I Called My TV Station About Chronic Pain

I Called My TV Station About Chronic Pain

By Michael Young.

I’m a chronic pain patient who uses opioids to control my condition. Like most chronic pain patients who use opioids, I have been affected by the CDC Guideline on Opioid Prescribing.

Physicians dramatically reduced my medicine, my condition worsened and I have had a very tough year.

But I’m coming out of it. And I’m ready to fight for us.

Now, my local TV Station in Lansing, Michigan is running a series on the “opioid crisis” as many media members call it (because that was government leaders have called it). The fact it’s the month of May is a reason they are running it because the audience of the local US News stations is being measured in what they call “the ratings”. Doing a story on opioid addiction makes sense because, let’s face it, it’s become big news in the last year.

Not being one to stand idly and let life go by, (I was a firefighter so I’m wired for action) I called the TV Station (WLNS) and shared with news executives there the story of the chronic pain patient.

To my surprise, they didn’t know much about it.

They saw only the addiction story—how could they miss it given the media’s fascination with it–but didn’t really see the collateral damage that is being done to millions of people who use opioids to control their chronic pain without becoming addicts. In fact, I told them, the addiction rate is very small. The bigger story is how patients have been dropped by their doctors because of fear—fear that the government would come calling, label them as drug dealing doctors and threaten their license. And patients are suffering.

The folks at WLNS, to their credit, are ready to tell my side of the story. I was interviewed this week and they are efforting to find physicians and other chronic pain patients who will tell the story–our story.

I spoke with Ed Coghlan of the National Pain Report today and he suggested I share this story because it’s an example of what one person can do to try and influence the discussion.

So here it is:

Contact your local media. We need to get our story out—not all chronic pain patients are addicts–in fact most aren’t. We use opioids not to get high but to manage our life.

Calling the news department (or your local newspaper) isn’t hard, once you decide that you want to. When you call them, don’t scream at them, just tell them “I have a story for you”. I remember from my days as a Public Information Officer that will get their attention. The folks at WLNS were interested, respectful, and curious.

When you talk with them or email them–be concise. Tell them there’s another side to the opioid story–and it involves thousands of their viewers and readers.

We will see plenty of stories during the May “sweeps” about opioid addiction. Don’t you think we should see more about what is happening to the millions of chronic pain patients?

I did.

And there will be a story on my local TV.

You can do it too.

Michael Young is a retired firefighter who was featured in a story on the National Pain Report that ran last year.

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Authored by: Michael Young

There are 37 comments for this article
  1. Sherry Sherman at 6:59 am

    I have called numerous radio shows, CNN, NPR, magazine writers and too many congressional leaders to count. I will not stop until they hear us and listen if it takes until my last breath.

    The physicians are right ” Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water “, but that’s exactly what the CDC, VA, DEA and the FDA are doing.

    I and many others now are losing Opana ER due to those who ABUSED it, nice huh? They just killed more innocent people with chronic illnesses and chronic pain by removing it from the market. They will only move onto another and the medscape article shows how many great physicians, RN’s, PA’s etc are on our side.

    Thank you for calling into your radio show and know we’re not giving up. We must continue calling everyone of them to be heard.

    I’m now unemployed due to the CDC and soon to be without my medication thanks to the FDA.

    Sherry Sherman, CRNP, MSN, BSN

  2. Kara at 2:17 pm

    @Dr. Mark W. Helfand – actually, in Maine and Massachusetts laws have been put into place to restrict opioid doses. I am not sure but I believe CT. & NJ. have also made it a law.

    Regardless of an actual law or not 99% of doctors have chosen to toss their oath out the window and their patients under thr bus. Leaving millions of people in bed and suicidal.

    I’m glad your doctor is still treating your pain adequately. But most are not so lucky.

    I’m in Maine. I had a full and happy life. Now? I’m home 99% of the time and have been forced to stay in bed. I can’t clean my home, cook, care for my pets/family, I can no longer learn/work to build my Internet marketing and advertising company, I am in so much pain now I can’t sleep. I NEVER imagined I would be left to suffer needlessly to save addicts from their selves.

    I just want my life back. I’m so tired of being sad, angry, in pain, and just plain hopeless.

    I simply cannot believe that our doctors are taking this laying down. Cowards! All of them!

    They say … the only way for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. This has never been so true. What’s happening to chronic pain patients IS evil.

  3. Pam in CA at 3:48 pm

    Great job, Michael! I’ve tried to contact Tucker Carlson at Fox News by PM on Facebook with my story, since he did a week recently reporting on the “Opioid Epidemic”. He only told the abuse side of the story and included Dr. Kolodny who has caused so much trouble for chronic pain patients by helping to write the CDC Guidelines. Since Tucker says he received so many responses from the series, he will continue the subject again, we should all write our stories to him so that our side can be heard this time on a national level.

  4. Ibin Aiken at 11:43 am

    I know the firefighter mentality. I was a volunteer firefighter in my community for 14 years, resigning as Assistant Chief. I was forced to retire due to 2 failed back surgeries. I made NO better comrades than when in the department. This story is typical of the people that have been affected by CDC’s mis-guided line. I do not have a problem with the attempt to curb opioid abuse. I would like to see a more considerate, hard working, effective people living in America. However, there are those that use opioids….recreational y. They can NOT be “discounted” either. I do not know the fix for the opioid abuse mentality but, it is NOT to remove opioid medication for “one and all”. Education, principles, honesty, and integrity do not come to all people naturally. They, we, learn from proper guidance, education, and by example. The CDC has committed an act of commune-ism to arrive at a “better America”. It will not work. Instead, good people, chronic pain patients following doctors orders are being punished for a crime we have not committed. Chronic pain treatment centers and caring physicians are self-governing without the “backbone” of the CDC policy makers deciding what is “best” for those SUFFERING in chronic pain. The mis-guided line is an attempt to radically curb opioid abuse without even considering the fallout of the mis-guided effort. The fallout is the chronic pain patients absurd suffering while government tries to amend the way an individual thinks. The chronic pain patients record of treatment was not taken into consideration……at all when the mandated “guideline” was enacted. If a chronic pain patient does not adhere to proper, self disciplining treatment, it takes care of its self. With dismissal from treatment. I am NOT saying discard these people who fail at monitored treatment with opioid medication but, it is absurd and commune-istic to harm those people in compliance with the properties of opioid medication treatment. There is no ONE answer, however the CDC mis-guided line is not the answer to opioid abuse!

  5. Susan Domokos at 7:17 am

    Hi…I live in Trumbull County Ohio…. Recently a man was put In jail for inducing panic by overdosing on public in Mahoning county…Well the ACLU wrote a letter on this man’s behalf… Demanding he not be in jail…..
    I then emailed the Cleveland office of the ACLU and asked them….”What about me and us that suffer from chronic pain?
    What about the people Who do not criminally use opiates…Our civil rights are being stomped on by the government….
    That was on Wednesday….
    I have not gotten a reply…

  6. Jeannie Watson at 4:52 pm

    I have four heath problems that all cause pain. I have had my meds reduced about 70% and my quality of life has been reduced significantly since last summer. I live alone (age 60) and am finding it harder and harder to take care of all my needs. There are some days that I can barely walk. I have 6 grandkids and I used to feel like doing things with them, but I can’t now. My doctor told me that he reminded a DEA representative that since the “recommendations” more people are taking heroin and dying by suicide. The DEA rep told him… “I don’t have any control over who does heroin or commits suicide, but I CAN tell you what you can and can’t prescribe.” Someone has got to get to the bottom of this because it’s so very wrong… Is there a petition that I can sign?? Anyone have ideas if government officials can help???

  7. Bob Schubring at 11:01 pm

    Mike hit the nail on the head.

    The media rank-and-file have never heard about us.

    Two days ago, Presidential press secretary Sean Spicer announced that money was being appropriated for the “Opioid Crisis”, and he could not pronounce the word “opioid”.

    This demonstrates that Washington bureaucrats make bad laws, because they don’t know any better.

    The 100 million Americans at risk for chronic pain, are being sacrificed to enrich, wrongfully, the quacks who claim to be treating the 1-1/2 million Americans at risk of addiction.

    And the quacks don’t even help the addicts, with the funds we give them.

    Addicts are mentally ill.

    Getting an addict off one addiction, leads to a different addiction.

    To relieve the mental illness that manifests itself as addiction, means teaching the person how to overcome the illness and thrive. Obsession over self-denial and forcing acceptance of greater suffering, is a failed strategy that makes patients worse instead of better.

    We need to make ourselves heard​.

  8. Michael MONTALVO at 12:43 pm

    I applaud Michael Young, he is a hero. (He doesn’t like to be called that )
    I am very proud to call him my best friend.
    I too am a pain suffer after, 27 years of construction and two back surgeries that have left me with “a broken back” as my Dr. puts it. i also take opioids to help manage my pain.
    I just want the world to see the other side of the story.
    We are not just pill seekers but people trying to live a good quality of life.
    I believe that these cdc guidelines are effecting many lives and they should not be allowed to continue to determine what is best for our lives.
    Please speak up and get your stories out there, talk to your elected officials to help make a difference.
    Michael Young has started something that we should all take note of and stand strong for what we believe in.
    Together we can make a difference.

  9. cindy deim at 12:18 pm

    That’s great. I have tried to get National Public Radio to do a story. I write congress people and Senators. They have no idea what is going on. I get back these letters that say they know there is an opioid crisis. Like they didn’t even read my letter.
    But I’m not giving up. We should all be writing the government demanding action. I have also written the CDC many times. We have to band together to get anything done.

  10. Becky at 11:22 am

    Great job!
    I did tell my story to Ed Coughlin.. great guy! My doctor advised me not to continue- so as not to bring attention to him.
    A family doctor who has many patients in a small town. I don’t blame him!

    Why is the corrupt CDC, the incorrect data, and the Drs who have spoken against stopping opiate therapy for chronic pain…rarely in the news or talked about?

    I don’t get it??

  11. Frances Kramer at 10:37 am

    In response to Dr. Mark Helfand: I am a doctorally prepared CRNA, forced into retirement thanks to TN. Thank you for pointing out the the CDC guidelines are just that: guidelines. However, something/someone is causing physicians to adhere to them very strictly. My internist told me she could not prescribe anything higher than the 90 mmE (which will soon become 60 ) or she could lose her license. Who is it that is enforcing these “guidelines”? Is it state by state? I had to suffer through 3 weeks of pure hell after suddenly being put on short acting meds, just to prove that they were inadequate and justify being on an extended release one.. and then those were reordered at a lower dose. My days are miserable with inadequate pain relief since this happened…..I cannot imagine going on if it gets any worse. I am at a loss as to whom can help us. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  12. Susan Domokos at 9:06 am

    Ohhh…And I have dupetranes contracture on both hands..And my doc has never laid his hands on me or really talked about my injuries…I know I might sound crazy .. Because I am crazy in the brain bc of 16 years of being told “you don’t look like what you say” or what’s on your MRIs CTS or x-rays…You don’t look like you have diabetes..Or 4 stents after a heart attack on my 49 birthday after being ripped off a 75 mcg Fentanyl patch after a year ..Or having a torn labrum with referring pain to humorous bone…And nobody could find it til a year later…Or the ER docs accusing me of being a seeker after seeing “opiate withdrawal” on my records…Bc of the fentanyl withdrawal WITHOUT any help…Er visits bc of wd and Xtreme hi sugarzombieism.. Nobody gives ,2 damns about me…

  13. Susan Domokos at 8:34 am

    I have been with my pain doc for 15 months…All of which consisted of 3 Norco 10…3 tramadol 50 and marijuana…He has known since I started…At my April appt…My doc came in screaming… Literally screaming at me ..”Did I sell my meds for weed? How do I afford it? “You are a liar like everyone else” you can’t smoke with this medicine..”I am taking you off the tramadol and reducing your Norco by one..” you choose whether you want to smoke or get your meds” “I AM NOT LOSING MY LICENSE FOR YOU” $the state is making it this way” and “don’t put marijuana use in my chart and don’t put yourproblem on me when I could lose my license and livelihood”….I am devestated…I am not a criminal…This the lowest amount of pain meds I have been on since 2001…I am 54.. And my legs are the main pain drain in my life…Ex: I went to my son’s track meet and I couldn’t walk unassisted more than 50 steps…And our seats were half the track away…

  14. Kel b at 11:06 pm

    Sherri from WI
    I have no issue legalizing marijuana….but as a pain patient why would you want to go against other pain patients??
    What works for one doesn’t work for others. Just like our pain and reasons or causes for pain are all different. We don’t want to be considered all cookie cutter patients. We need individualized care.

    Just repeating that you “think or heard” ” marijuana works better with less side effects” means you don’t even have any facts to back this up. If this is your personal choice, that’s fine but then state that.
    If prescribed pain medication doesn’t work for you, fine, but it does work for many….

    One can advocate for all pain remedies without taking sides or going against the one standing next to you trying to help.
    We need to stand together. People in Numbers make things happen.
    That’s all “they” need is us against each other yet…that would prove nothing.
    Good luck with your fight, we all want the same thing here.

  15. Kel b at 10:54 pm

    Good for you Michael!! I’ve been leaving comments everywhere for more people needingc to do this. Why give the CDC all the air time??Ive requested some reporter call me as well. Would love to share what’s happening in the real world.
    Guidelines turned to “mandatory laws” in so many minds…..

    To others asking who to contact, the reporter should be one who does local community segments if you have something like this. Not just the one on the daily 5pm news. Some reporters do weekly or monthly Health Reports. I’m sure one can blacken out your face if you’re worried about that type of thing.

    So many think everything reported and repeated is “so true” and it needs to be shared that there’s always another side that should be shared. Or how certain info, facts, statistics are just being left out completely.

    After news it will be on all social media, hoping to inspire more to follow in your footsteps.

    West Virginia has a bill SB339 trying to change some of this. You may want to check this out too. May want to mention in your report. I think another may have mentioned this above…..
    I’m in Wisconsin personally but found this to be very interesting.
    Good luck with your report!! Hope to see it soon!!!

  16. Jeffm65 Miller at 4:11 pm

    Michael, I’m also a Retired Fire Captain from the SF Bay Area with chronic pain from a on the job multiple injuries, 1995. I noticed in the news out here that the Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, has been off coaching with back pain problems after surgery a couple of years ago. He would be a fantastic spokemans for chronic pain people if somebody’s closer could talk to him after he stabilizes. Any thoughts, am I chasing the wrong fire?

  17. Susan Domokos at 3:31 pm

    Please…Someone…Contact me….I had 4/6 pain meds taken away bc I have used marijuana along with my meds to help my brain/pain management….I have 30 days to quit…June 8…If I pee dirty..I will be discharged and lose all my pain meds…So I chose my reduced pain meds…My body is broken…My brain is crazy…
    I messaged a Cleveland News station and a Youngstown news station…. Nobody here in Ohio Cares about me or us.

  18. Deb at 3:19 pm

    What a great thing you have done. I too take opioids for pain and am tired of the government and media making drug addicts out of everyone who uses them for pain. We are not drug abusers. We are just trying to function with great pain every single day.

  19. Michelle Gerwitz at 2:45 pm

    @Susan Please post when your petition is up. I have very little hope the POTUS son-inlaw can or is qualified to solve the “opium crisis”.
    Thank you.

  20. Michelle Gerwitz at 2:39 pm

    @Brad I would love to pick your brain as you want to pick Michael’s. I too am on N.Y. Workmans Compensation. I too have had two spinal fusions. My last pain management appointment my medication was cut again despite my pain number going up & the intensity raising as well. My doctor told me to get a good lawyer because her hands were tied. As soon as I left her office I called my lawyer in tears not knowing how I could function and have any quality of life. He informed me the NYS Workmans Compensation courts are cutting all opiates for everyone with the goal of getting as many off the medication for fear of everyone overdosing and death. I asked because of a few bad apples everyone will be subject to the pain & misery of having their legally prescribed essential medications that give them quality of life taken away? The short answer was yes. I was told there was no hope for all of us. People who are taking illegal medication or street drugs were to blame. So many people who worked their whole lives who are irreparably damaged now will have essential medications reduced or removed, lose any progress made just to see if they are drug addicts. Who would subject themselves to multiple surgeries to receive drugs? What the compensation board is doing is a crime. Shame on them. Shame shame!!

  21. Eve Rios at 12:32 pm

    Hi Michael what you are doing is awesome and I thank you. Since I’ve had to reduce my pain medication my life (if it’s even called a life) I call it existing, not living, has dramatically changed for the worst. I don’t enjoy life at all. Thank you again for your efforts on this matter!

  22. linda parker at 12:23 pm

    I totally agree with all of you. Something needs to be done. My ex has felt with 3 surgeries, many different drugs over the past 20 years. I have to deal with his hatred of doctors and the government, and the fact he would rather be dead than deal with the pain anymore. I guess I don’t blame him, but it hurts me so, so much. He has diabetic pain to go with that. We don’t have enough money between us to enjoy what’s left of our lives, the doctors have wiped out all our savings. So is this any kind of life? I don’t think so. Quality, what does that mean?

  23. Frances Kramer at 12:16 pm

    Terri McFarland – I live in Oregon too. My semblance of a life has been hell since my meds were cut down, based on nothing more than some government mandate. I cannot remember the last time I had a day that was not consumed by pain. I feel like I am just surviving day to day….and not really living a life worth anything. I have no joy left. Today is a beautiful day of sunshine and warm temperatures…..but I am afraid to venture out because the slightest breeze will exacerbate my pain and there is nothing available to provide relief any relief. Thank you, Mr. Young (and all others) for your efforts to tell our side of the story.

  24. Cheri Furr at 11:41 am

    That’s fantastic that you were willing to tell the story of the millions of chronic pain patients that NEED opiods to survive. Thank you. The public doesn’t see our “invisible illnesses” except for those of that are confined to wheelchairs! We are not addicts, going from opiods fo heroin OR dealers! We use the same doctor unless unsatisfied with the service or plan of treatment and the same pharmacy! We do not go from ER to ER, a hundred different doctors, or multiple pharmacies! We are NOT drug seekers. There is a reason CRPS is called the suicide disease. My fear is that many CRPS patients WILL commit suicide if the opiate pain medication they need to be able to stand any of the pain (and opioids don’t make one completely pain-free). The average person in the public has no clue what CRPS is. Hell, many DOCTORS have never heard of CRPS!

  25. William Dorn at 11:13 am

    I contacted a state representitve and a us senator in my state of Tennessee and got a form letter from my senator saying he has no say in state laws and my state representitive did not reply at all.My wife and i are two of the millions of chronic pain patients that our state and federal goverment dont care about.We need a petition that millions of us can sign so they will listen.

  26. Jean Price at 9:25 am

    I think the same is true of the general public…people just don’t know this horror is happening! They see all the “epidemic” and “crisis” and other “opioid hype” splashed all over the news for sure! Yet they have no idea of all the deceit and the skewed statistics behind that “news”! Nor do they have ANY concept of what’s happening to those PEOPLE who live with daily pain! The mindset still is…when you hurt, you go to the doctor and he will help! Right?! Well, in the pre-CDC days, this WAS what happened. Yet now, even those with acute pain and post surgical pain are left to suffer…unnecessarily!! And those with daily, life-limiting pain are treated instead like hard core addicts, almost to the point of “forgetting” we have a diagnosis of long term, daily pain…and an injury or illness behind that pain!

    So, yes….getting this message out is very important! I believe concentrating on our drastically decreased function (due to medications being denied or reduced to untherapeutic levels) will be the most easily understood point for most people in the general public. It’s extremely difficult for others to have any real understanding of what daily pain is like…yet most everyone has experienced times they couldn’t fully function and be part of life, even with just the flu! So they could perhaps relate easier to our biggest struggle…which is also our biggest need for these medications! This is to REDUCE pain enough to help us maintain at least a small level of FUNCTION! When I put information out on facebook to the public, I’m amazed at the responses, saying how awful and unfair this is, and they had no idea this was even happening! We must inform them…AND also enlist their help to fight this WITH us!

  27. Kahty C at 8:55 am

    Frankly I am afraid. Every local T.V Station, Newspaper, and Radio Show, has left out that side of the story. I think this is deliberate. The “If It bleeds It Leads” sensationalism with Stories of drugs an Children left untended while people shot up heroin, gets more viewers. I have been following the local narrative and it is rather frightening. A local Physician actually wrote an “Opinion Piece” about how her Clinic sends people with pain to a “Naturo Path.” I know a woman in her 70, who was her patient. She was told to see a Chiropractor for her “Back Pain.” This woman had a fixed income and spent two years seeing the Chiropractor, and a lot of money. It turned out the woman’s back pain was kidney Cancer. The Physician was bragging about her Clinic recreation to the “Opiate Epidemic, bu that incident occurred 6 years ago.
    I turned ont he TV this Morning, our “Local” Fox Affiliate had a physician on discussing nerve damage. He was so perky as he said that Diet, Nutrition,and exercise can cure it. He is partially right, but it does nto fix everything. They strategically leave things out. Every snake oil salesman New Age practitioner, and even Public Health Employee has jumped on the bandwagon. The “opiate Epidemic” is a great marketing opportunity and people in pain are desperate, and will try anything.
    I started asking “Who Benefits.” The unholy trinity of Big Pharma, the Medical Industry and Insurance all benefit. The Medical Industry according to Pro Publica is the third leading cause of death. The don’t mention the survivors, people with multiple surgeries, or bad outcomes,, Many have intractable Chronic pain due to a failed Surgery, or mistakes. Pharma stands to make even more profits, the replacement Medication are much more expensive and ineffective, so they can add even more useless drugs. Insurance can now claim that these people are drug addicts or Mentally Ill, thanks to the rewritten DSMV.. The facts don’t matter anymore. this is about Industry profitability.
    The “Opiate Epidemic” attracts viewers, while the other side, an old woman with a bad hip surgery, is not so riveting. No one wants to hear that she cant go grocery shopping since they took away her Medications. I spoke with an Employee of the State Board of Pharmacy a few years ago, during that Crackdown. The Pharmacies had stopped selling Opiates at that time. There were old people with obvious injuries left bewildered and exhausted standing in line for hours. All that the man could say was “People are dying from opiates” in a kind of tortured cry. He was fully brainwashed. People are dying from a lot of things. in my community a lot or dying from Alcohol Abuse, Which seems the preferred method for old people, who worked at demanding Physical Jobs. It looks almost genocidal where I sit. I used to think this Country at least tried to do the right thing, but not anymore. We are in the Post fact World folks, the truth is whatever the Corporate Media decides will improve the profitability of their owners. There is no Independent thought anymore.

  28. Michael G Langley, MD at 8:28 am

    I was a pain management specialist trained by the program that is offered by the American Academy of Pain management out of boulder, Colorado. I later self-destructed, being burnt out by the constant political bickering of physicians. Lost my license to practice. Now, ironically, I have a neuropathy caused by the damage from a broken back and injured “cauda equina”. The arthritis in my body adds to that! The sad fact is that the behavior by the so called specialists don’t even seem to know that most chronic pain patients become addicted. I always cited the studies that showed it less than 0.008% (0 in a study of 10,000 severe burn patients) What they have done is, essentially, “thrown the baby out with the bathwater”! The people that should be punished are those breaking the law, not us, out here, trying to survive and have a decent quality of life!

  29. Sheryl M Donnell at 7:37 am

    Great great idea!! I applaud your effort to actually do something positive and get out there in front of the public!! You are an inspiration. I am going to try it too!

  30. Dr. Mark W. Helfand at 7:19 am

    I just want to clarify something that Terri said. I am a dentist that retired due Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Terri said “this is not voluntary by the patients or the Doctors.” He is mistaken. It IS voluntary by the doctors. The CDC guidelines are just that, guidelines. Not law, not mandates, just guidelines. Doctors do not have to follow them, mine doesn’t and neither does my Pharmacist. I have had CRPS for 20 years and my dosage of Fentanyl is beyond belief to most. I just want it clear that in most states the Doctors follow the CDC guidelines voluntarily, not by law. They don’t have to cut back dosages or stop prescribing opiates, at least not yet.

  31. Sherry from WI at 7:14 am

    A better issue that should be addressed is legalizing Cannibis in all states for chronic pain use supervised by a Doctor. Lot less side effects than narcotic drugs and cannibis is more effective for pain relief from what I here. I also live in constant burning pain for many years that is very debilitating and narcotic medications don’t work for my pain at all, nor any other prescription medications. My quality of life is not good and I am pretty much house bound.

  32. StevefromMA at 6:07 am

    Good for you, man. The pain folks are being thrown under the bus because a pretty small group of people compared to us are making bad decisions. It’s bad medicine.

  33. Suzanne Stewart at 5:58 am

    Michael,
    Please tell me how you approached them? I’ve called 3 of my Detroit area stations, the Detroit News and Dree spread and my town Observer & Eccentric newspapers. Nobody was interested! Yet I got called to be interviewed for a you tube movie, which is a follow up on their last one called “OxyContin express”! I refused to speak to them because after talking with the president of one of the non profit groups for one of my pain illnesses, he told me they’d probably try to switch my words around, make me look bad or worse! So I did not want that for sure! Please tell me just how you approached them at the beginning? Thank you! So much! If you read this health news magazine, then you know I’m a columnist here regularly and I am s health advocate/activist, a mentor for new CRPS Patients and an Smbassador for US pain foundation. I am getting things done, and trying so hard; through my writing and a letter to POTUS & a petition. I have an appt to speak with Governor Snyder this Summer. I too, live in Michigan. Please help me with an approach? Thank you! So much!!! Suzanne Stewart

  34. Brad Damore at 5:27 am

    This is a great idea, and Mr Young I would love to pick your Brain a little on the subject being in the same field as I was an EMT in NYC when I got hurt back in 2010. I’m now being put through all sorts of Drama by the Workers Compensation Courts because of the Crisis and I’m at a loss on what my next steps should be. I would love to speak to you if possible and maybe see if you could give me a few pointers on what you think I should do for my next steps. I’m at a complete loss, scared and just don’t know what to do. My Pain has put me through 2 Fusion Surgeries and I also have a Spinal Stimulator placed but my Medicine is what I’m Dependant on to help me have the little bit of normalcy that I have in my life without the tears from pain and not being stuck in bed all day. This crisis has gotten out of control and all they are doing is taking things away from the people that actually need it. The ones that are using it illegally aren’t going to the Doctor every 4 weeks and subjecting to random urine tests, they are getting it in Shady places or on the street and that isn’t going to stop

  35. Terri McFarland at 5:09 am

    I live in Oregon and it has become unbearable here. The 90 mg eq. dose for pain medication is not enough to maintain even a manageable life. This has been forced upon us, this is not voluntary by the patients or the Doctors. We are not abusers, and street addicts, we are people with documented debilitating illnesses. Yet the people making these decisions for us can not separate the two. Not only that but these decisions are not based on any medical evidence or research. Just the opinions of a very few powerful people. To allow people to live in what is essentially a tortured state is what should be against the law. Don’t we still live in a Country that values its citizens? I feel like I am living in a third world country. Is West Virginia is the only State in the Nation that is willing to say “Sorry we made a mistake. We are going to fix it”? All I can say is “THANK YOU WEST VIRGINIA!!” The smartest, caring State in the Union. Thank you Mr. Young for your efforts. Those in charge realize that people in pain can not find the strength to call, write, or scream “THIS IS WRONG” Mark my word when they find their voice, there will be hell to pay by those who caused this suffering!!