HHS Moderates Opioid Prescribing Guideline

HHS Moderates Opioid Prescribing Guideline

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new guidelines that say what pain physicians and patients have been saying for the past four years: Abrupt changes to a patient’s opioid prescriptions could harm them.

“Care must be a patient-centered experience. We need to treat people with compassion and emphasize personalized care tailored to the specific circumstance and unique needs of each patient,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, assistance secretary for health.

HHS does not recommend that opioids be tapered rapidly or discontinued suddenly due to what it called “the specific risks of opioid withdrawal.”

Issues the HHS says should be considered when making a change in chronic pain therapy include shared decision making with the patient to stop the arbitrary stoppages that doctors have been prescribing.

As Stanford pain psychologist Beth Darnall noted, the HHS also said integrating behavioral care before & during a taper can help manage pain & strengthen the therapeutic relationship

The new directive is entitled Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Opioid Analgesics.

There has been considerable pressure on doctors to reduce the amount of opioid prescriptions they write. What has also happened is that patients have been forced to taper or discontinue their usage—which has put patients at risk and has raised the ire of many pain physicians, psychologists and patient advocacy organizations. The CDC and the FDA both put out statements this year citing the danger of forced tapering.

The opioid guidelines from the CDC were intended to strike back at the so-called addiction epidemic that that the agency believe was caused by over-prescription. Those who live with the chronic pain in the U.S. began to protest almost immediately at what they believed to be an overreaction to a voluntary guideline.

It also increasing the suffering of millions of chronic pain patients and led some to suicide.

Will this HHS proclamation change prescribing behaviors of doctors? Most of the people we’ve talked with think it will take much more than this.

Here’s the HHS Press release and a link to the guideline.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Hang in folks. I empathize with all of you and have been fighting alphabet agencies since 2015 as a childhood cancer survivor and chronic pain patient with debilitating back/hip pain. Wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
ED…Please consider direct testimony to relevant lawmakers. Perhaps you wil be heard, rarher than ignored.


CONTINUE POST PLEASE SEE POST ABOVE I’ve already had a stroke in the middle of one of the surgeries too save my life. I am going too have another because of denial of care that the US Government has encouraged With their lies and discrimination against people like me Ohio Drs are trying too kill me So when I was denied care for the emergency room visit 2 weeks ago I Googled what too do when America is denying you medical care and much too my surprise it took me too the HHS website and a survey that the HHS wanted too know what they could improve on too find this Google what I did and go too the search bar and enter HHS survey. I am saying this because I was able too tell HHS what problems they had caused people like me and that they were killing me and what I though they could do too improve I THOUGHT THAT EVERYONE THAT IS PAIN MANAGED SHOULD DO THEIR SURVEY AND GIVE THEM A PIECE OF YOUR MIND IM HOPING THAT MANY OF MY FELLOW PAIN PATIENTS SHOULD TAKE THE TIME TOO TELL THEM WHAT DANAGE THEY HAVE CAUSED MINE WAS ABOUT THEIR POLICIES CAUSING ME TOO NOT RECEIVING RESPECTFUL REGULAR MEDICAL CARE AND WANTING BACK MY HIPA RIGHTS AND ALL THE DAMAGE THEIR LIES HAVE CAUSED SO THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT PAIN MANAGMENT IT ABOUT IM BEING DENIED REGULAR CARE IN AMERICA AND AMERICA DISCRIMINATION AGINST PAIN MANAGED AND THE PERMINATLY DISABLED. PLEASE EVERYONE WHO READ THIS TAKE THE TIME TOO GIVE THEM A PIECE OF YOUR MIND THEY WILL NOT APPRECIATE THEIR SURVEY BEING DONE IF WE FLOOD IT TOO TELL THEM OFF PLEASE JOIN ME IN DOING THEIR SURVEY AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL!


Hey I don’t know if all of you out there are having problems getting regular care this for me is not just about pain managment I am permanently disabled and have being denied regular care for example I went too an emergency room for a bad infected allergic rash that had doubled over night2weeks ago I was denied prednisone and any care at all and was charged for the visit as was my insurance company this is stealing I was trying too get prednisone too control the problem till I got in too a specialist 5 days latter this Dr told me I wasted his time and for him too help me with my skin problems was like a Cardiologist too do dental work and sited that because I was a pain managed person I would get no care from him. I then had too pay for a second Dr too help me and pay for a second emergency room visit where thank God I was helped I was given Prednisone and antibiotics and an ointment I have no use for University Hospital System in Ohio for denial of care and discrimination. I also am supposed too have epie pens which every Dr in Ohio I’ve tried too get them from has denied me that.i am being forced too take facet shots for pain and they have almost killed me found out I’m allergic too the steroids in these shots and they were turning me permanently diabetic and I had blood in both my ears when trying too talk too him about the problems he told me I was crazy and screamed at me and told me that the shot could not do that and I needed too see my regular Dr when I went too see her she denied me care and told me I need too follow the rules and charged me stealing from me also Drs are treating me very bad for regular care too because of being pain managed I never had high blood pressure till the denial of care and putting me on Med that don’t work and taking away what had worked for over 15 years in my pain care I can’t get one Dr in Ohio too treat me for high blood pressure that I now have they just keep telling me that it’s due too my pain level this post continued

I just looked up the company that supposedly has my medical records. On their website you can put in your information and check the status of your medical records. Another weird thing my request for medical records has been canceled without my knowledge of it. Very fishy.

Something else I was thinking of is electronic health records. CMS has them but it goes off the basis of whatever the physician’s write and so if it’s not even your medical record what good does it have it to be electronically done. Something else this orthopedic office is not allowing me to do I have been trying for over 7 months to do is patient portal. I’ve Been Told by the staff over patient portal that they’re having problems with their software yet I’ve spoke to patients there and they say they can use it. Yet the surgeon in his conference with saying you can reach me at any time through patient portal. Then I get it for emails to saying I’ve been in Road and two saying that I’ve been unenrolled all in the same day. Now I got a couple of medical records from the front desk with no charge but now that I’m pointing out one medical records not mine now all of a sudden I have to fill out a form and they have a company doing it which is going to charge me money. Yet I was told I’d getting in 10 days it’s been 10 days and I have not received it. I’ll have to be near the doctor’s office stopped and went in and told him I haven’t received it I had to fill out another Form. Something very fishy what’s going on. Also if you want a 2nd opinion I was told by CMS to go out of state but what good does that do BC electronic records go everywhere so I can’t get a bias opinion.

Thanks Stacy. I had looked up neurostimulators in saw that they were extremely high-risk but tonight I also looked up hip replacement. The one the doctor wants to put in me made by Stryker has a problem with the fitted propylene cup that causes immune problems & bone necrosis. Even though this is known by the FDA, Stryker, physician it is not removed off the market BC not any better than any other option out there. Yet the Physician failed in his conference to mention to his audience that this was a issue. Guess that’s why they show the clip of the movie stars that had hip replacements. OMG. though Stryker has had 2 hip products that have been recalled they are unwilling to pay patients for cost of a new replacement or surgery cost let alone suffering. I had a labral tear repair. Same hip now different tear location & I think it happened during surgery BC I’ve had this pain since surgery & I didn’t have it before surgery. My pain is worse now than it was before surgery. Weird thing is radiologist said there was no MRI comparison when there was, the one before surgery. I had them look at the comparison MRI. he said it didn’t do any good BC now he’s not sure if it’s a tear or artifact from surgery. Yet in his first read of the MRI he says it’s a tear. Also weird the first MRI at the orthopedic’s office did not give a correlation of where the tear was located but the 2nd MRI done at the hospital gives a location & a size by like a clock from 12 to 1. So why change his mind now after the second read? Very all very fishy don’t you think? I have physician traumatic stress disorder. PTSD since all that I’ve been Thru these past couple years.


It is just as I thought. MOST here have put up with all we can. We now cannot cope much less function and are ready to throw in the towel. Too bad we have been made to suffer at the government rule and have been made a shadow of former self. We have anger we cannot describe! We cannot even remember what the second amendment was about. It is a pity the second amendment militia has gone out of style. Now we are just made to die a horrible death that no one wants to hear about even care. Be sure EVERYBODY to say the LORDS prayer prior to that gruesome day. This is what ANIMALS naturally do. Get away from the herd and lay down under a rock. Doctors who, are so afraid they cannot practice any longer. Mine hide in the broom closet and make the assistants see people then drive the Maserati. What a sad but real state of health care. DEATH CARE!!! Shame on our lawmakers.

Stacie Wagner

Response to Margie,
Take a look at what the implant industry is worth.
It’s sickening that they use us as ‘test subjects’, pressure us into unwanted surgeries and then they benefit from our pain.


Ed…its [edit] ..A pain Phycolagyst .give me a break I am at the GYM RITE NOW I have my coping skills and chronic pain Ohhh I get my opioid s ugggg the one I am FIGHTING for not from my PM is my muscle relaxer you can keep the damm op IOD I see he is being watch whatever I am not the problem son. .You Dr. Have no idea what pain is .you feel sorry I sympathize with me as his jaw dropped .Until you have walked in my shoes [edit].. .every month I am tested you will find TYLONAL ADVIL AND NOW ALEIVE 5 NECK 2 MAJOR BACK SURGERIES New problem s ARTHRITIS oh yeah all the injection now 1st surgery here again herniated bulging disc L4 L5 S1. Already had this surgery it was my 1st back surgery I am looking for another 7 only give injections.no [edit] way I so wish I could get a hold of Cindy Steinberg .she went through 5 muscle relaxers . and has found the perfect fit.. Gd help me now .. I have faith in Hashem I pray and practice.. I feel I am being PUNISHED when I can clearly hear a
‘ll the OPIODS he gives out .like I said I don’t care about the opiod the muscle relaxer helps with pain and joints and SPASAMS.. Thank you

Max Beichert

I read the entire HHS “amendment” to the 2016 CDC “Guidelines” document, word-for-word, and it’s only about “how-long-to-take” in tapering patients off of opioids, not “if” or “who,” which is presumed by its absence to mean all who continue to be above the 2016 dosage limits that will unfortunately remain in effect (like all of us who are, and have been, doing just fine as they are, over many successful years). This means further that doctors will continue to remain under the constant pressure of the DEA, at risk of losing their licenses, and patients from doctors, at risk of release-from-treatment. This is a “no-win” outcome, from a “fake news” pronouncement.

Stacie Wagner

I was ‘tapered’ from 520mme per day to 90mme. Now my life is worthless. I know I will end up a statistic. Suicides have plagued CPP for over two years. What troubles me is that there are so many that want to live a productive and fulfilling life but a lack of medication prevents that.
HHS and CDC only saying that tapering or stopping opioids is wrong is not enough. Some people need more than 90mme to survive. Every person is different and every situation is different. For me 520mme was a low functioning dose. It didn’t prevent me from being in pain, it allowed me to bathe, go to the doctor, do some shopping and attend birthdays and holidays like Christmas. Now I am in my bed almost 24 hours per day and go days without bathing because it is so painful and difficult.
This isn’t living. This is the inability to die. Why would I trust anything you say after you have put me through the suffering you have.
Change these rules? No, destroy them. Allow doctors to help their patients. Allow patients to rebuild trust with the medical community.
I don’t know if I will ever trust any medical person again. You have destroyed hope, faith and people and should do more than make a suggestion. Police are arresting doctors, the DEA is still investigating pain clinics. Instead of penalizing doctor’s you are all still destroying lives.
I almost deleted this until I read through all of the other comments. They are saying is that these suggestions are not enough! Doctors need education CPP need medication. Medication is being withheld from CPP that had been stable for many years. Many on higher doses that led to productive lives. CPP feel as if they are being punished. We know how suggestions are used, we have already had them used against us. One major thing everyone missed in the CDC prescribing guidelines was these suggestions were supposed to be for ‘opoid naive patients’ not stable patients. We were stable, now we aren’t, you are the cause of that, and responsible for that.


Call and write and get friends and family to call and write politicians. All they here from are families that have an addict in them. Like my son who helped cause this mess. He made his bed, he should sleep in it, not us!! Complain to people who can change things. Doing it here only helps us know we aren’t alone. Thanks.

These reports do not change the fact that the Gov has DRs so afraid to treat needy patients that they deny pain meds and watch us suffer. Thank gawd they reversed my decision because with my disorder I can not walk without them but I see the drs in agony too because their afraid the DEA is going to bust in at any time for simply helping people live an ounce on quality that our diseases stole from us. It’s a shame the abusers have hurt the ones in need but these reports are worthless…. there’s not even an apology or alternative, it’s all meant to freak out drs out into absolute fear to treat. Shame on abusers & shame on gov and media.

Jeanette French

Agreed, a bad situation just keeps getting worse, so much damage is being done and will continue to be done to patients in pain. This is genocide against pain patients. Getting rid of us is what it is doing. Making rules without any pain specialists on your board was really stupid, and now it is total mass hysteria out there. Docs are to scared to treat patients, pharmacists get warning letters sent to them as well and the doc too. Threatening their license’s. I have seen the warning letters , if their patient takes above the 90 limit. What kind of society is this. It is like the dark ages. And suing drug companies is really stupid too, if you didn’t know a narcotic was addictive you were living under a rock for the last decade.By suing them, you are reducing new drugs coming into the market to help with other illness’s. If you want to sue the drug companies, do it over anti depressants which are handed out like candy to everyone for everything. And try to go off that drug, good luck. If the US wants to stop the war on drugs they have been told over and over again how to do it, by following Portugal’s policies, but we don’t see them doing it, do we. The drug war that ravages this country is illegal drugs, which makes many people rich, all the way up the chain of command. Why are US soldiers guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan, so we can control which drug lord gets it and the one that makes the most deals with us. We know how to stop it, but no one wants to as we are making to much money off of it. And I don’t mean your family members.


This will change nothing because drs have at this point gotten so used to denying everyone to risking licence comming into question they don’t care if harm is done to the patient even long term due to false labels meant to rationalize neglecting opiod pain management. Until there’s oversight on these decisions to dent opiods so a patient can access medication against the drs reccomendation or there’s some way to get a real second opinion without the false drs notes being allowed to influence the second drs judgement then this will keep going on.


Don’t want to hear us that are still left here talk about death? Then let us live. I did not know doctors are such cowards and whiners. Get a union and never let this happen again. You stinkers. This is where the second amendment came from . The only man who did the right thing in West Covina was made an example. Doctors amass walk out. Problem solved. I won’t trust one ever again. But no they hid in the broom closet. Idiots.


Makes me so mad. THESE ARE WORDS. While we suffer and suffer until we hang in the closet these idiots just go right on killing us. Decision on our our part? My ASS.


No it’s not helpful at all! Too little too late…My pain management specialist is cutting my medicine to 1 pill a day only if I agree to do ketamine with it! The DEA, CDC & HHS has done the damage that can’t be undone, no matter how many clarifications they send out.

Dick fort

Contuined, I would never want that for my family or father but at the same time the quailty of life is [edit], I can’t even make it threw the month on what I’m getting now, and she said possible about keep going I’m below the morphine equivalent guidelines, it’s just so frustrating knowing I was doing so good I was back at the gym doing light cardio light machine weight on some things and they had a pool which was really nice cause I could get alot of exercise there, now I can’t make it out of bed, and if u wanna say I’m an addict cause I run out of mymeds go ahead but there’s alot that needs to be taken into account like how fast my taper was done how I cried and begged for her to stop cause I was getting sick and have issues with my stomach and the pain was ten times worse, so it’s either I take enough meds close to what I was getting prescibed and have good fun days where I can help my father and enjoy life or take the little I get as prescibed and be sick and completely bed ridden I just got out the hospital the other day where I had scans done showing things aren’t getting better but worse, so now surgery is being pushed which I don’t want I have a treatment that was working why take that away from me and I’m fine with doing things like acupuncture which my last doc use to do or seeing a really good chiropractor and pt , surgery is a 50/50 chance of it being fixed at 31 I’m not into those odds, they should listen to the paitents to a certain extent it is extremly easy to figure out who is [edit] up not doing what they should be or using g other drugs …… It simple do random pill counts like one every six month or three months manditory urine or swabs and also check the pmp and pharmacy reports every month it’s simple u fail or aren’t doing what’s right u get kicked out giving one last script depending on the case and circumstances it’s not hard to do it literally is soooo simple and for those that don’t wanna do opoid treatment then offer them other solutions

Dick fort

I and my father unfortunately think it’s alil to late and what’s worse is the new doctors coming up are not gunna want or be willing to prescibe any opoids even if you are a legit paitent like me and my father, iv been on these meds for 10 years before these guidelines were even in place and established I was doing great had 85 if not more of my life back expecially my father once we got to the correct dosage and right opoid things were fine great infact expecially for my father. It seems to be a generic disorder on my father’s side with our spine cause I am now 31 and suffering from the same exact issues my father has except his are extremly severe, but back to the new doctors coming up alot of them are extremly rude and think they know everything and what’s best for u and show no compassion, I have no problem taking there work I to account but I also know my body and it is pretty easy nowadays to figure out what’s wrong and what courses of meds and therapy help with today’s access to the internet and people sharing there stories…. Alot of times with these new doctors they force you to get epidurals or all kinds or shots or they will straight up say then u don’t get ur meds most won’t even give u ur meds, I just believe that the paitent should have a right to say no I don’t wanna do that therapy for all kinds of reason expecially epidurals cause one cm to deep and they can screw u up for life and put u in pain for the rest of it life and make it even worse not only that but alot of times with these shots they only give relief for 3 days to a week…. Meanwhile I was on a treaent plain adherded to all the contract requirements and still was forceable tapered down to nearly nothing as of right now so I’m back to being bed ridden and having my 65 yrs old father that is totally worse then me scan wise taking care of me cause my whole left leg is working properly and I can only stand for so long, I don’t wanna be one of the ones that sees no hope and kills himself

Thomas Kidd

Thanks Ed.

Rosalind Rivera

It’s a start. For years, we, chronic and intractable pain patients have been screaming this all along. I for one can barely function but I do not see my doctor adhering to this lukewarm advise. It will take much, much more than this to bring about any significant change!


What about insurance companies using the CDC guidelines to either reduce, change or even deny coverage of opioid pain medications that you have taken responsibly!!!??? They ruined once productive people into rubble. The state representative I have spoken too in Pennsylvania said he doesn’t hear from chronic pain sufferers that often. It is an awful feeling that we are the ones being punished because of others unlawful actions, rich and poor. Thank You and let your politicians know how they are causing inhumane treatment.

40 years ago I used to get Quality Care. over the years the quality of care is basically 0. Physicians /NP spend the average of 3 to 5 mins an office visit. Seems they’re trying to sell u on the latest drug or treatment that you do not need. Test/treatment that u do need they tell U it’s not cost efficient like an MRI that I have been needing since I’ve had a failed surgery. I finally got after the doctor said you’re totally healed by now so that leaves me having to do the MRI. Leaves him having to do the MRI. It’s like I’m twisting his arm to find out that I still have a complication. Left to suffer for 7 months & I’m still going on until he gets off vacation. Medical records 80% don’t even belong to u but someone else & are highly inflated w/the doctors so-called exam that he never did. Forced injections, Chiropractic, high-priced urine test or you left w/o treatment. Medicine has become a bullying system for those w/ chronic conditions. You either do what they say R they Blacklist you. If patients could film their whole office visit w/o retribution then Medicare would kn what was going on. but Medicare part of the problem bc they have their own set of doctors that you speak to when you have a problem w/ a dr. Medicare docs backup the problem doctor. Very corrupt system. When CMS says if doctor been paid for something he didn’t do say something, they don’t mean it. That’s why it’s a fake opiate crisis.

I was forced tapered completely off my opiate meds because the corporate Hospital decided to discontinue treating intractable pain patience with opiates and only do injections, spine stimulators, nerve ablations, spine surgery. I refuse to have a nerve stimulator so I tried to find another clinic and that became disastrous because of the pharmacy not following the guidelines in pudding multiple doctors who did not prescribe opiates, they got the regular prescriptions with doctors names mixed up in the database. But I got it straightened out but it was too late. I have copies of their mistakes and the correct photocopies with the correct doctors names on it. This has been nothing but a cluster Fest. Now having a failed surgery I will forever live in even more pain because I have other intractable pain issues. The whole health/government system is so broken. America is has become so socialist worrying about only the drug addicts, like they’re the only ones that matter. They’re even implementing indoctrinating children on Sesame Street about opiate crisis. That tells you how far we’ve gone. They’re letting transgender come into classrooms in grade school to discuss their lifestyle choices, dressed in Drag. I don’t care what you do with your life but when it comes to my children influence off


Btw, the problem now is that 30 states passed draconian anti-opioid laws as a result of CDC guidelines. What are the federal agencies going to do about that?


I read the whole brochure they put out yesterday. It is horrendously vague and takes no stand for patients who WANT to take pain medication because it improves their quality of life. All these experts got together and wrote this? omg. It shows little understanding or recognition of what pain is, what it does to people. This brochure is only SLIGHTLY better than what we’ve had from the federal agencies all along…It continues to urge patients to want to stop taking pain meds, and it urges doctors to urge patients to taper. It’s very dishonest and incomplete. In other words, ITS STUPID!!!! It does recommend that tapering be a joint decision between patient and doctor. We all know THAT has not been happening. It also warns against abandoning patients. Wow, how novel!

Angie Heavner

Biggest problem is still the same thing that it was from the beginning of this nonsense. The guidelines are being interpreted as they see fit not as they were meant and the pain community is suffering for it. The guidelines stated “for new patients only not existing patients”. First thing they did was cut existing patients down or off or threatened to. Still are just doing it differently and saying we all need to have the overdose med or can not have our other medications. They are still expensive and if no one else is around not helping you.
Get realistic and leave the chronic pain patients alone we suffer enough.


Ya, Exactly. Too little & Far, Far Too Late… Get the damn DEA out of the Doctor’s offices & their Exam rooms. That is the Only thing that will stop the carnage now. Almost every Chronic Pain Patient in America has been Force Tapered against their will or completely cutoff and all Dr.s cite the same thing. “I Can No Longer Prescribe the Opioid Dose you have been stable on for years due to the CDC GL’s, Pressure from DEA, DOJ, Medical Boards, Insurance Companies. Nothing will stop this or change this until the DEA CDC DOJ State Medical boards and Ins.Co’s are told in plain English to “STAND DOWN” they have caused far more harm/Deaths/ Unnecessary Pain & Tremendous Suffering and Pain related Suicides from completely unnecessary unwarranted forced opioid tapers/ cutoffs than any legal opioid ever caused in Overdoses. In fact 99.9 percent of ALL Opioid Overdoses were due to MULTIPLE drugs being combined but they only mark it as an “Opioid Overdose.” This “Save the Addicts while we Kill the Chronic Pain Patient” MUST STOP NOW. The Addicts have moved on to Heroin or Illicit Fentanyl if Opioids were their drug of choice, they will never ever be able to stop addiction to any substance, they have only made this worse and the ignorance and utter stupidity of this approach is seriously unbelievable. The Chronic Pain Patients are the ONLY ones who have been left without their medications and in completley unnecessarry suffering as the abusers are still accessing their Opioids on the streets. We have these medications that will ease the uneccessary pain & suffering of these patients yet no Dr. Will prescribe them for fear of the DEA. When will the DEA be told to stand down? Pain management Specialist Anesthesiologist are following CDC Gl’s for God sake..For fear of being sought out by DEA and State Medical boards why, why, WHY is NOTHING being done about the DEA? My God it’s far time to address this issue on a National Level Once and For All.


I don’t care if it’s abrupt, fast taper, slow taper, it’s torture! I am being FORCED to lower my medicines, I sit here in pain every single day, have no idea what a good nites sleep is anymore, the depression is BAD! You take a patient who has been on opioid therapy 27 years and start taking it away is nothing but cruel! I don’t know who can help me!

Jan Buchberger

These basically just tells doc to be careful when tapering their patients. it does not say they have to STOP tapering and give patients BACK the pain meds they have already taken away. There seems to be a mythical belief that if someone tapers slowly the pain will not go up after each taper. 10% taken away each month and by this time next year will be getting nothing and VOILA your pain will be gone
This is not like weaning someone off of coffee or meds after surgery. This is INTRACTABLE PAIN and NEVER will go away.
I am already suffering with some of the bad conditions that under treated pain can cause. I will not give up until I have enough meds to feel comfortable instead of living with this pain 24 hrs a day.
I am over 70 and I am many more times likely to die from heart attack or stroke from being in so much pain then from an adequate amount of pain meds.


It’s a start but not enough !


So how long to we all have to suffer . I am worse since April 1st my doctor pain really yes he is a PM ..i get you sympathize you feel sorry ..All I hear from many the DEA FDA IS WATCHING Well I am not the 1 son .5 years ago I stopped getting like 11 prescription s .. Hey I didn’t need I didn’t care my employer was and is paying my choice ..i get opioid s. .. He actually gives me more really .. I fight everyday but what kills me he took the only 1 .muscle relaxer away sure I had tried many 2 landed me in the hospital the 3rd swelled me up wtf do I have to do no more injections I now have arthritis plus my 1st back surgery herniated bulging disc L4 L5 S1 .. again you got to be kidding .. I found what works for me took that away in May ..my friends are Advil and pm tylonal and alieve and. I want all the madness to stop ..5 neck 2 back surgeries stressing is causing me more chronic pain I fight JST left the gym can’t do it all was in PT ..I GOT WORSE DONE WITH COULDN’T WALK A BLOCK ..i so wish I could speak or e mail CINDY STEINBERG.. She inspires me…


While this is a start, the six pages of guidelines primarily focus on safe tapering and stopping of opioid use. Of these six pages only half a page is dedicated to maintaining the chronic pain patient on the opioid dose that has been useful for them. Most of the guidelines again promote tapering but not forced tapering and promotion of use of alternative non pharmacological measures and non opioid medication use. What is missing here is that many chronic pain patients have already tried all of these other pain relief measures without relief and consequently were put on opioids. Opioids in most cases were never started as a first intervention for their pain. I for one am sick of subjecting myself to already failed treatments only to suffer more in order to get the medication that I already know works. Why is it that the chronic pain patient is constantly forced to proof themselves that their pain is real and severe and what really works for them. Also, this is another branch of the government not the DEA. Until the DEA is reigned in, I fear nothing will change as doctors that prescribe for chronic pain patients will still be vulnerable to prosecution. Its no different than Cannibis being legal in a state yet being illegal federally. All involved organizations from State level to Federal must change and pharmacies and hospitals etc also need to change.

I agree w/those who say reign in the rogue people w/the DEA out to harm Drs for their seeming “personal glory” for “having done something”. Done something DIRECTLY HARMFUL to HUNDREDS of Drs who’ve lost their licenses, INDIRECTLY to THOUSANDS who fear they will and DIRECTLY to MILLIONS of PAIN PTS who now live in constant pain whereas before were functional. This WILL be a start as SOME of the Drs WILL return to prescribing but far too many will maintain that fear AND we’ve seen a LACK of PROPER EDUCATION of younger Drs in how to treat those in pain or even consider them as having a legitimate need! Changing these attitudes and fears, trusting offices won’t be intruded by false pts in sting operations by the DEA to set up yet another Dr for licensure loss, etc will take time after so much loss has occurred for so many.


Until they get the Justice Dept to rein in the DEA, this will continue.
For me, doctors fear of the DEA overreach is the main problem.
We are losing important doctors to this ginned up hysteria, created so that Trump’s cronies can make a LOT of money off our suffering.
Prohibitions have always worked this way


Until doctors are made to no longer fear any reprisals for just doing their jobs, nothing is going to change. This is just another useless comment which they agree has only taken them 4 years to figure out that people have been and will continue to die from either illegal drugs that some pain patients are forced to buy on the streets or they will just take their own lives which has become so commonplace that it doesn’t even shock most people anymore.

I have been watching the stories and comments regarding the now supposed “Vaping Epidemic” which seems very familiar if you look at it correctly. It seems they have realized very quickly that it is the illegal THC vaping products that people have been buying on the streets that seems to be causing the problems and deaths for the most part and not the legally purchased vaping products. It is amazing how fast they figured this supposed “epidemic” cause yet they are still stumbling around in the dark trying to grasp that the exact same thing is happening with the “opioid epidemic” although in typical Government fashion, they decide to just start making vaping illegal in some areas.
Our Government learns nothing.


After reading several comments I find that some people with chronic pain are just now or recently being subjected to the tapering and guidelines as for opoid use. What about thise that have been suffering since their state Gov. Enacted new laws as the CDC. Fake numbers came out. Causing PCP.s to stop pop it therapy foe pain. Thousands and thousands of people have suffered for the past 18 months. I was seeing my PCP every 3 month’s like clock work. I’m no longer on opoids but my PCP still wants to see me every 4 month’s. I find it hard to even get there without rescheduling. What’s the use, high blood pressure, AFIB, sleep apnea, neuropathy. And PAIN. I’m on a BP pill, blood thinner, cpap and of Tylenol for the rest. My sciatica and neuropathic pain are so intense that it ranges from a 4 to a 10 on the pain scale. Everyday all day never letting up constant debilitating pain. That’s doesnt even address the other causes I my chronic pain. What a joke! Patient bill of rights needs updated. We have no rights that cant be taken away. By the whim of irresponsible under informed and just plain stupid politicians…….

Patricia Williams

Like others who commented, I believe our medical care is now in the hands of the DEA. Doctors are good and scared and whether they believe a particular patients needs opioids or a higher dose is irrelevant…They are not going to defy the hospital board, the DEA, “best practices” guidelines. I hear from many doctors ( and my husband’s surgeon) what I have heard from judges having to impose ridiculous mandatory sentences: ” I am sorry. I believe this is counterproductive, cruel etc…but my hands are tied”😱😭😡

Patricia Bradley

Says too little too late..Dr’s are still force tapering to meet the guidelines period.
My Dr told me I needed to find another provider because I was fighting being taken off my medication.
So now what do I do?

Katie Olmstead

Well now. This is good. After the bad. The “bad” is going to take a long time to wash away. You know, like with the prescribing physicians, who have been running scared and running amok, will they “taper” their behavior or go cold turkey? Pain patients and their good doctors have held firm. It IS good that the HHS is catching up with reality but this won’t bring overnight change. So much harm has been done. I still want to see the so-called opioid epidemic renamed. “Substance abuse disorder” crisis comes to mind.

Denise H

I don’t think it is quite enough, but I do believe that it’s a pretty good start. I also hope that I won’t hear the words “everybody knows that opioids don’t work on chronic pain” ever again.

It seems to me that there needs to be a focus on doctors listening to long-time chronic pain patients and not just dismissing them and labeling them as addicts just because they do get relief from opioids.

The big picture needs to be factored in. Over the course of their treatment, did the patient regularly request a dosage increase or did their dosage stay the same? Does the patient describe themselves as ‘functional’ when they are on their meds or do they catch a buzz from them? I think that this should be an important factor as to whether to keep that patient on their meds. I may be wrong, but of the chronic pain patients I know, not one of us feels any sort of buzz from our meds. I additionally believe that any sort of euphoria we MIGHT experience is only due to the actual pain easing up and our ability to function quasi-normally and do things - like household chores.

The talk is still about tapering down or getting the patient off opioids. There has to be a realistic opioid option for patients who have taken their medication responsibly in the past.

Jerry Ganshorn

Suffer from non diabetic periferial neuropathy Pain daily. Bless your work. My pain management in Fort Wayne is doing a great job for me.😍😍 Jerry G


“Those who live with the chronic pain in the U.S. began to protest almost immediately at what they believed to be an overreaction to a voluntary guideline.”
There should be emphasis on the word “believed”.
This changes nothing, except to force patients to see a therapist for what is not a psychological problem, but a physical one. And we began to protest because our doctors suddenly were either force-tapering, or in my case, stopping opioids completely. There is no perception problem here.
If our government really wants to do something to help pain patients (and I doubt very seriously that they do), then the real issue is the DEA. They are running rogue, with seemingly no oversight. THEY are the problem. Until they are reigned in, doctors are not going to risk their license by prescribing.

Nancy Taggerty

From what we’ve been told by multiple pain management drs is that nothing will change until the DEA is reigned in on their aggressive attacks on legitimate pain management prescribing practices. Until that happens , they are in fear of losing their license and /or practice. So 90 MME is the maximum they will prescribe even if they know their patients require more to have a quality of life.

Carolyn Robinson

I was unable to open the Guidelines link. Is there another link available? I opened the press release from HHS, but the Guidelines link, itself, showed errors.
Thank you!

Lynne Norris

How about this… when the meds are working for us and we are not abusing them, leave us alone and let us have our quality of life? My doctor admitted that there wasnt anything out there that was as effective as my opioid prescription. Those of us who take our medicine as prescribed are not the problem. Leave us alone!