Chronic Pain Sufferers Use #OpioidAwareness to Fight Back Stigma

Chronic Pain Sufferers Use #OpioidAwareness to Fight Back Stigma

The hashtag, #OpioidAwareness was born from the Obama Administration’s proclamation of National Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week (September 19-23).

It’s been tweeted by politicians, politicos, pundits, and those who don’t seem to see that the war on opioids also harms chronic pain sufferers.

So, what are people in pain doing?  They are fighting back against the stigma they face every day by using the very same hashtag on social media.  Here are a few examples:
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Authored by: Staff

There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Joan Hamm at 6:49 pm

    If any of the government people who are taking away medicines from sick people who have Pain or sick with other diseases. Keep this in mind you can get the Horrible extremely pain disease by the following : a car accident… A fall. A trip and fall not necessarily big one… Surgery… A hammer hitting your finger… A sprain… Broken bones etc. All these things can cause RSD CRPS!!!!! Please beware of all these things and more. It is a nerve damage disease.

  2. Chuck at 5:57 pm

    Hi Marty,

    You tell it like it is. Here is a ReTweet.

    And more doctors are starting to speak up and speak out.

    Richard Oberg M.D.
    September 2, 2016 at 8:06 am

    ……

    ,,….” My hat’s off to those primary care physicians who are better trained and will continue to script for opioids in this increasingly hostile environment. Until the media takes a willingness to think before they report and understand the difference in patients with chronic pain who do well with opioid therapy vs. healthy people/addicts who die from import fentanyl/heroin (illegal opioids) under the generic term ‘death due to opioids’, not much is going to improve. They’re doing a disservice to both chronic pain patients AND addicts – how could anything so obvious be screwed up any worse?

    Marty
    September 28, 2016 at 5:51 am
    I’m not on Twitter but I was on a low dose of oxycodone for six years which allowed me to be somewhat functional until a doctor blamed my on going headaches on this medication. I got tired of being treated as if I were a criminal and stopped on my own with only sneezing and insomnia withdrawal symptoms. Now three years later I’m housebound and my neuropathic pain is at an all time high. And guess what, my headaches are still with me. Even though I’m suffering a great deal even with medical MJ I have not gone out and bought heroin nor have I knocked off a Walgreens. I just suffer and the thoughts of suicide seem more and more reasonable with each passing day. We are not criminals just people who are not lucky enough to have good health and now we are not allowed good healthcare. This must stop, we are suffering, have some empathy. #ChronicPain #OpioidAwareness

  3. Chuck at 5:50 pm

    Thank you Dr. Lawhern. We need more credentialed folks to speak up for us. If I had 4 more 7.5mg percosets every day my life would improve a full 40% and I could care better for my chronically ill wife. Instead my doc keeps brow beating me to cut my dose which is under the arbitrary 120mg anyway already. If I could bump those guys up to 10 milligrams I would double my daily functional ability. As it is right now I am on fumes. We aren’t asking for much here just help us and let us be the adults we are and trust us with the responsibility to find our optimum daily dose and med combo that gives us our best function with the least amount of side effects. We are not asking to be pain free here. We just want to be able to hopefully get out of bed each day and have a reasonably human and humane existence.

  4. Lynn laurence at 2:29 pm

    why don’t you talk to the people who are in constant pain instead of obama who if wanted to get anything if he were in pain. They make this political. Tell me what cdc/fda/obama perscribe for pain. I go to my once. a month like clock work i pass my drug test and i function without pain for 8-12 hrs. Tell the woman who caused my traffic accident to fix my back guess what she cant and drs wont due to my strokes i can not go under. Iam so tired of being treated loke a street junkie when i have to go into an er.

  5. Sandy M. at 12:12 pm

    I understand all of you! Being in pain and taking an opiod to help us gett thru the day isn’t being addicted. Would they take insulin away from a diabetic? It is the same thing. I certainly don’t get high, don’t even want to, just want a little relief so I can get out of bed. I stay in pj’s most of the time. I knkow when I go back to my PCP he is going to pt me in pain management because I told him my neurologist is retiring and only stayed semi-retired for as long as he did was for me because I have a rare condition from a hemorrhagic stroke in the thalamus, called Thalamic Pain Syndrome. Doctors don’t even know what it is or if they say they do, they want to change my medications. It took years to find one opoid that would give me a little relief and now they want to take that away. I have to fight Medicare for Neurontin and Zanaflex because I cannot takle the generics. I mean I would much rather pay less if they worked. My stroke pain and Scoliosis surgery I just had is so painful, I don’t feel like doing anything, I’ve gone thru pain managements, injections and procedures that didn’t work, I wish they had, but I did find this one opioid that helps me nd now they want to take it away. I wish the government would stay out of our lives and let our doctors treat us. I realize there may have been doctors who were doing wrong, but they know who they are and doctors should know their patients. I had to change PCP because of insurance, and I had gone to her for 20 years or so. She knew and knows all about me, And like my neurologist said, pain management is not going to help you. They just want you off that one opioid. I’m just sick thinking of how life is going to be, it’s bad enough now, it will only get worse.

  6. Joan Reed at 7:39 pm

    The people that are taking away our pain control should try & live in our shoes for one day & suffer our intractable pain.

  7. Yvetta Barbee at 6:45 am

    Its easy for people to judge us because they don’t have to live everyday with the hell I live with. But I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. No one should have to live like I do. If I were an animal they would put me down but because I’m human I have to live this way. Maybe if God could make a way for each of them to live a day in my shoes. They would without a doubt have a change of opinion and stock the selves or find cures. I have total body. And I suffer

  8. Angelica Heavner at 4:35 am

    I am not on Twitter, I have a hard enough time keeping up with emails and fb. I have to drive 30-45 min for pain management and pay out of pocket for it. The closest one that accepts insurance is 4 1/2 hrs away in good weather and road conditions, can you imagine the time it would take in bad weather? For an hr appt. I was also told they would take me off everything and start over. After 5 yrs I am finally stable enough to function, I can’t go back to allergic reactions and crap that didn’t help. I also can’t handle that type of drive once a mth.
    So thanks for everything from the hospital who caused this to the idiots telling me they don’t cover my meds because I see a doctor not on their books.

  9. Kimberly Miller at 2:50 pm

    I will certainly start adding this hashtag to Tweets! Thanks for the info, NPR.

  10. Abby at 11:47 am

    Thank G-D, I go to a good pain clinic. It’s a 45 minute ride from my house, and well worth it. A kind and careful Doctor, prescribes enough oxycodone to get me through the day, functioning a little bit. Without good pain control, forget about it, I’d be in bed every day. Now, I go to classes, bible study, community college, Pilates. It’s good to get out of the house, helps body and spirit.

  11. Terry at 9:11 am

    This is getting ridiculous! I was on a stronger pain med and my Dr., cut me down to less than half. I’ve had to start using a wheelchair most every day and in bed the rest as my quality of life now is now not that great. I used to be able to go places with my family and now it’s impossible!
    I can’t fathom some people whom never had a painful day in their life to say we don’t hurt!!!! I can’t take Lyrica, Savella, NSAIDs,or Steroids as I’m allergic to a lot of meds!

  12. Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D. at 6:33 am

    I added to the thread on twitter with the following.

    #OpioidAwareness #ChronicPain Stop the war against chronic pain patients. Withdraw scientifically invalid CDC opioid guidelines.

  13. Marty at 5:51 am

    I’m not on Twitter but I was on a low dose of oxycodone for six years which allowed me to be somewhat functional until a doctor blamed my on going headaches on this medication. I got tired of being treated as if I were a criminal and stopped on my own with only sneezing and insomnia withdrawal symptoms. Now three years later I’m housebound and my neuropathic pain is at an all time high. And guess what, my headaches are still with me. Even though I’m suffering a great deal even with medical MJ I have not gone out and bought heroin nor have I knocked off a Walgreens. I just suffer and the thoughts of suicide seem more and more reasonable with each passing day. We are not criminals just people who are not lucky enough to have good health and now we are not allowed good healthcare. This must stop, we are suffering, have some empathy. #ChronicPain #OpioidAwareness

  14. kathy a overcast at 4:55 am

    This is all so true. I broke up a dog fight a couple years ago. My finger was literally hanging on by a piece of skin, the bones were crushed in little fragments, and when I got to the hospital, they accused me of drug seeking behavior, because I am on medications for chronic pain! Can you believe that? I have sense has 3 surgeries on my finger. I never run out of medication early, always have medication left, never failed a drug test, or been detected with more than I was suppose to in my system. I then found and herb called kratom, that has saved me from all of those pain meds and now in 4 days, the DEA is banning my herb and scheduling it in class 1 category! They don’t want to continue to give us much needed medication, but in addition they want to take any herb or supplement that might help us, away also..This is immoral and just freckin wrong!!!!!!!!