US Pain Foundation Eyes Two Congressional Bills

US Pain Foundation Eyes Two Congressional Bills

By Ed Coghlan.

The U.S. Pain Foundation is pointing to two pieces of federal legislation that it believes the chronic pain community should be supporting.

The Marijuana Effective Drug Studies (MEDS) Act was introduced by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The purpose of this bill (S.1803) is to encourage scientific research on cannabis as an effective and safe medical treatment. The MEDS Act was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s up to advocates to ensure committee members understand how helpful medical cannabis research can be for those living with chronic conditions.

If you want to register your support for the bill, you can do that by clicking here. By the way, when I tried to enter my zip code, they asked me for my nine digit code. If that’s what happens to you, here’s where you can find yours.

The second bill gets at the treatment issue which is so critical to the chronic pain community.

The Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act (H.R.4733/S.2260) will expand, intensify, and coordinate research to improve the understanding of pain and develop safer and more effective pain treatments. It also will help fund the development of improved options for medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder and opioid overdose reversal.

“We need advocates to submit letters to their senators and representatives, urging them to cosponsor this landmark legislation, which aims to help both people pain and those with substance use disorder,” said Shaina Smith, Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development for the US Pain Foundation.

To support the bill, you can click here.

While the discussion on chronic pain treatment has largely centered on the availability of opioids in the past two years, the broader discussion of more research and education needs to be amplified. These two bills help that goal.

Let us know if you plan to support the legislation—and if not, share with us why that is.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 32 comments for this article
  1. Judy at 8:24 am

    I fully support both of these & have sent the letters to my elected officials.
    But I don’t hold out hope that they will open their minds.

  2. Karen Pritchett at 4:52 pm

    We need to unite & ALL of us need to write our local congressman, govenor’s office, state Senators, White House, & def the Republican National Committe(to withdraw supporting Trump, if you did elect him, in the next election, if this madness continues!) However, this was all in play before he took office. Maybe a united political front will get attention from the top.
    Our doctors are all under threat & we need to let them know we understand their frustration in not being able to treat us with the compassion they used to. The doctors need to unite together as well & be able to fight these new recommendations
    without fear of harassment from the DEA.
    People with documented disability and chronic pain aare truly one of our nation’s most vulnerable populations & many of us are highly stressed by the recent tapering & the last thing we want to do is spend what little energy we may have writing letters, so I recommend writing one good letter to express your views, copy it,& mail it to every federal agency that it now part of this War on Opiods, that has quickly turned into a war on chronic pain sufferers!

  3. Teresa Hayes at 5:40 pm

    I have fibromyalgia, I have systemic exertion intolerance disorder, Acute generalized anxiety disorder, a cute panic disorder, social disorder similar to Agoraphobia, migraine headaches, my feet feel like they are broken and that I’m walking on glass shards all the time, I have costochondritis, I have rheumatoid arthritis, I have other autoimmune disorders and syndromes as well. Where do you people suggest I get help for 24/7 pain? If you’re going to take away the drugs that were legally prescribed to me for my psychological illness of PTSD then you are going to have more suicides on your hands than junkies on the street. You people have not done your homework you have not done your research you think everyone that takes a methadone or a Valium or whatever is an addict yes our bodies are accustomed to having the medication to help us live with pain. Well I personally would not wish this on my worst enemy I wouldn’t wish it on every member of Congress that boats to take medication away from those who are legitimately ill and not just with cancer. Yes legalize marijuana it does help with pain and anxiety but it is not the only answer. There are combinations of drugs and yes they are narcotic or opioids or whatever you want to call them to help us live and have a quality-of-life. I believe Congress needs to put it to a vote to those of us in pain that have real doctors. If the doctors are abusing their privileges with their prescription pads then take them away from them take their license they’re not doctors there drug dealers. You will be forcing us to go to Mexico for our drugs to go out on the street for drugs is that what you people want? Do you want those of us who are legitimately ill and in pain to kill ourselves, Use street drugs, Or just go out of the country for it. I am so sick of liberals and the government sticking their nose in my business get out of my business get out of my health take care of this country that’s what you were hired to do and yes you can use this and you can print my name I don’t care it’s all true and I personally am ready for a new Congress and I love President Trump.

  4. Renee Steiger at 2:55 pm

    I To who ever it concerns thank you so much. please feel free to publicly post and use this my story and grief of this horrible malady and the the Hell the now uninformed Public and some of the Media are putting us legitimate Chronic Pain Sufferers through! It is no more than local emotional Abuse ( and border line Domestic Emotional Terrorism )!on a scale with only Biblical proportions!To the Editor and Associates I have taken this opportunity to share my heartbreaking story in hopes these witch hunting Opiate ill informed skeptics will read and understand that we as Millions Of Legitimate Chronic Pain Sufferers would have no life without Medically prescribed Opiates by a physicians care and strictly monitored monthly urine and blood test. Please remember that An Opinion Before A Thorough Investigation Is The Epitome Of Ignorance! And that a little more compassion from the Medical Field and its representatives could have saved my beautiful Stepdaughters life. Let me say this! A person who has a addictive personality will abuse anything that helps them feel better. I have taken Oxycontin for 12 years , I have had 20 major surgery’s in 9 years. I have so much physical pain I can not even get out of bed with out pain meds and when I run out I run out and just lay in bed praying the Lord relieve me of this horrible condition and I pray God you pain med skeptics never go through what I go through everyday of my life when the only thing you have to do is threaten what help I get, Shame on them! There will always be drug abuse and as the so called war on drugs has failed all this will! All you do is stoke and aid the drug pushers business to knew heights in the Black Market of Heroin while trying to deprive folks as me to this horrible movement! My Stepdaughter committed suicide 4 years ago because of being treated like a drug addict by her family and doctors when all along she suffered from Lupus and Fibromyalgia which I believe was brought on by a deadly car crash at 18 , she told me between that which I was being put through and what they were putting her through she was not going to be able to live her life in such a hell brought on by people like the Biased Uniformed Skeptics that are on a witch hunt to out law Opiates and pain meds that give us some sort of a life . As a retired Police officer and worked indirectly close to the DEA, you people do not have a clue how thrilled you are making the illegal opiate trade and think of my Late Stepdaughter as you continue on with this 2017 Version of the ( 1940s Propaganda Film named REEFER MADNESS )movement to outlaw opiates! Just like the slaughter of children at Sandy Hook if there would have just been gun laws , my God they were Gun Laws , the guns that murdered all those 20 children were all registered and owned by a school teacher! You fight Drug Addiction in Elementary education by teaching all children the dangers of Booze and Tobacco which if these witch hunters want for us to know the real truth but they do not. I miss my Stepdaughter so much and some of us will continue on the fight to protect our right to feel better and function without fear of these witch hunters trying to convince us to commit suicide . And they are trying to do exactly THAT and are now being successful in this under the table practice of Human Genocide!
    The under line real truth it seems THESE witch hunters would rather us Chronic Pain sufferers commit suicide are and DRINK all the BOOZE we can drink! The Federals legalized it ( ALCOHOL) knowing its a more deadly drug than Strychnine. And just because the DEA has miserably failed with their witch hunt type movement on drugs why do they continuous fully deprive us sick people of our Constitutional Rights to be Happy in that pursuit of with Professional Physicians to take meds that give us relief of this horrible malady of Chronic Pain ! May God have mercy on their miserable souls they that seek to destroy us Chronic Pain Sufferers only and little hope of temporary relief of this horrible sickness. Below a picture of me and my precious Stepdaughter one year before her Suicide.

  5. BL at 9:33 pm

    MichaelL, it is easy for patients to criticize doctors that will not give them the opiates they want. These patients have no idea the monetary cost and sacrifices a doctor and their family makes. Not only during medical school, internship and residency. But, the sacrifices doctors and their families continue to make throughout their career. Patients also have no idea what it costs to run a practice.

  6. MichaelL at 8:40 pm

    Sorry, Tina Wagner, but I did lose my license dealing with ignorant and doctors, who saw themselves as saviors, when they were protecting their turf and practicing petty politics. I live on disability, after an injury, and also suffer from pain inadequately treated. I would love to be having that “lifestyle” you refer to. But, I cared too much for my patients’ well beings. My living now is, just slightly, above the poverty level! And, suicide will always be an option.

  7. Jeannette at 4:01 pm

    Chronic pain patients are sol. Nothing can be given . All the big words don’t help. Having surgery on knee because I can’t take the pain and fibromilgia too.

  8. Christina at 8:50 am

    Hello… I don’t think I can support this. I have fibromyalgia and chronic pain due to arthritis in my spine. I also suffer with chronic migraines. I have an allergy to marijuana. I’ve tried smoking, eating, applying oil, and it makes me physically sick. The only thing that helps me move in the morning is one Vicodin. I take 3 a day. One in the morning, one in the afternoon so I can make dinner for my husband and son, and one at bed so I can sleep. It doesn’t take the pain away, but it makes it tolerable so I can shower and dress. It makes it tolerable so I can wash a load of laundry. It makes it tolerable so I can fall asleep before 2 a.m.
    It’s sad that the chronic pain sufferers get punished because of the heroin addicts. I see a pain management doctor and I was leery because I was sent to the Seattle pain management center and they treated me like a drug addict. I don’t mind doing a tox screen, but don’t make me feel lesser than I already do. This new doctor I’m seeing has been okay so far. She’s actually trying to figure out how she can help. I also agree with Marie. Thank you for reading this.

  9. Roxanne Hoffman at 1:28 am

    I have had a meeting with my State Senator and also an email from the US Senator for PA about the Opioid crisis and how this is effecting us in the Chronic Pain community, and for the what they said and I also did research, the CDC and FDA ( which I was in contact with the FDA to and received an email) say that the Opioids should not be effecting the Chronic Pain Community and when I said it is, they do recommend writing to the Medical Board because the medical board is not reading it through. But I have been reaching out on all this with my Reps and I want to work up a letter to MR. Sessions to about everyone should take buffrin for chronic pain If there is anything else please let me know, but I am reaching out and hope with many of us we can get our voices heard

  10. Teresa at 11:47 pm

    I agree with so many! We chronic pain patients should have the right to go to a pain management doctor and be treated with respect and dignity. The treatment plan should be between the doctor and patient. I live in Kentucky and it is impossible to find a pain management doctor that will take you serious. There are 1 or 2 left but that’s all. I have CRPS and opioids are the only thing that gives me a somewhat normal life. What we have to go through to get our medications is unbelievable. In our area it is HEROIN that us causing so many overdoses not opioids prescribed for pain. Our government needs to get the facts straight. We pain patients need to come together in 1 voice to protest our rights. I am so afraid our meds will be taken away if we don’t.

  11. Tina Wagner at 10:46 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Marie! The Government has no desire to help those of us who suffer daily from Chronic Pain and we are not addicts but are definitely treated as one by our Pain Management Doctors who say they feel the pressures from the top to stop providing sufficient pain relief! God forbid they might lose their license and not be able to afford all their extravagant lifestyles just like those in the powerful positions of our Government!
    I would not support this Bill whatsoever!!!

  12. James Mock at 6:58 pm

    I take methadone and fentanyl thru a pain clinic. I understand the concern. I have NEVER felt a “high” of any kind. Fact is my pain is still overwhelming and I would welcome death.

  13. Rita KIMBEL at 5:31 pm

    I don’t think the USA has conducted enough research on the MMJ or we wouldn’t be so behind on legalized use for medical reasons. And on the other end of the spectrum we have some chronic/intractable pain patients that can only be helped by using an opiate and have found them selves on high doses that can be fatal if not watched carefully. There’s research that needs to be funded and bills that need to passed or we won’t get anywhere when we try to treat pain properly. Everyone needs to be on the same page.

  14. Rachel at 2:21 am

    Marie, excellent comments. There is no need for more research on the efficacy of cannabis for pain. There is already plenty. Look at the UK: last year our government was presented with a batch of research proving the efficacy of cannabis for pain relief. They still refused to legalise medical cannabis for pain patients though. My point is the research has been done and CBD alone does not work for most people, only the THC and CBD together. This raises the question of patients being stoned and functioning. I use at night only and never within 6 hours of driving. Cannabis is not without problems: I have just been through the most horrendous 2 week WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME as I have been abroad so without my cannabis. I was in excruciating pain, headaches, nausea, chills and sweats. I felt so ill I wanted to die. I called my doctor who immediately increased my opioid by 60%and my benzo by 100%. Then I felt a lot better and came to the end of the two weeks the cannabis stays in the body (THC locks itself in the muscles). Just be aware that can happen. It is not documented as being so severe a withdrawal as that in the medical literature.

  15. BL at 11:18 pm

    Bob Schubring, seeking funding is far from it actually being funded. Even if it were to be funded. The focus is on drug addiction. not chronic pain patients. Of course, it seems the government views chronic pain patients as addicts. There is no way the government is going to do anything to make I easier for chronic pain patients to receive opioids

  16. Rita KIMBEL at 9:55 pm

    Thank you, using the links you provided made it simple to get the word out. This is what we need to do, make it easy for us to gather together in numbers and let these congregational members hear us on these issues. You couldn’t have said it any better, thanks for all you do.

  17. Marie at 1:51 pm

    I think its an oxymoron to talk about the vital support of legitimate pain patients and those addicted to opiods within the same bill. You are either supporting true, necessary, and much-needed opiod detox/rehabilitation for those addicted to opioids and other drugs OR you are supporting chronically ill patients whose only determined path of treatment with pain management is the through the monitored use of opioids. How could you possibly blend the two very distinctive patients together and effectively, if not morally and truthfully, support those with invisible illnesses/chronic pain so that they may have some semblance of a life? Chronic pain patients are NOT addicts. They have not asked to be injured, or to be relegated to a life of medication coupled with disability. I am disgusted that our government would sheepishly turn their backs on those most vulnerable within our society. To further demean pain patients you then have statements made that ‘good people don’t take marijuana’. How absurd in our society where we have the richest of scientific knowledge that the pain community would be treated so badly. Not to mention the ignorance surrounding the understanding of illnesses such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Lyme – wherein pain patients have to be their own advocates because the standard medical community (primary physicians, hospitals, etc.) doesn’t have the knowledge of these illnesses or how they completely devastate the patient’s life, leaving them a shell of their former selves. Let’s remember that pain patients are just that – patients in chronic and debilitating pain. To those in government – stop bulking those authentic pain patients with drug addicts who’ve chosen to take said drugs to merely escape their responsibilities and get “high”. Never have I seen a chronic pain patient “high” or even euphoric that they must live a life of pain and degradation from the typical medical community who now doesn’t see them as disabled, but views them as addicts looking for drugs.

  18. linda at 9:28 am

    i caint even get cough med that will help cause my are interns and have been trained not to give anything that helps ,this is what new doctors are being trained ,one day we have to take an aspirin and tough it out !! Mr Sessions evidentally doesnt have chronic pain , sure if his family sufferd tbe way we all do he would get the
    what they needed!!!

  19. linda at 9:27 am

    i caint even get cough med that will help cause my are interns and have been trained not to give anything that helps ,this is what new doctors are being trained ,one day we have to take an aspirin and tough it out !! Mr Sessions evidentally doesnt have chronic pain , sure if his family sufferd tbe way we all do he would get the
    what they needed!!!

  20. Marty at 8:57 am

    I’m sorry, I can’t support theses bills. I don’t believe they will help chronic pain patients get their meds back and I don’t think the government cares how desperately they suffer. They care about making a big name and are to fearful to go after real drug dealers…the heroin dealers.

  21. Scott smith at 11:50 pm

    Ya” know!!! I’ve noticed all these ( big words) that sugar coat what these politicians
    Really think of our pain patient. Substance use disorder!!! Really???
    If people would use there head and rally against our people in office and call it for what it is instead of bending over we might make some progress. Take away our pain meds and sell us your garbage
    Like methadone and suboxone
    And let our media report on both sides, people need to wake up before its to late.
    I can tell people one thing for sure…… The rich politicians and there family won’t be on there substance use meds,
    It will be only the best. I know the day will come when these buracrats will stand before our real king and whining won’t hold water,,,
    So tighten up sun shine your day is coming.
    Sincerely Scott Smith…….

  22. reese at 11:32 pm

    Look I just want my family and myself to be able to go to pain dr without getting treated like crap and to get the same treatment we have gotten for years with dignity and privacy between my dr and myself. That hasn’t happened however, DR’s. Have been arrested, pharmacy s refuse to fill scripts,. It’s all bs! What about the patients rights?

  23. Elizabeth A Hodgson at 7:40 pm

    We must make opiods available for chronic pain until they find something as effective to stop suffering. The overdose deaths are not from prescribed rx alone. They are either misused or the majority of deaths are due to illegal imported powder fentynal mixed with illegal pills and heroin. Try stopping the influx and major dealers. Rather than restricting prescribed opiods. We have done nothing wrong. We take the meds as prescribed. It’s the only thing which helps.

  24. Kelley at 2:15 pm

    Why does the bill that is suppose to help research pain, have anything to do with addiction and more treatements programs, seems to me, it’s the same old bull, mixing chronic pain directly to addiction and simply supporting more PROP lies to get more money and to deny patients human treatements. Why is there not just a pain study , why does it have to mix the 2 together ALWAYS. I would not support a bill that of course mixes the 2 together as always

  25. Ibin at 11:08 am

    Thanks, ED. SOMETHING has too be done to help the people that SUFFER daily, continuously with a crippling disease or injury. Incurable, lifetime pain. I really appreciate your tireless effort to assist those of us that have apparently been patient abandoned. SINCERELY, Thank You! I DID use your links to put in my two cents worth!!!!!!! The nazi like enforced compliance into un managed pain MUST be stopped.

  26. Bob Schubring at 10:59 am

    HR 4733 seeks additional funding for NIH research into opioids, cannabinoids, and pain. However it fails to address the actual obstacle to pain care. 3 decades of past NIH research into opioids, cannabinoids, and pain, have failed to persuade the DEA to move out of the way of doctors, patients, and researchers. Cannabinoid research is hamstrung, because DEA asserts the cannabis plant is too dangerous to test, which compels researchers to make each of the hundreds of possible cannabinoid drugs synthetically, to test them in the US. Opioid research is further hamstrung, because patients fear to discuss their experience with these drugs. Any positive remarks about opioids can be interpreted by DEA-trained paranoid ears, to imply that the patient is a drug-seeker.As long as the DEA is allowed to hire high-school graduates and place them in authority over doctors and scientists with multiple degrees and decades of experience, this triumph of illiteracy and ignorance over knowledge and truth, will continue. What’s needed is a statute that diminishes the DEA operating budget by 50% for each month, that DEA delays following the statutory procedure set forth in the Controlled Substances Act of 1974, requiring DEA to ask the Surgeon General to carry out tests and make rulings on how controlled substances are to be regulated. DEA is incompetent to issue these regulations itself, has done so on an emergency basis now for 44 years, and Congress understood DEA to lack that scientific competence when it created the agency. In about 3 or 4 months, when pay checks at the DEA have gotten small enough, the Agency will finally understand that it needs to end it’s emergency jurisdiction over drugs and allow real doctors and scientists to use sound science in regulating drugs.

  27. Beckys at 9:17 am

    No, I will not be supporting. The government has not addressed chronic Lyme or to require any help or research for Lyme, yet we have suicide and deaths from lyme.
    The gov passes bills for covert action my experience. I’d they aren’t helping Lyme now, confronted IDSA and CDC to require health insurance to pay for Lyme they sure as heck aren’t going to help a chronic pain patient.
    We don’t know what all is embedded in these bills. More rights take away. Just put the wall up to stop the import of illegal heroin from where and opiods from China.
    No one cares in gov else they wouldn’t have let all the meds taken away from chronic pain patients last year and this year. Start tracking suicides ftom those folks why don’t you.

  28. BL at 8:56 am

    How will these be funded ? Without funding, these bills mean nothing if passed.

  29. Mary Ann Porter at 8:14 am

    Finding CBD changed my life from a very limited life to one fully lived without the side effects of opioids.

  30. Nancy Anderson at 7:55 am

    I support the legislation, however, the website would not accept my zip code. I tried both the 5 digit code and the 9 digit code. Very frustrating.

  31. Clare at 7:50 am

    I live in Australia where cannabis for the use of pain relief seems an eternity away.
    However I know relentless pain and if I can help anyone gain some relief from pain I will.
    I support this bill in America
    Moira clare
    43 Dering St
    Diamond Creek
    Victoria 3089

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