UC Davis Study on Opioids Tapering Finds “Too Fast” and “Too Soon”

UC Davis Study on Opioids Tapering Finds “Too Fast” and “Too Soon”

Tapering patients off opioids is happening more. Now there are more questions about how safely it is being done.

New research from UC Davis Health physicians shows tapering can occur at rates as much as six times higher than recommended, putting patients at risk of withdrawal, uncontrolled pain or mental health crises.

The study — “Trends and Rapidity of Dose Tapering Among Patients Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy, 2008-2017″ — was presented at the North American Primary Care Research Group meeting in Toronto this week and published online by the Journal of American Medicine.

“Tapering plans should be based on the needs and histories of each patient and adjusted as needed to avoid adverse outcomes,” said study author Alicia Agnoli, assistant professor of family and community medicine in an article published in Science Daily. “Unfortunately, a lot of tapering occurs due to policy pressures and a rush to get doses below a specific and sometimes arbitrary threshold. That approach can be detrimental in the long run.”

The study team found out that the tapering rates were not consistent with the CDC recommendations.

“We wanted to understand how often opioid dose tapering happens, how rapidly patients’ doses were being reduced when tapering, and which patients were more likely to have doses tapered,” said lead author Joshua Fenton, professor of family and community medicine.

Fenton and Agnoli looked at records of 100,000 commercial and Medicare patients. It focused on individuals whose opioid doses were stable for at least a year and identified tapering patients as those with a 15% or more reduction in daily MMEs during a seven-month follow-up period.

Tapering was much more common in patients prescribed higher opioid dosages and increased significantly after the CDC guidelines were published.

As many pain patients have experienced, researchers believe the 2016 policy could have been misinterpreted, leading many prescribers and health systems to insist on faster-than-recommended tapering.

“There is definitely a lot of pressure to reduce opioid use among patients, but there also is a need for more training and guidance for prescribers on how to help them safely do so,” Agnoli said.

For chronic pain patient advocate Terri Lewis Ph.D., there is a simpler explanation. The DEA pressure has frightened doctors, many of whom have stopped treating chronic pain patients.

The problem is one of whose risks/benefits are most important to you to manage when the DEA is sending you letters for doing what you can do with the available resources to care for your complex patients?” she asked on Twitter.

We will have more from Dr. Lewis on this subject later this week.

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Nancy

Can anyone tell me if me being cut back 160ml without even telling me is legal?

Kathy Olszewski

It happened to me on for 14+yrs taken off ,nothing having many problems especially daily routine called life

Ana

Our government knew exactly what they were doing when they went for us. There was no lack of understanding or misunderstanding nor was there stupidity involved. One can call this conspiratorial if one likes but not one single person in our government was born out of being laxed in any way. They’re looking to hold on to their positions by any means possible. It’s high politics ppl and we’re the pawns but then again the masses always have been!
One day about 3-4 months ago I was watching one of those morning shows w/Gale King, Oprahs best pal. I was waiting (of all places), in the pain management lobby to be called, when they first reported the increased suicidal rates from opiod overdoses; a fallout from the fire which our government started. It was never about caring about out safety! This stupid show had their own panel of doctors who were pretending to be experts and the one lead “expert” said (pph), “…what they (government) NEED to do is, crack down even harder by cutting the medications in half (yet again) and instead of it lasting a month to only allow it to last a week!”
The whole segment looked very contrived, the bad acting was a big clue! So, what exactly was this about? Seeing if anyone was listening? Seeing how many ppl they could get to believe this piece of dangerous fake news? Were they letting the world know what they were going to do next? For what the U.S. does, so does the world minus Switzerland.

LMC

I would love to see a copy of one of those warning letters mentioned below. Putting one up for public review as evidence of the contradictions that are still happening would help. But I can’t imagine a doctor would risk it, as that doctor may become a target.

I am also curious as to why doctors are not coming together to protest en masse. Most people would be offended if someone with no experience in a given field started telling the expert how to do their jobs!

It is my opinion that a very large percentage of doctors have very large egos. They’ve paid a fortune and spent years getting the required training to become doctors. Why aren’t more doctors standing up and telling the DEA that they (the DEA) are NOT doctors. If a doctor can’t legally do a drug raid and arrest people, then why should the DEA be allowed to be doctors? Isn’t there a law against playing doctor if you are, in fact, not a doctor?

Chronic pain suffers are dependant on opioids just as diabetics are dependant on insulin. Perhaps the DEA/FDA/CDC should force taper diabetics. Using their logic, then clearly diabetics are addicted to insulin. Maybe they need alternative treatments, like a diet? See how ridiculous that sounds! Not all diabetics are diabetics due to weight. Just as chronic pain sufferers are not addicts.

Lastly, it is my belief that being on 300mme a day and cut to 0mme per day cold turkey is dangerous, unethical and should be grounds for a malpractice suit. This doctors actions were unwarranted and reckless! Hypocratic Oath anyone? I know that it doesn’t help, but I am so sorry that this is happening to you. To all of us.

Kathleen Ganley

I don’t know how many of us comment on an article and then go back a few days later to read more comments. However, for those of you asking how the CDC guidelines came about, please read the article published here on 11/21 titled “An open letter to the FDA”. Several of the commenters explain how and why this happened. Very enlightening.

Sharon Lynn

Was anyone else out there just flat out ignored by their pain clinic when it was time for refills? I called and called and called following their required information step by step. No one ever called me. When I called the front desk it was oh, you have to call that line. We can’t help with that. After a month I gave up. I came to the realization that I was forever on my own.

Rosalind Rivera

My doctor has reduced the dosages as well as the amounts of my pain meds. My pain comes from multiple serious conditions, Spinal Stenosis, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis to name a few. I have repeatedly expressed the horrible, horrible consequences of this action but it falls on deaf ears.
I am suffering tremendously and he knows this! Most of the time, it is almost impossible to just get to my monthly appointments. My Lupus doctor doesn’t know what’s going on as this is grossly affecting not only my excruciating pain but it is also putting a great Psychological strain on me as well. My thoughts are not good ones and my chronic depression and anxiety attacks have not been at such critical levels in over 30 years. All of the calls, the letters, the venting by so many to the news, the CDC, the HHS etc… have done absolutely nothing to ease our suffering and quite frankly I do not believe that anything will change except most definitely for the worse.

dis may

I am going to comment again: unless the behavior of the DEA is addressed, all these truly wonderful and helpful reports, which most patients I feel confident readily agree with. I know I do for a certainty. We may as well just whistle dixie. Doctors are not going to have their practices shut down, go to jail, and experience ruined reputations regardless what words people use to placate people in pain. And that is all these words actually accomplish. Behaviors, deeds, actions: these express the will of the government and the public. The deeds in this case are: the DEA is all over doctors. Monitoring their prescriptions like hawks. And the moment a policy is suspected of illegality the practice is shut down, charges filed, and lengthy and expensive court battles ensue.
Please, pain community, get your eyes directed at the salient visual data. DEA activity. “Actions speak louder than words.: We’ve all heard these words. They remain true. And yet they remain needed. We fail to learn over and again that words can so easily be used to confuse and divert attention from deeds, the genuine expression of belief.

Randy

This is not unexpected for us who were forced to taper. My PCP who wanted no trouble from the DEA or local law enforcement. Didn’t want to take additional training to qualify as a pain specialist. Referred all patients on opoid treatment for pain. Now 19 months off opoids pain a constant 6 with break through at 9 or A 10 on rainy days. Was ambulatory now not so much.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Been said by many wise people, “Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.” And each time it only gets worse. We are actually living in the time of insanity, spoken of in Jeremiah 51:7, whether people will accept it or not.. Only insane people would cause such suffering. The word for this is EVIL AND WICKED. compassion and empathy are in short supply in this once blessed nation. Making it legal to kill babies in the womb is the work of evil wicked insanity. But that Book called the Bible has mostly been rejected and the morals taught in it mean nothing to most of the population today and our schools continue teaching anything but right things. We my friends are slated for destruction as a nation that would resemble the one given to us by the founding fathers. I am an alien in the land of my birth. Lord God ,if only people would listen and wake up before it’s forever to late. I comented the other day that I would not comment on here again, but my pain was talking over my head and heart. Those who might have read what I wrote, I ask forgiveness. Daily chronic pain will cause us to spout off sometimes. About all we are hearing is words but no action. We need our doctors back and allow them to practice medicine as they should. We are not criminals nor addicts, we are dependant upon opioid medications for any kind of life. People who have been taking opioid medications (methadone) for as long as me will not survive if we are tapered any further. I am becoming unable to care for my daily needs and have no one to do things for me. My wife is in the same shape as myself. For the past 24 years she has no no insurance and has been treated with my medications. We should never have been put in such a situation. Don’t tell me that what is taking place is not a conspiracy. The evidence is overwhelming.. Power, greed and other pleasures of the flesh drives those who have brought this hellish suffering upon us the innocent people..judgment follows soon.

Gail Honadle

There is no difference in withdrawal symptoms between Dependent and Addicted. It takes about 4 months to go through Withdrawal from Cymbalta. There are many ADDICTIVE drugs prescribed for various reasons. Codeine, Xanax, Prosaic, ADD/ADHD drugs, Psyche drugs, Lyrica, Neurontin or generic Gabapentin all are highly addictive. And most doctors don’t inform the patient these drugs are that addictive. Even Predisone has to be stepped down as sudden withdrawal caused issues. https://www.mayoclinic.org/prednisone-withdrawal/expert-answers/faq-20057923

Operation Bad Dose opioid crackdown nets 82 arrests in 3 days
https://valliantnews.com/2019/11/17/operation-bad-dose-opioid-crackdown-nets-82-arrests-in-3-days/?fbclid=IwAR1ZB7qyj0IQfdZgM_3Yxz4lQPpnEla1bRqaxRSITuj1N5LNKs41fEOkplI

Dear God in heaven, they’ve studied this thing to death, literally. What’s it going to take for them to stop studying and start taking action?????????

Kathy Rosenberg

My pain specialists told me they were threatened with loss of license by local medical boards and refusal to cover prescriptions by insurance companies. Two of my pain doctors walked away from their practices in less than a year. My high dose opiates were cut in half in one month instead of “tapered”, causing withdrawal and inability to participate in or benefit from physical therapy for months after my rapid dose decrease. And you call this “misinterpretation“? It is much more (much worse) than that.

Legislatures were convinced to pass laws that were much more draconian than the CDC guidelines. And the CDC took 3 years to admit that their guidelines had been “misinterpreted”. There is more going on here than can be explained in such nonjudgmental terms.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theory but this comes close. CDC, DEA, state legislatures, and insurance companies all moving the same direction and making the same threats and judgements that harmed chronic pain patients is better explained by conspiracy than anything else I know. Please help me understand what and why this severely damaging set of decisions was made. It just makes no sense to me.

Dan

It is all about the bogus politics acting as if they are saving the world from opioid therapy. They admitted it is supposed tobe about ilegal drug use, but seem to casually forget to explainthe difference in addiction from street drugs, and relief from horrible,disabling pain. What has happened to America, and empatthy for those suffering. It seems that the politicians hope people in pain turn to street drugs. This way they can keep building rehabs with revolving doors, and watch the suicide rates of themost vulnerable crumble away and die. Not their proble? As achronic pain patient for almost 30 years, life has become hopeless, and the politicans do not care, or somebody would help pain patients get their lives back

Jeanette French

read third–Do I think that maybe to many pain meds are given out, yes I do, but that isn’t the problem, the problem and had been the problem is illegal drugs not prescription drugs. Just because Joe, or Sally decide to misuse drugs and be irresponsible, pain patients are being punished for it. Pain patients are responsible patients, yet, being blamed for every time some one OD’s.
Now we have a pain crisis and guess what, NO ONE CARES. So I ask the news media’s to do their own research and stand up for us and report what is really happening. Portugal and Canada are doing it right. Why aren’t we ???
Why aren’t we saving your kids, your husbands, wives, employees, etc…WHY ??? If we followed Portugal, maybe your sons and daughters would still be alive and there would still be HOPE. Remember, where there is life, there is hope and if we would just listen to Portugal we might have a chance at winning the war on drugs, we will never win it any other way. They will get hem into this country, you are NOT going to stop them. Remember Prohibition, and cutting the head off the snake, supply and demand, a basic all American concept.

Jeanette French

read second-What a political ball game, nothing is NOT political, everything is political in America. They know the issue is illegal drugs coming into our country, not prescription drugs,and to make the American people think they are actually trying to save their kids life from overdosing they are attacking pain patients, and they know they are wrong but , hey, it is politics after all.
American soldiers guard the poppy fields in Afghanistan so America can control which drug lord gets the drugs, yes we make deals with the devils themselves, just like the top dog in prison, it goes so far beyond just this. But that is another story….

However the CDC made a major blunder, caused thousands of deaths and are still torturing pain patients to make it look like they are doing something. Prescriptions are down, overdoses are UP. Yet it is still pain patient’s fault. Good Grief !!….Our friends, the media (haha) could do alot to change the format of all this, but they continue to play up the fake opioid crisis, there never was one and still isn’t one. If you honestly thought your pain medicine was not addictive if you abused it, what rock were you living under for the pat 100 years. By the way, 99.9 % of chronic pain patient’s never abuse, sell or in anyway abuse their medication. It is their life line.

Jeanette French

lol, yes, misinterpreted,, amazing, more like Doctors were “forced” into tapering/totally stopping pain meds by the threat of losing their licenses as well and pharmacies losing theirs. I have seen the warning letters sent out to them and they are real. A blatant threat of loss of license if the taper was not enforced. After their major CDC OOOPPPSSS, they are again blaming doctors, now for tapering patients to fast when they were the ones who ordered it in the first place,

yes “ordered” it in the first place, it wasn’t an option to treat each patient as an individual- patients were treated without regard to their medical issues or pain scale. Leading to thousands of suicides and the closing and loss of most pain clinics. After the clinic closed it doors, no one cared to find those patients and help them, they were left adrift, to die, use illegal drugs or take their own lives. Tell me, which would you choose, loving each day in hell, taking your life or using illegal drugs to end your suffering. It seems like an easy choice, but let us day you lived in hell day after day, no let up, tortured to total exhaustion everyday, couldn’t sleep, and lost your job, your home, your family because you were denied the right to have quality of life. A basic right of American people. So which would you choose? No matter which choice you make your screwed. Does America care, they don’t because you are a nobody to them. They don’t care if you don’t grace the face of this fine planet anymore.

see my next post…con’t

Susan Domokos

What the hell about drs just stopping hi dose opiates? Or FORGETTING about you and your script and forcing #doityourselfopiatewithdraw….i just failed an ekg and my T1D is off the charts…my pain dr went out of town without giving me my pain med script that was due while he was out of town…I WENT THRU 5DAYS NO SLEEP AND I WAS DOPE SICK FOR 6 DAYS..that was 19 days ago and I AM NOT RIGHT STILL…can somebody please point me in a right direction so I DON’T DIE????

Michelle

So I LITERALLY JUST CALLED THE CDC. The representative was really helpful but no fault of his own said that the CDC has NO INFORMATION ABOUT MY CHRONIC PAIN ILLNESS AND WAS SURPRISED TO HEAR SOMEONE CALLING IN ABOUT HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH FINDING A DOCTOR WHO WILL PRESCRIBE MY MEDICATION OF 5 YEARS!
PEOPLE ARE WE CALLING ?ARE ARE WE EMAILING ? ARE WE NOT FLOODING THEM WITH OUR QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS ? IM VERY CONCERNED THAT WE ARE NOT VOICING OUR NEEDS. This representative was kind , patient, understanding BUT UNLESS We really push and push HARD IN SOME WAY SHAPE OR FORM THEN NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN FOR US.
We need to devote one week of calls and emails for the clarification TO BE FURTHER VERIFIED . I WAS JUST TOLD “THE CDC DOES NOT PLACE LIMITS ,WE ONLY RECCOMEND AND IT IS NOT A RESTRICTION IMPLEMENTED BY US !
SO HOW DID THIS ALL GO SO WRONG ?
THE PROBLEM IS THAT CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE PAIN AND CHRONIC DEBILITATING SYMPTOMS CAN NOT FIGHT IN PERSON .

CAN WE ALL CALL AND EMAIL AT A DESIGNATED TIME PERIOD ? LETS NETWORK WITH PAIN ADVOCATES AND PAIN SUPPORT GROUPS TO ALL OF THE CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS , DOCTORS , NURSES , CARETAKERS
ALL OF US CAN LET THEM KNOW THAT THEY NEED TO MAKE IT CLEAR THE CDC IS NOT ONLY NOT REQUIRING GUIDELINES TO BE FOLLOWED BUT ARE VERY UNSPECIFIC TO MANY CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES/DISEASES, AND THAT THEY NEED TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT DOCTORS HAVE SOME SORT OF RESOURCES TO HELP THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH HELPING PATIENTS THAT AFTE TRULY SUFFERING TO PREVENT SUCIDES AND SEEKING ILLEGAL DRUGS BECAUSE OF ABANDONMENT BY PHYSCIANS AFTER TAPER OR FORCED TAPER DUE TO PRESCRIBERS BEING AFRAID OF REPERCUSSION, / TRIED AND FAILED ATTEMPTS OF COMPLEMENTARY THERAPY OR INSUFFICIENCY RELIEF OF TREATMENT.
SO IS ANYONE WITH ME?

Although nothing can undo the outrageous amount of harm already done – and being done – to pain patients around tapering (or “yanking away” – as it is in some cases), it seems hopeful that researchers are studying this…perhaps a step toward positive change.

Cindy too

Given the FDA statement and CDC author statement of last spring, plus the HHS Pain Mgmt Best Practices Report of last spring, I am surprised that tapers are still happening in this manner.

I was on a severe taper when the above statements and report came out, and I brought copies of articles about them to my PM to help me in my begging for relief.

I did get relief. Taper still in effect, but not as much, and it makes a big difference.

I recommend that CPP’s be vocal w/ their docs about new public policy and bring this type of documentation for support.

Cindy too

Can someone — perhaps in a future column — explain about withdrawal for patients who are dependent but not addicted?

I’ve been on opioids for over a decade since my pain began.

I am SO NOT addicted.

I take fewer percocet on relatively decent days, and sometimes forget my methadone which I’m supposed to take 3x per day.

Because I’m clearly not addicted, I’ve always believed that if my pain disappeared, I could stop my opioids immediately with no problem.

But from what I”ve been reading recently, it seems that even someone like me could not stop cold turkey due to withdrawal symptoms.

That makes no sense to me.

So, could someone please explain this? Many thanks.

Kristina

How many more Captain Obvious studies and statements are the researchers, CDC and medical community going to make? It does us no good, the FDA, DEA and doctors decided they need to manage everyone like we’re drug addicts. I hate having to rely on pain management. Every month you go in to the pain management doc, where (at least with my doctor) it feels like a mild version of the Spanish Inquisition. Patients are all treated like we’re faking it, junkies looking to try and pull one over on the doctors. Then there’s the comments they make. I was talking to my pain management doc last week about how I manage my pain with other methods, in conjunction with a fairly low dose of opiods, how I understand that there are inherent risks in taking the medication, how I do my best to be mindful of the risks. “Oh good,” the doctor replied. “So you want me to take you off of them then?” I stare at him like I can’t believe I have to have this conversation. “No, I want you to recognize that I’m doing everything in my power to manage my pain besides just relying on the medication.” Then he gets real snarky. “Well, you said you know they’re dangerous, so I thought you wanted off them.” No jerkface, I want to be able to have a full life like everyone else. I want to be respected as a human being and a patient. This. This what life is like when you have a chronic pain condition. This is what the CDC and their “guidelines” have done. America has always responded with an extreme knee-jerk reaction. Remember prohibition? Alcohol bad so we’re going to take it away from everyone because our citizens are children who can’t make their own choices. How did that work out? People made their own alcohol and died. The black market boomed. This is no different. Has it occurred to our government that they are creating (or at least exploding) the very problem they say they’re trying to fix? Addicts are going to get their needs met no matter how many regulations and crack-downs the government does.

Mary

I was STABLE for 10 Years on the same Opioid Medications at the Same Dose 360 MME No issues, No problems, No side effects. Beginning of 2019 My pain mgmt Dr. Who has overseen my care for the past 10 Years informs me he is beginning a “Forced Taper” to the arbitrary random dose cutoff CDC Guidelines 90 MME he says he can no longer prescribe the dose I have been stable at for 10 Years simply because Oregon State is enforcing CDC 90 MME dose thresholds. He is afraid of Reprimand from Oregon State Medical Boards and/or DEA. I was a highly functioning individual before the forced taper. My life is now just a shell of what it used to be. I cannot sleep, can barely eat and I stay in my home 24/7 in my pajamas because if I use the energy it takes to get dressed and go out even just to the store I will pay severely for next 48-72 hours in a bad cycle of flare from my disease. The pain is so severe now I cannot imagine living this way much longer. Right or Wrong. The Opioid Medications worked. They controlled the pain around the clock so I had good quality of life and functioning. All of that is now gone because other’s who dont know me got to decide for me that it was too “Dangerous” to continue my medications at the dose that worked for my body. So what is the alternative? Nothing. A life of suffering, misery, and uncontrolled immense pain. My kids have sat by and watched their mother lose the ability to do things for them and with them. I cannot attend my sons soccer games or go to his school functions like I used to. It’s not just the Chronic pain Patient who looses here…its the kids, it’s the family, it’s all those around them who suffer as well. Something not seemingly talked about much. I would happily sign a waiver releasing my Dr. From all accountability if it meant I could have my medications back at the dose that I need. Why as adults are we not being given the choice to choose here? Others get to decide what is best for my body yet I’m the one who lives in it?

S.M.

Some doctors *definitely* need education on what an appropriate tapering schedule is.

A few years ago, my pain management doctor (we’ll call him Dr. M) told me that he “recommended” I taper off of my 25 mcg/hr fentanyl patch. I politely refused, which he found exasperating.

Here is the tapering plan Dr. M proposed:

1. Wear patch 4 days (instead of 3).
2. Wear next patch 5 days.
3. Wear next patch 6 days.
…and so on.

Dr. M’s plan would have had me dangerously see-sawing in and out of withdrawal for weeks. The withdrawal symptoms would have gotten progressively worse as the interval between new patches increased. And with every new patch I put on, I would have been back to square one, and would have to go through withdrawal all over again. No thank you.

It’s irresponsible, dangerous, and cruel for a doctor to mismanage a patient’s taper like this. Dr. M was clearly in need of education on the correct way to taper a patient off of a fentanyl patch. I have to wonder how many of his patients wound up in the emergency room because they were following his incorrect tapering instructions.

They needed a STUDY ?

June Randolph

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Sue Lewis

Patricia – you need to ask the medical boards and DEA that question. They are the ones responsible for what has happened to chronic pain patients. Write to your senator and congressman. I am a physician and our hands are tied.

Terry

I gotta agree with what folks are saying, if doctors have misunderstood the guidelines and they have been force tapering people off opioids, why havn’t updated guidelines been offered for chronic pain patients? It’s a load of poo, that’s why. The DEA has put the fear of losing their licenses for over-prescribing opioids. As far as I know the guidelines clearly state that the MAX amount of opioids they can prescribe is 90 MME, what part of that is confusing? It doesn’t put any exceptions in it for chronic pain patients, I’ve read the guidelines and there’s absolutely nothing in them about different guidelines for chronic pain patients. Maybe they should add something VERY SPECIFIC so doctors won’t be afraid of the “Nazis” taking away their licenses. Maybe they should state clearly that doctors would not be at risk should they prescribe over 90 MME for chronic pain patients. I’ve been receiving responses from my political representatives and it’s clear to me that they have absolutely NO IDEA what I’m even referring to. Maybe one government official should familiarize themselves with the guidelines so they could spread the word, explain how chronic pain patients lives have been turned upside down. How can our governor, congressmen, and senators be so ignorant and unfamiliar with the guidelines whatsoever!!! I feel like I’ve been cast aside and thought of as a drug addict!!! We have every right to be OUTRAGED over this treatment. So how we get them to hear us and feel our pain is a mystery to me. Keep on shouting, keep on emailing your government officials, maybe one of them will actually look into our plight and come to our rescue. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!! I just don’t know how to be heard, to have someone champion our cause, to live without or with very little pain. Maybe I’ll email Michael Moore, he seems to love a good fight for a good reason.That’s what I’m going to do!!! It’s a shot in the dark but hey, you never know until you try. Keep fighting and God bless you.

Dawn Laidlaw

The war on opioids is targeting the chronic pain sufferer, because we are easy. We are accessible. The true war on opioids should be in the street, with the illegal drug users. You can’t regulate them. You can regulate us. When will they figure that out? When?

Susan Vrabel-Williams

I wasn’t tapered off…I was cut off immediately. I went from 300 mg of morphine a day to nothing. I was on that dose for a while and it was helping my pain. I could do things. I can’t anymore.
I think that patients should be looked at as individuals and not treated like a number. I haven’t had meds for over five years and my quality of life is zero.
I feel useless and like a nobody. Doctors are afraid to treat patients, because of the DEA. This is wrong. This is still the USA, isn’t it? Our rights are being trampled by our own government.
And the CDC? I don’t believe a word they say, they started this whole thing getting so out of hand.
My pain management doctors are useless. I need to have surgery and I was told that they will not treat me after I come home from the hospital. To my was of thinking, this amounts to torture.

Patricia Bradley

Why are we being forced tapered to begin with? This has nothing to do with the drug war..it’s become a war on chronic pain patients .we are the target ..
Its nothing less than genocide. .we are suffering and dying. .our lives have been ruined.
How does this fit in with addicts getting street drugs?

BethAnn Shoenfeld

Haven’t Got Time For The Pain

BethAnn Shoenfeld

Hi, I’m too sick to read the article in full. I only read the title. I’ll respond halfhearted later. I am being Tapered off of Benzodiazepine, meds I’ve been on since 1989. I tried many times, with no success to come off of this medication since 1990. I now have CRPS and Lupus, unfortunately. I rarely am well enough to leave my apartment.

My question is, why doesn’t the Pain community speak up about this forced taper? The benzodiazepine Tapering that takes seems like forever. I am too sick to speak up about pain. Imagine that. Not enough time for The Pain.
I’ll write again later in the day when I’m able to. Thanks!

LMC

How sweet. A study. Another study.

I was particularly offended by the researchers belief that doctors “may have misinterpreted” the CDC Guidelines. I am offended as a patient who luckily recieves some medication and offended for all the doctors that knew the guidelines were presented as best practices.

Even though the CDC has put out newer definitions, doctors are afraid to do the first thing they took an oath not to do: First, Do Know Harm. If a doctor believes harm was already caused by the amount of medication a long term patient has already received, they have no just cause to reduce or refuse medication, thereby causing… More Harm.

How sweet. Another Study. At what point do all these Studies turn into Action? How many of us have to suffer needlessly? How many of us have to commit suicide? Where are the Studies that actually force Action? Will there be a study about how long it should take for a study to become standard operating procedures? Nope. Cause studies cannot be trusted. Data collected is typically unreliable and writer/product centric. And still a waste of time, money and resources. Not one study was done on common sense.

Severe chronic pain sufferers have only two choices: Street drugs and suicide.

Since I don’t know what street the drugs are sold on I guess I can only be grateful that I am not Catholic.

Holly

My life had been completly ruined. My marriage is not the same. I sit in a recliner all day now and sleep is often interrupted with pain that awakens me. All U can say is WHY? I have been lowered by 500 MMs. I was on a “high” dose but for me it worked. I had a life, my pain was managed. Most of us know this MME chart is bogus. I’ve been 100% compliant except a lil over a month ago I went to a Suboxone Dr. becuz I was having a bout of Cholysititis and no one would help me thru this painful episode. The suboxone did not help and the withdrawels from my meds was HELL! In case some people don’t know, you have to be in withdrawals before starting suboxone or you will go into precipitated withdrawals. I went back to my pain Dr. And was lowered again for what I feel was punishment for trying to help myself. I am so depressed from all this. We are being killed slowly……

Pat Dennis

Most doctors in my area just say we don’t prescribe opioids anymore.

Cynthia

I have seen patients Rapidly tapered down 50%, against their wills…now they can’t function. But everyone knows this is happening and no one is doing anything about it. Why keep asking us, in these surveys and comment periods, etc. they already know how bad it is . When is someone going to fix what they’ve broken?? Im tired of writing letters, making phone calls, they just don’t care.