My Response to the CDC’s campaign to spend $4.8 Million to “Raise Awareness” about Prescription Opioid Abuse

My Response to the CDC’s campaign to spend $4.8 Million to “Raise Awareness” about Prescription Opioid Abuse

by Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Editor’s Note: This article was written in response to the recent National Pain Report article, CDC Spending $4.8 Million to “Raise Awareness” about Prescription Opioid Abuse.

I would like the consulting agency, ICF, recently hired by the CDC, to know what the chronic pain community knows. I doubt their team for this project is going to turn to pain patients and advocates like us, who have worked so hard, and spent so many years, hours, and moments in pain, reading and researching, chatting with each other here and on Facebook groups, sharing our stories, knowledge and ideas, and the incredible frustrations we have that add to our anxieties and our physical and emotional pain. I would like them to know what the real statistics are on opioid use, and on death tolls, the number of times we read misquoted statistics and misguided studies, and what some of us have gone through because of the CDC’s efforts being geared toward addiction rather than the improvement of the lives of people in chronic, intractable pain.

I’d like ICF to know that the CDC has swayed the general public’s attitude and ignored the real reason opioids exist, and not that OUR medicine should be cut, taken away and patients and healthcare providers be blamed for the “opioid crisis.” There is a chronic pain crisis and I’ll say it more than once. We are not addicts.

I would like them to know about the doctors whose offices have been shut down, some arrested and so many who chose to stop treating patients on opioids and take down their own practices, their livelihoods, in fear of the DEA, because most, by the largest margin, were treating people the RIGHT way. And ICF should know about the large number of areas in our country that simply have no pain management physicians nor clinics anymore, so that patients are either completely isolated or have to travel far distances if they can even find a physician.

I would like them to know about the conflicts of interest in the panels and groups that were put together for the CDC’s guideline development. Do you think they will know what the secrets are?

I would like the agency to understand the knowledge and experiences of some of the great nurses, doctors and other healthcare people who read and comment here — what their opinions are and what facts they’ve shared. I’d like them to know the outcome — from our standpoint  — of the CDC’s big publicity push after the guidelines were released and what the press, country-wide, did in handing junior writers and writers who had no idea of what investigative journalism is, a press release on something as big as this. Hundreds and hundreds of articles were published written straight from the CDC’s press releases. How that hurt millions and millions of sick people, ICF may never know. (To the CDC, I’m sure the results of that publicity campaign was a huge success — to us it was a travesty.) Then we nearly laughed when articles came out saying the CDC couldn’t understand why they had such a low approval rating, so they hired an agency to fix that. I don’t have a clue whatever happened with that idea. Does anyone?

I would like this agency to have the list and links to these articles (which I have in a file) and I would like them to read the comments written after the articles where people like us, doctors and pharmacists, nurses and PA’s, writers and advocates made their cases. (And, yep, I’d like a part of that budget money for my time so I can get my electric wheelchair and go somewhere, have an integrative clinic to go to on my disability income, and for other readers to have a share so they can get proper treatment, without stigmatization and fear of being called an addict.) I’d like publishers like the National Pain Report to get a share for devoting their spare time away from regular jobs to working for patients. Yep, that would be nice, because when I owned my ad agency, I worked very hard at researching everything I could about every new client. If there was adversity, I addressed it.

I would like the agency to interview some of you and ask you what you’ve gone through with the changes your doctors had to make after the guidelines were written, like you who were sent straight into withdrawal because your medicine was cut off cold, you who went to your appointments only to find a note on the doctor’s office door saying the clinic was no longer in business or “no opioid medications will be prescribed here from now on.”  Stress furthers disease and pain. How did you do? There are so many stores. So many stories.

How sick are we of being told to use alternative therapies when we’ve lost everything and cannot afford them? I’d like ICF to see how many of us had the alternative therapies back when we first got sick or injured (and insurance paid for it), and the statistics on how many benefitted and how many got more injured from them, against how many improved and surpassed their pain. I’d like them to know those of us who wish not to live a good share of the time and why, and learn the stories of those who have taken their lives because one cannot live in high-impact pain all the time. It’s impossible. Some people committed suicide directly after the guidelines were published because they were afraid and felt their last days of hope were upon them.

Because of the CDC’s actions against people in pain, we are treated more and more like dirty addicts instead of patients. This has ballooned more so than before the guidelines were put in place and the publicity started. If only the publicity on the opioid problems addressed the simple fact that there are people who use these drugs as medicine and rightly so! But no. The articles didn’t talk about anyone who needs an opioid as a medicine, only that there is an abuse problem. All of the abuse doesn’t come from our pills in our legally-ladled bottles. Most all of it  comes from the streets. Was that mentioned? Sometimes, but the stats were all wrong. Really wrong!

Sometimes we have to remind people that we all “used to be somebody.” What is the most sad part of all this? I’d like them to know, because it’s how we feel when we’ve lost the love, respect and caring of family and friends. For the most part, they believed the CDC’s and FDA’s statistics, not the real ones. You see, one day a person has a brother, but because the publicity that has swarmed this earth, and it being all about the addicts and the illegal drugs or use of the drugs that are OUR medicines, that brother doesn’t understand us anymore, therefore have let us go. Family and friends don’t understand that our medicine is being stolen, misused and altered, but we are not addicts and we are not the problem. The “opioid epidemic” doesn’t address the “pain epidemic.” We are invisible.

We are people. We are the patients of life-long pain that doesn’t get any better and mostly gets worse. We have been through things most people will never be able to imagine. Some patients have overcome some of their obstacles, but most cannot, and we don’t have cures or alternatives. We’ve tried them already.

We have been set aside, our countless and tiring efforts have been ignored, our healthcare professionals have been slapped. Our lives have been zapped.

Finally, I’d like people like Ed Coghlan, CEO of this website, and his staff, who devote their time to research, activism, advocacy and publishing (there aren’t any other sites just like this) be awarded, invited to panels and discussions at the CDC and other platforms, and revered as pioneers in this field. There are others who work so hard to help their own families, such as Steve Ariens and many others, ( link please) whose devotion to work for a better future is his testament to a chronically-ill and pained wife, who has spent years fighting pain and disease.

Let’s help ICF understand this new assignment in full. Let’s hope they remember why opioids are used and for whom they are intended. Let’s hope they don’t continue adding cars to the train and jump on the same bandwagon all the others have. Let’s help them know the truth.

Krissy Anderson is a retired on disability, and works when she can as a volunteer freelance researcher/writer. She contracted Histoplasmosis in the early 1980s, which eventually caused chronic illness and life-long pain. She was the owner of a successful, international marketing communications agency and a model. She was a hard-working fireball with the world at her feet.

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Authored by: Krissy Anderson

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Dr. Anderson. Ms. Price and everyone else, thank you for your comments. And yes, anyone may share my words, letters or whatever they need/find in the file section of FB Vets Fight Back. Together we will defeat this many headed monster… We will be victorious!!! Thank you, take care and may God bless. “Teufelshunde.” Respectfully, Robert D. Rose Jr.

Tim Mason

I think we will be getting a new surgeon general soon. What for it. It’s coming.


Thank you, Mr Dean, for your service to our country and for speaking out on behalf of veterans and all Americans whose suffering is being worsened daily by these heartless government agencies and this money grubbing public relations firm hired to cover up their inhimane agenda. Your words are in fact very eloquent!

Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Robert, another question: Do you mind if I share your letter on some of the Facebook groups? I think it is encouraging and may get more people to write. Let me know, thanks.

Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Robert, I thank you so very much for writing your letter and distributing it so widely and wisely. You sound like an amazing man, and I know we all appreciate what you are doing, and of course, appreciate your service to our country! Please let us know if you get any response from anyone.

There are groups on FaceBook who are sending letters and going to the ICF comment page also, so anyone who is willing to take this further should do so. Anne Fuqua has also done an enormous job in working on this with me by getting her pain friends on FB to write letters. I want to thank her also.

I’d like to find someone who can help me do something, and that’s to print this article, the first one it refers to, the comments from both and send via mail to a few contacts at ICF and CDC. In fact, if packets could be made up, we could send them beyond that, to senators, etc. Anyone who has access to discounted printing and copying can put a comment here on this story.

Thanks so much to everyone, and again to you, Robert.


Jean Price

Robert….you also have become a true hero…in a huge and special way…fighting for the rights of those in pain! This is above and beyond the hero you already are for serving our country! Your letter is straightforward and on target, and I know your faith will be able to give you the strength you need to continue these efforts! (Please just remember to take good care of yourself too, in the process of working for others! Your own medical problems and the enormity of this task can be overwhelming, without also resting back and reloading, as the Spirit moves you to! And I imagine as a Marine you are skilled at pushing ahead…regardless of your own needs! However, the truth for this mission is…when you take care of yourself now, you also take care of ALL you are working so hard for, because you won’t just then disintegrate from all the physical efforts and the stress!!) This withchunt AGAINST pain medication being used FOR THE PAIN IT WAS INTEDNED TO TREAT is NOT acceptable, nor scientific, nor necessary! It is senseless and based on greed, period! The CDC guidelines are a perversion of good health care, besides being against patients’ rights for treatment of pain! And it affects so many once productive, contributing individuals across our country! Plus their families…and everyone knows our military families have already sacrificed so much, Those in our military who have stepped up for our country DESERVE our country to now step up for them! They definitely deserve so much better than they receive now…and this current situation just adds to the sad history of our veterans NOT being honored and cared for by this country they so willingly risked life and limb to serve and defend! Their care is excessively substandard in so many ways…in so many areas….when it should be the best ever for the dues they have paid! A national shame! Along with the blood the CDC has on its hands from those who committed suicide rather than live in excruciating, daily, UNBEARABLE PAIN THAT WAS LEFT UNTREATED BY BOTH MILITARY DOCTORS AND PUBLIC DOCTORS!! Equally sad to what is happening to those who live with pain…is what’s happening to another entirely different group of people…those who abuse drugs, overdose on street drugs, and lose themselves to the life of an addict. These people aren’t being helped by all this curtailment of pain medication! Not at all! They are worse off…with our streets flooded with even more dangerous illegal drugs, mixtures of drugs, and poor resources for truly helping. The one agency given the mandate to work against this, the DEA, is instead spending its resources on policing law abiding people and physicians….rather than those who bring drugs into our country and those who distribute them! So the problem the CDC said this would FIX is actually worse! It could never have succeeded anyway, because pain pills are not the root cause of addiction! Period! It isn’t difficult to see the fallacies… Read more »

This letter is being sent to ICF, the VA, Washington and news outlets across the country. Posted here the links mentioned have been omitted but can be found in the *.pdf uploaded to Vets Fight Back… January 29, 2017 Subject: What a wasteful use of $4.8 million dollars… Dear ICF, Senatorial Legislative Assistants, Members of the Veterans Affairs and Members of the Press: I was pain med compliant for 15+ years. Never popped positive on any mandatory drug screens or messed up a pill count. I was able to continue teaching, sponsoring a club, coach soccer, basketball, and little league baseball. I was able to take my sons fishing and hiking all because of pain meds… Unfortunately, my spine did not stop deteriorating and the VAMC has done nothing to fix the damage… instead I have been refused repeatedly for surgery as the damage and scar tissue is too severe and too old. The VA doc I had was awesome as we worked together to manage the pain meds with my pain and other medications. Then he retired and after a series of kooks, I ended up with a nurse practitioner who told me that I had the normal back of any other 50 year American male and that the VA had adopted the new “opioid safety initiative” and would be denying 90% of veterans being served there all pain meds. She did this by phone!!! No discussion with other physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, physical therapists (even Senator Corker’s request for new PCP was denied). I have been through every pain management program offered to include chiropractors, acupuncturists, yoga and even aroma therapy for my spine before this NP decided to deny pain meds without even bothering to read my chart (for which I have evidence). Since 12/29/2016, I have had nothing but Tylenol and Motrin I have had to purchase myself… I am going CRAZY because of the pain and burning up with ANGER at the VA, the CDC and DEA for what they are doing to so many Americans and veterans. In addition to despising these agencies, I am now beginning to despise these advertising agencies BOUGHT simply to clean up the images for these governmental agencies from all their lies and asinine policies promoting suffering and death for millions of Americans. Although I pray it never happens, what are your ad executives going to do if you or one of your loved ones becomes one of us… a Chronic Pain Patient? I’ll tell you; many of you are going to sell your soul to the devil for relief from the suffering. How do I know? I know how to do research; I know how to listen to the millions crying out in pain, I see the flag draped coffins of my fellow veterans who commit suicide on VA properties in a last dich effort to protect our brothers and sisters from a similar fate – being denied quality health care. Worse still, I am one of those… Read more »

Marlisa Griffith

You also have a way with words! Keep using them. Keep sharing them. Keep fighting for yourself and all of us. Thx!

JT Welsh


This is so much more elegant than my expletive-laden writing about the subject. I’m tired of having to pee in a cup every month. I’m tired of counting EVERY one of my pills to ensure I received the correct amount from the pharmacy, because I won’t be able to get any more for 30 days. I’m sick and tired of turning down social invitations because I can’t be that far from my bed and ice packs. I’m beyond frustrated with my limited professional prospects, having turned down multiple jobs that I K-N-O-W I could knock out of the park and make truly amazing things happen…if it weren’t for the fact that I can’t stand for more than 20 minutes at a time. Forget having an hour long commute. Having lost far too many friends and relationships to count, the emotional pain is sometimes just as challenging as the physical (at least on a scale of 1-10…get it? The ol’ “how’s your pain today” scale? They never seem to like my “HOW DO YOU THINK MY PAIN IS TODAY?!” answer. But I digress…)

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, words, and feelings in such an eloquent manner. It’s really amazing (and then again, maybe its not) how so many of us share so many of the same thoughts, words and feelings. I’ll be sharing this often.

Be well.

They should be spending this money on TWO things. 1- Helping Chronic Pain Patients who have been severely HURT by all of this madness. 2- Helping patients get LEGAL Medical Marijuana to benefit from NATURAL pain relief and more.

Denise Benns

I am so glad to find this site and hear others are in the same boat as I am, and are sinking! I am tired of this government trying to run our lives. I have osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic pain constantly. I got Guiallian-Barre Syndrome from the Swine flu shot, and was paralyzed up to my neck in the hospital for 2 months, and in rehab for another 2 months. I had to learn to walk, feed myself and sit up on my own again. It eats the chief off of the nerves, luckily most of mine grew back. In 1989 I was in a car accident and had neck injuries, which I have chronic headaches and back aches from. I have been to numerous doctors, who would not give me my medication, saying I would become addicted. I now go to a pain Dr. who gives me my meds, but is afraid of getting in trouble. I hope President Trump will change things. If there is a petition to sign, I would do it. I am with all of you suffering the pain and know what you are going through.

Dennis McCarthy

The CDC’s own scientists have stated that a person over age 30, with no history of substance abuse, has a 1% chance of becoming dependent upon prescription opioids. They further stated that a person over 30 who does have a history of substance abuse, has around a 2% or 3% chance of becoming dependent. This information appeared on the CDC’s own website right before the opiod “epidemic.” Maybe they’ve removed it since then.

You can always tell when people in authority are trying to gin up panic — they use their own terminology wrong. An “epidemic” is the widespread outbreak of a contagious disease — it has nothing to do with opioid use/abuse. But “epidemic” is an effective scare word for those of us who remember real epidemics.

About 75,000 Americans die every year from overdoses involving opioids and/or heroin, and most of those deaths don’t involve the opioid alone — they involve a “cocktail,” opioids mixed with alcohol or benzodiazepines or other medications.

Alcohol and tobacco kill over 500,000 Americans a year — total American combat deaths in WWII were 400,000. So why doesn’t the FDA have its pants in a bunch over them? Why aren’t alcohol and tobacco on the government drug schedule?

Americans always need something to fear, something to be against, and right now, it’s pain medication’s turn in the barrel.

Sandy M.

Krissy, this is perfect. I wish I had the talents like I once did, to be able to communicate the way you have here. I’m so thankful for those of you who take the time, with your pain, which sometimes takes hours to write…….and like Krissy who are able to let everyone know exactly what we (or me) want to say. I know everyone could identify with you!

Thank you!

Kristine (Krissy) Anderson

Thank you all for the amazing comments. I appreciate it so much. This is about us and so many millions more. Today I sent this article and the one it references to ICF.
If you CLICK HERE, or copy and paste it to your browser,

you will be on their contact page. Choose the department you want. Some can choose media, some corporate relations, but please write to them and urge that your message gets to the team assigned to the CDC project. If you have a story about how the CDC’s prescribing guidelines affected you, or know things about the forming of the guidelines and it’s committees, etc., please include your information and opinions. Keep messages short and concise, but include the most pertinent and important parts of your stories. This is just one more thing we can do, but as I said before, they may not listen. Their agenda (meaning CDC’s) seems never to include patients who use addictive medicines for pain, but are not addicts. Please, if you belong to a Facebook group, include a link to your group and invite them to join so they can see the work you are doing, the pain you live in, the problems you have because of the CDC’s guidelines, etc. Thank you so much and I wish everyone better days ahead.

I also wanted to say that I have had some personal messages on FB that I haven’t been able to respond to yet. I am dealing with some other illness issues that have been very difficult and I am sick most all of the time, having a lot of tests and have little energy right now. I know we collectively understand those things! So if you’ve messaged me, know I will get back to you when I can. Also I’ve received a number of friend requests. I have made my FB page personal and it has high security locks on it. Messages are better than friend requests for me as my page is only for family and friends outside of the pain community, with the exception of a few. I do thank you, however, for your consideration in sending me friend requests.

N ciancio

Can we start a petition for the new president, Donald Trump? I believe if we let him know what Obama has done to us , as far as punishing us for the addicts and abusers ;he may do something. I’ve lost my job, and almost my husband of 25 years because of this insane cut from the cdc. I will file for unemployment and disability now.. I have no choice !!

Pam Hawthorne

Thank you, Krissy, for telling our story! Like you, I would love to have my productive life back! I have tried every alternative therapy there is & spent thousands of dollars which is not easy to do on Disability income. Now, all I can do, on days when I’m able to, is start & sign petitions to CDC, DEA, FDA, NIH, & DHHS; write emails & letters to state & federal legislators & officials, and comment on articles in an effort to make the voices of Chronic Pain Patients heard.

Marlisa Griffith

Thank you so much, Krissy for speaking out for our community. Your words are meaningful and pertinent! I hope the CDC and especially the ICF are listening and will answer your important questions! CDC & ICF, please pay attention. Our lives matter too.


….Just finished reading Krissy’s article, and ALL your comments! “Kricket” posted a link on ><, under a story titled "Stop the War on Pain Patients"….
The DEA has done, and continues to do, far more harm than good. That's true for BOTH "legal", AND "illegal" drugs. I wish I had more better answers, and solutions.
DEA = Destroy Every(body&thing) American….
DEA = Drug Express America
Please enjoy my lame attempt at humor!

Lisa-Diane Joseph

This is the first article I’ve found supporting the chronic pain community and our need for medication. This is a very well written article, and the comments following show just how desperate people with chronic pain are to be treated with respect and with appropriate medication. I have been in pain since childhood, mild and bearable. Then while in the military and attending journalism school I became very ill, probably a reaction to the many immunizations given in the normal course of being on an Army post. Then the first Gulf War broke out and we got more vaccinations. I was 35 years old and my life came to a screeching halt. I’ve been in moderate to severe pain now for 25 years, and I don’t mean sometimes, I mean 24/7, 365 days. I’ve been asking for a small increase in my dose for 10 years. But because of the “wisdom” of the FDA, DEA, CDC and VA my doctors are not allowed to increase my dose of opiods. So as my pain gets worse my dose is reduced, because they wanted to protect my liver and took some of the Tylenol out of the Vicodin, from 500 mg to 325 mg. So to get the same relief, not nearly, and get some sleep I take the extra Tylenol when I go to bed.
When will the powers that be leave our meds alone and let our doctors take care of us the way they want to? I’ve had two doctors tell me they want to help me but their hands are tied by the regulations. One even told me a story of a patient of hers that accidentally overdosed, then refused to increase my dose for fear that would happen to me. I am very careful with my medications, but because someone else made a mistake I have to suffer. I thought medicine was supposed to be on a personal basis. Help us get the relief we need so we can try to be functioning people again, not dependents of a failing system.


Thank you for sharing what so many of us are going through.

christine Hawkins

Another issue is when you move in Florida from one County to another you have to find another doctor and pharmacy. I went to the same anesthesiologist he specialized in pain management. I also went to the same Pharmacy when I moved the doctors wanted you to fax all the information first from your pain management doctors and your surgeons I was turned down by 4 different doctors after I fax them every bit of 50 or 60 pages I sat and one doctor’s office for 4 hours and she stated at the end of the day when I was still there waiting that I was over-medicated and then she didn’t see any reason for me to be on that kind of pain medicine. It all depends on how a patient metabolizes medicine. So I was denied the medicine that I needed for the pain in my sciatica from a previous surgery that the surgeon left t disk fragmenta.And alot of sc was wrapped around the sciatic nerve root I was forced go to a doctor and get on Suboxone which doctors have found a way to make money off of that because they only accept cash first appointment. $350.00. When I asked for the walk out Iwas told it was cash only. I told them I would file it myself with my insurance company and they told me to go find another Doctor. Another scam just like the pill Mills !!cash only These Doctors are General Practionersthey take like A4 hour course which entitles them to be an expert on Suboxone. I cannot tell you the pain I suffered. I e blown L4 L5 SI three times each. Surgery on both. Only to be treated with disrespect..Every time I have a script filled I have the worse anxiety the medication that I need will not be available or it’s on back order


Awesome article! I urge all of u to read this! Thank you Krissy Anderson for saying what needs to be told over and over again! I only take Tramadol, that barely touches the pain but my Dr. Absolutely will not give me anything stronger! I suffer from RA and fibromyalgia.


Thanks SO much. I haven’t been able to come here for a while because of pain so horrendous that I can’t sleep, can’t eat (nothing stays down) and can’t think straight.
I’m simply exhausted from this fight. I’ve lost my life and nobody can/will help.
I feel myself slipping deeper into such a dark and hopeless place -tramadol doesn’t help & Gabapentin is making me feel so out of touch -like feeling drunk,which makes it impossible to function (I WOULD NEVER GET BEHIND THE WHEEL on this drug!)
So, feeling pretty defeated.
Thank you all! Sometimes when reading y’all’s comments, I feel like you’re telling MY story!


Very well said. My daughter has Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The most painful disease in medical history. No awareness no cure. Put the money toward research .

Denise Tremaine

I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (Which does not exist in the minds of many, but that’s another story), and now have rheumatoid arthritis. This article was perfect. Family tries, but they just want mom back. Hubby is understanding, but still would like dinner cooked. Friends understand cancelling on them, for a bit - then disappear. What gets me the most upset about all of this is the depression that all of us fear - and there are many, many, many people who could not handle the pain, the lack of Dr.’s who understand, the limited number of pain meds that can be prescribed, the ignorance of so many - and they ended their life. They simply could not continue on any longer. I have been there. I am 56, and I don’t want the rest of my life to be like this. I used to be a mover and a shaker. I did great things. I was active. Now, the simple act of taking a shower is some days the extent of my day. We need more articles like this. We need more voices like all of the ones who responded to this article. We need more resources for the people at their limit, who don’t see the value of their life. They can’t speak - we need to be their voice. We need to speak for them. If you have not ever experienced long term pain, don’t put your restrictions on me. I was pleased to read this article today. I hope that others will share it. I just fear that the DEA, and other agencies still lump those of us with chronic pain with the junkies who steal to get their drugs. We are considered addicts. I have been called an addict by more Dr.’s than I can count, even though I have been on the same level of medication for 7 years. Please, let’s do something about this.

christine Hawkins

I too have suffered through failed back surgries. I have had 4 series of steroid injections. One time the Doctor hit a nerve ,it took me five min to walk a cross the street the pain was that bad.Now I just had another disc laminectomy now for once and seven years my left leg doesn’t hurt on my sciatica now my right leg hurts and it hurts when I turn Bend walk ECT. The surgeon suggested I go for more injections. Steroids turn me into a monster my husband leaves for days at a time it’s that bad and they don’t help at all so the next step he said was a spinal fusion I’m just so sick and aggravated the pain you put your faith in these neurosurgeon that they don’t have all the answers and they can’t cure the pain. All I want to do is go back to wor k even part time.I can’t even do that. Every job I had I gave 100% Ind long run in collecting 35% of what I use to make.If it want for the pain meds. I couldn’t funtion. The government needs to put people in charge who have suffered and know what it’s like and not sit back on their Thrones and judge and tell us what we can and cannot do for pain the way I feel right now I’d like to gig everyone of them. Let them suffer for awhile and say take an alieve

christine Hawkins

4Million on raising awareness? What about making the pharmaceutical companies spend the money on awareness and come up with another alternate medication rather than opioids nobody signs up for heroin when they’re in pain how stupid was the pharmaceutical companies coming up with that in the first place they should be held accountable


Very well said. Moved me to tears. Thank you!!

Tricia Gaynor

I am a survivor of my prescription cut off. It’s been 10 months, after 11 years on pain medication, I was cut off completely for 1 urinalysis that said the medication wasn’t in my system. I don’t know how this happened & it had never happened before but the thing I find so alarming is that my urinalysis was done on 3/18/2016 and I noticed the CDC letter online when I was trying to research how this could of happened, it was just by luck I stumbled upon it. Anyway I had to self detox on my own from the powerful pain medication that I was taking for 12 years and I felt like dying, well obviously you can probably tell i was going through withdrawals because I never spent a day with out them. Anyway finally after a horrible 10 months of constant agonizing pain, & countless doctors not believing me I’ve found a doctor willing to believe me and take a chance on me. As lucky as I am I’m petrified because I don’t trust the system anymore I find myself a nervous wreck with anxiety now so afraid of this happening again even though I was always so careful & followed all my doctors orders & did everything exactly right & never abused any medication in my life nor ever failed a urinalysis before. I’m so afraid of this happening again. Thanks for your support and for what you are doing. If I can help in any way please contact me
Patricia Gaynor


Spot on Krissy. I lost a 42,500 a year job thay I loved because I could no longer perform my duties, my new husband because I couldn’t be the wife he needed. I lost my family because they don’t understand and they believe the hype that noone is in pain they are just “addicts”. Friends arw gone because they think u should just push through the pain, ya right, this pain is not something you can push through. It has you, you are defeated. At this point with this condition the only way to amy quality of life is medication management. I was pursuing my bachelor degree , but could no longer concentrate and had to drop out Jr. Year. I never did a narcotic in my life until a back injury with fusion surgery that resulted in CRPS in my right leg. It has since spread to the other leg, abdomen and arm. This pain is unbearable and I am under treated amd have no quality of life at 49. My doctor stated he won’t increase my dose because of all the overdoses in the area. What a joke. So what does that have to do woth me? Doesnt matter!!! Everyone is an addict or a dealer amd a potentional overdose. Well thay is yoir job to know ypir patient. The new clinic I went to today said, sorry we can’t help you, you live an hour away and not in our County. We dont feel comfortable. This is a joke. All you addicts have ruined it for us who are lying in bed in co nstant agony and just want some relief. Yes we want pain medication. Becuz we NEED IT TO WALK, TO LIVE, NOT FOR A HIGH BECAUSE WE CAN’T STAND OUR LIFE! WE HAD A LIFE! !! AND it has been taken from us. We were the ones paying taxes working making a difference. We wernt searching for a high. .I wirked for 31 years. 20 in a hospital as a Unit Secretary and 11 as a Staff assistant in the Healthcare Unit in corrections…I’m sorry that you have a drug problem and you need help and care. Well I need help and car., But because of your abuse and your addiction to be buzzed, we are treated with a paint brush and put in your category. When we don’t want to be high we want relief of agony. The studies have shown the chronic pain patient does not become an addict. Physically dependent, Yes. Dependent to get out of bed amd have somewhat of a life? YES! A competent pain doctor can tell who the pain patients are and who the seekers are. But we are getting punished because of this epidemic. I was told in ER once, well I cant treat your chronic pain in the er amymore, because drug overdoses have surpassed car accidents now. Really? RUKM?? Im really really sorry. I dont know who and how that hapoened. Maybe loss of… Read more »

Tim Mason

Dave, I visited that page last year and copied and pasted entire false studies in there for them to chew on. I gave them several salvos of poorly written non peer reviewed garbage they published.
Go for it.

Tim Mason

I don’t think the surgeon general is a surgeon at all. He was or is a women’s health doctor. just happed to be one of Obama’s chosen (previous green card holder that joined the navy).
His tour as surgeon general is about over.

Julie Dawson

Thank you so much.
Krissy, you are inspiring and it’s a relief to here your words.
I’m 50 and I feel like I can’t be 60 cause by then I would of had enough pain.
I try my best but am looked at by family and friends as an actress of sorts as I do a lot of oohs and arrrs to get into and out of a chair.
Unless you are in chronic pain you don’t understand the every minute of every day battle.


We should make frequent visits to ICF’s facebook page. Explain to the company in the comments section and share it with all your friends. Give the company a taste of the bitter medicine it is dishing out with its dispersal of CDC propaganda. It has been released that one of the architects of this eugenics program, CDC director Tom Frieden is resigning in a week. When is the surgeon general next? They create this mess and will probably get a high level position with the big rehab market.

Loretta Holscher


Jean Price

I agree whole heartedly that this article spells out what’s happening in the realm of pain care and what’s happening to people who live with daily pain! An excellent piece, well stated and comprehensive. And…YES, it would be wonderful for the ICF agency to know ALL of what’s so well outlined in Krissy’s article…IF, AND it’s a BIG IF…THIS WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THEM, AND ULTIMATELY MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR US!! YET, we are NOT their client, the CDC is. And I’m guessing their MAIN job is to KEEP THEIR CLIENT HAPPY…and fulfill their client’s directive…meaning they will likely be churning out more of the same deceitful rhetoric and fraudulent claims as we’ve seen for the last several years concerning the “demon opioid pain medications”! PLUS THEY’LL BE LENDING THEIR OWN EXPERTISE AND CREDIBILITY TO IT!! (Groan! Sigh!) If ICF researches this issue at all from an UNBIASED point of view, they’d easily see the problems they are up against in working for the CDC and trying to promote stopping the use of opioid pain medication across our country! And saying it’s a way to stop heroin use and overdoses would have to stick in their throats…if they have any common sense at all! They would then have to promote incorrect data, be advising doctors to adapt inhumane and ineffective treatment regimes, and know in their hearts this was abusive and wrong!! AND KILLING PEOPLE! That’s IF they care! If they keep from JOINING the CDC’s witch hunt themselves!! Looking at this realistically, can we expect them to help us? To change the minds of those in power at the CDC? To expose the CDC’s wrongdoing and their greed!? Can we expect them to go against the current mindset of the Senate, the DEA, state governors, the Surgeon General, or even one of their own (with Sanjay Gupta as ICF’s executive Vice President)? And more importantly…to go against their client?! I’m not optimistic that they will be any kind of help or resource FOR US…unless there are some very compassionate, intelligent emoloyees who dig into this enough to find out what the real issues are! Even at that, they’d likely have to turn down the job because the CDC isn’t interested in correcting themselves!! Their only achieved goals so far have been increasing the abundance of street drugs coming in, and potentially increasing the use of street drugs by denying pain medication to people with legitimate daily, life limiting and life threatening pain! Plus they have reduced the number of those in pain by suicide due to unbearable suffering! And oh yes, they’ve ruined some doctor’s careers and shut down once available pain care clinics/resources! As good as this article is, unless we can in someway flood the ICF with this information and a firm plea to not work against us…AND THEY AGREE…I think their role with the CDC will be one more nail in our collective coffin! (And I say all this as a usually pretty optimistic person!… Read more »


Well said Krissy and thanks,

As I have said many times in the past. The CDC, DEA, FDA and the host of other alphabetic idiotic bureaucracies are abusing their power and chronic pain sufferers to help government funded businesses like Phoenix House, profit. Not to mention the justice system and prisons. This Alphabet Soup Group filled with uncompassionate bureaucrats care absolutely nothing about the tens of millions of people they are negatively effecting with their actions. That includes people suffering from addictive personality disorder, prisoners serving time for Marijuana possession, doctors who prescribe narcotic medications and of course the entire chronic pain community.
Approximately one third of our country is being openly abused by these agencies and the National news media is more than happy to help them by only reporting their negative propaganda. Then, they ignore our letters, emails and petitions, writing us all off as if we are nothing but addicts craving our opiates. The news media reports overdose deaths by saying the person who died had struggled with addiction for years, or they put dependency in the same category as addiction. It’s all a popularity contest and right now, the chronic pain community is losing big time. Until the entire chronic pain community and their families REVOLT openly and tactfully, these bureaucrats will continue to smack us around like a bunch of abused spouses.


I wish I had your way with words! You said it all so well. How do we get the anti-opiate nazis to listen? Thank you Krissy!


Your article is SPOT ON! I wake up everyday and read what our government agencies our doing to the chronically ill patients. I am still in disbelief.
I did not ask for a inexperienced anthesiolgist giving me 3 epidurals within 10 minutes without the use of a floroscopy. Then he had the nerve to scream at me for not laying still. Third attempt with needle caused an electrical shock that started at my hip and went out my toes that lifted my leg off the table causing me to urinate myself, then screamed at again by anthesiolgist for moving. Ended up in hospital with. Spinal headache, chest pain, unable to walk more than 10 ft for 2 weeks. I was one day away from being transfered out of that hospital to another hospital for a rare nerve patch operation. 18 years later I still suffer from arachnoiditis, and I lost my job, ended up on disability. Words can’t describe how my life has been turned upside down. FDA does not authorize epidurals to this day, but why does the CDC want us to go to pain clinics for more epidurals. STRANGE?
Or to watch my 14 year old son be put on Acutane for acne for 6 months at 60 mg a day for 6 months which caused him to have IBD, arthritis in both shoulders, both wrist and right hand. To have watched him get a colonoscopy at 18 years old. Again, another drug the FDA authorised for teenagers that ws originally manufactured as a chemo drug for brain cancer. But yet, the CDC and FDA have
Keep these drugs on the market ( by the way, side effects including suicide) from generic Accutane have injured more teenagers than car accidents.

Then, you have patients that suffer in pain daily due to our government agencies having there hands in both cookie jars of FDA and the CDC with people switching from lobbiSt to decision makers for our government agencies. Follow the money!
Now, we have once hard working Americans that can’t work and suffer in chronic pain daily that are being treated like the scum of the earth all due money over ignorance. Shame on you CDC!
WE should be more concerned how herion is getting into this country with ease. Who is behind this. That is where the money needs to go, shut off drug dealers. May God help us!

lisa murphy

Is there any way you might be able to create a petition to send to the CDC and President Obama before he leaves office?
I don’t have the social media following to make an impact.
My medication has been cut down as many others, to the point that I cannot function as I once did.
I have been a chronic pain patient for 25 years, and tried a page full of medications, and alternate therapies before going on opiates. There are a small subset of patients that only respond to this medication.
I am furious that myself, and others like me have to suffer in pain for the actions of other people. We should not be punished and be made to suffer in pain needlessly.
Addicts who want to get high will find a way regardless if they can get opiates or not.
And what about alcohol and tobacco? They are both legal, and kill many more people a year, and for what medical purpose are these to be used for?
Pain medication used correctly by a pain management doctor increases the quality of a chronic pain person’s life. We don’t get high off of them, we just have our pain blocked when prescribed at the correct dose.
Some people who otherwise would not be able to work are able to work due to proper pain management, and lead a more active life and be a part of the community.

Anne Fuqua


I found out that the SANJAY GUPTA who is Executive VP of ICF is NOT the same person as DR. SANJAY GUPTA, the neurosurgeon. No matter how much they look alike.

Christine jacoby

Just wanted you to know I have also emailed the ICF with my message of pain being undertreated and ignored.
Am sure not as thorough as yours but I am in pain about to lose life because of it.
Let’s pray the ICF does some research before launching their opioid abuse campaign.
They need to campaign for chronic pain patients be heard and save their lives.

Alice Pandolfi

Bravo! after 15 years on opiods etc, spinal surgery has proven to relive the most awful of the pain. Now I am weaning meds and feeling good. As an RN, where has out hearts and brains gone? Stop the gangs, fraudulent docs and the underworld from their blame the drug abuse, NOT the victims or genuine uncontrolled pain.


Thank you, What an excellent article. You said what so many of us know and live with.

Tim Mason

Hi Krissy, You are right. It is time to “take the gloves off” in our approach. Ask these people for their credentials and the number of years of experience in their field. These questions will show that the agencies have relatively young executives (25-34) just promoted to a job that they have no experience in. Furthermore, this is the generation that is “chemophobic”. I just saw a webinar put on by the American Chemical Society (ACS) about chemophobia and you could replace the word chemical with opioid and still give the presentation. “How we got here and what to do about it.” There have been similar phobias in history and there has been a specific cause for them. DDT use and Bhopal India and GMO foods are the big causes of chemophobia. Domestic Terrorism is the cause of firearm phobia. Many historical accounts are given in the webinar and how these things fester out of control.
You are dead on in your suspects too. Media. It’s news worthy!
If for some reason many of the terrorists now wore hats like you are wearing in your mug shot up there, I would be scared of you.
Here is the mix. Its the young + naïve + no practical experience with something that makes things bad.
Every apple off a tree is not fit to eat. Some have resident worms and some are rotten. No need to cut the tree down! You don’t ban gasoline to stop drunk driving!
More after page 2.

Anne Fuqua

Fellow FFPCAN member, Tracy Rogers and I have just found out that the Executive VP of ICF is none other than Sanjay Gupta!

Kym Russell

Thank you! Well said. Those of us who bravely live with relentless chronic pain are being physically and emotionally crippled and unfairly stigmatized wherever we go because we are viciously mis-labelled by CDC and its patient crushing misinformation campaign.

Like the author, my early on experience with chronic pain, I spent my savings on alternative therapies, saw integrative doctors, nutritonists and on and on. All the savings are gone after a long, successful career. I’m living in poverty and in pain. Not because any lack of effort on my part but because of a medical system paralyzed by CDC. I’ve have painful out-patient procedures in pain management clinics that worsened my condition for months — yet, was not offered relief to aid in recovery.

Chronic pain creates a downward spiral: it cause changes in the brain and nervous system so that cognitive abilities in pain patients, which are already overwhelmed by constant pain messages, worsens and diminish our ability to speak for ourselves, begin to regain health, rebuild relationships lost due to the scare tactics of using “painkillers” that CDC communicates and our loved ones believe.

CDC is spending millions to spread Fake News rather than acknowledge the needs and rights of pain patients.

Carole Porter

And Dear Lord don’t we get weary!!


I have NEVER heard a BETTER narrative of the life of a chronic pain patient. Krissy Anderson has nailed the physical and mental life…….of a person, an individual, in chronic pain. Well stated, that we have already tried “alternative treatments” for pain management. Those of us who have been candidates for surgery……..have already had surgery. Those of us who are not candidates for surgery have been down the trail of…. “least invasive medication first”. Some of us are even born into life with disabling, crippling, uncontrollable pain. It has been a way of life. It doesn’t get…..better. I ask why, is the CDC making the one life we have more difficicult? There are many different conditions lesding to continuous disabling pain. Those who have no pain, or those who can control pain without “jumping through hoops” and the stigma of opioid medication use………count your blessings.
Those who are in policy making. Why are you attempting to further harm those who have a treatable, painful condition? You must realize the last avenue of a normalized life includes treatment with opioids? Regulated, professionally prescribed, medically engineered opioid TREATMENT for those STILL trying to be a part of humanity.
Those of us who are using opioid medication in the attempt to ease suffering because of a MEDICAL condition ARE different “minded” than those who CHOOSE to abuse opioids whether prescribed or illicit! We, the chronic pain patients are a totally, different, statistical group of individuals and should not be represented in the afore mentioned group of people.
Different medical conditions call for different treatments. There are physical conditions and there are physcological conditions. The two CAN intertwine but, call for entirely different methods of treatment. NEVER should the two conditions be added together to conclude a statistical value that can impact either in a negative fashion. There are people that choose to use opioids for recreational use. There are those that were treated with opioid medication but, can not be entirely blamed for their addiction. However, I do not know of even ONE chronic pain patient that chose to be in disabling, continuous, life altering pain!
If you have not walked in someone elses shoes, how can you “judge” how difficult the traveling is?
Again I say, WELL STATED Krissy Anderson. I continue to hope that understanding, reality, and consequence, is in the vocabulary of those who are appointed to use superior policy making for the good of ALL. Not to make policy to achieve a more acceptable statistic. If you are going to base policy on statistics, at least accept honest, accurate, information in the compilation of those statistics! Thanks, Krissy Anderson.