The growing Don’t Punish Pain Rally movement has set March 20th for its next set of rallies across the country.
You can check here to see if your city or region is hosting one.
“We are seeing more and more volunteers around the country who are lending their voices to the rallies,” said Claudia Merandi who started the movement two years ago to protest the Centers for Disease Control 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
As more chronic pain patients are finding access to opioid therapy difficult, they are resorting to protests and advocacy for legislation at the state and federal level.
The March 20th rally in Raleigh, North Carolina may be especially interesting. Residents there are concerned that chronic pain patient advocate Dr. Thomas Kline, who is being investigated by North Carolina state officials for his prescribing practices, may not be available to them anymore.
If you don’t see your city, check their website for information about how to organize protests in your city. There is collateral material and other helpful aids if you want to get involved.
Merandi is also pushing pain patient friendly legislation in her home state of Rhode Island. She also is urging similar action in other states.
Merandi also was asking the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights to investigate what she claimed was discriminatory behavior against pain patients caused by the 2016 CDC Guideline.
She learned this week that the Office of Civil Rights has denied her claim and aren’t going to investigate it.
That won’t slow Merandi down.
“We have 13,000 followers on Facebook, there are over 40 rallies already scheduled later this month and we are going to keep the heat on a the state and local level in order to educate policy makers and the general public about the issues facing the chronic pain patient,” she said.