A Montana Woman’s Suicide Prompts the Question: Are We Doing Enough?

A Montana Woman’s Suicide Prompts the Question: Are We Doing Enough?

By Ed Coghlan.

A woman who had been physically active for all of her life, who had been a law enforcement officer and who also suffered from intractable chronic pain killed herself recently.

Her name was Jennifer Adams and she lived in Helena, Montana.

She had a career in law enforcement, working as a deputy sheriff, and as a member of the Helena Police Department. She was a remarkable athlete who loved to run marathons, ski, snowboard and many other things. She loved the lifestyle of Montana.

Jennifer Adams

She also was a visible member of Montana’s increasingly public (and angry) pain community. One of her colleagues, Gary Snook, remembered her simply as a very good person who tried to fight her chronic intractable pain but was overwhelmed as doctors she visited left their practices either because they were suspended or retired.

She started to see Dr. Mark Ibsen in Helena in 2014 who he said had to convince her to use a “moderate dose” of opioids in order to help deal with her pain. Her law enforcement background made her skeptical of opioids and downright adamant about using cannabis, which she refused to do.

When Ibsen ran afoul of the Montana Medical Board (his license was suspended), she began to see Dr. Forest Tennant of West Covina, California who is known as a staunch advocate of using opioids for the treatment of intractable chronic pain. Then Tennant himself became a target of the DEA which raided his office late last year. Tennant announced he was closing his pain clinic in March of this year.

According to her friend and fellow Montana chronic pain patient, Gary Snook, Jennifer felt isolated, alone and finally determined she couldn’t take it anymore.

For Dr. Terri Lewis, who is a Montana native and has been a leading voice in what she believes is a failure of the health care system to treat chronic pain, this should be a wake up for states who she believes are failing their patients. She thinks her home state is a particularly negative example—she calls it a “pain care desert”. She also said that Montana leads the nation in suicides of persons with complex care needs, like chronic pain.

Here’s what she told the National Pain Report.

“We lack a cohesive unified understanding of the pain experience across the nation. Across the disciplines of care, pain is inconsistently conceptualized and therefore responded to differently. Each state has implemented different regulatory processes, some confusing addiction prevention with the care for pain and long-term support for chronic, complex illnesses,” she said.

Some states, like Montana, have no functioning pain law at all, relying on the application of guidelines of various types or the courts to determine the limits of care. Montana’s situation is especially grievous as there is no cohesive plan for resourcing the care of persons who struggle with pain, and the state Board of Medicine has abdicated its duties to plan for or recruit the necessary medical capacity to support post-acute and long-term care for pain syndromes of every type.  This has turned Montana into a pain care desert without trained, broadly experienced medical personnel or a continuum of care from onset of illness through end of life planning.”

In her obituary in the Helena Independent Record, pain activist Valorie Hawk wrote:

“The pain community mourns another unnecessary loss of a life – our souls are crushed as the numbers mount. Our hearts go out to Jennifer’s family and friends, we will keep fighting for those we have lost and those that can’t fight for themselves.”

Here’s her obituary in the Helena Independent Record.

One final note about Jennifer. She had a son, nicknamed “Tuff”, who is a middle school student in Helena. Like his mom, he is a remarkable athlete, well-liked by his peers and by all accounts a really “good kid”. When he returns to school this week he will be welcomed back by his classmates which we are sure and fervently hope will be of some comfort to the young man.

One final comment from this author: This stubborn fact remains: Chronic pain affects more American adults than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. And there’s no agreement on how to best treat it. We can do better. We will continue to expand our conversation about what can be done to better identify, educate and most importantly, treat chronic pain.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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What is so hard about deciding on how to treat chronic pain? I have the answer! It’s simple. Whatever works best and the patient responds best to. Period. Guess what!?! Chronic pain patients are adults (mostly). They can make their own informed decisions about their bodies. They dont need the government to tell them that” this medication or that treatment” is a no-no, bad ouchie, or whatever our mommies used to tell us as children. We can make our own informed consent about our health and the risks and benefits of taking pain medications, just like we do with all the other medications doctors prescribe. Why someone can make the decision to take one type medication that has the possibility of death as reaction, but addiction is something the government feels they need to step in on?! Come on. You know there is more than peoples best interest involved. They could care less about the people. They dont care about the addicts, pain patients, or any “person”. I dont even have to say what they care about. This whole “drug war” speaks for itself. They are making fools of themselves and everyone who falls for their [edit] “Opioid Epidemic”.
RiP Jennifer Adams…. we will continue the fight for you!


Praying 4 her family. So sad. Chronic pain daily is horrific. It can feel unbearable but having no doctor to turn to for pain medicine should never happen 2 anyone. Now it’s happening all over the country. Until the government officials have a chroic pain issue or some 1 close to them does, they will not realize their new policies r destroying people’s lives who use opioids responsibility for horrific pain. Pain MDs in all states r closing or afraid 2 to give patients the amount of opioids they need just to function at all. Everyone must keep fighting so no other unnecessary deaths occur from lack of pain treatment. The government is so worried about saving addicts from themselves, they forgot about the people who truly need the medicine. So sad. My heart goes out 2 Helena’s family & I hope they keep fighting for others in her situation.


This wonderful vibrant woman died for nothing. She needed help to control her pain and that is not hard to do. Patients with chronic pain that affects their every day life and makes them miserable and hopeless do NOT cause the opioid crisis. I am one of these people. I have severe pain in my back, wrist and neck. I also have fibro and severe neuropathy. I am more or less bed bound. I can stand to be up and around about 15 minutes. No one will treat my pain. So I take ibuprofen. I’m not supposed to the Dr’s say. But they wont give me anything alternative. I have had my hemoglobin drop to 6.2 &6.4 in the last 6 months. It’s from ibuprofen use plus being on eliquis. Don’t take Tylenol as it is completely ineffecyive. I have had ulcers in my stomach and duodenum. I assume this use of ibuprofen will kill me and that’s ok.I don’t eant to live a life of pain. Please NO! I’m not suicidal. I’m hoping to find help. I don’t know where to turn. HELP! !


I too will pray for all who suffer. I understand why Jennifer died, I almost died from pain related events 20 years ago. I was in the hospital for 10 months. I feel what Mamma is feeling that I believe America is done with us due to our age. I have been disabled since but because of opiates I am now able to live a productive life by volunteering. I volunteer at our local elementary school and at an Alano Club which is a place for people wjp are recovering from an addiction as I am. I am a recovering alcoholic and I have been taking these meds as prescribed for the past 20 years. With the “opoiod crisis” it has been a very humbling, humiliating experience. I am questioned as if I were a criminal who has never received as much as a ticket in 52 years of driving. I have been reading a lot lately about the effects and dependence of anti-depressants and PPI’s. The withdrawals from these meds are a life long tragedy. I don’t know what’s next but I do know that I cannot live a functional life in this type of chronic pain ever again. If I cannot be functional what good am I to anybody? I am afraid but I trust in GOD and I know he will guide and direct me. Thank you all for your input..

Once again, another heartbreaking loss of a beautiful life taken. All due to the unnecessary lack of life-saving pain medication in which is so very abundant, yet so very scarce. The CDC, DEA and president need to be made aware of this story. I’m going to do my best to make this happen.
Sweet Jennifer may you be free from pain now and rest in peace and comfort.
To Jennifer’s family and son, I know your hearts are broken, mine is too. I pray God send you the comfort to heal. Please know you’re not going through this alone for thoughts and prayers are going out to all of you.
Living one’s life in chronic pain without little or any help; is truly, truly no life at all….

carl s. dunn

Our government has decided that in order to stop addiction to opioids it is imperative to reduce the narcotics from being dispensed by doctors and hospitals, E.R., dentists, etc. Even pharma companies are being told to stop manufacturing the opioids and all narcotics that could create an addiction. This is their grand plan! Now you understand what is happening! However, if you look at the criminal justice system as a whole, you will see that as we have 15% poor people in society, there was a way to create a huge job creation system to warehouse these people. After all there are no jobs in the urban areas for minorities, and now that meth has done the same effect on poor mid-westerners, i.e; whites, and I am not being racist here but spouting statistics that anyone can research, a system has been created in that fifty years since Reagan created the “drug war”. This system is supporting whole towns around the private prisons. It also is a huge drain on the taxpayers. What is the solution to this system? Stopping addiction by controlling the sources. The “grands plan” our leadership has begun. This is supported by all federal departments; DEA, ATF, HHS, CDC, you name it, and the Congress and Senate. The only way is a grass roots movement of the citizens who still care enough to get out and vote these morons out of office! It must begin at the local level and work it’s way up. Run for an office or begin an organization that gets voters informed of the need to change the system to one based on facts, truth, and common sense, instead of greedy, rich individuals who are in office to keep in office and use the taxpayer to get richer as well as make their supporters richer. P.S. Think of the last tax plan voted in by the R’s that made Walmart 48 billion dollars in tax breaks! What did you get? Are you better off now? So, get involved and run or vote for a third party that truly represents your wishes for a better system than we got now.

Derek Z

Rip …My prayers go out to the family. I can’t lie lately I go to bed at night and hope I won’t wake up in the morning.after my 33 new pain patient consultation referred by Medicare.Same [edit] first he tells me that he doesn’t believe after 90mg the higher doses I’m on don’t do anything for me …even though I haven’t been on that low of a dose ever since 2011 onset of initial injury I was started on 120 oxycodone 30mg and 60mg MS Contin through step it was increased by last pain dr up to 280 30s and 100 mg ms contin…was on fentynly 100mcg patches before but they would always slip off my body due to heat in California furthermore this [edit] then said he can’t do anything for me with medication unless I want to be cut to 90mg and put on gababapentine however he would b willing to cut me open and fuse some spine simulator to my spine.I bet u would.I’m over it I’m not gonna bite my tongue and just say nothing ever again at any of my next appts I’m gonna come at them like freaking lawyer cross examining them on the witness stand from now on I refuse to let these so called doctors which I believe are a largepart of this problem getting to where it is now.. they should have took a stand long time ago instead of closing their tPractices aftercmaking their fortunes on us or worried about jail time etc because where we’re headed will it even be country that you want to practice medicine in or even live in anymore America is in some ways worse then Nazi germany at least they went in directly and shot them facing the handicapped dirty sneaky freaking America Has us killing ourselves previous dr took advantage of my nativity scene when under his treatment and abandoned me on false pretenses after I began to question his treatment of my spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease. After I questioned him about the frequency of him doing epidurals on me every two weeks for nearly 4 years straight because around the 3rd year I began to have new symptoms in my legs that I firmly believe he caused me to have this new illness (crps..I’m not a Dr and my primary isn’t familiar and constantly puts me into a mental frantic repeatedly saying forced taper time a my monthly maintenance appts.) that has left me a cripple. Every day it becomes more difficult to walk even with a cane or lately my walker it literally feels like walking on shards of glass.showering is dreadful because even the lightest water pressure hurts almost unbarable even with meds.

Very sick

I commented in the DEA proposal 480. I suffer from interstitial cystitis. To all chronic pain people that suffer from intractable chronic pain, and is undertreated, someone needs to copy all of the comments, and send them to a reporter from the Fox Worldwide News, so the public can see what we are going through. This is the POTUS favorite media outlet. I would do it, but I have no idea how to do it. Unless we speak up, we won’t be heard.


A “moderate” dose of medication may not suffice for ALL patients. If a dosage of medication is well tolerated, enables activity, and is very relevant and necessary (medically) to life itself then medication regulation in a beyond “moderate” dosage should be able to be justified by the treating physician…..not an agency that has inacurrately presented “evidence” that a maximum dosage for any illness or injury “is”…….enough. NO, we are not doing enough. Dot/gov (CDC,HHS, DEA) does not care to hear or review patient documentation of use of medication that is in a higher dosage of medication than what “studies” show to be appropriate. Even the patient realizes that titration of opioid medication to an efficient individual dosage is appropriate.


I can’t say that I haven’t thought about it.
I’m 65 with several chronic diseases and still in therapy which doesn’t help
I BELIVE only the strong will survive this crisis
Maybe that’s what they want?
To get rid of the sick and the old.
But with our meds it helps us to go on and be productive
I am a American
But America doesn’t care about me.
It’s sad.


In the Most Sincere Sympathy to Jennifer’s family.

Please know that even in death, I feel your sweet Jennifer is in the process of moving mountains.

To her son, You are in the prayers of so many of us and our hearts go out to you.

Jennifer Reed

I have fought with everything I am against this persistent genocide of chronic pain patients until I reached the point where I had to fight for myself only over the last 1 1/2 years. I’m filing lawsuits against 8 physicians & 3 hospitals for nearly killing me multiple times last year. I had sepsis 3 separate times, all due to physicians errors, because I’m a long term chronic pain patient. An aneurysm formed in my brain stem, while septic, due to prolonged high blood pressure, from untreated pain. Most people don’t know they have this type of aneurysm & they die. I’m alive & grateful but will never be the same due to brain surgery & post sepsis syndrome on my autoimmune disease body; had one Dr, especially my former PCP, listened to me, instead of punishing me for my suffering, none of this would have happened (in central Pennsylvania). I understand why this woman & Mom took her life…but it’s not possible to not feel her pain, what her son’s facing & each story I read here. I pray for everyone.


I agree 100%, Obamacare is the reason Chronic Pain is being dismissed. There is no conciveable way for government to cover the cost of treatmenting the entire population’s chronic pain. What better angle to take than a cost cutting measure that reduces so much cost of care for every aging American? Not treating pain reduces life span; it’s scary if you honestly think about it. What other larger group could be approached in the same sweeping fashion?

Peter Jamison

I understand why she did what she did. I was NEVER asked about the changes to my pain meds. I was lied to. I was told that the Opana ER was no longer allowed to be sold. I asked if I needed to take time off work and was told No that whatever pains meds I was switched to would be the same. Actually they cut my dosage by 90% and I became very ill. Then they switched me to another pain med but since they love to cut they again cut that by 50%. Now the pain is unbearable. I was forced to shut my business down leaving people unemployed and customers stranded. Soon I’ll have to sell my house. I can’t maintain it. The grass is knee high and I haven’t been able to run the sweeper in months. My service dog is going to be six so I’ll have to re-home him or worse put him to sleep. I have no idea where I’ll live. I have no idea how I’ll clean up this house after living in it for so many years. But there is one group happy… The insurance adjustor! The bill for my pains meds went from almost $700 down to less than $20 a month. But I’m spending a lot on Advil. My next door neighbor, lawyer and local politician, came over when he heard about all this and suggested that I lie and say I’m a drug abuser because there are NO limits on dosages for them. Or I could move to one of several South American countries that have American trained doctors and most pain pills are OTC. I told him no… I won’t lie. He did give me some free advise… If I have to go to the local ER wear a hidden camera or make sure your cell phone records the visit. Might want to record my visits to the Pain UnManagement Center. According to the Doctor the CDC passed a law so no more pain meds. Just another lie…


Bhusebye, as a chronic pain patient myself I’m bemused by your “it’s all the conservatives fault” thinking. Let’s go back to when this all started…That would be the forced healthcare system “Obamacare”! Their goal from the get go was for Obamacare to fail, leaving them no choice but to “save us” with a single payer system (national healthcare) when they hoped Hillary would win. They knew paying for opioid prescriptions for millions would be the their biggest headache. Government would be responsible for millions/billions in costs for opioid prescriptions. The war on opioids started then under democrats and republicans have picked up the same lousy excuses and false statistics to save the government money. The sad truth amongst all the excitement over “free healthcare” is that NOTHING is free and if the government has to pay too much for something the citizen will be denied or cutback. I keep praying that all of Obamacare healthcare will be repealed so doctors can go back to making decisions with the patient in mind instead of government regulations controlling our healthcare!

samantha grabler

REST IN PEACE may you forever be without pain </3 I've been here…but was "fortunate" enough to wake up again….still not sure which way is best. Now, may you rest


Everyone here has been to the braking point…. The DEA & CDC GUIDELINES ARE THE REASON.
Medical practices are being illegally manipulated by some buerocratic pressure unknown to the public.
It has to be something like this because what is happening to those with the medical condition of chronic pain are Invisible to anyone who may be interested in helping.
This is a very broad pending statement which needs to be discussed further. Not sure how or what is going on, but it is NOT correct treatment … Illegal is all I can think of.

Holly Moore

Its so very sad for her son. She couldn’t take anymore and Im sure that will be hard for him to understand for a lifetime. I too stay around for my children. I truly believe that the “masses” of people who truly need these medications need to band together and go to POTUS somehow. I feel I could be an outspoken advocate if I could just not worry about the daily pain and suffering, and doctors retiring or practices being taken over by the younger doctors, etc. Also be given the correct dosage needed as Ive been on meds for 20 years and my issues dont get better but worse. Just what is needed nothing more, nothing less. I feel there are lots of us who are educated and cannot be a voice because they arent even being treated human enough to put up a good “battle.”
I sure would be open to helping in some capacity.


Montana has NO compassion for Human Suffering. . .


From what I read, she was still receiving medication. But the mere thought that would end set her on a downward spiral. I know Suzanne wrote about this in an article, the anxiety of going to the monthly doctor appt and the fear that you will be cut off. I live this anxiety daily. Once i saw a police car in front of my docs office and had huge anxiety. Its so unfair that we should live this way . She was a beauitiful person and my heart aches for her family . Will it make national news that this is now our life, doubtful.


This is heartbreaking…….When are they going to listen? I still cannot believe this is happening to us.


Been a patient with intractable pain for 23 years now. I have never had a brush with the “law”, missed a “pill count”, or failed a drug urine screen in 23……years. I have never had to “suck” off the system as I had stayed employed for decades using the medication prescribed to me….as directed. My wife and I have lost everything we owned due to trying to manege intractable pain in the recent months. A “paid for home”, a license used to build homes, our life savings all in just over about a year. WHY are patients being punished for a disease or injury that we did not want? I feel so bad for the Jennifer Adams family. It is so ludicrous to have to drive hundreds of miles to be prescribed pain medication for a non correctable disease or injury that has been documented as causing permanent, continuous non cancer pain. I, along with many more possibly millions of patients can prove with documentation that opioid medication can and does enable, not destroy lives.CDC stated that the 2016 “guideline” was just that, a reference but it seems DEA has made it law. Not the time or place to elaborate but we had a very similar incident in a small town in NC just after Christmas 2016. A documented patient could no longer get his medication after many years use in order to manage intractable pain. He went to the extreme to find professional help but, he was refused and called a drug addict. Future life was so bleak that he could simply not endure the pain any longer. He in fact took his own life without notice from any “authority” that can make a difference in a patients life. I wrote congressman, the state medical board spokes woman but, again the issue fell on deaf ears as it continues to do. How much more can patients endure? WE do not need different packaged opioid medications, new medications or new “therapies. For most of us that have used in excess of the CDC “guideline” appproved amounts of medication now, we have already been through the “prescribed” gambit of non opioid medications, all the different approaches of pain management with injections, infusions, surgeries, and alternative therapies without success. I have offered to present my testimony of positive use and success of ability with opioid medication in a tailored for me dosage every time I write, e-mail or phone my representatives to Washington, the CDC, the HHS, and my state medical board but the answerr is the same…….not interested.

Kris Aaron

My physician was forced to stop prescribing opioids for ALL his pain patients by his employer, who was more concerned about the cost of DEA lawsuits than patient suffering. He immediately retired. Now, I’m at one-third of my original prescription, which I took without a problem for 14 years! This “war on drugs” has no only failed, it’s turned pain patients into collateral damage. I’m ashamed of my government!

LJ Dorris

I too was an active person. I spent my career years begging Doctors in Idaho to believe the severe pain I endure 24/7 every single day. It actually started as a young child. But these people who considered themselves all knowing about medicine, over and over tagged me as a mental health issue, putting me on all kinds of drugs that literally stopped me from being human. My pain continued to be such a severe issue, I became obsessed with getting rid of my self to get rid of my pain, after all, they all said it was just mental. They gave me a label much worse than any label a crimminel could be convicted of. I fought so hard to get them to see. I wanted to live, I wanted to run, and swim, etc., Most of all I wanted to be allowed to be a proffessional. Every Doctor has a check list prior to you seeing them. With my systemic sclorosis / Scleroderma you can check every box. With the pain I suffer I would become angry, and thus proving the Doctors theory, she is a mental issue. Yes I struggle with the contradictive war of ending it or going on. Thus far the love of my siblings has kept me from ever giving in. My pain and disease will never leave me. The life I have led so far has been one of severe torture.. Even now my general practitioner has jumped to , if I would learn how to deal with stress I would be hunky dory. Even though there is concrete physical evidence of my disease and pain. Idaho has no Doctors that can adequately treat this. So it is always mental health. I want to scream and yell, I want to say just one of my problems would put a football player on the ground. It would side track your career as a Doctor forever. I continue to fight the ideations of giving up. I really wanted to change my career to being a paramedic, but realized I could not. No pain does not go away, and no mind is strong enough to meditate it away. Only an oath I made to my self about not hurting others keeps winning. Sometimes I want to be selfish. No pain patient will receive a medal for battling their wars. You loose everything. I totally understand why this woman did what she did. I do put the blame on a very inadequate medical system. One that seems to function on their pride, and gossip, not on the welfare of their clients. I will forever remember her. She was a woman who traveled a path of law. Yet even that was not good enough for her to be helped. Doctors need to hang their heads in shame. But I don’t think they care. One leaves another walks in.

I hope the damn DEA and the State of Montana are happy. I’m dumb founded and really pissed off….. why the Government let Jennifer and her Son alone.


This is heartbreaking. I agree with Dave. This is political homicide. The people who made these bad decisions in the DEA, FDA, and CDC obviously know nothing about chronic pain and even worse make no effort to research and study chronic pan. The story of this beautiful woman will likely not even be mentioned on World News and if it is mentioned, it will not be portrayed truthfully. This woman was not an addict, she simply needed proven medications to help her function. She was deprived of that because of some really bad decisions made by the people in the DEA and the CDC. How many more people who have lost their quality of life have to die before the politicians will listen?


The pro Pain med community needs to get united. This war is all about Money and how much the Insurance Industry can sucker everyone into believing prescribing pain medication is bad. With the Conservatives in power and taking money from everyone so the DEA deregulation in 2014 would fail just like the big banks I find it hard to believe they did not have fore knowledge of what was going to happen and how they were going to blame everyone else except themselves for all the deaths.


Please someone forward this to the WHITE HOUSE for POTUS AND JEFF SESSIONS!!


Very sad story unfortunately it is happening everywhere with the big folks turning away without response or any sign of wanting to help. This is a sad sad story well written by Ed who continues to champion a fight for each of us who are fighting pain each day…getting in/out of bed putting socks and shoes on sitting at dinner unable to get up and walk out without assistance it goes on and on. I pray each day that this situation will change and we can get a voice at the table. Until then keep talking with those who will listen.

I get so depressed whenever I hear about a fellow sufferer exiting, I simply cannot hold back my emotions any longer as I too am now in a severe flare. When I leaned of Jennifer’s passing last week I broke down and cried for hours bidding her loving soul farewell and praying for her everlasting peacefulness.

RIP Dearest Jennifer!

A large part of the tragedy here, is that Jennifer began suffering opioid withdrawal symptoms even before her very first dose of medication from Dr Ibsen.

When she used to be a physically-active, athletic woman, her own body secreted morphine, and stashed caches of it in various tissues.

Some people insist on trivializing these caches of endogenous morphine, calling it by it’s pre-1987 name, “endorphins”, back before it’s chemical identity was proven.

But it was endogenous morphine, of which she began to suffer a shortage, when her pain forced her into bed rest.

The longer we repeat the lie, that it is possible to live without these natural substances, the more tragedies like Jennifer’s we will experience.

Why do the national media refuse to speak with the government-funded scientists at SUNY Westbury, who discovered endogenous morphine in 1987?

Why do the national media continue to repeat science fiction, instead of science fact?


My deepest sympathy to her family and friends. It truly breaks my heart and makes me sad. I wish I could do more. I too am in chronic pain and everyday I stress and pray there will be hope at the end. Pain is real and it hurts. It hurts more than we show it. It’s inside us, and it’s burning and pounding and stinging us inside. Then it effects my brain because it’s jab after jab after jab that you just can’t take it any more. My heart goes out to her son. I know she didn’t want to leave you but she couldn’t take it any more. She will forever be in your heart. I hope one day you’ll understand.
Please listen to us, don’t forget us. Do you think I want to be in bed everyday? Do you think it makes me high and happy? No, it allows me to get out of bed to bath, or eat. If you don’t suffer from pain you’ll never know the pain we suffer. So please listen to us and we are trying to tell you PAIN is real. Help us, please God help us.

Illinois Joy

😞This should have never happened. Inexcusable!
God bless her family. May she rest in peace. A class action lawsuit needs to definitely be done about it it’s got to stop. They have no right to continue To kill us chronic pain patients off!
I’m just devastated for her and her family. Very heartbreaking, and a life taken,Unnecessarily.

B. Gould



I dont know if it’s improper or not but the memorial page has a guestbook. It might not be a bad thing if we left messages of condolence and understanding. We CP ‘ers have a bad habit of telling people all about our medical issues and how we get jerked regularly over this fake opioid BS. That would not be suitable. This poor woman left an 11 year old child behind. I know we all want to shout how the DEA and PROP have this woman’s blood on their hands but it’s neither the time or place to give that message to her family. I imagine they feel just as lost and alone as we do sometimes but we are not alone and neither are they. Please let them know in a respectable manner.


Her family needs to get a lawsuit and there must be a lawyer out there with either a
Chronic pain himself or loved one because people with power to do
This are not listenening no one listens in matters like this unless lawyer speaks for us then they might wake up
Would you give a cancer patient just vitamins no chemo if type stage warranted I have seen that and it is horrible
cancer ate into her flesh ( breadth cancer) and massive crater and severe pain
Why is chronic pain different because there is no one using illegal like people steal or take street drugs We are legally morally obligated to be offered without the doctors fear of legal action known treatments that work and the addiction doctors are liars Opiods due work for chronic pain, often only type medication that does provide better function quality of life
Lastly I am so sorry to the young woman who took her own life a mother a person devoted her career help others be safe yet she was denied the help in Montana Dr Tenet is not responsible he has right to retire God Bless him for sticking it out and helping others He was wrongfully raided his home his clinic If I had not gotten ill and had stop nursing I wanted to work in pain area more directly This makes me sick and angry but it is wearing me down


Prayers for this beautiful woman’s family & all those feeling hopeless in the current pain climate.
God bless. 😢


This is horrible, just heartbreaking and so unnecessary! Every politician needs a copy of her story and how their action or inaction contributed to her tragic death! God is making sure she isn’t in pain now!

Mark Ibsen MD

Jen will be missed by many.
So sad that Pain killed another refugee from care.

Just to be clear:
My license was
Indeed suspended by the montana BOME after a protracted inquisition. Judge James Reynolds reinstated it after 24 hours.
I have a license under the TRO for the 25 months,
Awaiting a permanent ruling.

Lori T.

I too am not commenting as much anymore because I have to keep writing the same thing over and over. This whole “opioid crisis” is fake news. The government is trying to free up money to spend on stupid pet projects, so they attack the most vulnerable people out there, the people who can’t help themselves, the patients on the the entitlement programs, the chronic pain patients! I am one too, and this falsified situation angers and depresses me. My heart goes out to all who are fighting “the good fight.” I have to deal with this problem as well. Almost all the posts that I have written, I comment on the looming crisis ahead…SUICIDE! My heart breaks daily for those who fought the “good fight” and lost. I too have daily suicidal ideations. I don’t want to die any more than anybody else but I am finding that I am backsliding as others have reported they are. I have been a nurse for thirty five years plus. When my patients requested the need for pain meds, I made sure they were the first on my “to do” list. Now that I need help, where is my doctor or nurse who makes me first on their “to do” list? This fake crisis does not bode well for us pain warriors. I am hoping for a very knowledgeable and compassionate law firm that would be willing to take up our cause. Otherwise, I just don’t see this problem disappearing until the whole lot of us are gone. So my answer to the question posed by Ed, “are we doing enough” I would say no and I would ad that I don’t think anyone knows how to stop the crazy going on over opiates. Sorry to be so angry and gloomy. Peace to our fellow pain warrior Jennifer Adams. May she find complete rest for her soul now. I am saddened that she had to leave her family, friends and a career she loved, just to stop the pain. She is not the first and definitely won’t be the last.

Maureen M.

My God! Tragic. Impactful. Immensely SAD! Tears. My heart is broken reading this.

To Jennifer’s family, I am forever sorry. I am truly heartbroken for you.
May Peace find its way to your hearts in time. I send you Love and warm Hugs.

This is a huge example of the ever growing wrath of the Gov’t’s effect on our Chronic Pain community. It’s immensely horrific.
To read about this wonderful, spirit~ful, hard working, full of life and most beautiful young woman, mother and wife taking her life because, as strong as she was in all areas of her life,
she couldn’t live in ‘pain without treatment’. She couldn’t fight the fight anymore.

Shame, shame, shame on the disgusting barbaric CDC!!!

I pray for Jennifer’s family and for all others who are now without treatment and who fully understand Jennifer’s journey to cause her to leave her son, big caring family and many friends behind.
I just can’t wrapped my mind around this story. It’s just too much.
Yet, I know that I would be in the same situation if I had no treatment.
Fear of the future.

God Bless Tuff and Kinzie and their family. May they be loved beyond the stars and the moon.
May they know their mother’s reason wholeheartedly for leaving this world.
God be with them all.

Dr. Mark W. Helfand

Of course I mourn the death of Valerie. It’s a sad, sad day when anyone takes their own life. It is worse when that person is deserted by the medical community and has nowhere to turn. This was a totally preventable death. If the politicians in her state had not started practicing medicine due to the “opioid crisis”, this would never had happened. They are meddling in a problem without having the background needed to understand it. Not only is the issue not improving, but they are adding the deaths of these now untreated pain patients to the crisis. At this time, I am one of the “lucky” chronic pain patients. I have a compassionate doctor that continues to properly treat my pain with opiates. If the day should come when I can no longer find a doctor to treat me, I too would have nowhere to turn. I would be left with the same choices that Valerie had. I can honestly say, my decision would be the same as Valerie’s.

CRPS Survivor

I am both angry and terribly sad to hear this. We all knew this would happen yet no one in the Administration is listening to us.

****Call your Congressman/woman and ask them to hear your story. Be polite and consise***

My Congressman’s Health staffer had never heard of CRPS and admitted that he had never spoken to someone who suffers from Chronic Pain. He was very nice and willing to listen but I’m dismayed at how little our elected officials understand Pain.

We must speak out and be heard. Even dogs get pain Management. Where are our human rights?


Not only Montana but every state in this country has demoralized, deprived & left all chronic pain patients on there own . It’s disgusting how the FDA,CDC & all medical facilities have abandoned the ethical treatment of people in chronic pain!! Yet illegal drugs continue to take more lifes then ever before as prescribed medications have dropped by 45%. The government got this opioid problem wrong from the very start!!! It’s not the law abiding people who abused these drugs but the the illegals. We are left hanging in pain as our lives are slowly being snuffed out. No help from the medical asstablishments . Yes you can have yoga, meditation & physical therapy even acupuncture that might help , try deep tissue massage and accept your pain. It’s all a crock of sh@@. My life is slowly sliding back into non resistance because of uncontrolled pain. Soon there will be more people eager to escape this world of aganoy. I pray daily for relief not just my own but the others I see who have no hope of ever being able to enjoy there life without pain always screaming in our very vein’s

James Moulton

This is truly sad, when you see a young lady commit suicide to escape her pain. This seems to be something other pts are doing. There are a lot of us pain patients , who are struggling to get treatment , but new rules and pharmicists are causing bad problems. Pt’s with intractable pain are getting less meds for their pain.


What a sad ending to such a vibrant and willing servant of the community. My heart and prayers go out to the family and community who will miss Jennifer. May God comfort all who mourn for this beautiful soul, who in this life had suffering and pain, and may she now find peace with no more pain as she can rest without it at this time.
It is by God’s grace and by the help of the minimal amount of opioids allowed that keeps me from taking the same journey’s end Jennifer has taken.
I believe God will hold accountable every life lost due to the actions of the DEA and their inhumane quotas and lack of compassion along with their greed. Obviously they have forgotten there is a God.


This is what is wrong with pain management. Almost no physician had he support he or she needs for intractable, chronic pain. Intractable is an entire different game than chronic pain. It can be life threatening if not treated in a timely manner. This is horrible. Let’s get the laws to support the intractable pain patients , then we can deal with the mess involved chronic pain patients.


The story about Jennifer’s death makes me sick !!! I know several people at risk for this . Just makes me so angry….and scared for our futures.


So incredibly sad, and so preventable . My heart truly goes out to the family and this community . RIP sweet girl.❤


My deepest sympathy for Lisa’s family and friends. I would call this political homicide instead of a suicide. She would still be here if not for the politicians and agencies they control making uneducated decisions when it comes to chronic pain treatment. It is so sad their decisions are costing the lives of law abiding chronic pain patients and the death rate is still rising from illegal opioids like heroin and fentanyl.