Opioid Debate Intensifies

Opioid Debate Intensifies

By Ed Coghlan.

As Pain Awareness Month kicks off, the chronic pain community was greeted with another effort to slow down opioid use–in this case focused on high-dose opioids.

A petition was filed this week that formally called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban high-dose opioids painkillers, ostensibly to prevent overdose deaths among patients and people who abuse drugs.

The idea is to ban opioid pills, that when taken as directed, would add up to a daily dose of more than 90 milligrams of morphine.

The petition was signed by leaders of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, the National Safety Council and the American College of Medical Toxicology.

While the momentum to ban opioids continues, the state leaders and others aren’t talking much about the impact on millions of people who use opioids to combat chronic pain…something US Pain Foundation President Paul Gileno pointed out this week.

We talk a lot about the opioid crisis, but we don’t talk much about chronic pain,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder, who began having pain after a serious work accident in 2003. “In order to effectively address the opioid epidemic, we should also be thinking about how to address the parallel problem of chronic pain, whether by providing more funding for pain research, encouraging insurers to provide more coverage for nonpharmaceutical treatment options, or creating better support services for people and families affected by pain.”

Elsewhere on the opioid front, it would appear that insurance companies are taking a different view–even when one of the nation’s leading pain physicians wants to try something else. There was news out of Boise, Idaho this week where Dr. Richard Radnovich was scratching his head over the action of several insurance companies.

He wanted to give the patient tramadol. The pain medication is a “Schedule IV” drug, which means it has a “low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence,” according to the federal classification system set up to chart drug risks.

But the insurance company insisted the patient first try morphine. A “Schedule II,” two steps above tramadol on the ranking of addictive drugs, it has a “high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Dr. Radnovich’s quote in the Idaho Statesman pretty much sums up the inconsistency in the entire opioid debate.

“I don’t want to take the chance that my patient is going to like a drug too much, so I don’t want them to have to be exposed to it,” he said. “It’s insane to me that an insurance company would force me to write morphine [prescriptions] instead of tramadol. … In what world is that a sane response to what’s going on?”

He said several insurance companies have had the same reaction.

On Monday, we’ll have the comments some chronic pain patients have sent us regarding their frustration on this issue.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 29 comments for this article
  1. Tim Mason at 6:59 am

    I too am a member of AARP. I will reach out to them as well with materials that contradict they hype and hysteria. Kolodny has hijacked the media with his sick, greedy Narcissistic mind. He is passive-aggressive. His mindset is one that lies and commit dastardly deeds behind closed doors ( CDC). He and other have used multiple methods of lying to achieve their goals. He gives an illusion of perfection and authority. He is not Board Certified in Pain management yet has managed to collude with others to defraud the Chronically ill of which he has no expertise. He offers confidence over competence
    The mentality of a 6 year old lurks behind his veneer.
    Never wrestle with a pig. It will take a federal inquiry and several district attorneys to determine that this charlatan is partly responsible for the suicides of those that have had their pain medications reduced via a hoodwinked CDC and Gestapo DEA doing dawn raids on our Pain Management Professionals.

  2. Barbara w at 9:50 pm

    Answer to Michelle with the Heroine Addict nephews. Follow the MONEY the government pays for Rehab so the Addict doctors scream out Opiod Epedemic & legal prescriptions are killing everyone!

  3. Barbara Woolston at 5:34 pm

    PROP ANDREW KOLODNY HIS GROUP & Drew Pinski are on the take money driven & the pain communities worst enemy stating Opiods don’t work long term or period to sell there pr oduct of shrinks & bogus rehab!! We all need to counteract all this with the truth on all media & newspapers etc. I called the AARP Bulletin to counter all the lies
    Kolodny told the public there! He has been like this for 20 years! Real rehab doctors just help addicts not brainwash the general public trying to make dependent pain patients Thierry patients. They have to down any kind of drug that really works it’s competition after all to those full of greed & deception!!!!

  4. Carol at 9:33 pm

    “The petition was signed by leaders of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP), the National Safety Council and the American College of Medical Toxicology.”

    Oh, yes, good old ‘PROP’ is at it again. PROP and Kolodny, who established PROP, are full of c**p. He has financial interests in rehab centers. How can anyone even listen to this man with such a blatant conflict of interest! Disgusting!

  5. Pained at 11:11 pm

    I have been a reader for a while and trying to advocate some. Fellow person with chronic pain here.

    First, thank you to the physicians and other HCP’s who endure the current environment that has to weigh heavily in on you daily. Thanks for your dedication to keep on through the turmoil. Thanks to the ones who unfortunately had to endure the career and life altering scrutiny of inquiries in which you were innocent and which you were an unfair target of. I am sorry for the toll it took.

    Suing the federal government and its agencies is not feasible.See below for alternatives to make yourselves heard.

    FedUP! was PROP’s advocacy group that did a march on Washington on August 31st, the day before September 1st (National Pain Awareness Week). They wanted to take advantage and get in front of it.

    The facts are that unless everyone begins comprising a well toned, documented letter and /or petition to their representatives things may likely continue to get worse.

    We can complain on various forums and such (and rightly so) that we are maligned and subject to mistreatment/lack of treatment but………

    If every reader took 1 action to contact their representatives, attend or organize an awareness campaign, aligned with various organizations (such as the US Pain Foundation) there’s a good chance we could at least get a decent fight. That is several million people advocating for one or several causes. Those numbers matter.

    Barring action on our part – things may continue as the status quo – and that is something I cannot and would not wish on anyone. I have suffered for several years myself.

    What about meeting with your states legislature?

    Even reading your story during the proposal/voting on a bill or statute has made a difference (see some of the stories of addicts who died read by the governors of the states most affected by the ‘epidemic’). Those bills got a lot more support. While sympathetic against some of the losses attributed to the death of people who OD’s – there is the element of personal responsibility and I will tread lightly here.

    Don’t shift the blame and anger on the entire chronic pain population including the patients, physicians and advocates. We stand to lose a ton yet they have opened the floodgates to support treatment and recovery.

    I don’t mean to come across as harsh or critical – I am in the same boat. I just wanted to throw a call to action.

  6. Tim Mason at 10:37 pm

    If a person has enough images and documentation to confirm an organic pain causing condition of the spine the morphine equivalent barrier is not an issue.
    I do know a girl that was getting Diludid for cancer pain but her medicine was stolen or sold and now she cannot get anything.
    IMO if you passed all your drug screens, have not lost or had medicine stolen and do not drink alcohol a doctor can feel confident he has a patient that will not get him/her in hot water with the DEA.
    Sometimes, we create our own HELL.

  7. Lisa Webb at 6:08 pm

    I’ve been suffering with CRPS since 2001 and been fighting hard to stay out of a wheelchair. These new laws are going to put me in a wheelchair through no fault of my own. My pain is worse, my depression is worse etc… due to all this, I’ve NEVER taken too many pills or anything but I’m being punished. All I want to know is where do I send my suicide note so maybe someone will maybe help the rest of those suffering??

  8. Tylor Keller at 12:22 am

    Thanks for sharing. I am a chemist and doing some analytical chemical researches everyday. I work with some pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, so I hope I can help some patients who is suffering from pain.

  9. Michele W at 5:57 pm

    I am a chronic pain person who is on the verge of suicide because I can not get pain relief no more. I’ve never done illegal drugs, I don’t drink alcohol or smoke so I am not the addiction type. I needed pain relief and I am being treated worse than a drug addict that has broken the laws. The meth clinics are going strong! My two nephew’s were doing herion, they both got sent to a meth clinic. That was over 20 years ago!! They are still handed the same dose of methadone for over 20 years! They are not being taken down on the dose to eventually take them off of it. No they are handing it out like candy. My nephew’s still continue to do drugs and failed multiple drug test. Were they kicked out? NO!! They had privliges taken away. The privlge. Is that they get to take a couple days doses of the methadone home. So when they fail a drug test, instead of being kicked out, they just have to come in every day to get thier doses!! Wow that is showing them that illegal drugs are off limits! Huh! Here are people who never broke laws ever and we have ligitamite reasons to be on pain meds and we are being thrown out on the street to have so much pain that some of us either commit suicide or are on the verge of it because our government is hurting us. This ban will do nothing to help the druggies quit overdosing. They will just overdose on herion now. They are going to cause the herion use to rise beyond belief! If drug users want drugs they will find them. Yes there are accidental overdoses but either they were not warned about the med or they became addicted and wanted a better high. That is not our fault. I was on pain med for over 10 years and never failed a drug test ever! My doctor also tested for the amount that was in your blood so they could tell right away if you were taking more or less. I also had to sign a narcotic agreement that if I failed anything they sprang on me I was kicked out right then and there and that goes on your record for every doctor you go to can see. I just don’t get why good people who never did anything wrong are being thrown out and being caused to deal with severe pain. The government should and needs to know that these innocent people’s deaths are on thier heads alone! Not the drug abusers who break the law. Innocent people! Im sorry people who abuse drugs, 98 % of them will go back to doing something. I’ve seen people go to rehab fully paid by our government 4 to 6 times!! Everytime they got out they went right back to doing herion, cocaine or pill popping. We were not given that luxury. And we are not the ones again breaking the laws. Maybe the government needs to see how much the suicide rate has risen since they did this. It hasn’t gone down at all it has risen with the lives of innocent chronic pain people.

  10. Chris S at 12:57 pm

    Hello
    I will tell my chronic pain story once again and again and again if I must. I’m going to talk plainly. I’m 65 years old and at age 45 I had 5 spine surgeries in the years following, 3 lumbar installing 5 levels of titanium rods and screws as long as your index finger and 4 levels in my cervical region. That’s 10 levels of my spine. I am in relentless, life changing excruciating chronic pain. I am 99% housebound and with the so called opioid epidemic I have had my opioids taken away from me totally and completely. To begin with this not an opioid epidemic its a heroin, fentanyl and carfentanyl epidemic. The majority of overdoses and deaths are due to these drugs not opioids. The local governments are screaming about all the money they are spending for naloxone to revival of the heroin addicts. Taking heroin, fentanyl is a choice to ‘ get high’ not a treatment. Chronic pain patients were prescribed opioids by their physicians for constant chronic pain just like a cancer or heart patient may be prescribed pain medications. I was prescribed pain medication ( mild painkiller and a mild muscle relaxer ) for 21 years beginning in 1996 following my first unsuccessful surgery. Not once did I overdose, not once did I wreck my vehicle or pass out behind the wheel of my vehicle nor did I rob an establishment for drugs or money to feed any type of craving. The government would like you to believe that patients taking legal opioid prescriptions are doing these things. The medical community who were caring for the chronic pain community should have grouped together as one to FIGHT for their patients even know the federal, state and local governments threatened the doctor’s medical license on the front lines of this targeted blanket execution of chronic pain patients rights. Threatened our physicians ! Is this America? Not only am I a chronic pain patient I am a ‘ disabled person ‘ 1999, and my rights as a disabled person are being trampled upon by our federal and state governments because THEY see now they can sue the opioid companies for ‘ big money ‘. Again our government is seeing $$ signs. See where this is going ? Guess what ? The federal government was part of the original so called opioid problem. Remember the fifth, #5 classification on the medical list, chronic pain made the list. Our federal, state and local governments should be ashamed of themselves for targeting the chronic pain community classifying our medical group with heroin, fentanyl and carfentenyl users. Did our government targeted the chronic pain community because most of the time you can’t see our debilitating injuries? All you have to is use common sense and LOOK at our paperwork, our test, our medical history and all the unnecessary activities we are forced to go through for treatments that DOES NOT WORK. Pain clinics are not the answer. I’ve had every spine shot, nerve block, etc. as there are stars in the sky, an ocean of physical therapy and none of this treatment helps me but my 2 mild opioid prescriptions helped me. The prescriptions gave me some quality of life albeit not 100% quality of life. My surgeons both said on paper, on my records this patient needs opioid medication for constant chronic pain, more than one disability but no one will listen to me, to my records, my medical history, to my surgeon, but only want to say to me, you are not getting any more opioid prescriptions. Our government is forcing a ‘ blanket policy ‘ to fit all their needs, the governments needs but not the chronic pain community patients needs. The actions of our government targeting our group is causing unnecessary severe misery, extreme suffering, even death from unrelenting needling pain perpetrated by their blanket policy agendas on opioids. It’s unconstitutional ! Chronic pain community patients when it comes time to vote for our politicians remember their opioid policies. Please remember ‘ term limits ‘ for our politicians. Let’s see if we can get an eight (8) year term limit on the ballots and out of politics for ever. Our politicians should not be making a careers of their offices as it goes today. Let’s make some much needed changes America. Together we stand strong alone we are not heard. Please fight for our medical rights as patients. There is a class action lawsuit here. Come one and all chronic pain community and fight for rights as American citizens. Thanks for reading.

  11. Rob at 6:55 am

    If you read the article in USA Today, it will make your blood pressure go off the charts. The stupid crap they spew is insulting.

    Bottom line, Andrew Kolodny – P.R.O.P. will only be happy when EVERY opioid medication is eliminated completely.

    I live in a very rural area. My township has only 900 full time residents and last month they arrested two individuals who were dealing Fentanyl. The local paper had an article which headlined “Arrests made for 2 dealers of prescription opioids”. Inside the article it stated that “Fentanyl, a commonly prescribed opioid for pain medication”. I wrote the paper to try and set the record straight, but the author was indignant stating that her Alcoholic Mother had died from an overdose and it was her responsibility to inform the public.

    The zealots lie, mislead, misdirect and the general public buys it. Unfortunately for us, I do not believe it will ever end until there is an outright prohibition on all opioid pain medication. Then our only alternative will be to purchase unknown and dangerous street drugs that seem to be abundantly available everywhere.

  12. Glen Frink at 5:43 am

    Every one of those “so called” professionals are Obviously ignorant and Only out to fill their personal agenda! As far as the insurance company, I’ve Never seen or heard of this behaviour being justified

  13. John Callahan at 4:51 am

    What do people do when they have had countless back surgerys and mo metal in them than wolverine .have pain pump it suc-s cause it on deal with one spot in you pack .I been labeled a druggie i just want a better quality off life it people who don’t need pain relief that are oding cause there smarter than the doctor its sad cause of such a large amount of good people have passed can’t the take the addictve drug out of the drugs hurting in boston Strong John. GOD help us all.

  14. Bo Cooper at 1:45 am

    Its a bad time to be in bad pain and on opioids. My current pain doc is on a personal crusade to reduce or eliminate the use of opioids all together. It’s not just me – it’s his entire patient load- I can hear him talking with other patients through the clinic walls ! Some background: He bought my account from my previous pain doc who retired. I should have ran for the exit. In the last two years, my pain doc has: quoted CDC guidelines as gospel and said he was thinking about “zeroing” out half his practice and starting over from scratch individual pain control programs; arbitrarily reduced my opioid daily prescription by 25% a year ago to “show he’s aware of new restrictions being placed upon him; showed me a poor photo copy of an article in a Florida newspaper about a pain doc who went to jail for overprescribing. In my treatment relationship I’ve never asked for a higher strength; run out; failed a UA. I’m an A+ “Deans’ List” patient, well aware that opioids in the hands of fools are killing people. Here in Missouri I have to see my pain doc every 28 days. Prescriptions are written for 28 day cycles. Two weeks ago he had his receptionist call to tell me he was “not filling anymore prescriptions for pain meds for me because a UA detected alcohol in my system, thus a violation of the pain contract.” That’s right, after 5 years of responsible opoid use, including a 25% reduction, a worsening medical condition, diminished effectiveness of medication due to use over time, I would not be tapered, I was not getting a refill. I called several times the following day. He would not return my call. Finally, over the phone, he explained the UA had an extremely high alvohol value. He said it was the highest he’d ever seen or heard of. I suggested it was a false positive. The UA was taken at 9am, 7/20, during a heatwave in Missouri, and that I was already dehydrated in general. I asked him if the value was incredibly high on 7/20- why did he wait 26 days to discuss it with me? If the UA results were critical enough to take me off opioids “cold turkey” to save my life- why did he not call me the same day he got my results? He started kind of talking to himself and said it could be a false positive, and that he’d go ahead and refill, “this time.” Shame on me- I’ve clearly allowed this man to generate monthly anxiety over my treatment plan, I’ve allowed him to reduce dosage to satisfy some internal goal, and I’ve accepted a lower quality of life and increased my daily pain experience. If he was a restauaunt serving food, he’d be out of business. My question- how do we warn each other about care givers like this? I feel I should report him. Someone mentioned in an earlier post we should file a class action suit somewhere. How do we navigate egos, opinions, policies, and not offend or look like a junkie because we need the medicine? Again- this is a bad time to be using opioids for pain management. We are the problem, we are the stigma. I’ve read about folks in our position who turn to street drugs for one reason or another. That’s a terrible place to be. I don’t think I’m at risk for this, but my heart goes out to those who are. FML.

  15. Julie C. at 3:05 pm

    I, too, am a non-cancer chronic pain patient, despite the fact that treatment to slow the progression of my autoimmune diseases is low-dose chemotherapy. I am prescribed the exact same chemotherapy medication as others diagnosed with cancer, albeit, the dosing is much lower. However, unlike many who are diagnosed with cancer, receive chemotherapy for treatment and reach remission, never having to receive treatment again, I must receive injections/infusions for the REST of my life.

    I work with a Interventional Pain Management Physician who monitors my pain and does prescribe me low dose synthetic opioid analgesics. He can show any “politician” my lab work which displays physical markers of pain (i.e. CRP, Sed Rate, etc.).

    In the last 2 years alone, my doc and I are besides ourselves with either my private PPO insurance no longer offering coverage for pain meds it once did, or my doc’s feeling the pressure of non-medical minions over-riding his years of medical training.

    I will personally sign any petition or speak on behalf of any topic related to fighting this War Against Chronic Pain Patients.

  16. Joaa at 2:23 pm

    I am dealing with CRPS/RSD, AutoImmune disease, Major Depression and PTSD. I was going to a pain management clinic ordered by my Primary (Medical) Dr. Upon my six months of treatment (not treated just tested with in their parameters to Disprove my CRPS) they started the game of delaying my prescription of Hydrocodone and Lyrica. I stopped seeing them immediately and returned to Primary for treatment.
    I have been fighting for my patient rights since CDC guidelines. They are not Mandated, however the CDC, INSURANCE COMPANIES and PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY have UNITED threatening the Doctors Medical Licences. This whole “Opiate Epidemic” is falsely represented and the tier of CARE is BACKWARDS.
    Our petitions and Voices need to be heard and responded to while we still have a voice and not a headstone…………

  17. Sharon at 11:35 am

    I have CRPS in both feet and left leg. I have been taking the same medicine for over 7 years. Yes they counted pills and yes they drug tested me and yes NEVER have I not passed a drug test in these years. I don’t know what I do if my meds were taken away.
    I’m laying in bed now with both my feet feeling like there are on fire! I can’t lay my feet on the mattress because the pressure makes my heel feel like its coming off. So laying in bed is not comfortable and not something I want not ever wanted to do.
    My doctor only sees a very few patients because she wants to be home for her children. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

  18. Renee E Mace at 10:52 am

    I am with Carrie Strobach we need to hire an attorney to be our additional voice in all this madness, I wish that US Pain Foundation President Paul Gileno would put out a survey to find out how many of us chronic pain people are out there and together with a Law Team start a real fight with the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration. I was told that some Television channel in the midwest is doing an interview with the other side of the Opioid Debate, we need to find who it is and flood them with our stories and how the guidelines have taken away the only life we had, it might not be much but we are people and we do not deserve to suffer in silence.

  19. Jodi at 10:41 am

    Tramadol is like taking a Tylenol and hoping it works better than it. My mother who has never had to take any pain medication in her life was prescribed Tramadol after a surgery and it did nothing for her! I do feel bad that this man’s daughter died from an overdose, but if it wasn’t her prescription she was looking to get high, and would have done so with anything she could. That’s not the chronic pain patients issue. It would be like me saying that because my sister was killed by a drunk driver, they should ban alcohol. That would be ridiculous. Kids are getting high off Benedryl now. They will use anything they can. I have had to take opiods for the past 4 years because a doctor screwed up a knee replacement on me giving me an infection. I am now 42 years old and I can’t walk to the bathroom without a walker and serious pain. With everything going on, I’m afraid to even tell my doctor that my medication is not enough. I am given enough medication for about 12 hours a day, and then the other 12, I’m basically laying in my bed in tears.

  20. Drew at 10:29 am

    Not too long ago the “buzz words” in the media were AK-47’s, assault rifles, and pit bulls. Now it’s opioids. The only thing they have in common is they all are myths. No one questions the nonsense that “journalists” put out there everyday. Mistakes and lies are almost never corrected. I wish the journalists and politicians could see how much suffering they cause by their irresponsible actions.

  21. Dana Shore at 9:14 am

    Another petition written and signed by a group of people who walk around with their heads up their arses or written by the drug companies themselves designed to do nothing more than get in our pocket. There is nothing about this so called opiod epidemic that is looking out for cronic pain patients. The drug companies have been Killing people for years with their scams, for years it’s been chemotherapy as they killed one after the other with that crap while paying the Doctors a healthy commission and that is what the cronic pain patents have to look forward to, nothing less. I wish you all the best as the scum sucking lying bastards are doing less than nothing to help us. My so called pain specialist cut my pain dose in half after I had been on it over a year and doing just fine. He cut it in half about 2 months after promising me he would not do that. I quit going there as I will not pay someone to lie to me and make me miserable all at the same time. There are other options out there and I found some of them and I wish the same for each of you. Leave no avenue unchecked and good luck.

  22. Ibin at 9:05 am

    This narrative from Boise, is not a representation of how, a patient is supposed to be treated for pain. Whatever pain generating issue the patient has, should be treated with a low intensity, non opioid medication to see if the patient realizes sufficient pain management. Even 20 plus years ago, after a second low back surgery, I was medicated after surgery (and before) with a low schedule (then) opioid medication for surgery pain relief. I was appropriately medicated for recovery time ( 8 mons) and then further evaluation after “release”, discharge from treatment, : from the surgeon was accepted by my General MD. I did the physical therapy, did the weight loss recommendation, was not overweight then) and all non prescription alternatives to pain management available. Years went by, still the pain persisted. I was referred to a pain management specialist, all while my general MD was aware of my treatment plan. With opioid medication, my individual metabolism, and all the other physiological factors of my personal treatment were considered, my personal, individual care plan was achieved and I have been treated with one oral medication for over about 15 years. Treated sufficiently with opioid medication after…..other methods of treatment failed to adequately manage incurable pain. Some of the non medicinal treatments incorporated in my pain management plan, ice packs, heating pads, and basically movement are still practiced with pain management to this day. The “protocol” to find adequate pain relief, for me, were appropriately followed. I was never placed on a high dose, high strength opioid medication at the beginning of my spine problems After some 10 or 11 years, prescribed the same medication for 5 years or so prior, I was even able to decrease……the same medication by 60 milligrams per day and have achieved pain management, tolerable pain management until 2017. With me, the protocol was followed by my providers as to achieve pain management with the “least” opioid medication possible. Strange that the insurance provider would request an opioid medication to be prescribed, when a possible non opioid medication would be sufficient. The pendulum has swung far too far with the so called “opioid crisis”. Patients across the nation have been abandoned, no treatment facility available or the reluctance, the requirement that our physicians keep all patients to 90 mme. Worsened pain, suicidal tendencies with actual suicide, homicide, and property loss ( due to lack of monetary sources) being reported.No resources or educational alternatives given. Government is to facilitate the right for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. EVEN if that includes the prescribing of scheduled, controlled substances when used, responsibly, through documented use, by the patient. Contact your Representatives who “serve”, in DC. Insufficient treatment will not go away on its’ own.

  23. HAZZY at 7:18 am

    I WAS JUST AT MY PAIN MANAGEMENT DOCTOR, HE CUT MY 10MG PERCOCET TO 7.5MG, IVE BEEN TAKING OPIOIDS FOR 27 YEARS AND IM STILL HERE, AND STILL WITH CHRONIC PAIN. SO, JUST GIVE US OUR MEDS AND LEAVE THE PEOPLE ALONE THAT DONT ABUSE, WE ARE THE ONES BEING HURT.

  24. Tracy Lacy at 7:06 am

    Iam a class a welder i work on the ga dome an the stsispheree in vagas an Canada i take 80 mg time release i dont like it i was b brought up that if you have pain you take medicine if you don’t have pain and you don’t hurt then you don’t need medicine but I have to take a 80 mg time release in case I might be hurting because it takes over an hour to an hour and a half will you get any relief but the doctors in Alabama are too scared to write the only other medicine that I can take which is up oxycodone 15 or 30 and I had much rather have it wait until all your Craftsman and workers if you banned opiates can’t go to work then I’ll just draw my $2,700 on disability and stay at home I’m sorry parents of lost kids to overdose but if you want to get high you’re going to get high and they’ll just be overdoses on something else it’ll go up whether it’s heroin or snorting gasoline my concern is what about the people like me that take medicine the way it’s supposed to be and go to work and support their families every day

  25. Sandy Auriene Sullivan at 7:01 am

    I made a decision last week to stop opiates. The 90mme box made me hurt *MORE* and even tho I slow titrated down after being unable to exchange my medication for a different type [oxycodone to methadone @30mg a day!!] I handed them back the ER script for the oxycontin and proceeded to withdrawal at home with my family supporting me.

    Gonna let everyone in on a secret too. The OD pens? They gave me TWO injectables to last 12mos. After 8 days [no ER] and 24hrs without a single IR dose [very fast metabolizer] I had my diabetic mom administer naloxone around 3pm yesterday.
    [it’s serious, it’s not something I’d rec for everyone without the supervision I had which is medical professionals *anyway* EMT/RN/CNA]

    I didnt even vomit as it purged. It was intramuscular lasting all night. I felt it go and the ‘dope sickness’ with it. It’s not even 24hrs later. HOW DO I FEEL?

    LIKE CRAP. All my pain is back in it’s pure raw form. [took small amount of kratom this morning] I will see the doc this month and remind him of what ‘PAIN AWARENESS MONTH MEANS’

    Been asking where is my advocate in there? He should stand up to them with the evidence we have… I’m about to get tested for being terminally ill. My doctor is the one sending me for those tests yet being unable to fit into that box made me drop out of it.

    Am I scared? YES. Did I turn down suboxone ‘maintenence’ YES [I don’t want an addict label; nor does anyone else in pain]

    Wish me luck.

  26. Veronica at 5:42 am

    I’ve taken Tramadol, and it barely takes the edge off of my pain. I’ve also taken morphine, and became allergic to it. I’m allergic to many pain meds, so am limited. Now, however, NO clinic withing 45 miles of me will prescribe ANY pain medication, so I sit here and suffer. If, and it’s a long shot, I decide to drive – I end up with a minimum of 4 day migraine. All they’ve done is make lives miserable. WE aren’t responsible for others taking the easy way out and committing suicide. However, WE DO deserve the best there is to offer to try to alleviate pain!!

  27. Carrie Strobach at 5:13 am

    I want to know why you haven’t started a petition to request protection for chronic pain patients from the mass hysteria that seems to be gripping the nation! We need to hire a law firm to file a class action suit against the FDA, DEA and the federal government to protect chronic pain patients! If something isn’t done soon, we will lose our rights to pain medication forever! We already get treated like we are criminals with pill counts, random drug and blood tests, and so forth. There are millions of us that need our meds, we need to represent!

  28. Linda at 4:40 am

    Hi and thank you for keeping us informed. It is so greatly appreciated.

    I am a pain patient and I live in constant pain. I informed my doctor that I am now wheelchair bound because I can no longer walk from the severity of my pain. I told her – taking 1 tylenol 3 with 3 gabapentin, 1 Valium, and 2 ibuprofen every 6 hours doesn’t touch my pain, but keeps me dopey and sleepy all the time. I told her that I would rather take more tylenol 3 and stop the gabapentin and Valium because it at least doesn’t make me sleepy, but, the only problem with both ways is that I’m in too much pain. I explained further that I have to be awake a certain number of hours a day- just because I’m a human being and have to go through the basics of life like going to the bathroom, eating, and bathing. Her response was – she stopped the Valium and increased the gabapentin, the stuff that keeps me dopey, sleeping, and seems to kill off the good effects of my zoloft, making me have to live with my level 5 depression again. (I have a long-term rare severe type of depression that came on as a result of a hysterectomy 30 years ago) .

    Her other response after we had a talk about how I know all about the CDC guidelines that most everyone has turned into gospel was – in a smug way she said “well I’m glad to hear you read! ”

    And that’s that where she is concerned. She is not going to stray at all from those guidelines period. Instead she keeps pushing relentlessly for me to go to mental health to Control my pain and I reminded her THAT I DO GO to the therapist there that SHE SET UP! Then she said, well, that’s just the therapist, you need to see the psychiatrist. I told her she never told me that before today!

    But here is MY deal- I’m in too much pain to go because they are an hour away and I cannot fathom having to go through all that do, to go there more than one time a month. I also have to pay someone $40 for each trip to help me “accomplish the long day “, because I go to a multi purpose clinic and one simple doctors appointment consumes one entire night and day. With my level of pain I have to start to get ready the night before.

    So this article although something I must know, is so very scary to me. It’s devastating news actually. Things are moving along at record pace, with success after success, to not only not help us, but to make our pain continue to get worse. And I just don’t think my body can handle much more pain due to my illness and the inability of doctors to help ease my pain, that has now ruined my life. Yes, my 4 year old motherless granddaughter whom I raised til 6 months ago and my son made the move an hour away and she needs me. Truly needs me, and I can’t go be with her at all because of this damn pain that can’t be treated. (My pain is from a truck accident a number of years ago)

    Thanks for listening all and I pray always, for all of you. All of us and our families.

  29. Paula Sorrentino at 4:38 am

    I have been living with RSD for 17 years and my Pain management Doctor was Ordered to cut my meds each month. How do you do this to a Chronic Pain Patient? I am working on letters to my Senators. This is Totally insane. I take my medications when I need them, if I don’t take them I am curled up in bed crying due to the pain. I was informed by my doctor that my Worker’s Compensation Adjustor sent a Outside Company to his office to discuss, how they can bring my medications down. When I spoke to W/C she told me that if my doctor feels I need the medications then he should prescribe them. It’s all one vicious circle.
    So now Worker’s Compensation and the Outside Company both have to send letters to my Pain Management Doctor in order for me to get back the medications he took away from me. Each month he will raise my dosages to get me back to where I was. It’s going to take close to 9 months. Where it only took him 5 to cut me.
    People who are taking pain meds and abusing them are ruining it for people like us that need them to make it through the day to function.
    If my doctor were to continue cutting my medications, I don’t know how I would survive. There has to be someone that is willing to listen to us. Someone that can help. This is why I am going to finish writing my letters and take them to my Senators in New Jersey.
    I don’t know, maybe I should take it further? Thanks for letting me share this and Thank You for all of the Great Information you share with all of us.

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