No Involuntary Tapers

No Involuntary Tapers

By Dr. Jeffrey Grolig.

No involuntary tapers! It has become a slogan of The Physician Primer, a medical-legal practice guide for physicians.

I have treated chronic pain for the past 35 years, and I’ve seen it all. From blue collar workers with failed spine surgeries, to housewives sidelined by fibromyalgia, to executives whose careers ended with a car accident. My journey witnessed remarkable success stories and
“cures” on the high end to suicide and homicide at the bottom.

Dr. Jeffrey Grolig

At the same time, I’ve watched the doctors at their extremes. I watched as the Harvard graduate made headlines by arrogantly defying law enforcement only to make the six o’clock news with his arrest the next night. He languished in jail for over two years until a kind-hearted lawyer rescued him pro bono. Recently I’ve witnessed a slew of colleagues lose their licenses to documenting technicalities.

The net result has been a Perfect Storm of fear and suffering; doctors who are afraid to prescribe any opioid, not even the smallest amount to the most deserving case. And today, I see too many suffering pain patients who can’t get a doctor to save their life.

I am not an opioid proponent. Never have been. My training specialized me in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. We treat the whole person, and if that means some opioid with counseling and P.T., that’s what the patient gets. I am neither an opioid guy or an injection guy.

I am a what’s-best-for-the-patient guy.

But today, everyone is polarized. The addiction specialists detest opioids and overdoses, but are ok with suffering and suicides. The opioid docs remain staunch opponents to the addiction specialists. The government wants anything that will save money-and now that means Medicare opioid ceilings. The police, DEA and medical licensing boards take their cues from the government.

But where does all this leave the suffering pain patients? To eliminate fear, we need education, not just a little, but a great deal. I studied addiction, and I became a lawyer. But I still practice medicine in my day job. I know a lot about opposing viewpoints.

Every physician who treats pain or prescribes opioids should read my Physician Primer: Prescribe Like a Lawyer. They don’t have to be afraid of prescribing opioids if they understand the laws and how law enforcement operates. I advocate no involuntary tapers. Every one of my pain patients has read The Pain Patient Handbook. I can’t tell you how many of them asked for tapers after they read it.

With education of both patients and doctors, we can eliminate both fear and suffering. No More Involuntary Tapers!

Dr. Grolig is a board-certified specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has taught in both the departments of Family Practice and PM&R at U.C. Davis Medical Center. He has worked as a practicing attorney. He founded and directed the first Multidisciplinary Functional Restoration Program in Northern California in 1991. He has authored six books.

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Authored by: Dr. Jeffrey Grolig

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About one year ago my pain specialist told me he haf a visit by the DEA and needed to cut my medication by what turned out to be half. Even as I contemplated suicide his office staff refused to make an appointment for me. I was expected to wait 30 more days. Out of desperation I even called the answering service in hopes the doctor would tespond to me. (No such luck)

Why after fifteen years of responsibly using my medications had this happened since there was no involuntary tapering plastered everywhere!
The answer is simple it was happening to everyone!

Desperate and out of options besides my death, I turned back to try a pain pump which cost me and taxpayers a great deal of money! So far the pump has helped but only to a degree. It has also been a source of much frustration. I am so constipated that I have back pain and am worried about a blockage and am reluctant to eat quite often. I can no longer care for myself. Last night my friend drove 350 miles to stay with me for epidurals on Monday and see my doctor a few days later.
I am trying to hold on long enough for foolish people to realize that some of us REALLY NEED these medications which have been vilified because others use these medications as an escape and end up dying! Please take note that many of us will succumb to our non terminal illnesses even thought we are not terminal but instead …. IN TO MUCH PAIN TO STAY!
It is very difficult to put yourself in someone’s situation unless you have walked in their shoes! Also no bad what has happened to me what happened to you since I never smoked drank or did drugs!
God Bless Us All!!

Alta Hanlon

The CDC “guidelines” specifically say that tapers are to be consensual and that the guidelines apply only to primary care docs. Very clear.

Renee White

i was forced to taper 60 pills 4 mo ago extorted into a spinal injection even though I have severe osteoporosis she said if I did not get my shots I would no longer get my pain meds that I have been on for 10 yrs it has been pure hell I have lupus Ra fibro Ehlers Daners and mast cell activation syndrome 3 failed rt hip surgeries torn labrums both hips 3 herniated discs after injection I broke my foot in 3 places i refused shots again I was terminated next Dr wants to take another 60 pills away that makes 120 pills in 4 mo leaving me at 60 a mo i will terminate my life if that happens cuz im barely living at all i need help to bathe dress cook clean cant play with grandson had to stop disability and resource finding business my life is hell i throw up 24/7 ftrom the pain I sleep maybe 3 hrs a night i black out constantly heart rate always above 105 im exhausted my pain is unbearable my depression is awful anger off the charts and thats with what I have now. Being an advocate I deal with alot of congress I called Tn govenor Lee and was told in a document it states pain pts in pain managment are exernpt from the 90 MME she is mailing me the document I pray when I take it to Dr they dont cut me ppl need to contact their Govenors office and get clarification and proof pls find your voice and use it im looking for any article I cqn to prove I am not to be tapered im calling the medical board and AMA before my appt as well its time we start fighting back with proof they cant argue with


I agreeingly tapered off a very high dosage that I was on for years that aother Dr. had been prescribing,and subsequently dropped me under the guise of not treating chronic pain patients anymore.this was prior to the pain reliever chrisis , or should I say fentanyl chrisis blamed on pain meds . The problem is he kept going until I am now down to 10 percent of the dosage. Needless to say I now am in consistent state of agony.I was ok with backing out of the high dosage,but where I am now is criminal.I have been and continue to practice a multi discipline of pain management,PT,stretching,diet, weight control etc. But getting to the point where the pain is so intense I feel like giving up and ready to throw in the towel, the big towel .

Derek Morrison

From 1921 until today millions of patients in America have developed horrendous unrelenting chronic pain due to a too toxic x-ray contrast medium (dye) approved by the FDA. This too toxic x-ray dye now known to cause damage to the patients nerves longterm has been the main cause of the need of opiate medication in America.
Today the FDA on behalf of the American Government who approved this too toxic dye did NOT check on its safety and toxicity have withheld this from the the general public.
Today Americans are being denied opiates where the main cause (not all but a high percentage) was this too toxic x-ray dye caused by the same people now stopping access to opiates. For more details see the following
This caused need has been going on for decades see the following link on America’s most loved President JFK
Derek Morrison
Medical Researcher


Many of these comments are heartbreaking! They’re starting to make our pets suffer as well. My sweet little 17 year old dog fell off our deck (9 to 10 ft) a few months ago. The impact knocked one of her teeth out (well, it was just dangling from the gum until the vet yanked it) and fractured her pelvic bone (verified by x-rays and vet of many years - who is no longer our vet). She was clearly suffering and could not even stand long enough to use the restroom. She was sent home with NOTHING for the pain she was in. We ended up having to have her euthanized the next day. (To be fair we had been struggling with this decision for the past few months prior to this incident). I’m still heartbroken at losing her but absolutely furious that a vet could be so cruel.

(I am only posting this because so many in society do not seem to care that innocent humans are being forced to suffer. Perhaps the needless suffering of an innocent dog will catch their attention).

Fear has been put into doctors and pain patients because of the regulations and laws that have been passed concerning pain medications. Nobody will ever be the same even if the regulations and laws are reversed. The fear will always be there. The damage has already been done.


I became a chronic pain patient through no fault of mine - it was not by choice; but by accident. Following having my body mangled, I developed CRPS. Good Lord, I had the whole enchilada thrown at me. Now I rely on pain medication to endure life. Notice I didn’t say “enjoy” I said “endure” because that’s where I’m at.

We have a government that makes it illegal to order Nembutal to off yourself, while simultaneously denying you relief from pain. Now isn’t that batty?

Why do we have so many kooks running the government? You can bet they get pain medication when they need it. I have family that works in the medical field who told me that politicians get bumped ahead of everyone else in the hospital - now why is that?

All I can say is patients had better pray before our Nazi government decides that we don’t need any relief at all.

Louis Ogden

I am being involuntarily tapered by the state of Virginia along with the DEA. For eight years I was a patient of Dr. Forest Tennant. It was his belief (mine as well) that pain needs to be controlled first then try to find the source of the pain second. This seems rational as severe pain can cause death by heart failure or stroke. He titrated me until I was comfortable (an ultra-high dose) but it worked and for eight years my pain stayed at a 3 level on the scale of ten and those were the best years of my life. Now the State of Virginia has flagged me as being on ‘too high’ of a dose and will no longer fill my scripts as has been done for these eight years. My pain doctor is moving me to injectables that are short acting. My previous therapy included Oxycontin, which is of course long-acting. I now fear that I will have to wake up during the night to inject. To top everything off, I am 68 years old and have no idea how this will affect my previous excellent quality of life. Is this the end of comfort as I know it? It seems to me that stable people with a high qual of life should be able to keep what works. In other words “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”


There are no studies about involuntary tapering. No studies showing the results
of involuntary tapering. It is just insane to involuntarily take away a patient’s
medications without knowing what the results may be. There is anecdotal evidence
of patient suffering and suicide post involuntary tapering. Patients who are
involuntarily tapered down/off their opioid pain medications are being used just
like rats in a nationwide experiment. I resent it. I am no damn lab rat.

justus hope

This response is to Everett. When you receive such letters of self-congratulations by the VA being on top of this Opioid Epidemic, you must keep in mind the VA was among the first to jump on the Pain-as-the-5th-Vital-Sign bandwagon in 2001. The Veteran’s Hospital System, along with The Joint Commission encouraged over-prescribing of strong Opioids including methadone back in 2001, and now they are first on the anti-opioid-zealot bandwagon. Seems to me, they have zero credibility.


My fathers story About the VA forced taper aired last Monday on our local ABC station, and even with an open OIG compliant and many veterans suffering, they still won’t help any veterans.
It’s all about the numbers. They sent a reply to the station that said “ the VA is leading the way in the way the prescribed opioids and have had a over 300,000 decrease in opioid prescriptions which is a 45% decrease from the previous years”, that statement alone shows their intent period! What they didn’t include in their numbers is the suffering and suicide due to pain! It’s a disgrace

Alan Edwards

Doctor you seem to be straddling a rE fence. You promote two books.The Pain Patient Handbook is ok. The Physician Primer keeps DEA thugs from kicking your door in at 5 am and opening fire.

Suffering you mentioned but did not emphasize. Intractable pain patients do the whole body approaches until failure.The most deserving of patients are discharged when the PT/whole body approach MINUS an appropriate opioid therapy failed.

I have had PT and Electrical Stimulation therapy. Would you like to see the infected 3rd degree E.Stim. burn pictures?

Opioids never burned my spastic, damaged lower back. The burns were found by my opioid prescribing pain physician. His nurse discovered them under my belt line (numbed by aggressive E. Stim.) She treated the burns with angelic care. I would be in hospital had my pants not been pulled down slightly for a sterodal intrathecal injection.The injection could not be given because of the E. Stim. infection I am currently on opioid and steroidal therapy which is thankfully effective against my intractable pain.

To Leah B. below, pharmacists, now partnering with police, will often try to stop opioid scripts. Little is being reported about Pharmacist abuse of intractable pain patients!

Thank you for acknowledging our suffering Doctor. And not supporting forced tapering. Doctors like Forrest Tennant and
Mark Ibsen need your legal help.

You are straddling a barbed wire fence stating you are an opponent (not a proponent) of opioid therapy except for the most deserving. Please attempt treating an infected E. Stim. burn on your lumbar area for 3 months with a mirror, flashlight, and no help. Caused by a holistic approach for intractable pain.

Molly K Canfield

Dr Grolig, too, wants to “protect his license” and “prescribe like a lawyer.” The book is written to protect DOCTORS and earn profits for it’s author. It’s focus is “safe, non-opiod” alternatives. Excuse me, but what is new here? Now this makes me naseous, not my effective, legal and sanity saving medication. I’m tired of justifying and asking for societies/government approval for my doctor’s decisions to help me. More fear mongering Counselor/Doc.

Molly K Canfield

Dr. Heck…I strongly agree. Mentioning how hugely successful your book has been in “voluntary” patient tapers smacks of a sales pitch at best and scare tactics (how can 1 book indicate appropriately for tapering without you knowing the patient and his/ her medical conditions) at worst (?). Should we ask who is publishing the book or maybe who is helping fund your book’s development? Were anti-opiod militants, pain “acceptance” proponents, or friends working at the CDC or DEA.
financially supporting this magic book? We’ve unfortunately I come to a place in our society that it is our first instinct to doubt and disbelieve most of what we hear. Not every pain patient needs to have their medication tapered and it seems irresponsible to me to promote such a broad brushstroke. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Jamie Mathis

You say no involuntary tapers and I agree, but there’s a larger and more dangerous problem. Drs are cutting off stable patients out of fear. I was one such patient. I nearly died from the withdrawals and the return of the original pain. I know people who did die by there own hands due to this. There isn’t a scarier thing in the world than losing access to your meds. They wouldn’t do that to a mental illness patient for fear of being sued by their surviving families, but allowing pain to go untreated completely and by force? They’re ok with that.


I’m lucky and blessed to have a wonderful pain management doctor who has assured me that he will fight to help me and yet, I’ve been forced to 1/3 of my normal dose… Did my doctor lie or abandon me? No! The damn PHARMACY won’t fill what they arbitrarily deem as a large dose, and the other pharmacies are doing the same thing. Why are the government and corporations telling me what my medication should be instead of leaving the medical care in the hands of my DOCTOR?!?! I would never wish my pain on anyone else but I sure hope the people who make these decisions without a medical degree get a taste of chronic pain and see how they like it.


Thank you Dr. Grolig. I hope more Dr.s will speak up ! This witch hunt has been allowed to continue too long !


Thank you Dr. Grolig. I hope with all my heart that more good Dr.s will speak up.


Thank you Dr. Grolig for being the kind of doctor who looks out for his patients and has their best interest at heart. I’m fortunate to have a group of specialists who do the same for me. They work as a team and have helped me tremendously to manage chronic pain and cut back pain medication to the point that I rarely need to take them. I’m fortunate to have these doctors and the insurance coverage to try alternatives to help make pain less of an issue. Not everyone has these options or the insurance coverage to try alternative therapies. It’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to become an advocate for those that feel their voices are not being heard.

Try watching someone you love going through this - watch them withering away day by day-if this doesn’t bring up some gut-wrentching emotions, you are not human

Jim O'Malley

I would also like to know what is the secret sauce in your “Pain Patient Handbook”.
Why would a patient request a taper after reading it? I , personally haven’t found any information on the web that would convince me to request one. Sounds like it would be good content for another opinion piece like the one above. Unless, of course it’s just a hook to get me to buy your pamflet.


I enjoyed your article. I am a chronic pain sufferer and I do take opiods but iI wish I didn’t have to . It stinks , but the reality is the quality of my life is I can barely walk without them . There has been an epidemic of overdoses for years . The reality is that it’s not people with chronic pain who are overdosing, it’s heroin addicts who are getting fentanyl in their heroin who ate dying. I unfortunately have seen it over and over for years . These addicts can’t deal with what they feel so they use drugs . As soon as some white kids start dying it’s an epidemic??? It has been for years. Everyone shpuld be teaching their children to learn to deal with their emotions and not use drugs . I always taught my son if you can’t talk to me find someone, anyone to talk to . I also will never understand why dealers are killing their consumers with fentanyl. Doctors are so paranoid its crazy to me . I had a confirmed kidney stone at the hospital and not only did they give me such a small dose of diuladid I waa still in massive pain when they discharged me . As doctors you took an oath to help people. I should not have to beg and ne humiliated to get some relief . I didn’t ask for scripts for when i left i just wanted to be out of pain while I was there. The government is completely shameful in all of this . There needs to be education and rehab centers that actually care . They only care about the revenue. I know because i have worked in the field . There needs to be reform thar matters . They are only making the problem worse .

Pamela Smith

How very refreshing to have a doctor use common sense in this issue. I loved his article. He is right….pain control WHATEVER that entails should be totally in the hands of our doctors, not our GOVERNMENT….

Paulette Diana Wright

Perfect! I am like minded, and appreciate your efforts.


I call [edit]! I know way too many CPP’s to believe that they request tapering after “reading your book!” This is just another example of someone taking advantage of CPP’s to line their own pockets. Your law degree seems to have overtaken your medical education You should be ashamed!


Thank you so much Dr. Grolig! As a chronic pain patient, all the Government , CDC, FDA, DEA, and PROP have done is ruin mine and thousands of others in my shoes our quality of life.

M Billeaudeaux

At least this makes common sense. The O crisis has brought so many chronic pain patients so close to suicide it’s defeating the initial reason to stop abuse. If patients are responsible, follow their doctor’s instructions, speak up when a problem may arise and do not abuse their medications why shouldn’t they continue what works for them? You would

Craig S. Andrews

I wish I could post this article on a huge billboard right outside every doctors office in THIS country. I emphasize THIS because I’m sick and tired of hearing what great methods other countries do regarding pain management. I don’t care what they do. Sorry. I could go thru my 36year journey of pain and surgery but it’s no different than a million others. All I ask of treating physicians is to be humane and follow through with your desire to reduce suffering. I have no idea how so many of them can watch us in agony and have a clear conscience. Pray.
Craig S. Andrews

Kris Aaron

I would love to get off opioids and not be chained to my bottle of methadone. But that requires relieving the pain of a neurological disorder I’ve lived with for the past 19 years. I need braces and a cane to walk; getting groceries puts me on the couch for the remainder of the day — and that’s on a good day. I was involuntarily tapered down to a fourth of my original prescription and prayed for end-stage cancer until my compassionate MD put me back to a stronger dose.
I’m in awe of the courageous, brave individuals who don’t turn to Drs. Smith and Wesson after a few weeks of chronic pain. Our prescription opioids are being blamed for the increase in deaths caused by accidental overdoses of Chinese-made illegal fentanyl — often used to boost heroin’s effectiveness without the addict’s knowledge. I guess it’s easier and safer for DEA agents to harass physicians who dare to prescribe opiates to pain patients rather than go after the drug cartels that shoot back.

Cindy H.

Due to this environment of doctors being “rewarded” for cutting back on writing prescriptions for opioids, I wasn’t even tapered off one of mine. He simply said stop taking this and start taking this, instead. I was blind to the consequences of what could-and did-happen to me: horrible psychosis with delusions, hallucinations that prompted encounters with local police (in my late 50’s and never had negative encounters previously), ending up with two stints in mental hospitals. So much went wrong in a situation that could have been prevented had the doctor had his patient’s best interests at heart…or better, yet…remember his Hippocratic oath to do no harm.


A well stated response to the hysteria that is hurting a lot of good people who were just getting along with their lives in pain but with the help of the pain meds had at least an existence and some relief, how can they proceed to make it worse by taking the one thing away that helped , shame on all you bootlickers kissing that government [edit].


This article was great, but is missing some vital info —- I would like to read The Pain Patient Handbook that the author mentions at the end of the article — but I can’t find it online. I dont’ know why info as to how to obtain it was not included, and I ask the publisher to publish that info.

I find this a lot in these columns. Referrals to something useful, with no info as to how to locate the item, etc.

Why can’t I find this guy’s name or
books on AMAZON?


as a multiple sclerosis patient with pain and 2 back surgeries I unfortunately use opioid medications. my Doctors know this and I am glad they are responsible. I am the patient in pain most days. Susan

Dr Grolig, your message is well supported, not only by patient experience, but by research (some of it mine). This article is also remarkably timely. Just yesterday, Dr Stephen Nadeau in Dr Jeff Fudin’s blog, published another excellent and crushing rebuttal to Oregon Medicaid efforts to force the tapering to zero dose of certain Medicaid patients maintained on opioid therapy. Applied properly, his work and yours should demonstrate that mandated tapering or arbitrary caps on opioid dose levels or duration comprise an unjustifiable desertion of the patient.


My own contribution to your work and Dr Nadeau’s is an analysis of the total lack of relationship between rates of opioid prescribing versus rates of opioid overdose related mortality. And yes, I said “LACK” of relationship. The contribution of medically managed prescriptions to mortality is so small that it gets lost in the noise — and I include in this comparison, both prescriptions actually used by people in pain, and those diverted by theft or the corporate negligence of large distribution firms who knowingly supply pill mills.

It is time for DEA, State drug enforcement authorities, CDC and regulators at all levels to stand down from efforts to “solve” a mis-defined “opioid crisis” that wasn’t created by over-prescribing in the first place. The demographics of chronic pain are almost entirely separate from those of addiction and substance abuse. And CDC published data prove it!


I have progressive MS and failed multi level spinal fusion. I have been with the same pain dr for over 10 years. Once the CDC guidelines for primary care doctors was released I educated myself as rumblings came through his office. Initially I was told I had nothing to worry about only to show up to pick up my prescription and be surprised with a 50% reduction in my Oxycontin ER without not so much as a call, consult or a note. I was appalled to say the least! I couldn’t understand how any physician would make such a drastic reduction without an appointment. I felt this action was borderline negligent. It wasn’t the last time it happened either. Since then they have lied about how their practices and procedures will be with chronic pain patients. They blamed the CDC, my insurance company and ultimately the state. My insurance said they would fill whatever he prescribed due to my condition. Oklahoma passed bill 1446 which suggests but does not require limiting chronic pain to 100 morphine milligram equivalents. They told us to speak to our legislators, well our legislators have asked me to go speak to them as well. Sadly too many doctors are making drastic and sweeping changes to their patients care due to their misinterpretation of the legislation. Those who are overdosing are not chronic pain patients who take their medication as prescribed, they are self medicating addicts buying narcotics off the streets. We are not the problem, we have to be the solution however. I hope the stories I share with the bipartisan committee will aid in their amendment to the law and help repair some of the damage that’s been done before more people feel suicide is their only option.

Marie R.
After searching without any luck online, I found it book for patients referenced above on the site for the physicians.

Thanks for a great article.

Marie R.

After much searching, I discovered The Pain Patient Handbook online:

Thanks for a wonderful article.

Jeff Wedgwood

I’ve had chronic back pain since the 1990s. Either I lie down 2 hours a day or I can use pain meds. Pain meds have freed me to be more social and active. Please don’t let me lose ground by limiting the availability of pain meds!


I was pushed from my doctor to a “pain clinic” which he stated was going to help me since he could no longer prescribe opioids. I started at this clinic 16 years ago and ended up going thru the ringer with almost everything they wanted to do but when they screwed up my epidural 2 times, I refused to let them go near me for a spinal cord stimulator so he told me I would have to taper but the way they get around it being a “Forced Taper” is by telling you that you can always go someplace else to get your prescription which they know is a load of ****. He suggested my choices were either a different doctor, a methadone clinic, or I could figure something out myself.
I understand why people end up making some of the choices they make when you are put into their situation. Hopefully something gets fixed before we lose too many more people.


Thank you for your help. I am suffering from multiple Incurable Chronic Diseases and Unmanaged Chronic Pain. I was force tapered off my medication and my life was turned upside down.
I may never be the same. I am now homebound and bedridden 24/7. My life is a living nightmare of pain.


Absolutely!!!! The involuntary tapers of pain patients is inhumane and unconscionable at best. The opioid epidemic is another government euphemism to displace the actual motives of said government. Doctors and patients are too often criminalized for compassion and suffering. As a pain patient myself I have had the Good Fortune of having an established relationship with my pain management doctor for the last 8 years. I have had multiple surgeries to try to correct the source of my chronic pain with little avail. The question is do the ends justify the means? Ensure I’m saying that the supposed opioid epidemic and the rise and opioid-related deaths is due largely in fact to a multi-billion-dollar industry that makes its money off of addicts being sick and doctors paying heavy fines because the doctors show compassion for someone who was at the end of their rope and riddled with pain. Opioid prescriptions are at a 10-year low wow opioid-related overdoses are at a 10-year High taking patients off of their chronic pain management medicines has only fueled a black-market of synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl and heroin leading to a record number High of opioid related overdose deaths. The CDC and the federal government along with state governments are taking the rights of doctors and chronic pain patients alike by buying and selling fear of addiction. Some people would say that it is a Snowball Effect it is my personal belief that the snowball is just too big now to stop.

Audrey Lynn

Thank you for sticking with your patients! I went through a forced taper and it was hell, going through withdrawal symptoms due to the physical dependence, and coming out of it with tachycardia and a limit on how low we can go. I appealed Medicaid’s decision, to no avail. Now, at 45 years old, I am hoping that my doctor certifies me for palliative care. No disease I have is going away, and most will get worse with age. I have put off surgical procedures due to the current climate and knowing that my post-op pain will not be controlled. I live stuck in my apartment; I try to keep up with the dishes and kitchen area, but there are some days when the pain is too high, or I start to feel my heart pounding while moving, so I have to stop. I hate how legislators and insurances get to tell me what I can be prescribed, and how much of it to prescribe, without knowing me or how my body metabolizes things.

Now my state, MA, is trying to sue Perdue, and I feel it will only get worse from here unless, as in the CT suit, the judge steps in and dismisses the case. We will move if things get worse or if necessary - my health and indeed my life depend upon access to opiate medication.

Thank you, Dr. Grolig, for standing with your patients. ❤️

Lori T.

Oh how I wish we had more doctors with your philosophy around! A no nonsense approach to treating PAIN! Dr. Grolig, it would be wonderful if you were able to teach other doctors all over the United States ASAP. With all the “crazy” going around about opioids, I fear the pain patients who are being left in the dust will be driven to the illicit market and overdosing or others will just commit suicide from having to live a life in intolerable pain. We are also losing many great doctors for fear of them losing their medical licenses. Something is just so wrong with the whole opioid picture. I wish the government would take a cue from your philosophy as well as the FDA, NIH, CDC and every other regulatory board out there. The whole opioid “issue” needs to calm down completely for everyone’s sake, before we lose even more lives. Thank you Dr. Grolig for your wonderful, common sense article. Very, very insightful.

Janelle abbott

So while this opioid crisis gets worse and worse!! What should i do in the meanwhile??? Im sufferring most days. Some days my pain isnt as bad (most likely because i have spent 3 days in bed) this is no way to live!!!!! And when i lool for a different that may have a different point of view my current dr. Asks me ‘so you have been going to other doctors. I told this is correct… in pain and when he reduced me by 75% i feel it most of the time. The same all this is going on my companion of 17 years died and my sister a week later!! How much can a person take??? So i am judt asking who do i turn to now? I am all for physical therapy(water) not redular therapy. I tried this and i only would feel worse. I have decided to seek couseling but the only they could get me in is to say its about bereavement!!! Its more than that!!!! This country is falling apart and there is lack of compassion and common sense!!!


Makes a lot of damn sense to me. Indeed, a perfect storm of fear and suffering, and it’s STILL getting worse. One would think that after all of the time, effort, multiple successes, yes that storm of fear and suffering, the devotion and incredible dedication by the people committed to righting this blunderous wrong of the CDC GUIDELINES and its horrid far reaching consequences, THAT WE WOULDN’T BE SO STUCK WHERE WE ARE in our endeavors.

I’ve rarely seen so many varied massive efforts poured in to a subject matter of such grave importance, and those efforts go ignored,

Suicide. Death from withheld medication. Death by way of inability of many who cannot afford all the extra cost now to get their opioid medication ($300 plus fee for mental health appointment now required in order to get their medicine from them and not their doctor anymore). (There inability to pay for multiple trips to the doctors office each month because of the 7 day, etc , only supply of pills).(Homebound people who have to pay someone every month to pick up their medicine who now have to quadruple that amount and can’t). ALL THESE PEOPLE DEAD AND DYING BECAUSE OF THIS BLUNDER THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED IN THE HISTORY BOOKS AS A SAD TIME IN HISTORY THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

WHY are patients asking for takers after reading this book? Is there some hypnotic effect about it? How can you make that statement yet not state why patients are suddenly wanting to taper down on their opioids? You must have some scare tactics in it. What is it you say that could have such an effect?

Bitetti Vincent

My wife has no life because of RSD. And now, they are cutting her pain meds dramatically. People have no quality of life because of chronic pain should not be lumped in with addicts. What’s the point of the Pain Contract & expensive urine tests? Need help.


The first sane person to speak from experience!
Gee! What a novel idea!
Perhaps this is the type of person who should be on an advisory committee in the first place?
An side-line the suits that have no clinical background to make decisions regarding a patient population they know nothing about……………