Chronic Pain Sufferers Have Something to Say About “Opioid Epidemic”

Chronic Pain Sufferers Have Something to Say About “Opioid Epidemic”

It’s difficult to avoid a clear and loud message that America is experiencing an opioid epidemic, but it’s even more difficult to hear the voice of chronic pain sufferers above the din of the government, the media and higher education.

Government Crafting the Message:  Opioid Prescriptions Cause Addiction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is responsible for “protecting America’s health whether diseases are chronic or acute” and “conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats.”

The CDC recently published its “Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain” which by title would suggest the government would provide “provide health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats” like the epidemic of chronic pain.  Instead, the guideline points to four data points that dictate its direction (opioid prescriptions are creating a health threat), and those are:

  • 259 million prescriptions for opioids written in 2012 – “enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills”
  • 300% increase in prescriptions since 1999 without an overall change in the amount of pain Americans report
  • 2 million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids in 2013
  • 16,000 people died due to overdose related to opioids.

Data missing from the CDC’s headlines include (source: American Academy of Pain Medicine):

  • 100 million Americans suffer in chronic pain
  • Pain costs American society at least $560 - $635 Billion annually (equivalent to $2,000 per American)
  • Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer

So, there is a reason pain sufferers have issue with the government focusing on reducing opioid prescriptions, vs. focusing on helping pain sufferers.  So, what do they have to say about it?

“These measures if implemented are much worse for PAIN PATIENTS than what the CDC is proposing!!!”

“The fact of the matter is that state & federal law should not decide how my pain is treated. A licensed medical professional who specializes in pain should have the say in my pain management.”

And, it’s not just what people are saying, there is a group that is doing something about the Guidelines.

One group, the Washington Legal foundation, has called on the government to withdraw its Guidelines because it claims it violated federal law in the way it was devised in secrecy. You can read their letter to CDC Director, Tom Friedman, here, and catch up on National Pain Reporting of the topic, here.

Media Trumpeting Message: Opioid Prescription Cause Addiction

The big-time media, as represented by 60 Minutes’ November 1st story, describes that the heroin epidemic is caused by prescription pain medication.  National Pain Report reported widely on both the reaction to the story, and on the “other side of the story,” which one can find here.

What did chronic pain sufferers have to say about 60 Minutes’ coverage?

“The story is not about thousands of addicts who are using heroin, but millions of pain sufferers who use pain medication responsibly and are being denied access to it.”

“Your story about heroin use in Ohio is another example of main-stream media hyping what’s been described as the “prescription drug abuse epidemic” while totally missing the larger epidemic taking place in our country.  Do you know that there are 100 million adults suffering from chronic pain in the United States?”

“I gave up trying to legitimately fix my health issues. Do you know what that resulted in? Me becoming a heroin addict. Not because I WAS prescribed opiates…..but because I WASN’T.” 

“Every time a major media outlet reports on prescription opioid drugs and fails to mention that there are literally millions of law-abiding adults who can only be helped by these drugs.  60 Minutes, you need to get your act together and report the other side of the story.”

One National Pain Report reader actually wrote a column on how 60 Minutes should report the real story, which you can read here.

Higher Education Reinforces Message: Opioid Prescriptions Are the Problem

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Clinton Foundation gathered a group of experts, who “after a town hall meeting featuring an inspiring call to action from President Bill Clinton, spent a day and a half” together to create a public consensus statement about “the serious public health problem” of the “misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose of opioids,” highlighting that it is “a crisis that kills an average of 44 people a day.”

National Pain Report readers had plenty to say in response to coverage of the story.

“When I read these “official” findings, reports, and the other garbage they throw our way to make us feel even more sub-human.”

Wow, I believe I’ll be writing 1 of my shortest posts ever. Because, all of you wonderful people have expressed every opinion I have! I.e. The tremendous feeling of anger I have, the loss of our basic civil and human rights, the irony behind all of the players behind this BS.”

“Once again it just goes over people’s heads that chronic pain people need these meds. You keep talking about ways to take away what little life we have left. How about spending a week with a chronic pain patient day and night. Be there for the crying the screaming and the praying to die because your meds were cut back.” 

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James B.

I am a chronic pain patient myself and have found myself facing prison time for the simple fact that I didn’t pay a pain clinic $200 for a 4hr class that was required once a month for 8 months. I saw the following quote in the article: “I gave up trying to legitimately fix my health issues. Do you know what that resulted in? Me becoming a heroin addict. Not because I WAS prescribed opiates…..but because I WASN’T.” I was prescribed the opiates, therefore it’s an admission that the pain was existent on a real scale. When I got kicked out of the clinic, no other clinic would take me because I was discharged from that clinic for “non-compliance” which is BS. The meds and monthly visits take up enough of your time and I work hard and run my own business which requires long hours and it’s not do as you want when you want as it’s often misconceived by non SMB owners. I didn’t have the additional time or money to give them so I started buying off the street. I’m 2 back surgeries into this and looking at a 3rd. I relentlessly tried to find another MD to treat my pain. I even went out of state. The problem is there is no one solution to the pain problem. There are some folks who think they need OxyContin to get an ingrown toenail removed and others who can take a lot of pain but like myself, I’m 10x more productive when my pain is controlled and my pain doesn’t control my life. I went to heroin because the pills got so high on the street and honestly as a businessman I considered street drugs & heroin as overhead costs because it’s what it took to do my job. I don’t sit behind a desk. I use my body all day everyday in my line of work. So now I’ve been arrested several times being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the thing that really gripes me about it is that I actually got caught with Oxy’s. Well the cops told me they would drop the charges if I handed someone over. I didn’t do it FYI but I thought long and hard about it because I wasn’t your typical drug addict. Well, I called the cops back to see what they wanted me to do. At this point I had never seen heroin or done it, but they told me the only way to help myself would be to turn over a heroin or crack dealer. So idiot here went out searching for a heroin dealer because I thought at the time I would be helping get real criminals off the street and it would be beneficial. Well the dealer I got hooked up with demanded that I shoot up to prove I wasn’t a cop or a snitch. Well I did it & the rest of the story writes itself but it’s so… Read more »

Diane Succio

No I don’t think yo are judging me. I enjoyed your comments. I was simply stated that we in pain are judged enough. Judged by Dr’s, Pharmacists, some even by their own Family and Friends.
I have tried yoga as I use to do it before all hell broke loose in my body. I can still do a few but not as near what I could do before.
I wish you continuios success and health.
Merry Christmas to You and Yours


Cindy Perlin, I agree w/ many of the things you said as there is no 1 way to treat pain & that the best way is a combo of things. I also believe that all pain patients should start w/ alternative treatments before even thinking about opioids as they should be a last resort. I also agree that pot would make a huge difference in pain management & would drastically cut down on opioid use. Patients should also have affordable access to alternative therapies like the ones you mentioned. However when it comes to procedures like epidurals, cortisone joint shots & even surgeries, that are being WAY over used because they have huge profit margins; should be greatly reduced & restricted. These procedures, especially epidurals are creating chronic pain pts and/or making them much worse! While there are those that have had great results w/ these procedures, there MUST be guidelines in making sure that the benefit for each patient exceeds the risk on a case by case basis. Now what I do not agree on is that opioids are the most dangerous & most profitable. Alternative treatments are the most profitable especially epidurals that cost a doc about $2 & the patient between $1000-$2500! Many ins. co. do not cover most of the things you mentioned, so a doc can charge what he wants as he has no ins. cap. Epidurals are covered by most & because ins. classify it as a surgical procedure instead of a office procedure, there is either no cap or a very high cap & so it allows the doc to charge huge amounts & is the sole reason they are recommended to about 95% of all pain pts. regardless if back pain is their primary pain. As for danger, what is the biggest risk of say, oxycodone? Does it damage the liver? NO! But Tylenol does & it don’t take much! Does it cause congestive heart failure? NO! but Celebrex does! Does it cause high blood pressure & strokes? NO, but Celebrex & Nsaids do! Does it cause ulcers & other damage to the stomach? No, but nsaids do! Does it cause mental disorders like suicide? No, but anti depressant do! I am comparing oxy to common meds used for chronic pain to show how much less dangerous an opioid is than these meds. The biggest danger is addiction which will lead to abuse & maybe even death. Like every med,. there are going to be risks & no that are not right for every person & every pain; but for many, the benefit outweighs the risk! By demonizing opioids you are punishing the many for the few, no other med or patients are treated this way! As for legit/COMPLIANT pain patients, the risk is quite small as less than 5% become addicted & less than 3% OD! There are now more legit/ compliant pain pts. dying due to LACK of opioids than those that die due to abuse of these meds! Every… Read more »


Diane Succio
I sure hope you don’t think I’m judging you Diane. Only you know whether or not you’ve done all you could with alternative pain therapies…and whether you’ve given them sufficient time to work. It seems our conditions have a similarity…our spine is messed up. If you haven’t tried yoga or meditation I can tell you that after 3 months they started paying dividends for me. I always thought PT worked for as long as I went to the PT, but I would give up on doing the exercises on my own…I always said it really doesn’t work…well, I was wrong…give them 3 months every day and you might be surprised. Good luck and stay positive…I bet you have a lot to live for.

Diane Succio

I too tried bio-feed back, PT, a Neuro stimulator, exercise, everything my Dr suggested I do. I also can go days w/o my pain meds. I chose not to be in extreme pain. I do not judge people who are on pain meds and look down my nose thinking everyone is the same. I do not claim to walk on anyone shoes or live in their skin. This is my reality. I work 45 hours a week on my feet in retail. I have held onto my job even when I wanted to throw in the towel, but guess what I cry Uncle now. I can not keep pushing my body any further. Because when I’m in my 70’s I do not want to end up in a wheelchair. We the Pain community need to be lifting each other, not judging one another. Thank God something works for you. May it keep on working.
I will continue my Pain therapy with my Pain Dr, we will keep trying new things until I did. Maybe 1 day I will wake up on my own instead of after 1 or 2 hours of sleep my pain wakes me up. Its an uphill battle each and everyday.

I don’t know if there is anyone who “needs” opioids. No one else really knows either. The reason no one knows is that there are many safe, effective treatments for pain that alone or in combination in adequate doses may reduce pain as well as or better than opioids but pain patients are not give adequate access to them. These treatments include acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, energy healing, exercise programs, herbs, homeopathy, nutritional counseling and vitamin supplementation, low level laser therapy, marijuana, massage, physical therapy and psychotherapy. Marijuana has been proven in many studies to reduce chronic pain more effectively than opioids without creating dependence or addiction. No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, its availability is limited to a small number of conditions and to very few providers who are authorized to prescribe and dispense it. Access to marijuana and other alternative therapies is limited by lack of insurance coverage or restrictions on coverage. Access is also limited by the ignorance of physicians about alternatives and the lack of patient education about them. What we do know about opioids is that they are the most dangerous treatment available for chronic pain and the most profitable. Studies also show that chronic pain patients who take opioids have more pain, more disability and lower quality of life than similar chronic pain patients who don’t take opioids. What is happening in chronic pain treatment in this country is a crime that has taken the lives of tens of thousands of people. (Yes, many chronic pain patients do die from opioid overdoses.) This needs to change. To find out more, please visit my website at https://www.the


Yes Diane Succio, I too have severe chronic pain…goes back 7 years now. I have very severe spinal stenosis in my cervical spine, severe spondylosis that when I turn my neck it sounds like a bunch of marbles in a blender, multiple impingements of the thecal cord, intercostal neuralgia, osteoarthritis throughout my body which has so far resulted in both hips being replaced and my knees are shot as well. Three cervical discs are shot and four vertebra need fusing.
However, my functioning is very good…my doctors tell me it is because of all the alternative pain therapies I employ. I’m 63 years old, and put in 2-2 1/2 hours a day, seven days a week of exercise, PT stretches, yoga, mindful meditation and guided imagery. I thought I was nuts when I started all this, but when my pain became constant I knew one thing- I would not become dependent upon opioids if I could help it. It took three months of religiously doing my alternative pain routine, and there were many, many days when I thought it would not pay off. I also modified my diet and quit smoking.
Hours a day every day I did these therapies. There were many times that I just wanted to give up…but by three months I knew things were improving and by six months these alternative therapies had an amazing effect. So much so that I don’t need opioids but every other day or two days…and because my functioning has improved so much I don’t need that major cervical spine surgery.
I recently went 10 days without any opioids…like you, I am prescribed 10mg oxycodone but I limit myself to no more than 10 pills a week. Do I still have pain? Of course. Could I do more opioids? Of course. But I just don’t like how they make me feel so I try like hell to minimize their use and increase the alternative therapies. These therapies take an enormous amount of time and effort…I particularly like the mindfulness meditation and the yoga. They probably work the best.
I do know not everyone is as lucky as I am…and there are those that MUST take opioids every day and should be able to never have to fear that they would be taken away. But I also know two facts: 1) There are those with chronic pain that have not given alternative pain therapies due diligence and just resort to the opioids…2) There are millions of people’s lives that have been ruined due to opioid addiction…
So, I’m all for the opioids…people who must have them should have them…but everyone must be accountable…these are very powerful substances with some very serious side effects. Where possible let’s all do our part in minimizing their availability when not warranted.

Diane Succio

I am one of those people on opiates. I take 3 10mg a day. Can I live without and control my pain? No I can not. I have had 6 back surgeries and in constant pain, do they take my pain away? HELL NO they do not. But what they do is to help me function at a quarter of who I was before.
If I take 1 10mg in the morning I can get my pain level to a 7 or if I was not in chronic pain my pain level would have a normal person running to the ER. I live my life the best I can in pain and having constant muscle spasms. Any time you feel the need to walk in my shoes. Please do and than we will talk.


The US has less than 5% of the world’s population but consumes 80% of all prescribed opioids…This begs the question: How does 95% of the world survive on just 20% of prescribed opioids???
Of the supposed 100 million Americans in chronic pain, how many could actually make it without opioids? How many that do take opioids actually make a concerted effort at alternative pain management strategies? If there are 100 million Americans in chronic pain how many from the other 95% of the world’s population are in chronic pain also? Billions? Probably…so how do they manage? Are these billions committing suicide without their opioids? Are they going nuts living without any opioids?
Something’s missing here; something doesn’t add up…
YES, there are people that MUST be on sufficient daily doses of opioids…but my guess is there are a whole bunch of people doing opioids that could probably manage without them or at least manage on a whole lot less of them…It is those, and their doctors, that are ruining it for those that really must have their opioids.

Diane Succio

Yes unfortunately we do NOT ALL fit in a box. Of a non pain patient took the medication I am on they just might end up overdosing. That does NOT mean oh well let’s make people in pain suffer even more. I am glad something works for you. That does NOT mean it will work on me. Kuddos to you for getting some relief. At this time I can only pray that my pain stays at a 7. I also PRAY that maybe, just maybe 1 day soon I will be able to sleep for more than 2 hours a day. Yes I still work 45 hours a week on my feet t he entire day in retail but it’s getting to where U can not do my job anymore after 8 years and 6 failed surgeries.
I pray for your continued treatment, but PLEASE don’t step on my treatment.

Ginbug suggest you check this out this is all the press releases from DEA HQ and 21 district offices and then the news media regurgitates them across the country… throw in those PR releases from the CDC and at least one office within the White House.

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

― Adolf Hitler


@ Cindy Perlin
I am glad that you have less pain but everyone responds differently to different treatments. I’ve tried biofeedback with ZERO results and the same thing with exercise & physical therapy. In fact, exercise increased my pain. Homeopathy is something I will not try because “likes do not cure likes” and sugar pills help nothing. At the age of sixty, I finally tried opioid therapy and it literally saved my life. Five years later, I am having the highest quality of life I’ve had as an adult and, contrary to popular opinion, I have not increased my dose over these five years. It may not have worked for you but it certainly has worked wonders for me.

The problem here is that chronic pain patients and their doctors have been lied to. Opioids are not only the most dangerous method of treating chronic pain, they are the least effective. I am a chronic pain survivor who spent 3 1/2 years in terrible agony with back pain, given no hope of recovery by the doctors I saw, who healed my pain with biofeedback, exercise and homeopathy. You can find out more about effective treatment by reading my recently released book, The Truth About Chronic Pain Treatments, or going to my website


Mary Hayden, There already is a huge spike in suicide among legit & compliant pain pts. I am a psychologist & have specialized in chronic pain & addiction for over 20 yrs. I also have suffered from chronic pain for over 40yrs. What I am seeing day in & day out, is not people dying & abusing heroin because of getting addicted to pain pills! What I am seeing is people dying from suicide or accidental overdose because they cannot get their badly needed pain pills!!

What choice do we have other than death to ease our suffering? What REALLY upsets me & makes me sick is how people like Dr. Kolodny & PROP are now using these poor victims that THEY created to JUSTIFY making it even harder for us!!
I read a piece he wrote about how opioid addiction has caused a HUGE surge in suicide & heroin abuse among those that were legit & compliant pain patients!! How that was proof that opioids caused addiction in all those that took them!!

While opioids are addictive & can do great harm when not used correctly both w/ dosage & patient screening; but it is NOT addiction that is driving these patients! There are now many more people dying from lack of opioids than are dying due to abusing opioids!! We must NOT let the MURDERERS get away w/ using the victims death as a way to JUSTIFY more MURDERS!!!!


I have a few questions that I keep asking & No one can (“will not”) answer. Maybe someone on here will answer. 1. Why were pain clinics (like the ones in strip malls that took walk ins) & bad docs, that were well known pill mills allowed to run for around 10yrs. w/o so much as a 2nd glance? 2. Why were the heaviest areas for abuse & diversion during this 10 yrs. also the poorest areas? 3. Why toward the end of this 10yrs. did DEA start going after docs in undercover stings that seemed to ALWAYS get leaked to the media & insure a non stop media blitz? Could it be that the public was starting to REALLY question a need for the DEA’s war on drugs? I’m sure that the DEA would NEVER create victims(addicts) & easy targets(pill mills) just to justify the NEED for increased budget during an economic crash to the public! I mean what about the great harm that would come from INNOCENT docs & REAL pain pts. that would get caught up in this round up, I’m SURE the DEA would NEVER EVER do something so BLATENLY DANGEROUS, just to gain more money & power! 4. Why did this crack down w/ the passing of unrealistic & overly harsh rules for pain docs & patients come down after our Gov’t got control of all the poppy fields in Afghanistan? Now w/ it becoming almost impossible for legit pain patients to get meds & addicts to find and/or afford pills on the street. could this be why HEROIN is flooding in w/ usage rates higher than they’ve EVER been? 5. Who else benefits from demonizing opioids? One of the biggest growing & most profitable areas of healthcare are Drug rehabs & intervention based pain care. The media drones on about how opioids have caused so much harm; but ignores the HUGE increase in unproven, unapproved & way overused pain procedures & surgeries like epidurals, that have caused much more harm than good!! Many times epidurals, over use of joint injections & failed surgeries has created the need for life long opioids! They break us, then refuse to fix us! What ever happened to, “You break it, you buy it”! Now lets look at the 1 man that has done the most harm to legit/compliant pain pts. Our “good” Dr. Andrew Kolodny! He has positioned himself as the head of the largest group of Non Profit “cough, cough” rehabs, Phoenix house & is also head of the PROP group whom are to blame for all the label changes & reclass of hydrocodone. He is also the goto expert on opioid addiction, pain use, etc..for the media. gov’t, etc.. He & PROP are spreading misinformation & misleading everyone! I could write a book on all the BS that he has been confronted & fact checked on & he constantly pushes his miracle drug, suboxon!! Want to know where the CDC got their guidelines? Directly from Dr.… Read more »

Mary Hayden

There would be a hugh suicide number if we must be denied a legal opioid relief for our intense pain if we are denied the medicine. I have never subscribed to illegal narcotics, but that may be my only route besides suicide. This issue is between me and my doctor. My body, my choice. Hmmm…seems like I’ve heard that phrase before.


Having dealt w/ chronic pain for many years. These things I have learned.
1. 30 days is 30 days! Even when the pain exceeds the meds, extras do not fall from the sky. You can not get them filled early to many times.
2. Chronic pain is understood by experience, not education! Far to many see “rules” in black and white terms, when the truth is clearly gray.
3. Drug seekers generate a history. Their actions paint more alluring “headlines,” that also seem to fit agendas that some seem to hold. Yet, the actions of a person who is in pain but, cannot find the help, may look the same. Doctors need to separate between the two, yet w/o the government looking over their shoulders.
4. Once a person has been shown to have chronic pain and will tomorrow, need to be monitored, but w/o the threat of pulling the rug out from under them. The pain is difficult enough, the fear of losing meds (some of which their effects at times fail to work) should be seen as cruel, not faux compassion.
5. All the pills that we are told that are out there, did not come from some medicine cabinet. Money is being made by someone, follow the money and bother them.
6. I do not get a “buzz,” I am just hoping not to hurt.
7. This seems to be, once again a situation that, a few effect the lives of countless many more.

Mark Ibsen

We are coming to a turning point in pain management.
There are not enough pain specialists to treat pain, and the pain specialists are anti opiate. They want people to hurt
So they will submit to the procedures.
A doctor in my state was arrested and charged with….400 felonies.
Sounds horrible, and it is.
What’s horrible is the fact that the authorities confiscated his chart, closed down his clinic, and came up with 11 patients. Out of 4715 charts.
He was charged 36.7 felonies per patient.
And 800 opiate refugees were created in the moment they shut him down.

The mad hatter is in charge.
It is crazy.
Pain patients are indeed 100 million strong. Their doctors cannot help them. It’s up to pain patients to be outraged and speak up for their rights.
I accidentally discovered this issue in my town.
I thought I had the chops to take in this public health crisis. That evidence would prevail.
I’m out of business.
My license still at risk 32 months into this witchhunt
I was able to get many patients weaned off opiates
God help us all.

Brooke Keefer

It is my understanding, at least my pain doctor told me, that the reported overdose deaths are flawed statistics as they do not differentiate if a person died from heroin, alcohol-related deaths, cocaine, or other drugs the patient may have taken WITH an opiod in their system. So, the number of actual overdoses specific to opiods is a very small number. I would like to see the data on how many pain patients committed suicide because they were denied pain medication. I would also like to know the number of patients who turned to heroin because they could not get their pain treated. I have belonged to a 12 step program for 17 years and over the past few years have seen a surge of addicts enter the rooms hooked on heroin. These patients were cut off from pain management due to the laws and doctors no longer prescribing. They consistently share they NEVER tried heroin in their life before they were cut off. They were desperate. The real problem is the DEA (who plays a huge part in this CDC mess) suck at their job of keeping heroin off the streets and out of the hands of teens. Again, they SUCK at their job. So, being the big shot messes they are, they resort to trying to control something, anything, because they apparently have no control over heroin. They can “save the day” and be knights in shining armor by eliminating pain medication. They are also still wasting precious tax dollars on marijuana enforcement. It’s pathetic. So, when are we the pain patients ever going to tell our story??? There isn’t one single media outlet willing to do it?

What I find interesting is that the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is trying to LIMIT the medications available to help chronic painers CONTROL their pain/disease. It is interesting how they use LARGE NUMBERS to justify their actions… this particular quote
“259 million prescriptions for opioids written in 2012 – “enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills” When you dissect this statement… if one presumes that 25% of those opiate Rx are for ACUTE PAIN (dental procedure, broken bone, etc ). That leaves 194 million prescriptions Current recommended pain management protocol is that a patient should have a long acting opiate and a short acting (IR) for breakthru pain. Presuming at each prescription is for 30 days supply.. a chronic pain pt will need 24 Rxs/yr.. meaning that using that LARGE NUMBER of prescriptions and accepted appropriate prescribing protocol.. abt EIGHT MILLION chronic painer would be getting appropriate therapy.. what about the other ONE HUNDRED MILLION chronic painers ? Also notice the quote “16,000 people died due to overdose related to opioids.” no mention what else the toxicology report showed in their system.. We have 40,000 - 50,000 non-drug suicides in this country.. the law of probability strongly suggests that to have ZERO suicides from using drugs.. is virtually IMPOSSIBLE. This term (drug related death) is being used to replace “accidental drug overdose” which was previously routinely used.
“2 million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids in 2013” we have had 1%-2% of our population abusing some substance (other than alcohol & tobacco) since the Harrison Narcotic Act was passed in 1914 .. which created the “black drug market” we have been since and have spent > ONE TRILLION since the Controlled Substance Act 1970 was passed and we currently continue to spend 51 billion/yr. After all those those that abuse some substance are suffering from the mental health disease of addictive personality and using some substance to self medicate the demons in their heads and/or monkeys on their backs

Diane Succio

I just wish 1 of these so called report writer would spend the day, no not even a day maybe a hour in the pain that I am in. I have had 6 failed surgeries with maybe 1 more to have a pain pump implanted. They would not last 10 minutes before crying Uncle. A pain patient has built up a high tolerance for pain, so when I say my level is a 7 it would make a nonpain patient run to the nearest ER. I do not have a very enjoyable life but it is mine, as my Dr tries to help control the pain I am never pain free. So before you try to regulate pain mgemt, spend the day in a pain clinic and see who is being treated. We are not junkies, we are law abiding taxpayers. Stop the madness please.

Veronica Clark

The government has no business getting into our personal pain issues. My doctor just informed me yesterday that, due to the government, their large clinic will no longer be prescribing any pain meds, and I should go to a pain clinic. I told the nurse that I refuse to go to another pain clinic, as the last one wanted me on meth, and that is much worse than anything I was on, and I have a heart condition, along with several reactions to pain meds, so was sticking with the 1 pain med that at least takes the edge off of all of my pain. I do not get ‘hooked’ on meds like a lot of people, so can stop them any time. That is not the problem. The problem is I have so many things wrong with me causing severe pain, that I cannot function without some sort of pain med - and a lot of days cannot function with them!!