The Opioid Crisis, Chronic Pain & Suicide – Is the Narrative Starting to Change?

The Opioid Crisis, Chronic Pain & Suicide – Is the Narrative Starting to Change?

By Staff.

Mainstream media in the United States has been gripped by the opioid crisis over the last few years; however, the narrative of the opioid crisis has all but ignored the unintended victims of this campaign – those who suffer from chronic pain.

Is the tide beginning to change? Maybe.

Recently, National Pain Report ran a story about a group of healthcare professionals who have taken up the fight, on behalf of chronic pain patients, to help protect them against proposals which would restrict opioid therapy to Oregon Medicaid patients, you can read that story here.

On the same day, Fox News ran “the first of a three-part series on the nation’s struggle to address a crippling opioid crisis, and the unintended victims left in its wake.” You can click here for the full story.

This first installment focuses on the CDC’s guidelines for prescribing opioids, and the related increase in suicides among chronic pain patients.

This a problem that big media has not been talking about. This the other side of the story that has had no voice. This is the story of the significant lack of representation and consideration of a large population of people who have been appropriately treated with opioid medication as a part of their prescribed medical regimen – who are now finding themselves losing their ability treat their chronic pain – mixed up in a “crisis” that doesn’t take the time to try to differentiate between targets and collateral damage.

So, is this a turning point for awareness around the current state of the narrative of the “the opioid crisis” and chronic pain?

We would love to think so; however, it is much too soon to tell.

We’ll be waiting to see what stories follow.

We’ll be waiting to see who digs a little deeper into the research and realities of the opioid crisis – and then report it.

We’ll be waiting to see the balance that should be represented in this discussion.

Until then, we will NOT wait to help circulate this information, nor any story in which the interest of chronic pain patients are represented.

We hope to see more stories like this, and we hope that readers leverage such opportunities to share these stories.

Subscribe to our blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Authored by: Staff

47
Leave a Reply

2000
47 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
46 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Gary Raymond

Withholding pain medicine is like starving a baby. The edict from the CDC should be considered illegal because there is no device to measure pain and there are no effective legal alternatives for legal opioid medications. Analogy: Police will not enforce motor vehicle
noise laws because they do not have sound meters and they cannot see the noise.

John S Suttles

This is my story
and pain is not
something that you can
turn a blind eye to
and think it will help.
Please Listen Please Help.
Life is getting harder and harder everyday. I am a 59 year old male who had a serious back injury about 12 years ago, while working, I shattered a disc
in my lower back from a fall . I walked around for months with what felt like a knife stabbing me in the back of my leg . After two years, a neurologist figured out that it was a shattered disc in my lower back. I had back surgery done and it worked great for about 2 weeks . The pain came back and worse than it was to begin with. I had a second surgery 2 weeks after the first. Since then I’ve had 7 or 8 more back surgeries, to many to remember the exact number . Now I have nerve damage . I’ve had a
neurostimulator surgically
installed in my spine and
most recently had surgery to fuse my spine . I’ve had
needles stuck in my spine
numerous times with
cortisone and that just
made things worse . The
pain just keeps increasing and now instead of having severe leg pain, I have severe leg pain and severe back pain . I’ve been living like this for about 12 years.
Over those 12 years I’ve
been given opiates ,
narcotics that HELP
IMMENSELY . I’m able to somewhat function again . I can’t work or lift anything but with the medication I can function . I can now take care of myself I can
go out to dinner with
family and friends sit and watch TV comfortably . I have to take it very easy .
I go to my pain management doctor’s and
i’m under contract , pay
to have drug test done
every few months and I
abide by all the rules and
now they’re telling me
that they’re going to take away the pain medication . The pain management
doctor have now taking
away my anxiety
medication because they
say I can’t take that
at the same time I take
pain medication.
The pain management
doctor have taken away
my sleep medication

KBecker

Dontpunishpainrally.com

Claudia webber

Thank FOX your insightful news has given the chronic pain suffers a voice!!

I see some people who posted have conflicting information about fentanyl, one says it’s a street drug, another says it’s not. There are two kinds of fentanyl . prescription-grade is in the patches some pain patients use. Street fentanyl, called CAR-fentanyl, is a street drug that is 50-100x stronger than heroin, is very different from prescription fentanyl, and is deadly for many. If I am incorrect, please let me know. I wish someone would publish an article about this confusion, the media still doesn’t make the distinction. So now patients who have fentanyl patches are deeply humiliated because their medication has the same name as a street drug. I think China, who is sending most of the CAR-fentanyl tomthe US, must’ve designed it that way, to create confusion? I don’t know. ….just a hunch.

Gretchen

A big thank you too all that fight too help the pain managed and disabled I appreciate what you are doing more then I can say so for now a BIG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Joshua

Thinning the heard? This is like a 21 century Hitler T4 program! 500+ morphine equivalent per day to 0 here now for some time now. I’m still kickin can’t say for how long though and I’ll die before I take to the street. I’m am guilty of a few things, one I’m guilty of pain two I’m guilty of seeking help for
number one and three I’m guilty of trusting those that are making decisions about my health care!

I’m a human being not a morphine milligram equivalent, not a insurance number, not a junkie and not a damn pawn on your chess board. Shall we keep track of the pain patients lost on the other side of this matter as it might rival the numbers we’ve seen so far

Karen Yeargain

I am a Public Health nurse in Oregon as well as a chronic pain patient. I have gone to the “Prescription Drug Abuse” conferences, the “Opioid Epidemic” presentations, and now they are doing “Opioids and other Drugs”. The suffering and deaths of chronic pain patients was not “unintended”; I know from multiple presentations over the past 4-5 years that the suffering, the chance of driving patients to street drugs, and the increase of suicide in persons with chronic pain diseases, was PREDICTED, EXPECTED, and CONSIDERED ACCEPTABLE COLLATERAL DAMAGE. It makes me ashamed of a profession I have worked in proudly for 31 years.

We have to keep fighting. We have to keep getting the accurate stats and information out to our doctors, to the public, the media, and our legislators. We need to create a wave of empathy for our plight to counteract the callous and deliberate misinformation that has become the marching song in today’s politics. We need to find an ally who can put the pressure on the DEA to stop with the witch hunts. Perhaps with the American Medical Association, the Oregon Medical Association, the Stanford letter, etc taking a stand as opposed to the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force’s ridiculous and devastating proposal to implement mandatory opioid tapers for many Oregon Health Plan/Medicaid patients, perhaps other medical entities will begin to stand up and make their voices heard.

I really don’t want to go to the 2019 Oregon Epidemiologist’s Conference and hear how the suicide rate in Oregon is continuing to rise, and “they” will need to form a task force to see if it is from under-treated chronic pain patients….. they predicted it, acknowledged that it was likely to happen, and now want to research what is going on…. so, my fight is for me as a chronic pain patient, for others in the same situation because I believe in community, and also because I want the integrity of my profession back!

People ARE working on this mess now. Multiple states have filed lawsuits regarding this “opioid crisis” bs. SO many patients are considering or have tried/completed suicide simply to get relief from the unending pain and the UN and WHO have stated that treatment for pain is a human right and they have filed human rights violations against the U.S. This whole thing was created and propelled by Andrew Kolodny and PROP for Money. They run addiction centers and have stake in bupenorphrine; an addiction treatment drug. The kool aid drinkers are now trying to force chronic pain patients to take bupenorphrine and have narcan on hand- for money. it’s disgusting and I hope eventually those responsible will be held to pay for the suffering they caused. See Florida Pain Patient Lawsuit and Operation Starburst for the current lawsuit details.

Maggi

Yesterday was another bad day. I fought the compelling urge to take my life all day long. From the moment I woke up till even this moment now almost a full 24 hours later, I know I’m going to be a statistic of this phony opioid crisis. Im not suffering from depression not clinically. Im being slowly tortured to my death. Intractable pain caused by my misdiagnosed broken back and spinal cord injury from a fall on black ice. That happened 1/6/2014. Those guidelines were already affecting the way er doctors treat patients that have injuries not visible to the naked eye. When I fell the vertebra between L4 and L5 was ejected from my spine caused a vertebral collapse and herniated all my discs. I blame the CDC. They did nothin I now death is coming for me thanks to the fear my doctor has prescribing. I did the conversion. I get 100 generic norco a month I can take 4 a day but if you do the math you’ll see I’ll be out before my next refill is due. I was only getting 90 for the first three months. I was told last week that this was going to be my last pain refill because I have diazepam I take as needed for manic/panic disorder and PTSD. So i may go a week maybe longer before i need to take some. I begged them to just let me stop the diazepam and i got a stay of execution. I did the conversion of what 4 10mg of norco a day is its 40mme. If I took one 4 times daily I would get no relief. I try to only take two a day and build up a lil arsenal so when the new laws come into effect in 2019 I’ll be ok to wean myself off without dying tho I doubt with the generic norco the pharmacy is forcing me onto is barely hitting the edge. Yesterday instead of ending my life I took all 4 at the same time. I dare not say a word to my doctor about what i’m getting isn’t enough. She’ll refer me to pm. Then I’ll be having to jump thru all the painful injections in my spine and be forced into anti depressants that actual cause suicidal ideation. Like I really don’t need any help getting there.

Chereese

I’m not so sure about “unintended victims”. I believe that the the few people [Andrew Kolodny / PROP] who persuaded the CDC into implementing the unrealistic CDC guidelines – knew exactly that chronic and intractable pain patients would suffer.
These people profit off of addiction.
When they did NOT realize is – is the FACT that less than 1% of chronic and intractable pain sufferers do NOT become addicted.
This entire So called opioid crisis is hurting the pain community much more than it’s helping the addicted street addicts.
It’s a health catastrophe for those suffering from painful diseases.
Illicit Fentanyl is the driver of of
Opioid phobia.
The DEA should probably do what they do do best (?) And go after the illegal drug dealers.
The CDC should deal with what they know best.
Neither of which are listened physicians dealing with chronic pain patients on a daily basis.
Far too many law abiding pain management patients and doctors are paying the price for a terrible – terrible decision made by the CDC.
This needs to fixed NOW.
Not later.

CAROL

since when is it legal and humane NOT TO TREAT PAIN? I am suffering with chronic pain for years. Now I had a teeth pulled, severe pain I might add, and you think they would give me at least a 2 day supply.. NO!!! I am sick of living in a country where drug addicts are now PRIORITY and people in pain are LIARS AND DRUG SEEKERS. This country now is the worst one to live in. medical marijuanna what a joke. costs a fortune, doesn’t help with pain, (alcohol can do the same for cheaper) you can’t replace opiates. They work on pain and now the country suffers because some people decided to do heroin and blamed it on opiate prescription meds. what once was a dime a dozen for pain is now off the market. This is inhumane to all, whether it’s chronic pain, a surgery or an injury. THEY SCARED DOCTORS INTO PRESCRIBING .. If you die because you are a drug addict it’s a big deal. If you die because you are in pain. No one cares. THIS COUNTRY IS BACKWARDS ALL!!!

Anastasia

Cindy,
I live in Missouri and have been with the same Pain Management Practice for 11 years. Longer than the current Doctor, actually. Fentanyl is not an illegal street drug. I have been dropped from all breakthrough pain medication (oxycodone 15mg/4x daily), and had my Fentanyl patches cut from 125mcg to 75mcg. I’m roughly at 30% of what I was on, and can barely function.

Anastasia

Mac McInnis,
While I agree with some of your points? FENTANYL is NOT a street drug, nor is it illegal. As with anything else, it can be abused and/or purchased illegally, but it is also a very legitimate medication – and one that I have been taking for 11 years without any adverse effects. Putting it in the same category as Heroin is inaccurate and irresponsible if your goal is to educate the people who are fortunate enough to not understand the process of being in constant compliance with a pain management practice. I use Fentanyl as prescribed; receiving it each month from my pharmacy. I’m not certain if the local drug dealers accept Blue Cross/Blue Shield? But it’s very convenient for me that CVS does. All of us with a genuine need for Opioids simply to maintain a portion of the lives we used to have would find that presenting a unified well educated front gives us credibility that we shouldn’t need to be asking of anyone, especially not each other.

It is past time to create and start a all out novilent majior retalleation in the streets the state and federal buildings the college campuses everywhere period! Just like the anti Vietnam and civil rights movemeant!! It’s obvious they are not listening to our pain and suffering and our killing chrionic pain patients one by one and our families due to denial of life saving and life giving pain medicine. A scared gift gave to mankind by our creater to prevent all medicial conditions pain and suffering!!like I said nonviolent but in full all out mode!!!in Christ we renew our strength for battle amen

Jane Smith

Instead of continuing to wait for them to finally kill us all, I suggest we ALL really stop and think about at least 1-5 corporations we can all BOYCOTT related to the medical and pain medication industry . This boycott needs to be very strict and committed. It needs to be observed non stop for at LEAST 8 weeks. Maybe more. And it needs to be ovserved by at LEAST 25% of all pain pateints, acute pateints and their freinds and family. The ONLY thing these [edit] ( CDC,DEA, PROP, Insurance industry, addiction industry, PM clinics either refusing proper pain medication or coercing patients to do dangerous procedural based “procedures” in order to get MINIMAL meds,PCPs, politicians, ERs , Hospitals who are refusing to post op pateints for pain, and anyone else!!) understand is MONEY MONEY MONEY. Starve the [edit] and lets do it NOW. We are out of time people.

Babette

Drs prescribed me pains meds for 13 yrs. Then the crisis hits, and they say oh we are not allowed to write these meds anymore. Bull! Drs caused this crisis by prescribing pain meds to anybody who said they hurt. Having medical records to show why you need pain meds, should have been a part of their huge PHD’S. Doctors are Book smart who don’t care. Some not even that or they would know about the newest drug, Bruprenorphine does help with pain, duh. They will argue that it doesn’t. Yea Suboxone or Subutex. Subutex is better, who the hell needs Narcan in their body every day?!?!?. I was sick of it.. I’m sick of all of it. I’m 52 never in my life failed a drug test, I’m juged, treated like dust, and I get tested before same-day surgery, are you kidding me. I need pain medication until I die, I wish I could use my rights as an American citizen. Get my pain meds and these folks out of my life, so I can enjoy some of it. I raised 4 children on my own. I have grandchildren I cannot spend much time with because of doctors and rules and crap!. Recently after surgery, I was given blue perocets. They were worthless. I wrote the company, told them the new drug they made was why people have to turn to Street drugs. I returned to my subs for my pain. Today doctors and pharmacies are the legal drug dealers. It cost over 500.00 a month to get the drug for addiction treatment. We don’t need your therapy either. Drs charge 250.00+ cash and pharmacies charge 5-10.00 each tablet and you must live in that county. I have to drive 2 states to get addiction help. How pathetic is that. Thank God my insurance pays for my medication. I know so many young families who try so hard and the cost of this [edit] is out of hand. Yea a smartass will tell us, you had money when you were on drugs on the street. It’s such [edit]. It’s diffetent. We are not children here. Folks have to depend on Street help because our government isn’t helping us.

Linda Dorn

Please let doctors give us the amount of pain medicines to get our lives back. We where never the problem and they knew it. This was just to get votes and to make people in high places richer.

Pamela

I am having great side effects of chemo.i am a stage 4 breast cancer patient..I am having severe rib pain.i cannot seam to get any strong pain medicine to help me.please someone steer me the right way for help.

KURT JOHNSTON

I have responded many times and it is amazing how the responses all follow the same pattern. My primary stopped my Norco and Percocet and some as he said the state prescribing website lights up with these meds. He sent me to a pain specialist who is going to start me on 20 me oxymoron twice a day and 4 Norco and that is it. My pharmacist is not filling prescriptions because they fear ordering to many controlled and as I have one pharmacy with the name of the pharmacy right on the prescriptions I can’t fill them. This is the worst holiday season ever for chronic pain pts. I just had a grandson born last week and still i pray for God to take me every night in my prayers I should stop because of him but I want to move on to a better place. This be are tragic and still keep getting worse. I can’t move without horrible pain. My house looks horrible because I can’t clean like I used too. I hope our sacrifices can change things. Oh by the way my insurance has now axed an opiate review board thAt reviews prescriptions and directs the pharmacist to other drugs and the will not pay for the meds. I truly pray for all of you every night.

Laura Thomson

I definitely think we need to show them studies on what untreated chronic pain is doing to the brain. I was left to suffer with crps without any opioids the first year and a half. When I was allowed tramadol 4 times a day for a short time, I was then being reduced down shortly after. I was not able to get into pain management for 3 years after CRPS which led me to my only option of an SCS. I was recently diagnosed with major cognitive disorder and major depression disorder by a neuropsychologist. Untreated chronic pain is causing more than just suicide. I am 49 years old, I have 4 grown children and 12 grandchildren. I did not have any health issues prior to crps 3.5 years ago. The neuro cognitive effects of untreated chronic pain alone is leading more to permanent disability. They truly don’t care what their decisions are doing to individuals and our country. I clearly have a compassionate allowance dx and I am still fighting for my SSDI almost 3 years now. Something has to give to prevent others from more harm.

JoAnne Costello

My life has changed drastically from the once healthy, active, ICU RN, wife & Mother l used to be. I was assaulted in 2011 leaving me in such unbearable pain that l could barely move. In 6 months time, l gained 50 lbs and determined to be permanently disabled by social security. In 2012, l underwent multiple surgeries & chemotherapy for aggressive breast cancer at 41.
I am on pain meds, receive RFA twice a year, monthly dry needling, weekly deep tissue massage & chiropractic adjustments. I’m never completely pain free, but the meds allow me to get out of bed in the morning. I read how other chronic pain patients are being forced to taper & the thought frightens me. How can people with a drop of compassion NOT see those of us who are suffering?

Marilyn Durham

I had to fight tooth and nail to stay on my medications when I moved to Washington. I went through 2 months if pain and withdrawal. I have a story you may want to hear. 67 yrs. Old and on treatment that includes opioids, I was treated with cold indifference, but I researched and contacted everyone I could think of to help me. Something worked. The doctors all did a complete about face the next time i went in to see them.

Thank you National pain report thank you so much for all you’ve done and all you continue to do! You seem to be the glue that holds us all together; those of us that are left anyway. Over two years now and they’re just beginning to tell the dark side!? Incredibly unbelievable! The government knew exactly what they were doing. In my own state of Tennessee we have Dr Phil Roe in whom I wrote to more than once. Let’s face it, the man doesn’t have doctor in front of his name for no reason at all. Just Google where he’s been and what he did before he became a member of government. Yet he chose to stay on this bandwagon among others! Thankfully on the flip side we had the brave veteran Robert Rose that went above and beyond the Call of Duty more times than this soldier needed to but he did anyway! We had Dr. Richard Lawherne as well as several other brave heroes, too numerous to mention. The heroes of the families who no longer have a mom or a dad, a grandparent, a brother or sister, an aunt or uncle for that fact. The government turned its back on its own veterans not to mention its people. I personally knew of one doctor that at first, seemed he was for truly trying to help save lives and this does not make him a bad man. One year later we were talking and he replied “Yes what a mess!” For whatever purpose it started, it’s gone on way too long. When we have people planning suicide for their birthdays we have a situation on our hands! In the meantime I still continue to cling to God and my faith. Without God, my best friend and my most awesome doctor I shudder to think where I would be today. This has been extremely hard not to mention embarrassing and degrading. To me it’s like finding a cure for cancer and then ripping it away years later. I truly pray this will be a wake-up call for our world and government. If not it speaks volumes and our chronic pain world knows exactly what those volumes will be. Enough said.

Kathy Waltrip

Why don’t they just let us chronic pain sufferers use Suboxone. All of the misinformed people and Doctor assume that it’s just for opiate addiction. That is such nonsense. And so, while you have people who are abusing opioids and you have doctors who are writing scripts left and right to whom ever, the true pain sufferers continue to suffer.

Susan S

All drugs in 2017 – lets just let them include pills if they want! killed little over 72,000 now we know that heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, meth, etc is included but they felt the urge to wage this BIG WAR on pain pills that did nothing but increase death tolls! Okay can they explain while they made patients suffer, that cigarettes contribute to 400,000 deaths a year. I do believe alcohol 100,000. Obesity is up there too! Yet they never touch cigarettes or alcohol being oh so f**king concerned!!! Marijuana takes 0 lives and remains schedule 1 illegal with heroin!! The DEA is the biggest joke and disgrace to this country – they make me damn sick!!! Where is the logic, common sense in any of what they do??? They have lost every war they have even waged on drugs since 1972 at that – they need SHUT DOWN for the safety of all Americans!!!!

F.S.T.

The voices here in the comment section break my heart. I’ve been down to 80 MmE for over a year now, and just like everyone else here, it’s not enough. My pain was being systematically and safely controlled back in another lifetime that slipped from my grasp, with nothing I could do to stop it. I’m grateful for the med I do still have, because so many were forced off cold turkey and have suffered unspeakable pain because of it. Some took their own lives, and I get it. When your pain is off the charts, you’ll do almost anything to just get away from it. Notice I stopped short by saying “almost.” The “almost” was taken out of the equation for those who made their case the ultimate way. Those people are the sacrifices of our time, reflected how we’re treated, and no one seems to care.

I read that the AMA and some individual physicians are now fighting back. My question is,
WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG???
Supposedly our advocates in healthcare, the last bastion of covering for us, the patient, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN???
If I had to relinquish the care of my patients to the Government on their whims, you’d better believe I’d be in the Statehouse tomorrow, and then on to Washington the next day. My practice I claim as mine, and NO ONE is going to tell me how to treat my patients except in an advisory capacity conferring with my healthcare team!!!

I’m just really upset that the suicide numbers are going up and the entire medical community, save for a few, are looking the other way. To that end, I said before, when this whole brouhaha started, and I’m saying again: the chronic pain patients who have already taken their lives: their blood is all over the hands not only of their State and Federal Representatives, but also their physicians who stood by and said nothing.

Rich Reifsnyder

Hello, Amen Bob Schubring.Starting with that demon Kolondy pictured at the top and all officials at alphabet agencies CDC/DEA should be prosecuted for intended consequences what the 2016 Biased Opiod Guidelines did.They should be charged for crimes against humanity and homicide.When these Fictitious Opiod Guidelines were written the CDC wrote they would adjust if there were “unintended consecquences”caused by the Guidelines.They were just words and the CDC let the DEA and all the states Weaponize the Guidelines to their liking.This is neglecting the proper medical treatment of millions of our beloved Veterans and Intractable Chronic Pain Patients.Basically our Pain Specialists are Extorted by the DEA for prescribing Opiod Medication to us.Look at Dr Tennant he didn’t listen and underprescribe Opiod Medication to 90 MME and he was locked up and all assets confiscated,which of course scared the hell out of all Pain Specialists.I know why but I can’t comprehend how a so called civilized society would torture and severely harm us CPP,S And Veterans by extortion of our Pain Specialists to severely under prescribe our medication or completely abandon us. Merry Christmas And God Bless All Our Veterans And Chronic Pain Patients.

Carol

I was ripped from my pain medication on July 13 2018 because of a phone call I never received. I live in a dead zone in a small community in Ohio. I told the pain management clinic that I would be getting a working phone in two weeks. Never knowing a week later they would try to call for a pill count. And the whole time I signed their stupid pain contract 7 years prior to July 2018 they NEVER once utilized the phone calls. I passed every test urine and blood both for my meds. I locked them in a safe and did everything to safeguard my meds. I thought I done right. WRONG!! Now, since I have been ripped from my meds Vicodin 10/325 mg 4 times daily, 30 mg Morphine 3 times daily and 350 mg soma 3 times daily to nothing cold turkey. I was told I could have died from taken off abruptly. But Ohio Pain and Rehab ( Dr. Arsal Ahmad) didn’t care. I think the DEA was cracking down on him for over prescribing. He was looking to get rid of me due to the amount I was on.I followed everything else to the letter of the pain contract all to be taken off anyway. But, I have found going to the streets in Ohio is better. I can smoke and go pain free for 3 to 4 days. I was straight laced done everything legal but my pain is too intense to go without. I took 6 Tylenol ( over the counter strongest you can buy) at one time and they done nothing for my pain. I will continue to buy my smoke and be happy. And if anyone has negative comment about me buying my smoke all I can say is the Government, Ohio Pain and Rehab, CDC, and the DEA forced me to do it.

Lori

I was just in my doctor’s office yesterday in tears from the pain. I was forced off opioids one year ago because my doctor’s large, corporate practice issued a blanket policy banning all opioid prescriptions. Every pain clinic has refused to help me. No PCP will touch ne (too complicated with too much baggage). It was a strange feeling seeing my doctor start crying for me when I broke down. He knows I am truly in pain and wants to help but his hands are tied. There was a small glimmer of hope, though. His practice has now decided to start prescribing tramadol again (which was blocked under their no opioid policy). Maybe the tide is slowly turning. I said thanks, but no thanks to the tramadol. I need some real help and tramadol is not real help. It helps about as much as a sugar pill. Now I get to go to an orthopedic specialist. Not expecting much but I hope I am wrong.

Robert Crandall

I have been on heavy narcotics to just have a somewhat normal life f ok r many years. I take a total of 285mg per day of morphine and dilaudid. Now the pharmacy is telling me that I can only have 90mg total per day under threat of prosecution by the Feds. No notice, no tapering just wont give me any more. I have diabetes, MS, treated for Hep C but still have stage 4 cirrhosis of my liver. I have nerve damage in my neck and my upper back from a head-on auto collision. I am in a wheelchair unable to walk because of an autoimmune disease. I have Nueropothy pain in both my legs that is excruciating. I’ve never abused my meds or asked for them early. I dont share them or sell them. But the feds are treating me like a criminal to be punished. What am I suppose to do???

I just went to my pm doctor today and was told that 80mg of oxycodone has to be decreased to 60mg per the FDA so my pm doctor dropped me to 70mg till my next appointment in 3-4 months. My pharmacist told me that if those of us in chronic pain have the medical documentation these “suggestions” or whatever they are from the FDA should not affect us legit patients!! I truly don’t know what to do or who to believe. I moved to Missouri 4 yrs ago and have been with the Pain Management for 3 years!! I’ve NEVER given them a UA with anything in my system that wasn’t prescribed yet I’m punished for others abusing or overdosing on ILLEGAL STREET DRUGS (heroin, fentynal etc..)!! What are we (chronic pain patients) supposed to do? I feel as if those in control almost want us to turn to illegal drugs or end our own lives!!
Forgive me for the rant!! I PRAY for all of you as well myself!!

DAWN no last name

I’m ready to end it 25 + yrs n my meds weren’t reduced I had clearance for oral meds an they weren’t lowered they was ripped away year an a half now I had a pain dr tell me to use wheelchair cars in stores or find someone to shop for me maybe I should stream my demise cause it’s all on you morons who think they know you have no idea what I or anyone else goes to so pain people goto your court houses and start suits only way there will listen government trying to sue pharmaceutical what damn rights does it fall to rich people I’m starting it I’m coming after ya all who are after hurtn us because stupid people are doing stupid things get it right I’m so angry so works when they ripp my income away to promise I’ll go on TV for my suicide unreal this is unreal

ROY

Thank you!
Not sure the truth will be known in time to save lives of good people trying everyday to make it to the next.

I have been force tapered down to 90 mme. This has been something I would never wish of my worst enemy. It is cruel and inhumane. Since my tapering I lost my quality of life. I now have an extremely hard time doing the lightest of house work and even daily hygiene. I was completely off of my blood pressure medicine because the opioid pain medicine helped so much with my pain Don’t get me wrong I still have pain but, it gave me quality of. I had a severe auto accident. I then knew the horrific pain from 2 ruptured discs and required surgery. The Drs. Preformed a dual lumbar surgery. I now have 2 titanium rods in my back. The surgery did help the pain in my legs for years but I was still left with chronic pain. This all changed my life. This could happen to anyone. And the FDA, CDC and Congress and Senate have been making laws restricting how much pain medicine Drs. Can prescibe. Our government officials have no medical liscence and should leave that job to pain management. But they are not they are intimidating them so badly that the pain Drs. Are afraid to write a script over 90 mme. They are in fear of losing their licenses. Medicine is not a one size fits all. As I stated above since the tapering I had to go back on my blood pressure medicine. But my Dr. had to double my medicine when I went back on it. I was at stroke levels. Dangerously high not to mention strokes run in my family. So I am in constant fear of having a stroke or heart attack because, I also have MITRO valve prolapse. Our government is responsible for many chronic pain patients and our American veterans committing suicide. Some have died from complications of being tapered off their pain medicine or worse yet taken off them completely. This opioid war is not about pain medication. Our government is lying to the general puplic. This is a war on street drugs. Mainly herion with fentynal. They are praying on the chronic pain patients. Most are disabled or elderly. Please go viral.

Dave

Hi,
I forwarded the fox article to my state representative today. I think they need to see both sides of t,his issue. Suicide is a real issue for patients who’s medications have been cut off or drastically reduced. Having went through a reduction until my doctor appealed rather emphatically. I thought it can’t hurt as I asked him to share with his colleagues reminding him that their decisions can affect our lives in good ways or very bad ways.
Thank You.

Jeanne

Thank you so much for writing the truth and standing up for those of us in chronic pain that are unable to stand up for ourselves. As I understand it, the reason doctors are cutting down or discontinuing prescriptions for Opioid therapy is because of the fear of the DEA. I hope this truth also gets out there.

Terry

Thanks for putting up the link, best article I’ve read on the opioid epidemic.

Kim

I so agree with Mac. It’s the illegal street drugs. But everything is classified as a drug.

George

PLEASE PLEASE HELP US
YELL SCREAM FOR THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS MEDICINE ON behalf of chronic pain patients
DONT WAIT PEOPLE ARE DIEING WE WOULD NOT TAKE THIS THESE PILLS IF WE DID NOT HAVE TO, TO HAVE SOME SORT OF LIFE I HAVE 6 KIDS THEY NEED THEIR DAD PLEASE HELP US PLEASE

The writer characterized the harm to pain patients as “unintended”.

The harm done to pain patients may have been completely unintended, at least by the mass media, by a few cannabis entrepreneurs with degrees in football, and by other opportunists who fanned the flames of public fear. But a handful of self-described medical experts went far beyond that level of misconduct. Repeatedly those self-described experts expressed doubt, that any human being alive could possibly suffer from a pain that 100 milligrams of morphine daily, did not relieve. Those few ringleaders of the pain patient lynching led the mob action against us all, repeatedly dissembling and distracting from the central issue, which was that people in pain need relief. We who survived the lynch mob deserve our day in court. And we will want the jury to hear just what was so important to self-described medical experts that we were required to die for their satisfaction.

Holly

Thank you so much! Anxiously waiting for part 2……..So many people suffering and dying due to this bull[edit].

Granny Ralls

We need to insist in databases by which real statistical info is registered such as what drugs, whether OTC, prescribed to the deceased or others, street drugs and/or alcohol, instead of blanket categorizing as suicide or OD by opioid..

Mac McInnis

IT’S A NATIONAL HEROIN/FENTANYL EPIDEMIC, NOT PRESCRIPTION (OPIATES) DRUGS.

SAD BUT TRUE: I have lost family members and friends, and I am always reading about too many young and old who have died from misusing DRUGS. It is tragic, for sure.

HOWEVER, I feel compelled to defend these prescription PAIN killers (opiates and others in that class) that are truly MIRACLE drugs for the 99% of the people who NEED/REQUIRE them and take them AS prescribed. Some people I know have been prescribed them for up to 10 years for chronic debilitating PAIN. They cannot live a quality productive life without them. They are 100% safe when used AS PRESCRIBED.
Please STOP blaming these prescription drugs because 1% abuse them. It’s the illegal street drugs HEROIN/FENTANYL that are killing our family and friends; very, very few from illegally obtained prescription (OXYCONTIN) drugs. It’s the HEROIN/FENTANYL, NOT the synthetically manufactured OPIATES;  i.e. OXYCONTIN.  Alcohol, which has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroyed families throughout the years in the USA alone, is a perfect example.

There are always those who will abuse whatever they have access to..  

Michelle Diane Davis

I seriously hope they start realizing what chronic pain patients are going through. I have been on pain meds since 2002. I had a somewhat active lifestyle, as much as I could take. Now since being drastically cut down from my meds I have no quality of life, to the point where it’s not really worth living anymore. Everyday is a fight a serious battle to stay alive..

Steven

I know you mean well and GOD bless all of you for the much needed encouragement for the pp community! I regret to inform you that it simply comes too little too late for many of us. We are dying or dead and their is no other way to put it. Unable to eat, sleep or anything else accept cry all night waiting for the inevitable. Dont say we do nothing or are sour grapes. This is no nightmare to wake up from. The 5 stages of dying are all all too real.
Who went to the Oregon meeting of the death sqaud steering the nation to be opiate free. I did and wanted to scresm. I paid my part of a stimulator ( 5000 ) when my secondary weasled out only to have my body mutilated without any help. I just hate to hear the DA say tough just go ahead and die then.
Every 28 days I hear them recite I have to get you down to 90 mme. I for one will not make it there.

Alex

ATIP and Red Lawhern have made excellent inroads to the CDC’s edict regarding opioides.The AMA condemned the CDC’s ruling and according to my chronic pain Doc this past Friday there has neeb communication from the CDC that their statement on opioides is now to be considered a “guidline” not a “directive”. This was big news to my pain Doc. He was one of the few medical professionals to sign on to ATIP’s letter to the CDC. This shows that our voice is being heard, we need to keep the pressure up!