Reading Between the Lines: President Trump’s Opiate Announcement

Reading Between the Lines: President Trump’s Opiate Announcement

By Terri Lewis PhD.

When I realized that President Trump was giving an important speech on opioids, I sent Dr. Terri Lewis an email in Taiwan where she is working and asked if she could give me some reaction. Dr. Lewis is an important advocate for the chronic pain community who uses data to inform her point of view. In her response to the Trump speech, she used data/prior announcements and other public utterances to make her point that the speech—as even the anti-opioid community was saying– was lacking in details. Warning…there’s a lot of data to review!

(by the way, here’s the speech in case you didn’t see it.)

————–
FLOTUS is great isn’t she? She has adopted this mission! (Finally, a PROJECT)

64,000 deaths last year, 175 deaths / day. Bigger than guns and car crashes – HUGE!

https://www.acsh.org/news/2017/10/12/opioid-epidemic-6-charts-designed-deceive-you-11935

In 2016 1 mil people used heroin. The US was the biggest consumer. HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE!

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/heroin.html

http://www.painpolicy.wisc.edu/opioid-consumption-data

We have to take care of addicted babies in West Virginia. FAMILIES RIPPED APART!

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/dramatic-increases-in-maternal-opioid-use-neonatal-abstinence-syndrome

We can be the generation that ends the opiate epidemic. WE CAN DO IT!

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/08/trump-opioids-heroin-epidemic

I am declaring a NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY (for 90 days).

https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/legal/Pages/phedeclaration.aspx

We will unlock treatment – VERY FAST MOBILIZATION!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2950754/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/16/donald-trump-obamacare-is-dead-affordable-care-act

Governor Chris Christi heads a Commission – he’s the BEST isn’t he?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/19/he-chairs-trumps-opioid-commission-christie-champions-his-home-state-drug-companies/752822001/

Some kind of a report is coming with recommendations from Governor Christi and his terrific committee. We’ll have to wait and see what’s in it, but it will be the best report!

https://www.gq.com/story/chris-christie-profile-2017

In the meantime, we’ll do the best with what we have for at least 90 days

FIGHTING!

CDC will train prescribing doctors who are federally employed – FABULOUS!

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/rr/rr6501e1.htm

https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/hrsa/about/budget/budget-justification-2018.pdf

FDA will train prescribers and by gosh we will get rid of that EVIL OPANA
.
https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm562401.htm

We’ll open up HIV money for use with treating opiates – that’s good for Indiana, RIGHT?

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/31/472577254/opioid-epidemic-sparks-hiv-outbreak-in-tiny-indiana-town

They had that awful outbreak with Opana and shooting up – spread HIV bigly.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/02/20/not-rogue-clinic-carmel-addiction-docs-sue-city/98010380/

If we just say no to needles then we don’t have a problem right? And that is what we just did. Needles are a gateway to opiates used for the wrong purpose so we have to get smart and say NO!

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/20/16507902/indiana-lawrence-county-needle-exchange

We will train MAIL CARRIERS how to intercept drugs.

http://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/fbi-usps-workers-agreed-to-deliver-cocaine-through-the-mail/85-469267067

DOJ will step up INTERDICTION of drug traffickers from CHINA. I will talk to President Xi about that.

http://time.com/4999244/opioid-crisis-donald-trump-criminals-drug-companies-mexico-china/

We will sue companies that hurt us.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/7/15724054/opioid-companies-epidemic-lawsuits

NIH will lead development of drug development and treatment (with the little bit of money that we have placed into their budgets).
https://www.genomeweb.com/policy-legislation/senate-subcommittee-approves-2018-funding-bill-increasing-nih-budget

AD campaign – JUST SAY NO – When children see that brain on drugs they will be so scared they will say NO – BEAUTIFUL!

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

My brother Fred was an alcoholic. He’d say to me DON’T DRINK! He SCARED ME STRAIGHT! I learned not to drink or smoke because he was a nice looking, educated man and it ruined him. I didn’t want to get ruined, so I learned to just say NO!
I learned it. You can learn it too.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/us/politics/for-donald-trump-lessons-from-a-brothers-suffering.html

If we teach our kids to JUST SAY NO, we don’t have to spend money on addiction services.

GREAT ADVERTISING! If we just build the right ad campaign, and the pictures are scary enough, the PROBLEM IS SOLVED, RIGHT?

Health and Human Services will lead pain management treatment across government.

The Veterans Administration has done such a great job for Veterans by REDUCING THEIR ACCESS TO CARE. Thanks Secretary Shulkin! You’re doing a GREAT JOB for our VETERANS! (the invisible suicide rate for veterans is now more than 20 veterans/day).

https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2951

Drug use is a NATIONAL SHAME (code for I FEEL STIGMATIZED)

We will BUILD A WALL so immigrants can’t bring drugs into our country through the southern border.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/09/11/president-trumps-claim-that-a-wall-will-stop-much-of-the-drugs-from-pouring-into-this-country/?utm_term=.7bd4799a1cbf

We will enforce the laws, break up gangs, confront reality RIGHT SMACK IN THE FACE (except guns…because NRA).

http://www.businessinsider.com/dea-maps-of-mexican-cartels-in-the-us-2016-12

We will make treatment available to those in PRISON, add DRUG COURTS! Focus on DRUG DEMAND and reduce DESIRE. DRUGS ARE BAD!!

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/americas-biggest-private-prison-company-just-hosted-its-annual-conference-at-a-trump-golf-resort/

When drug use is invisible to us, we don’t have to spend more money right?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/26/trump-opioids-crisis-health-emergency-funds

We don’t need more money because we have GUARDIAN ANGELS!

http://www.wtol.com/story/35547709/faces-of-heroin-pregnant-mother-beats-addiction-with-help-from-guardian-angel

LOVE CURES ALL ILLS and LOVE is free right?

https://www.promises.com/articles/addiction-intervention/using-phrases-like-rock-bottom-easy-living-hard/

Everything old is NEW again

Authored by: Terri A Lewis, PhD.

There are 25 comments for this article
  1. David Schroeder at 8:01 pm

    Most human beings as well as the more intelligent animals respond to the sight of someone suffering with feelings of compassion and sympathy. We are uncomfortable and to some extent “feel” the other person’s pain. This is a very useful feeling as it encourages us to help relieve pain in others. In fact, people who lack sympathy and compassion are considered to have a mental disorder known as sociopathy.
    In the philosophy of Buddhism, responding to suffering in another sentient being is considered to be the highest form of action.
    How is it then that a government can establish an official policy to ignore the suffering of its citizens? Have we become a nation of sociopaths?

  2. PAIN HOSTAGE at 7:39 am

    On Thursday, November 2, 2017, I broadcasted the following (and 3rd of 4) message(s) to 14 recipients, all of whom hold great power over inhumane pain & suffering, Life & death… To this day, I have received one reply from the CDC telling me about the “guidelines”… As I am now possessed by all-consuming PAIN and plagued with involuntary, unwelcomed and uninvited thoughts and impulses to attempt escape from this torture in the most permanent of ways, this will likely be my final post…
    ——————————————————————————————-

    To ALL Whom I Pray it Will Concern:

    On Thursday, October 26th, President Donald J. Trump formally, passionately and rightfully declared the opioid crisis to be a nationwide public health emergency. I applaud this action; however, I and multitudes of others serve as “dying proof” that the sharp and deadly “opioid pendulum” is swinging to the most extreme of unintended cruelty. “Where “extremes” exist, there is no balance, and where there is no balance, there is falling…” (quote by J.D. Hinkle)

    My name is (edited out) and I am a 50 year old man being HELD HOSTAGE in a “TORTURE CHAMBER OF A DYING BODY”. I write one last time today (as best I can) in a final hope that these words might reach and “touch” those with the heart and power to restore some balance. I write, as twenty-two of our great VETERAN HEROES and multitudes of others die, falling victim every day to their untreated/undertreated pain, be it physical or otherwise…

    I have been a long-term chronic pain patient who, up until the end of 2014, had been receiving very effective prescription opioid treatment for defense against unrelenting, ruthless and severe pain that surfaced in 2002. As such, I watched and listened intensely to every single impassioned word The President spoke so beautifully and, much to my utter despair and growing terror, the many words left unspoken…

    I am but one of untold numbers, who have depended upon prescription pain medicines ONLY for some relief from chronic and severe pain – never once to get “high” nor escape reality – never once (added note: My personal “reality” had been beautiful beyond my dreamz). During President Trump’s declaration, my heart bled for the multitudes of true chronic pain patients, not unlike myself, being denied treatment from their now “paralyzed and demonized” pain physicians and clinics… Tortured patients running – or thrown – to “the streets” in absolute desperation to find relief (and ONLY relief) from murderous, suicidal pain… Or succumbing and slitting their wrists, tying a noose, or swallowing a bullet… Perhaps this might explain President Trump’s statement that “…deaths will get worse before it gets better.”

    For those of us truly suffering, there was one glimmering statement of hope from President Trump’s enormous heart and declaration – it was this:

    “At my direction, the National Institute of Health headed up by Francis Collins has taken the first steps of an ambitious public-private partnership with pharmaceutical companies to develop non-addictive pain killers…”; “I’ll be pushing the concept of non-addictive pain killers very, very hard. We have to come up with that solution. We give away billions and billions of dollars a year and we’re going to be spending lots of money on coming up with a non-addictive solution.”

    I heard those hopeful words and applaud the President. Thus far, President Trump has mostly kept to his campaign promises (as best as he can) and proven himself to be a man of his word and of honor. Thus, I firmly believe and trust that he WILL push hard and he is “great” at it. SO PUSH MR. PRESIDENT, PUSH AS HARD AND FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE! “Fast” is critical and the problem – the swamp barely moves. If there are trials already underway, I would urgently and gratefully donate my “torture chamber” while it still exists…

    Unfortunately, for so very many of us, this appears a very distant hope and prayer. For too many of us, time is already up and gone. In all these years, I (and so very many others) have followed every rule, using only one doctor and one pharmacy at a time, taking our desperately needed and effective medications exactly as prescribed – no more, no less. In all these years, despite my opioid tolerance reaching “hospice” levels, I have never overdosed, never even come close – and I never will. I will not be going to “the streets” to be poisoned and become a statistic that furthers more extremes. I do not drink alcohol. I do not “crave” opioids and never have (unlike my addiction and craving for cigarettes). I have depended on these opioid medicines for PAIN RELIEF ONLY, just as I have depended on a heating-pad for additional pain relief for my broken back and Ibuprofen for the very occasional headache.

    Until those new discoveries are made, it is impossible to understand why many of the current pain medicines, some of them centuries old and proven, are being so “demonized” and withheld even from those who are clearly not at risk, leading only to needless, inhumane suffering and death. As I have been unable to find a doctor willing to prescribe, I will use the last effective dose of remaining “defense” on or about Nov. 5th…

    During my final year of employment in the (edited out) profession, a colleague and friend caught me doubled over in pain after another drop in my meds. He said to me, “Damn, man, I don’t know how you do it! If you were my dog, I would have you put down to sleep!”

    He LOVES his dog…

    Yours Truly & Sincerely,
    Yours Prayerfully,
    In Final Hope,
    Or In Memoriam,

    (edited out) Dead Man Typing
    1967 – 2017…?

    That was it… Time is nearly up…

  3. Noel T Ciancio at 6:10 am

    Why aren’t we all writing Mr Trump ? I have several times , of course didn’t hear back but we all need to do it instead of just complaining about it to each other . What do we have to lose !?

  4. Scott michaels at 5:20 pm

    Its not funny but the porrest white people that meed and take the most help from the govt voted for trump.
    Comparing drug deaths to car crashes is plain moronic. She took that quote from andrew klodney another moron.
    God forbit the comparison was to another drug like alcohol and tobacco. That where the big numbers are.
    Also for a president that is supposedly for the vet’s. Thats a joke. Tens of thousands are subject to a life time of SEVERE chronic pain due to to WARS this country feels it must be in on every continent. Now trump will deny them relief along with the millions of others in severe chronic pain.
    HE DID NOT MENTION US ONCE. THOSE SPEECHES WERE PLAGERIZED AND SOUMD BITES FROM PROP THE CDC ANDTHE DEA. FOR A GUY THAT HATES FAKE NEWS, HE SURE LOVES TO PICK THE FAKE NEW HE LIKES AND PUSH IT. OUR POPULATION IS AT ITS OLDEST LEVEL EVER. BABY BOOMERS ARE A MAJORITY. THAT MEANS MORE PEOPME THEN EVER WILL BE SICK OR IN PAIN FROM WORKING OR INJURIES THEN EVER.
    JUST A FACT. IN 1921 1 IN EVERY 133 AMERICANS WERE ADDICTED TO A DRUG EITHER A FORM OF OPIUM OR COCAINE. BAYER AND MERCK SOLD THEM OTC FOR MANY YEARS. TODAY ITS 1 IN 337 PEOPLE ADDICTED TO DRUGS AND THERE ARE OVER 100 DIFFERENT DRUGS. OUR PROBLEM IS NOT DRUGS ITS PEOPLE ABUSING DRUGS
    THEY ALWAYS WILL UNTIL THEY HIT A ROCK BOTTOM AND FIND HELP
    THEY MUST DO IT ON THOER OWN BECAUSE ADDICTION UNLIKE DEPENDENCE IS A DESEASE. IF TRUMPS EGO IS THAT BIG THIS COUNTRY ALONG WITH THE PEOPLE BEING DENIED OPIOUD TREATMENT FOR SEVERE PAIM ARE DOOMED.
    I HAD 2 FRIENDS 1 HAD KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY AND WAS SENT HOME WITH TYLENOL. NOT EVEN TYLENOL 4. HE REFUSED TO BE IN THAT PAIN. HE BEGGED THE SURGEON AND HIS REFERRING DR FOR PAIN OPIOID RELIEVERS. THEY SAID NO. AFTER THREE WEEKS OF AGONY HE SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HEAD.
    ANOTHER HAD SPINAL SURGERY. HE HAD A 30 INCH SCARE ON HIS SPINE. THE SURGERY WAS 7 HOURS DUE TO COMPLICATIONS. THEY GAVE HAVE HIM 21 VICODIN 10/325. NO REFILLS. HE TO BEGGED AND BEGGED. THEY SAID NO. HE ASKED HIS SON IF HE COULD HELP. ALL HE COULD GET WAS HEROIN. HE TRIED IT. HE SELF MEDICATED ON HEROIN FOR 3 MONTHS AND WEANED HIMSELF OFF. THE DOCTOR BRAGGED TO HIM. SEE YOU DIDNT NEED PAIN PILLS. HE TOLD THE DOCTOR THANKS TO HIM HE USED HEROIN, SOMETHING HE NEVER WOULD HAVE DREAMED OF, EVER. HE SWORE NEVER TO HAVE ANY TYPE OF SURGERY AGAIN. HE WOULD RATHER DIE. HE WAS A LUCKY ONE. HE KNEW TO USE VERY LITTLE UNTIL HE FOUND THE RIGHT DOSE. BUT WE ALL LNOW IT COULD HAVE TURNED OUT MUCH DIFFERENTLY. I URGED HIM TO SUIT THE DR AND THE HOSPITAL. HE SAID NO BECAUSE HE DIDNT WANT TO ADMIT HE USED HEROIN. PAIN IS REAL AND IF THIS COUNTRY IS GOING TO JUST THROW OUT THE DISABLED AND INJURED BECAUSE DRUG ADDICTS MADE STUPID CHOICES AND STUPID PARENTS DIDNT MONITOR THIER CHILDS PAINEDICATION THEY DESERVE WHAT THEY GOT. THERE ARE MILLIONS OF US SUFFERING BECAUSE OF THIER BAD CHOICES. MANY PEOPLE TOOK 360 MG AND MORE OF OXYCONTIN DAILY FOR YEARS. THEY TOOK IT AS DIRECTED THEY NEVER GOT HIGH BECAUSE THE.MEDICINE TARGETED THE PAIN. THEY NEVER MIXED WITH OTHER DRUGS OR ALCOHOL.
    THATS WHY NOT ONE OF US EVER OVERDOSED OR DIED , NOT 1. EVERY DRUG ADDICT MIXED TOOK HAND FULLS OF PILLS DRANK LOTS OF BOOZE. TOOK COCAINE TO NEUTRALIZE THE HIGH. THEN WHEN THE DR FOUND OUT AND SAID GET HELP, THEY JUST FOUND HEROIN FENTANYL AND A NEEDLE OR A PIPE AND DIED. WHY SHOULD MILLIONS SUFFER BECAUSE OF IDIOT PARENT AND IDIOT KIDS. ANYONE THAT SAYS “I DIDNT KNOW THIS COULD HAPPEN” IS STILL LYING TO THEMSELVES AND US. OPIOIDS WHEN NOT TAKEN AS DIRECTED ARE DANGEROUS BUT WHEN TAKEN AS DIRECTED GIVE PEOPLE THIER LIVES BACK.
    SORRY I AM MORE IMPORTANT AND HAVE GOVEN MORE TO SOCIETY THEN ANY JUNKIE.

  5. Dave at 8:25 am

    Terri i enjoyed your splendid. Portrayal of the fascist control state in pain care. What a pack of lies and cruelty pain care has become. Big brother brave new world theater of cruelty….

  6. Kel b at 11:50 pm

    In response to some comments: you won’t hear any educated ways, responses, ideas, or just plain ol info on pain patients and meds because no one giving out this info has a clue! Wouldn’t it be great if they had some actual pain patients to discuss matters with?? What works what don’t etc etc etc.

    I’ve said it before- do they really think that the few pain patients that still get a partial script are selling, sharing or leaving it lay around for others to take??? No! Its the illegal crap that people are oding on. The suicides? From lack of pain relief.
    Some comments are blaming the media- CORRECT THE MEDIA!!! We all have access to contact some local reporters. If we can’t get to DC to march- then we all can contact reporters to hear the other side of this story hence the truth!!! They are all running Opioid series- become part of that series. Explain the truth. Show some documentation. If 100+ news stations started running the other side, that may just get the national attention we need! What do you have to lose???? Most reporters are willing to blackout your face or disguise your voice if you request it. So even if your shy, you will get thru it.
    Just think if 100 reporters just read all the comments left on this site alone, just in the past 3 months, they would have so much to talk about!!

    I have to add this: a commercial just came on that is all “American” with flag & eagle and red, whit & blue. “Make America Sober Again”,…….who does this sound like???? (Make America great again, ring a bell??) what a joke!!!!!!

    And thanks Terri for your interesting breakdown of the speech!! Can’t wait to share it!

  7. Dennis J. Capolongo / EDNC at 7:03 pm

    Clearly our president hasn’t a clue on what is truly at stake here as he most likely refused any detailed briefing on the topic. I firmly believe that he and his fellow politicians are flocking to it only because it crosses party affiliation, and happens to be the in-vogue topic at the moment. It gives them something to hang their wet hats on, like a cheap trophy that will only collect dust rather than be effective. Unfortunately our press appears to be complicit in this crime. They all have forgotten about the millions of Americans who suffer daily with clinically significant chronic pain that most, if not all, didn’t cause to themselves. The president, by his own words has no real interest in these forgotten Americans who endure a painful hellish existence as they have now been unfairly clumped into the addiction stereotype by the DEA. Sadly many doctors have also decided to turn their backs on their patients or switch their specialty thus kicking thousands of chronic pain sufferers to the curb rather than deal with ignorant politicians, reporters and DEA agents. One famous specialist recently cried that she had to turn away her entire patient community after 23 years of administering properly managed opiate treatments claiming she rather do that than be arrested or lose her license entirely. These doctors are not criminals, and their patients are not addicts, they’re responsible patients that have been given no other choice. Sadly these patients have been victimized and left to fend for themselves once again, with many turning to the streets or committing suicide in ever growing numbers just so politicians can hang something on their mantel.

  8. Dr Rot at 5:36 pm

    Hey fellow legit pain patients .. are you as disgusted as I am .. again nothing An no I Put from our viewpoint and lives An how this is An will affect all of us who depend An need these Meds and we don’t deserve to be treated like junkies . As anyone of us know when your in chronic Pain 24/7 . An you take the Med that it’s not getting you high . It’s working to kill the pain!! So for years n years. 13+ now for me after a terrible auto acc An the failed back surgery I underwent, i never in all the years before used any opiates . An now that I need them to have a semblance of normal life An function basic self care etc , I don’t sell my Meds I need them . I don’t drink An I use Med mj to help thnk the gods that I’ve access to that. But this is so surreal that we’re being forced to live in pain an reduce our Meds which what I was on for the years just keeps me able to get out of bed cook clean walk dog Norml things that people do . Were not drug addicts looking for a fix were responsible people that are stuck in the middle of a bs campaign if disinformation an over inflated data that includes prescription drugs along with the herion fentyal crisi which is the main thing behind this whole thing . The feds hav no right to interfere with a doctor An patient . So do we have to get a bunch of us in wheel chairs An canes hobble in pain down to dc an protest so he news will put a face to this issue of hurting people in that take Meds for pain because they have no other choice . So our crime is that we’re in pain !! Wtf ftw this will not do I am trying An will get as many of us to march for our rights as American citizens An as people with no voice in this charade so far . I’ve lost 3 Freinds to suicide since the CDC bs guidelines! What about the rise in that . We need tk take this fight to the next level An I know we are all in pain but we need to fight for this now or we’ll all be SOL.! Hang in there my fellow people in real pain family .. An let’s getvthe news taking about this .. write your congressmen An woman .. do whatevr u can .. we can’t take this lying down i for one will do whatevr i can to end this injustice An straight up sanctioned murder or the very least premeditated murder to push us that suffer to go without pain Meds the end up killing themselves this will not do ..

  9. Julie G at 2:55 pm

    I am one of the millions in our country that suffers from Chronic Pain. I’ve been watching all of this unfold and like most all CP folks am watching with an increasingly nervous feeling of being compared to the addicts that choose to find a way of getting high off whatever they can get their hands on. I find it shocking that this is now some sort of national emergency…. with regards to addicts and their motivation to find a way, any way, to find a substance to abuse. This is nothing new. And I believe that with their level of determination they will always find a way regardless to do so.
    What really ticks me off are how these so called crusaders to end this ‘national emergency ‘ have little to ZERO knowledge of what it truly means to be a chronic pain human being and truly understand what we’ve gone through to adapt to a new way of living….and for some and I fear WAY more will choose to not want to.
    In my case, I was grossly misdiagnosed after a bad fall down concrete stairs. I have irreversible ankle and leg injuries, which cannot be surgically repaired, and a lovely list of complications because of lack of proper medical diagnosing and also unfortunate bone birth defects that added to my situation. You cannot cure AVN ( I’m sure most of my CP family knows what term means, but for those of you that don’t, it stands for avascular necrosis- in short, bones have died and cannot be repaired.) I have been all over this planet trying to find someone to help me, and unfortunately I have very rare injuries that cannot be surgically fixed. Ok, so that said, my only choice if I want to be able to somehow walk the brief amount of time every day are opioids. There is NOTHING anyone else can do for me. And although they help to some degree, I am still in constant pain every time I step down on my foot. I realize (after a long time of denial and depression) that I will never be the same person EVER again. I was very active! I own a small business and enjoyed doing anything outside and away from a television and a couch! I still attempt to work as long as I can tolerate it daily, am very limited to what I can accomplish daily including simply going to the grocery store, etc- I know all of my CP family knows exactly what I mean.
    Shame on this so called ‘opioid task force’ that has…in my eyes failed to understand what we have to endure every day of our lives. We didn’t choose this! And I truly believe that most of us would make any deal with the ‘devil’ to change our current circumstances. No one, and I mean NO ONE chooses to want to live ( or attempt to live) the way we do. Mustering the courage to wake up knowing what we have to go through everyday is beyond frustrating and exhausting. Never should we be in fear of losing any medication therapy prescribed by a legitimate MD so we can attempt to live whatever quality of life left for us.
    In my opinion it is not the obligation of the chronic patient to suffer because of the current day drug addicts of the world….we have enough to deal with. And in my case,and many others they should consider throwing some thought and resources towards advancing medical care to help find any kind of solution(s) to help us vs the only option being a prescription. For most all of us, this has been our only solution. How sad and frustrating is that?! Unfortunately, it’s ALL we have.
    I really do feel bad for the families that have lost loved ones to overdosing. I also feel sympathy towards the families who’ve lost members from drunk drivers. Attacking the CP community isn’t going to bring them back and it will only cause more death and grief to other families from suicides from the CP human beings that feel they have no quality of life left if they cannot find a way, prescription or not to attempt to get out of bed every day.
    Please, I beg of these opioid task force folks to have it in their hearts to look at every side of this situation and quit rushing to judgement.
    We simply want to live the best quality of life we have been dealt. Addicts will always find a way to be an addict if they choose to.

  10. MA Stewart at 2:47 pm

    When pain meds for the people with CP is taken away only the rich and famous and people who get street drugs Will get what they want.

  11. Mark Ibsen MD at 2:13 pm

    President Trump:
    There are 2.5 million addicts in America. There are 100 million people in pain in America.
    These are two different, separate illnesses.

    Pain patients are dependent on their medicines, just like diabetics may be dependent on insulin.

  12. MichaelL at 12:42 pm

    And, there was not one mention of the mental health problems that are associated with addiction. The ignorance of the difference between addiction and the dependence of its use for chronic pain was also not addressed. At least the presence of alcoholism was appropriately addressed as an addiction. Thing is, it is the second biggest addiction! Most drug deaths are a result of poly-pharmacy. Many are accidental. But, that makes no difference! These deaths are from people with mental health and behavioral problems that lead to risk taking behaviors with addictive substances! Until they treat the problem, instead of chasing a failed drug war, nothing is going to change. The wall will make no difference in the availability of heroin in the country! There are too any people making money off of the distribution illegal drugs! Sadly, the CIA even has history! It is insane to continue a failed drug war that has shown no decrease in “addiction” in eighty years! On the subject of telling kids to say no…that is stupid, too. Tell the, truthfully, the results of putting yourself in a position to become addicted. My dad convinced y ten year old brother and myself that buying cigarettes was a waste of money. He then reinforced that with the fact that he wished he could quit, but he was already addicted And, as a result, we never took the chance with addictive drugs. We both have used cannabis while younger. but, neither of us are addicted to anything!. I recently had to warn a young man of the dangers he was putting himself into, by abusing oxycodone! He stopped! Talking IS the answer. But, it has to be the truth. It cannot be the usual scare tactics used by those who would continue a drug war. They imprison people for medical problems instead of getting them help! The speech was full of male bovine manure. It was the typical political bloviating without any sign of using education to eliminate the drug abuse problem. Why in the world do they think continuing the same programs will change any level of addiction. It has not accomplished that in over one hundred years! Education is the only thing that will help! Sadly, that depends on the content of the education.

  13. Joanna Pinne at 12:02 pm

    Dr. Lewis:

    You have a wonderful sense of humor which some days we need because this POTUS is so horribly uninformed and misinformed on this issue..it’s like watching cartoons. One wants to run screaming to another planet. Of course in all seriousness, his ignorance and dismissivness is tragic and unconscionable. Thank you for being one of the credible voices in this overwhelmingly difficult fight.

  14. Kim Miller at 11:32 am

    Thank you, Dr. Lewis, for your excellent article on this shameful excuse for a presidential speech.

    We can only hope his policies on this subject result in little or no negative actions against the nonexistent pain patients he failed to mention.

  15. Me at 11:06 am

    I live in pain every day of my life. I’m drugged tested almost every time I go to my pain management doctor, I am called in for pill counts. My prescription has been cut down so I hurt more. Not much of a life living like this but I’m a addicted by what these people say. After five back surgery’s what can I do. Have been through everything I can do. It is very scary to think one day I can’t get anything for my pain because some dumb [edit] that doesn’t know what he or she is talking about or don’t care can run the show. What do people like me do.

  16. Lenore Arbaugh at 10:47 am

    Rick, we need a chronic pain lobby for real. This has to come.

  17. Gracie Lenore at 10:35 am

    President did not mention chronic pain because that is not the focus illegal drug use is the focus. Insurance companies through pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s) are the groups trying to lump chronic pain,palliative care and cancer patient populations into this message in order to deny benefit coverage and lower their costs. Unfortunately politicians in local state offices such as the AG’s and heads of state that monitor insurance commissions are in bed with insurance health plans because of the Obamacare Exchanges at the state level so are permitting these PBM’s gross over reach. The salient issues are that PBM’s have no right to practice medicine without a license,make unauthorized changes to prescriptions and deny access to insurance through patient profiling chronic pain patients as opioid adicts who miss use medication (based upon a “guide” from the CDC that is not intended for these patient populations). PBM’s saw a window of opportunity to make financial gains and grabbed it. The push back from the cancer,palliative care and chronic pain communities needs to target the true PBM agenda as it ain’t about the grass. All of their media messages have been lies. PBM’s have intentionally profiled and targeted chronic pain patients to discriminate and deny access to benefits on the coat tails of a message and CDC guideline that has nothing to do with best practices for cancer pain control ,chronic pain management and/or palliative care.

  18. JOHN SANDHERR at 10:30 am

    Chronic Pain Patients have no say in the matter – we have no voice in DC.

    If the public believes Pill Mills are still operating as they were 4 years ago ( and they do ) but most all of them have shut down. When Hollywood and the Media stop the lies, only then will Pain Patients have any chance to salvage our life.

    Education is the key to solving the Drug problem. Decriminalize drugs used by citizens and provide a safe and professional facility that drug users can go to and get the drug they want / need !

    We can’t have a free society and not have drug use.

    Thank you,

    John Sandherr

  19. Ibin at 9:37 am

    Maybe look into Mitch Mconnlles shipping business and see what was “found” on one of his carriers a short time back. Found in a shipment to S. America. NOT “news worthy”? STILL makes me angry to deny so many a life, a better life for the responsible populous.Prohibition is not “best” for people that have truly become drug seekers. ONE “treatment” for addicts won’t work. ONE treatment for the patients with intractable pain won’t work. No magic pen.
    The lobby for drug addiction treatment centers seems to win this round.

  20. Carol padolsky at 9:35 am

    While I support President Trump on many things his war on drugs is insane. He and his pretty wife should live with chronic pain for just one day and I’m sure they’d quickly change their minds.

  21. Tim at 7:58 am

    I am scared.what did we do putting trump in office .

  22. Rita KIMBEL at 6:07 am

    Not a word on chronic pain patients, maybe he’s waiting for someone in his family to tell him what to say. Oh wait, they are perfect and would never need an opiate.
    But really, is all of this fake, am I dreaming? That this man thinks any of this is going to stop an addict from using street drugs, is almost funny, but so sad.

  23. Joe Nekrutman at 4:26 am

    Id like to know if the President knows whats its like to live in chronic pain 24/7 and how this is going to effect others like myself….Drs will be forced not to treat us….I suffer every damn day with spine pain…Not 1 x did i hear anything with regards to this issue…..Im at my wits end having to deal with the stigma …Its cruel and inhumane

  24. Rick at 4:19 am

    Does anyone know how big our CP community is next to the opioids addicted communities in each state?

    Not any mention about the addiction profile vs medically dependent profiles.

    Where is the CP lobby? Ha:(

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