What is this crisis in pain about, really?
It’s about money.
I think people in the United States are operating under an illusion that elected officials care about the American public. Rather I believe they care about the people that fund their campaigns.
Very rich people.
Unless Jane Mayer’s book, “Dark Money” is read, it is impossible to connect various dots. I say that there are no coincidences. The reason for the income gap explosion, the flatlining of middle income for over 50 years, and other very ominous activities taking place such as punishing pain patients for problems regarding illegal drugs, is unified. The government does not run the government. The people do not run the government. The rich run the government.
People need to find the power of their own minds, their own hearts and their own choices. We need nothing short of revolt. The fact that a few democratic systems remain in place might be exploited. But if people do not get out of their broadcast media outlets and into independent reading and speaking to one another about their experiences, form alliances and fight the rich, we are just going to continue to be ruled by an oligarchy.
I would like to draw attention to MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving and propose that families of chronic pain patients follow the same set of practices that those women did. They hired professionals to lobby against drunk driving, they educated classrooms and communities about the facts related to driving drunk. What the consequences were. Who died, how many died, how they died. We need to become socially active and push back hard against legislators and politicians that do not care about truth or justice or any values but the money they get to do what they want from rich sponsors. I consider Richard “Red” Lawhern a model of this this policy.
Do not storm the state governments with angry rantings or threats of suicide. Rather use reason and the force of the public values. There must be people identified with talent in writing publications; newspaper publications, magazine articles, and public speakers brought into service with the capacity to communicate clear messages about whose interests are being served and why?
We must seek immediate relief to chronic pain sufferers. No down the line someday imagined time when we will have enough science. We will never have enough science and we already have enough science. We know opioids work best. The goal is not to be manipulated by any big money interests. It is a shame, because all rich people are certainly not evil. But enough are; and by evil, I mean they put self-interest above all other values. And they want more money, more influence, more power.
It is up to the families of the people with chronic pain because, just as the children mowed down by drunk drivers could not advocate for themselves, chronic pain patients, many incapacitated, unable to move, cannot do this themselves. Only their friends and families can mobilize effectively. And time is precious.
And the time is now.
Linda May is a clinical social worker and a Marriage & Family Therapist, Psychotherapist in Radnor, Pa.