A Call to Arms for the Chronic Pain Community

A Call to Arms for the Chronic Pain Community

By Terri Lewis PhD.

Since 2012, and more recently in intervening months, weeks and days, the climate of health care for persons who require support for chronic and intractable pain has deteriorated - in part because of the politicization of health care that includes mental health, substance abuse services, care that addresses pain. The conflation of health care with other social issues, crime statistics, and the introduction of illicit drugs into the public mainstream blurs the lines across the system and creates fear at every level.

This is simply unacceptable. The continuing campaign by DEA directed at targeting small healthcare specialty providers who treat complex illness is an example of this contaminated environment. Not only is it destroying the capacity of the healthcare system to serve its sickest citizens, it is contributing to reactive legislation and regulation that cannot possible contribute to any kind of a system solution for directing resources appropriately.  It is based on lies, bad data, fear mongering, and the maintenance of structural inequities that assure the resources of the many are reserved for the few.

Terri Lewis PhD

We are feeding the bear of fear, but it’s not the bear we should be feeding.  The evidence for the feeding of hysteria is all around us. Structural deficits contribute in a large way to increasing deaths by overdose, drug poisonings, suicides even as scripts for legal prescriptions are reducing.  The volume of persons battling addiction is increasing even as communities are unable to fund appropriate services for treatment. Mental health and economic strain is directly reflected in mass gun deaths. 

Picking on sick people and the doctors who treat them is shooting at the wrong target and directing the wrong resources into these problems. We are done putting up with it.

We are done allowing anyone to make us feel afraid, invisible, powerless.

If you are a policy maker, you are accountable to us. We will have policies that serve us.

If you are a physician we will support you in the practice of your profession but only if you provide equitable services to all while seeking collaboration with your colleagues.  Our precious dollars will be focused on those who serve us.

If you are a lawmaker we expect your activities to open the door to ensuring the least among us are represented, served, and have access to participation. Our votes will be reserved for those who serve us.

If you are an educator, we expect you to arm yourself with the best science and research to groom the next generation of care givers and policy makers. We will be served by professionals with the knowledge and skills that lead effective community change.

If you are a consumer trapped in this nightmare, we will support you to develop the self-efficacy skills to work your way past this nightmare. 

But here’s what we won’t do. We won’t put up with this anymore.

We are DONE being invisible, powerless, silent.

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Authored by: Terri A Lewis, PhD.

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Yep, I had a 20% reduction forced on me today. From 37.5 mg to 30 mg. And it appears the goal is a total wean off the med. I’ve used successfully for ten yrs, , for spine disease, neuropathy, ….never abused it, never asked for more. Passed all pee tests, etc etc. … did everyone see the article about “human rights watch” starting to check on poor treatment of pain patients, which they liken to torture during war? Hope everybody saw that…lol, maybe it’s the base article here…can’t remember…

Audrey L Liebl

I can’t believe it, but I’m having a taper forced upon me - just found out at our appointment today. I have no words….


I have to say, several pain management clients, myself included, agree that we “DO NEED”, to file civil suits against the DEA, CDC, etc, an state the obvious crime and violation of our “CONSTITUTIONAL”, rights are being taken from us. When they perpetrated the vary crisis they claim, and have no other course of action, due to their inability to “win the war on dugs”. Blame those of us who are responsible with or pain medication, the doctors whose hands have been tied, and believe that proabition of pain medication is the answer, violates thevary core of our fundamental rights. Let us continue to voice our discord and loss of our quility of life. Forcing patients off mediction that works, is like making a diabetic get off of insulin. PURE SUICIDE.


Simply put, the politicians and CDC, have violated our constitutional rights. …”the right to happiness and our quality of life”,. Those of us in pain management who obey the rules, dont abuse our meds and are responsible, suffer the consequences. Lets please stand united against these new laws, guidelines and violations of our rights!!

It started with secret meetings in Washington, no reps on the side of all chronic pain patients. Then published lies about legally prescribed opioids,all overdose & deaths were mixed in with highest numbers of illegal numbers of heroin & fentanyl. The public opinions are formed by all the wrong information that our government has published knowing the true number.Now our government is pushing rehabs for pain patients who have no drug addiction only a dependence in order to gain basic function that’s been stollen by Government lies about opioid abuse. DEA asks for more $ to control illegal heroin, fentanyl while still abusing & killing the now untreated chronic pain patients. Truths must be known. It’s about power fight between Democrats & Republicans. This is not a fight for humanity & stopping inhumane forced suffering till death. Death does come from untreated chronic pain.or senility. Loss of mental function due to unbearable chronic pain or heart stops. The human body has limits . Stop the abuse of the chronic pain patient. Hitlers lives in USA government in 2018. Stop this.Think you never see this in your lifetime. Open your eyes , it’s happening. Addiction isn’t the same as dependence in order to regain basic function. Please fight the fight before the numbers of loss of life affect the power of humanity is lost completely.?

I struggle evey day due to bi-lateral epicondilitis. Every move i make hurts. I was much better before all drugs were taken. Shame on the dea!

Penny hayes

I have bilateral epicondolitis. To use my arms is extremely painfull. Can u imagine not being able to wipe ur but or cook ur food or wash ur hair? It is debilitating. Keep fighting for us.

Audrey Lynn

There have just been new groups added to Facebook for each state. We are gathering addresses, emails, phone numbers, and Twitter contacts for state senators, representatives, HHS, and who from your state is on what committee. I am a member of ATIP as well, and between us and the chronic pain community will have talking points, suggested paragraphs for your email or letter to your elected officials, etc.

These groups have just been set up within the past week, so please bear with us as we work out any kinks. In the Facebook search bar, search for (Yourstate) Pain Advocacy Group. We are hoping this makes things a tad easier than scrolling through 500+ legislators contact info. We also have a main group for admin, moderators, doctors, etc. so we can get accurate information to you as quickly as possible. Thank you all, and a special thank you to Dr. Lewis, Red Lawhern, and others that are willing to help us stands up for ourselves - we are gaining momentum and ears!


Docket to request pain pills over 30mg be removed from the market.https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FDA-2017-P-5396


Below is a comment I found on a request from PROP to the FDA Docket, the title said they wanted the FDA to take what they called ultra high dose off the market. The title is misleading as they consider any pain pill over 30mg to be high dose.I imagine most people took one look at it, said “I am not on a ultra high dose” and didn’t leave a comment. I thought the comment below was very good and hope you do too. Thank you

When medical science can not cure the patient then the only hope left for the patient to be spared some of the agony and be able to have some semblance of a normal life is sufficient pain medication to allow them to get out of their beds and do some of the things they must do for their families and themselves. Being bedridden and in constant agony is no life at all.

There is no artificial limit to the amount of opioids it may take to ease suffering which is effective and fair to the patient. The level is best set by the physician and patient who know the effectiveness of the treatment best. Severe pain which is untreated is a deadly disease which will kill by way of stroke, heart attack, shock, and progressive deterioration as the patient becomes totally bedridden and in agony.

The claim that prescription pain medicine is causing an epidemic of opioid deaths is fraudulent. These deaths are primarily from illegal fentanyl and other drugs purchased on the street. By inhumanely interfering in the proper treatment of pain patients who have no other cure or relief from their pain than opioids government agencies are ensuring that these patients will die in agony whether in desperation from suicide or from other means which severe pain and agony will cause.


I LOVE Trey Gowdy! I agree 100%!

That’s what I would like to ask Andrew Kolodny. This veteran is in severe pain….what do you think should be done about that? But before you answer, this veteran has already completed all other suggestions given in lieu of taking opiod pain relievers “.

I wonder what his reply would be. Kolodny wouldn’t be able to suggest his favorite - rehab - because this veteran like most everyone else suffering needlessly, isn’t on opiods Dr KOLODNY SO NOW WHAT!? Is THIS the point and time you have no answer yet? ”

I wish Representative Tray T had the chance to question him under oath. The oath wouldn’t mean anything to Kolodny, but I have zero doubt that Mr Gowdy wouldn’t make him squirm like no tomorrow. ,


I don’t know how? I’ve often asked who has the power to stop this? I’m being being reduced every other month, then when my pain management Dr. said it’s for my safety and so she can sleep better at night I not only had one of the biggest meltdowns but once I got home I started searching for another pain Dr. I do have an upcoming appointment soon with new Pain Dr. On the wall in her waiting room is her Hippocratic oath framed. HA! I have written called and signed everything there is….we are ignored! The only e-mail I have ever received in reply was a form letter.


Kolodny is a dangerous fool who MUST be silenced somehow. Ive heard him say several times that there are only two appropriate uses for opioids.: briefly after surgery and terminal illness. And THIS is the man the media gives a platform to. It’s beyond outrageous. …..on another note, I recently met a man who lives in my apt. Complex…he is a veteran, cannot get pain medication from the VA. He is suffering badly, speaks of not being able to carry on much longer, etc. the VA is also beyond outrageous. How the hell are these things happening???

Yesterday’s Bloomberg Report did a big piece on this and once again, they quoted AND did their reporting based on, yet again, Andrew Kolodny. Not once in the lengthy report did they ever even talk about - what to do about people’s pain. Instead, it talked about a man’s pain journey, making him look like a man who spent years of his life looking for drugs, not about a man in pain. It talked about how his doctor was so uncomfortable prescribing the high doses he needed that he but him off completely. The bigger part was about getting him into rehab. The man committed suicide from too much pain. But again-

The two takeaways from it was,
Andrew Kolodny and the need for rehab, not opiods. And-

People’s pain had nothing to do with the article.

And on Bloomberg too. So disappointing. Sorry I don’t know how to insert the Link


Donna Ratliff….I Agree with you. Doctors need to unify and approach the government, pharmacists also….if these powerful people unify and speak up on our behalf, the legislators will listen. I don’t believe very many listen to pain patients because they think we are drug addicts, they think we could just quit taking meds and get by without them just fine. The professionals need to correct this mistaken picture that so many believe is true.

Donna Ratliff

This is great news and I thank you for the Call to Arms today. Thank you, Thank you. We all know that this is a bipartisan issue so it doesn’t matter which side of isle anyone is on, we have to tackle this.
Pain care has been under attack for a very long time and it has to stop for humanity.
I’m going to put an idea out there and if it doesn’t happen, well at least I mentioned it and tried to help.
I honestly believe that the president has Zero knowledge on the subject of chronic pain.
I also believe that if a group of physicians could get a meeting with him at the White House such as the addiction community has done that things would change for everyone.
The President needs to hear both sides of this story as all the Politicians do.
Up to this point in time, he’s only heard repeatedly from one side, the Addiction side plus all the misinformed main stream media. This certainly isn’t fair at all. Regardless of what his non supporters feel about him, we have to unite on this subject of pain care or it’s going to disappear. I believe he does have common sense and if this group of physicians, pharmacists, possibly with a few patients and caregivers that this meeting could help a whole lot. There has got to be a way to get invited to the White House. Many, many others have done it.
Between all the pain care advocates there are online in support groups and the pages on Facebook, I’m sure we could come up with a way to figure out how to get this meeting. I know advocates have ideas and there are organizations currently working to get people out to speak with lawmakers. That is very awesome but maybe it could possibly be an avenue to this Presidential meeting as well? I dont know but there has to be some way.
I’m only throwing out an idea to help.
I applaud all the Advocacy efforts being made by everyone today because we all know that pain care is in serious Jeopardy right now.
Things in our country are changing so I don’t think it’s too late to be heard yet,.. but time is running out. I’m hopeful to see that physicians are finally coming together on this very important issue. I wish it had happened earlier but better late than never.
Fantastic article!
Bravo Dr. Terri Lewis.

Good Lord. Why tgtmtgg This being enforced. Are there exceptions?
Thank you! And to think a group of democratic senators are, have, already drafted a bill for 2018, to put New MAJOR RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE limiting access to pain relief even more! I don’t recall off the top of my head what the bill was exactly, I just know it was written already and going to be a slam dunk, and thinking to myself “how can This happen! “

Cynthia, while I believe I understand your position from many years of talking with chronic pain patients, I must still point out a reality. Doctors are allowing themselves to be intimidated too. I hope you will hear this as gently intended.

If you will not speak, then you CANNOT expect others to speak for you. There are no positions of perfect safety either in life or in this specific issue. Terri and I both take risks of retaliation by being as publicly visible as we are. But we cannot do this job alone. We need you and hundreds of thousands of others to stand up and say “enough already!” in both public media and the halls of our Congress and State Houses.

Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s tough. But also yes, it is NECESSARY.

Cindy Johnson

I am a chronic pain patient desperately looking for an alternative to this deep, grinding, constant pain that has stolen my life. I just about had it dialed in then boom, they were reduced. I am not a drug addict but I need to know if MMJ is going to work…but then I’ve broken the contract. How about some time to transfer to other solutions??? I am petrified!

U.S. Code › Title 42 › Chapter 7 › Subchapter XVIII › § 1395
42 U.S. Code § 1395 - Prohibition against any Federal interference
US Code
Authorities (CFR)
prev | next
Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to authorize any Federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine or the manner in which medical services are provided, or over the selection, tenure, or compensation of any officer or employee of any institution, agency, or person providing health services; or to exercise any supervision or control over the administration or operation of any such institution, agency, or person.
(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title XVIII, § 1801, as added Pub. L. 89–97, title I, § 102(a), July 30, 1965, 79 Stat. 291.)
Congress DEA,CDC,and FDA are breaking the law Period


Dr. Lawhern thank you for your suggestions. To be honest, though, I am very afraid of calling attention to myself, which such a process would surely do. I live in a place that has not been impacted by the crusade, far as I know. Not yet, that is. I surely cannot risk losing my doctor or my medication. I think it’s just too scary for many of us patients to speak up. Unless we can do it anonymously. I think doctors and attorneys will have to wield their power to stop this. Helped along by testimonials from patients who have been affected.


For Cynthia: You asked “where can we send our letters?” The organization that I have co-founded is suggesting a different approach: look up the State district offices of your legislators (2 Senators, 1 Representative, State representatives, Governor’s Office), and call them by phone to request in-person interviews with a healthcare legislative assistant or office chief of staff. ATIP will provide you with briefing papers and background preparation for the interviews. We’ll help you put a human face on pain. And help you to shape your own message to your legislators: that they must stop believing the hype and nonsense which anti-opioid advocates have flooded into the public conversation. They must act to balance the scales for millions of people in agony for whom opioid analgesics are the only therapy which works.

And for Terri Lewis: thanks for allowing me to piggy-back on your important article. We’re all in this boat together.

TO BEGIN THIS JOURNEY, you must begin by embracing your responsibility to become INFORMED about the conditions under which your state is regulating your health care and the dispensing of important medications. Today, here is what you can do to become better INFORMED and begin to take control over this aspect of your health care:

(1) Obtain your medical records after you review the information on these links-

(2) Find out what YOUR state’s regulations say about the management of pain and who administers the program by review the information on these links -

(3) Go to the internet and search your state legislative health care committees and its membership. Determine who your representatives are in your state house and your senate.

Kel b

Thank you terri, dr lawhern and. “Doc anonymous”. For those who haven’t read all comments, read these 2 mentioned.


How about, for starters, set up a central site– website, phone number, FB page, whatever– at which all CPP’s and caregivers, harassed & targeted doctors, pharmacists forced to comply with actions they know are wrong, etc etc can voice/record/write their complaints? Briefly and concisely. Even something as simple as a name and “I’m a CPP (or other) and this witch hunt has left me (under medicated/unmedicated/unable to find a doctor/in agony/terrified/terrorized/unable to work/unable to get out of bed” etc etc. Something that would show the sheer numbers of human beings being tortured, having their human rights violated that could then be sent to every politician, every alphabet soup organization, every individual whose filthy fingerprints are all over this nightmare, etc etc. WE know the numbers are huge. Delivery of the names alone could be a 21st century jaw dropping re-enactment of the famous Letters to Santa Claus care of the U.S. Courthouse in “Miracle on 34th Street”. Hey, it’d be perfect timing. Tis the season…


I feel that we need to flood social media with articles and the truth of what is being done to chronic pain patients …a Twitter account is a start it is easy to get an account. Facebook too.
Social media is free 33 people commented only 7 shares of this story sent to Twitter , 220 shares Facebook is a out reach , if #metoo grew so fast because of social media so can CPC”s plight.
Terry ‘s call to action can be backed up. It takes US All.
If we do not see change who’s fault is it ?
every vote counts every post-story counts We Count.

Frank Alexander

Dr. Lewis, thank you for a succinct and articulate article outlining the state of events and what actions must be taken by the pain community. I wrote a comment and posted to an article yesterday by Ed Coghian stating that, in my opinion, I feel chronic pain patients are where blacks were in the 1950’s, the gay and lesbians of the past, the Jews of Nazi Germany of the 1930’s. Easy targets who have no rights or voice. It is also time to file a class-action lawsuit against the CDC, FDA and DEA to stop these systematic attacks on the chronic pain community. This is inhumanity of the worse kind.
Politicians, instead of listening to their constituents (all of us) and seeking to oppose and stop these draconian ‘guidelines’ of the CDC and the crackdown by the DEA and state narcotic agencies of clinicians instead embrace their measures. And promise to ‘be the generation to end the opioid crisis.’
And another point. If 100 deaths a day from ‘opioid overdoes’, a number that has been called into question by many, constitutes a ‘crisis’ what does the 1300 deaths a day from tobacco usage constitute? And these figures are straight from the CDC website:
Where are the politicians, news outlets, government agencies? Why isn’t this causing everyone from the president to local law enforcement agencies having round the clock news coverage?


Dr. Lawhern…where do you suggest we send our letters….as you stated that writing to legislators won’t accomplish it. Where do u suggest we send our writing? …btw, I have written to all My elected officials, several times over the past few years…, have yet to receive an answer., even though I always request a response. I get responses on other issues, it not on this one,


Dr. Lawhern…thank you thank you! A tangible presence is forming , a new organization! These sorts of things are what we need… I will find your new organization. I’m on FB everyday…will definitely be at your place there. ….and may doctors get organized across the country, and band together to fight this, why aren’t they doing this? My God, they have way more power than we patients do, if they band together, they will be heard, because there is a dr. Shortage in this country…so they hAve tremendous potential clout as a group. I know they are afraid , but if they band together….that’s my prayer.


Ive heard that dr. Forrest tennant is now under investigation. What a crime. …and thank you to dr. Young for having the courage to post here and to stand up for what’s right. My prayer is that doctors will organize and band together to fight this crusade against pain patients.

David Cole

Thank you Terri for all that you do! How can so many educated anti opiate zealots with no common sense be so freaking stupid. These people are committing genocide against the elderly, disabled and wounded Warriors. As far as I’m concerned it’s time to legalize opiates, if you can’t go to a pain doctor to get your pain controlled, what are we supposed to do? We need to start suing people, these people are guilty of crimes against humanity. As far as I’m concerned every anti opiate Zealot needs to be tried convicted and sentenced to life in prison or death. I have never had so much hate in my heart, that in itself is killing me.


This all sounds good, Terri, and thanks for taking the time to write it. But we are powerless at this point to stop what is happening. If middle class working people can’t even afford healthcare, it’s for sure nothing is going to be done to help the poor and disabled. The insurance companies are angry at the congress, and they seek revenge for not being able to easily call all the shots anymore. But they still wield most of the power, through lobbying and bribes. How do you envision this will be changed? I just can’t picture a solution for the ill and disabled in a country as corrupted as ours.

Thank you, I wish I could do a jig or jump for joy, but honestly, I can’t stand for very long or jump because of pain and leg which I fear I will lose one day soon. Good luck and thanks again.


Everyone!!!!! Sign up at the ATIP website. Google the Alliance for Treatment of Irretractable Pain.


You are an answer to prayer!! If I wasnt hurting so badly I would be jumping up and down!! Thank you for hearing us and supporting us!

William Dorn

Look at Sen AL Frankin he was one of the 16 senators who got the FDA to reduce the production of opiute medicines in 2018.Its sleeze like him thats attacking us.Everyone send a copy of this wonderful post to your state rep.This is war folks you had better treat it so.I am 64 years old and this is the most corrupt goverment in my lifetime.Get mad and get on the phone with your local media and your state reps and demand to be heard.

Tracy Bryan

I noticed when the government first started in 2014 I believe or around there, when doctors were first intimidated by the new rules and regulations and pain mgmt clinics boomed, at that time people had to go to the streets, that’s when overdoses began to rise, Obama was in office and the boarder drugs flowed. The government screwed up and is the main reason why we are where we are at.


” These peopel were ignored as their Symptoms turned out to be Cancer. It was more profitable to ignore the initial symptoms and let it metastasize than acknowledge pain. The whole “Opiate Epidemic” Story-line ” Kathy C I personally know 3 people who this happened to .
2 were vets and one a girl friend . VA due to their new rules my uncle (elderly) shot his brains out in a shed away from the house VA refused to adequately treat his cancer pain he said he was “Done”.
a friend of my SIL’s Bill laid for 2 months at VA hospital bone cancer and would have lived longer if they would of treated his pain instead they make him so sick he had to live at VA to get pain treatment and still his pain was so great he couldn’t raise his hand large family banded together and said Treat his pain with better drugs or else. They treated him and a week later he died.
My Girl Friend’s Brain cancer had returned her docs ignored her pain the first sign she had when she had cancer the first time. she died at hospital very unexpectedly .
I sent letters to Dr.OZ who is looking for women with chronic back pain and the tv show the doctors,
I am not very good at putting my thoughts into writing but I tried,
Canada passed a law to give herion addicts their heroin the ones that other treatment won’t work for but they go through a doctor .
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization, for both medical and recreational purposes. But he may have met his match in Alexis Bortell, a Colorado 12-year old who is suing the Attorney General in order to overturn the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana.

Why does it matter?
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia, though not in Alexis Bortell’s home state of Texas. Bortell has “intractable epilepsy”, a condition that produces life threatening seizures and does not respond to conventional medications.” good news is “The federal government has already lost one motion to dismiss the case.”
We can not fight if we do not know how ?
I sent message about this case to reps that when there is no alternative then what alternative for pain patients and this child of course my state can not get MMJ illegal, or Kramton Illegal.There is Nothing but illegal or suicide for pain patients my state and quite a few others.

Senior Hospital Administration

I am a senior staff administrator at our local hospital. My spouse is a fellow daily pain sufferer and I have discerned something I have not seen mentioned. In the years following the implementation of the ACA, I have watched independent practice physicians either retire or become an employed physician with a hospital. This is the case in 20 out of 25 physicians in my immediate area. As a non-profit hospital, our income relies heavily on the government for reimbursements. We are held hostage to ACA guidelines which can include CDC mandates, CMS rules, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s requirements, etc. the physicians that are now employed by the hospitals are also held to these standards. To go against them is to put the hospital at risk. This entire “opioid epidemic” has been so well plotted out with great precision. It runs far deeper than we can imagine and it becomes more clear to me how thoroughly we have been duped. It is sickening to me that my America has betrayed the pain patient and my spouse as their needless suffering continues!

Joy Lee

In Sitka Alaska the entire town has stopped providing pain management treatment. All physicians have turned their backs on us. They don’t want to deal with the hassle of regulations. I had to leave Alaska to find medical help in Oregon. If I want to live in my home in Alaska my only choice would be street drugs for pain management. I won’t do that so I had to leave. How sad

Steven Rock

This whole anti prescription opioid push is criminal and should be dealt with by the courts as felony murder for the people committing suicide as a last resort to stop their pain. The people who are committing suicide as a way to end their suffering of intractable pain should all be classified as murder brought on by the CDC, DEA and all who make people suffer needlessly in order to save money on health care. I truly believe that the guilty should be punished with life in prison for the suicides they’ve caused and maximum sentences to be levied for those leaving patients to writh in 24/7 intractable pain. This will change the way the most vulnerable people in society are treated. Do not treat them as addicts for the sake of higher profits. That IS CRIMINAL and should be dealt with as such, “with maximum penalties.”

In TN laws placed in effect since 2016 dealing with the use of opioids for chronic pain have produced an almost doubling in the death rate from fentanyl overdose. ( a little over 600 for 2016 and over 800 by July this year ). I can’t find the new rate for November and wonder if this data will be buried in this present day inquisition on those with pain. This fact is what I call the elephant in the room in TN.
No one is writing about this or making comment on this fact. In part I think that is due to fear of the TN attourney general who has made this a top on his agenda.
I myself am in fear of this inquisition being carried out on those who practice pain and those who have chronic pain. I am a provider trained and boarded in Internal Medicine medicine since 1993. Over many years I have developed an interest in treating those with chronic pain- initially in the veterans administration and later in my private practice with my husband an anesthesiologist and delegate of the American Academy of pain. My husband and I confounded Simpson Clinic treating chronic illness and the pain which these illnesses create. We use many of Dr Tenants protocols and believe that short acting opioids are often most effective for those with chronic pain. I am new to this internet group. I have been encouraged that my husband and I are not alone in our goal to help those with chronic pain. This article is like balm on an open sore. I look forward to more of you articles and appreciate your time devoted to writing.

Jacqueline Moran

Thank you Terri for writing this letter! I don’t feel so alone knowing there are others that feel the same way as I do..
I have been suffering with chronic back pain since I was hurt at work 7 years ago. Since then I have to sign a pain contract every 6 months in order to be prescribed pain meds.. I was appalled the very first time my Dr asked me to sign it.. I’m a law abiding mother of five son’s and six grandchildren and I have been treated so poorly by the medical professionals because I am in constant pain..

Sandy M.

Thank you Dr. Lawhern and Anonymous Dr., as well as the wonderful Dr. Tennant, who has been fighting for us for years. I am 70 years old and taking my meds like all of you, never requesting medications too early and trying to make them last as long as I can stand it, and always have. My Dr. at this month’s visit was so different. I’ve been going to her for years, since the 80’s, but not having her write my scripts until this year because my neurologist retired. She knows I had the hemorrhage in my right thalamus in 2001 and is the one who sent me for MRI. And, she knows I was diagnosed with Central Pain because of the effect it has had on me and my body. I just went to a pain clinic doctor until he left and then my Neurologist I had for 25 years or longer, like her had been writing my scripts, but he was in his 80’s and even kept me on after his retirement because it is so hard to find any kind of Dr. Who understands and will treat Thalamic Pain after a stroke in that area. There is no cure and it only gets worse. I was 53 when out of the blue I had a hemorrhagic stroke. And, I have had Scoliosis . surgery with a back full of metal and still have pain. I’m so tired of writing reps and senators, they don’t care. It’s the LAW you know!
I want my doctor who knows and understands me, not the government telling me what is good for my pain, not the gov’t who doesn’t know me, nor any of us who are truly in pain
We have been thrown right in with junkies, and this isn’t right. I’ve spent more time in bed than I did when I had medications that gave me some relief. Hoping all have some low pain days (yeah, right! ) so you can enjoy Thanksgiving. I won’t be doing anything. I told my girls to have their in laws over that their dad and I just don’t feel too good. I have so much to be thankful for, I really do, but I hope God will help us all find a way to be understood and not treated like drug abusers and junkies. Thanks for listening.


Thank you to each and every advocate, fighting for us pain patients and publishing actual FACTS about this whole inhumane situation.
I was cut off cold turkey 15 very long months ago and have gotten to a point where I’ve told immediate family my intentions.
There seems to be a small glimmer of hope building up with you warriors, that makes one want to hold out a tad longer for the results!
Thank you so very much!


Thank you.

Karen C.

Bravo! Thank you for this wonderful and insightful article. I have written MSNBC, Politico, The Daily Beast, my Senator, congressmen/congresswoman, and everyone else I can think of to please, please, give pain patients a voice. Needless to say I have only heard back from my Senator. He and I have been emailing back and forth for weeks. Will it make a difference? I doubt it. I have RSD/CRPS that is in all four limbs and my pain medicine has been cut and I don’t know who else to write.

Byron Hood

For all of you who ask “what can I do” - how about getting out of your chairs and calling your elected representatives? I have! Believe me, because most people are lazy and just grumble (or complain on-line) those few who actually DO visit/call/write/email their elected representatives really stand out.