White House Announces Efforts to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use

White House Announces Efforts to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use

Now the White House and President Obama are lending voice to what it calls the epidemic a prescription drug and heroin use.

In a press release issued today, the White House announced that prescription drug abuse and heroin use have taken a heartbreaking toll on too many Americans and their families, while straining law enforcement and treatment programs.

President Obama traveled to West Virginia on Wednesday to hear directly from individuals and families affected by this epidemic and the health care professionals, law enforcement officers, and community leaders working to prevent addiction and respond to its aftermath. 

The President announced federal, state, local and private sector efforts aimed at addressing the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic. These include commitments by more than 40 provider groups – representing doctors, dentists, advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and educators — that more than 540,000 health care providers will complete opioid prescriber training in the next two years. In addition, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, Google, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and other companies will donate millions of dollars in media space for PSAs about the risks of prescription drug misuse produced by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

A significant number of groups are supporting the administration’s efforts including:  the American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Pain Society, and American Academy of Pain Medicine.

Here is a link to the press release from WhiteHouse.gov.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Brenda Flippen at 1:46 am

    Please ,please don’t take our only relief from pain away. We have tried physical therapy, I do it everyday, when my pain will let me. I used to walk 4 miles a day, work out with free weights, teach fitness in a fitness center. The pain had always been there, but one day it finally just consumed me. I had to quit a job I loved. Tried many more but lost them all due to illnes and pain. I feel so useless and now hopeless. I cannot be counted on to do anything , not even visit my grandchildren or my 90 yr. old mother. My husband has to do many of the things I should be doing, and he works hard at his job and has to come home and do my job also. I was taking a combination of 2 pain relievers then the doctor quit prescribing. I went to the hospital to get off the meds. I thought I was dying and stayed off 1yr. I actually prayed to die because of the pain. I finally found a dr. that would prescribe pain meds, but he moved about 6yrs ago. Since then I have tried every antidepressant on the market and the side effects have nearly killed me. But the drs. keep pushing them, cannot take them. Anticonvuslants that they want us to take made me gain 50lbs. And be zombie like. There are many drugs I cannot tolerate, even hydrocodone makes me sick. The only thing I can beg from my doc now is ultam, but now he is cutting my prescription every month or so. Now I take ibuprofen up to. 24 a day. Or some time I would add Tylenol to the mix. 8 to 10 a day to go with my small amount of Ultram.
    It is demoralizing to be treated this way. To be talked to by our drs.,the people we are supposed to trust is now belittleing .Being made feel ashamed to be sick. I never asked to have pain, I never had time for pain, I had a full productive life. Now I am looked down on because I need pain meds. I will go back to being totally house bound again if I don’t have the right pain meds. I nearly am now, I go weeks without being able to leave my home after the reduction of my meds 6yrs. ago. I have had to just “get by”on the small amount that I have been reduced to after my previous Dr. moved.Pain has made nonproductive, old, fat and ugly. I used to be proud of how I looked, I took pride in being fit @d healthy looking.I am embarrassed for people to see me because I have changed so much from the anxiety and stress pain has caused me. Please help us. Do any of you know what it is like to be in pain every second of your life???
    And Dr. Isben, thank you for being the only one to stand up for us. You are our hero. Apparently our only hero. And have the lawmakers thought about how mean people get from uncontrolled pain. And how they will go buy whatever if being sold on the street corners? Will we be reduced to that ????

  2. Kathrine McAnally at 6:28 am

    Pain is almost always controlling my life. It is a cruel manager. Why punish us even more by refusing us some relief that I do not look for in illegal drugs or alcohol. I want my pain managed by a doctor who cares about my life, what are my best options for some relief. I did not choose to be in this body that is always in some level of pain, often pain that is so bad I wish some doctor would say I have only one year to live. I would thank God that all this pain would soon be over. But, no one tells me there will be an end to this. So until they do please allow me to have some relief in this life I must live until God calls me home. I am 64 and thinking I may be facing twenty or more years like this is overwhelming. Please, please try to understand that I do not suffer by choice. You can take all my pain meds if you can stop the pain.

  3. Dee Green at 2:26 pm

    I’ve started a petition on Moveon.org entitled “Chronic Pain Patients under attack ” Please sign it! We must advocate for ourselves. Pres. Obama obviously has been influenced by the “War on drugs ” proponents. They are feeding him unsubstantiated science to further their own agenda. Chronic Pain affects nearly 100 million patients (not including family, friends &physicians) This reminds me of the Reagan era drug wars- except now it’s aimed at pain patients and they’re doctors. These policies will lead to in humane suffering & cruel pain unnecessarily. It will limit research & development of new medications and treatment options. We must let Washington DC know that “Enough is Enough!”

  4. brenda myers at 1:06 pm

    I wrote to the whitehouse after hearing that speech-its so cold what they are doing to us chronic pain patients!! They basically blame our medications for this mess. It makes me so very angry!! and in 2016 the medicare plans are going up and pain meds are being placed on a higher tier than ever before

  5. Becky at 8:39 am

    I do not see one mention of speaking with chronic pain patients who are directly try affected by all of this! I suffer. chronic pain bc of a negligent Dr. And now I have to suffer more bc I cannot get the only medications that keep me from being bed bound or wheelchair. This just makes me sick!!!

  6. Jeannah at 8:28 am

    Thank you Dr. Mark Ibsen for being the voice of reason, sanity and facutal information!! I hope you will write these very words to President Obama! I intend on writing from the perspective of a woman who has long term, daily chronic pain

    I’ve had chronic pain all my life from endometriosis until I had a complete hysterectomy in 1997. 8 months later, and after I was in a minor car accident, I developed fibromyalgia, so, yes, a life time of chronic pain. The fibromyalgia beats it all tho, childbirth, excruciating pain from endometriosis, a ruptured disc in my lower back which was able to recover from with intensive therapy and NO surgery. I never took any prescription pain medication until a few years into firobmyalgia, even with all those conditions and 3 surgeries for endometiosis. Opioid therapy helped me also at a low dose for 12 years, I never developed a tolerance, never suffered from any other side effects from it either. I abandoned it on my own in October 2014 with the new opioid regulations. I’ve found an herb that is helping but not near enough and does not give me enough pain relief to be active (gardening, walking, do something after my 8-10 hour work day) so, more weight gain! Those of us with No insurance and who cannot afford the Unaffordable Care Act ($460 a month and a 5/6 thousand dollar deductible) cannot afford all these therapies, injections or pain management specialist even IF we wanted that (which I don’t). Opioid therapy was a safe (without all the scary side effects of the newer and also unaffordable with no insurance drugs), inexpensive way for me to manage the debilitating, daily pain of fibromyalgia.

    What is happening currently in this country to the human beings living with daily chronic pain is cruel and inhumane, we treat animals better.

  7. marty at 3:55 am

    Thank you Doctor Ibsen for telling it like it really is. I live in a town that is 10 sq miles. Just this last week alone there were 3 meth labs busted and 2 or 3 Heroin dealers. Not one Vicodin found. In my travels of pain groups I can’t tell you how many people are actually thinking about heroin if there vicodin is reduced or taken away. And then there are the ones who are just ready to give up fighting for these drugs to help them live a somewhat normal life. They are talking suicide. And with the chronic pain I am in daily I have come to realize that I’m not even sure that it wouldn’t cross my mind should my medications be taken from me. Because I already spend enough days crying, and waiting for the next dose of medicine so I can move my legs enough to get me to the bathroom or to the kitchen for something to eat. We are in pain, we are scared and most of all we the chronic pain patients don’t want to live daily with the threat of of lives being taken away from us. Please keep fighting for us

  8. Mark Ibsen MD at 4:30 pm

    Re:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/guidelines-that-could-save-lives/2015/10/20/9fd65dba-775e-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.htmlt

    No!!!
    This plan by CDC is based on bad data
    And
    Bad science
    As well as
    Bad sociology.

    Read the IOM paper on Pain.
    The CDC guidelines come from a closed process, murky sources, non transparent.
    There are 25 Million Americans in pain.
    The overdose data relate more to heroin.
    The former scapegoat “gateway” to heroin is no longer marijuana. It is being legitimized.

    They need a new drug to blame for heroin and the lost “war on drugs” which has been a war on people.

    Please look a little deeper. The so called epidemic?
    CDC should know better: 16,000 ( an unconfirmed number) is only .0001% of the population.
    14,000 people die each year from Ibuprofen and its relatives.
    12,000 dog bites occur everyday.
    Prescription drug OD ranks 23 in causes of death
    Cancer
    Cars
    Cigarettes
    Alcohol
    Cardiac disease
    Obesity
    All higher.

    Restricting access to pain relief will lead to misery: it already has.

    Please jump off this bandwagon.
    You’re late getting on it.
    You will be embarrassed by the science.
    The CDC is indeed risking its credibility on an issue that is not part of their mission or expertise.
    THIS is not an epidemic, and the CDC ought to know better. Pain pills are not like infectious Disease. The epidemiology is different

    Thank you.

    Mark Ibsen MD