciating! It looks horrible and feels even worse! I have several pictures to prove how botched it is! And now my dr has fired me! I’m so sick of being treated like this! I’ve been going through this for almost 20 years! I suffer extreme migraines that last for days! I have degenerative disc also bulging and ruptured discs in lower back! You cannot group every patient in the same category! I also suffer ptsd, severe anxiety disorder, depression, and every day is a struggle! Weed out the people whose intention is to get high and separate those of us who can’t function because of our pain!