Persistence Pays Off For the Marine with Chronic Pain

Persistence Pays Off For the Marine with Chronic Pain

By Ed Coghlan.

When you think of a U.S. Marine, the qualities of persistence and perseverance come to mind.

Those qualities are exactly what Robert Rose-a retired Marine living in Tennessee who suffers from chronic-has exhibited in the last couple of years.

We reported earlier this week that Rose had been pressing the Senate Committee for an opportunity to testify, but they hadn’t been returning his emails and telephone calls.

Well, that’s changed.

Robert indicated that he received a call from VA committee staffer who had read the National Pain Report story and asked that Robert share his concerns about the VA policy denying all pain meds.

He sent the speech he wanted to give via email to a number of elected officials and staffers on Capitol Hill.

Here it is in it entirety:

Good afternoon. My name is Robert Rose. I am a Christian. I am a Marine. To the Senate VA Committee & members of Congress in general I represent a threat. They fear me because I am not afraid of exposing their genocidal policies of DENY till DEAD targeting veterans.

If you doubt this claim, please ask yourself the following questions:

The official end to the Vietnam War was April 30, 1975. In the intervening 42 years much research has confirmed the harmful effects of Agent Orange. A few of the illnesses include increased rates of cancer, nerve, digestive, skin, respiratory disorders as well as more than twice the rate of highly aggressive prostate cancers. Veterans filed 39,419 claims from 1977 till April 1993; of those only 486 Agent Orange victims received benefits. To this day, Congressional & VA policies continue to deny benefits to many surviving veterans. All you need to do is ask a Blue Water or a C-123 Veteran what benefits they are receiving all these years later. I can tell you this, in 2017, Congress & the VA again dismissed eighteen months of new research into the harms Agent Orange effectively denying benefits once again.

Even with the research regarding the harm from the burn pits being so similar to that of the Agent Orange during the first Gulf War and since, Congress & the VA are already beginning the same DENY till DEAD policies. As proof I offer you in 2017, the VA indicated even more research would be required to assess what if any benefits should be provided for Gulf War Syndrome.

All is not well within the Department of Veterans Affairs. They allocate millions of dollars on a propaganda machine whose sole purpose is to hide and distort controversial findings. One such discovery in December 2017 was that the VA has been hiring unlicensed doctors and medical professionals for at least fifteen years. Shulkin’s excuse, “I don’t know how any organization or any human being could appropriately understand and follow 66,000 policies.” Seems pretty straight forward to me, if a person does not have a license, you don’t hire them. Now if this had been a civilian medical facility, it would still be the top headline in every major news outlet but since it was only veterans, the media, like Congress turns their backs on us. Unfortunately, as organizations like the American Legion, the DAV, the Wounded Warriors Project to name but a few continue to protect their tax breaks and huge membership donations paying their directors hundreds of thousands each year, these policies will not change until the truth is exposed; politically correct or not.

Most recently, government leaders would have you to believe the Unites States has an opioid epidemic. This just is not the case. The streets of America have an illegal drug use problem but that includes cocaine, crystal meth, even bath salts. The problem for the government is that these drugs don’t have the same monetary benefit as targeting legally prescribe pain medications. Basically we have a problem of greed among our elected officials which is leading them to target innocents; veterans and over 100 million Americans with chronic, debilitating injuries and disease.

The propaganda though did not just manifest itself on its own. Our government and the VA are both complicit in using veterans as guinea pigs to develop and implement these policies over a long period of time. If I am not mistaken, it began with another Senate committee in 2008. For that hearing, Dr. Alex Deluca provided medically based testimony in the continuing war on drugs. From his research he stated if people with chronic pain conditions are denied all pain medications it would be a DEATH SENTENCE. Listen closely to what he said to the Senate in 2008.

Unrelieved pain can be accurately thought of as the “universal complicator” which worsens all coexisting medical or psychiatric problems through the stress mechanisms to create chronic cardiovascular stress, hyperglycemia which both predisposes to and worsens diabetes, splanchnic vasoconstriction leading to impaired digestive function and potentially with catastrophic consequences. We must also consider often profound decrements in family and occupational functioning, and iatrogenic morbidity. What happens to patients denied needed pharmacological pain relief is well documented for example with the morbidity and mortality resulting from the high incidence of moderate to severe postoperative pain and continues to be a major problem despite an array of available advanced analgesic technologies. With untreated and inadequately-treated pain the risk of death by suicide is more than doubled in chronic pain patients as is relative to national rates.

This is a small portion of Dr. DeLuca’s overall report to the Senate. Again that was in 2008. Two short years later in 2010, the VA confirmed the reports accuracy with their research; Severe pain predicts greater likelihood of subsequent suicide! This is just the title of the report so you can only imagine the contents. One notable statement from the report: “veterans with severe pain were more likely to die by suicide than patients experiencing none, mild or moderate pain.”

With multiple reports based on reliable research which did not “cherry pick” data one would think Congress & the VA would re-think the genocidal policies implemented in secrecy in 2012 but sadly that is not the case. In St Cloud, Fargo and Minnesota, Minneapolis they began to implement the “opioid safety initiative” with devastating results in the veteran population. Reports began to pour in of deaths, suicides and of veterans turning to street drugs. With this data, the VA was able to create media blackout policies to hide the number of veterans committing suicides, even on properties owned by the VA. They continued implementing the policy using a targeted cities strategy across the nation to determine the effectiveness and the best ways to defend what amounts to genocide targeting the elderly, cancer patients & the disabled. In Roanoke, Virginia in 2014 we learned of Navy veteran, Kevin Keller who had committed suicide in a parking lot of a VA center leaving a note behind for his friend. “Marty sorry I broke into your house and took your gun to end the pain. FU VA can’t take it anymore.”

In 2015, Washington state veteran suicides increased to 233 after the opioid safety initiative began in the Walla Walla VA medical center. The data continued to roll in as city after city adopted the policy; Baltimore, Maryland, Dayton, Ohio, Orlando Florida. Then in 2016, the VA confirmed the data; Dr. DeLuca was correct in in his assessment provided to the Senate in 2008: when denying patients all pain medications it is a DEATH SENTENCE! Specifically the reports states in fiscal year 2013, patients prescribed less than 90 morphine equivalent daily dose accounted for 85.7% of overdose/suicide related deaths. The report continues to report in 2010 to 2011 and 2013 to 2014 the opioid discontinuation WAS NOT associated with overdose mortality but WAS associated to increased suicide mortality. In plain English, the “opioid safety initiative” was a huge success in ridding the VA of the elderly, cancer patients and the disabled.

The saddest part of these deaths, so far they have been for naught. In March 2016, the CDC adopted the “opioid safety initiative” from the VA and published them as “guidelines version 1.0.” Eventually the CDC admitted it had used a biased group of “professionals” and had “cherry picked” the data used to create this policy. They even admitted as much not once, but twice to congress that prescribed medications were not the source of the overdose deaths. Meanwhile, with Congressional approval the VA adopted in December 2016, version 3.0; the “VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain”

One wonders how something so horrendous could possibly become even more evil but the VA managed to pull it off. The new version of the “opioid safety initiative” specifically recommends against long-term opioid therapy for patients under the age of 30. (Page 45).

Seriously? The vast majority of our Armed Forces returning home injured in the line of duty are under the age of 30. Does this magical number somehow lessen a veteran’s pain from being shot? Blown-up? The loss of a limb? Don’t worry the VA also came up with something else for our elderly veterans. On Page 50 of this new improved “policy,” doctors are advised to ignore the threat of suicide when forced tapering or denying a veteran on Long Term Opioid medical treatment.

With this testimony, you may think I am here just for veterans. This is not the case. Sadly members of this very committee have sold out the American people. They among others continue to spread the misinformation about a falsified opioid crisis to deceive President Trump and to play on the loss of his brother. One must realize they are not telling him that less than one percent of patients exposed to legally prescribe opiates become addicted pain medications. This is true for emergency room treatment of broken arms, dental procedures such as the removal of wisdom teeth and long term medically supervised prescriptions for severe injuries or disease resulting in chronic pain. Even the CDC guidelines being used by his opioid commission have strong biases against the pain community as it contains no input from pain medicine specialists or even chronic pain patients. The document is nothing more than a literature review of the harms and risks of opioids without any substantial supporting evidence. It plays heavily on creating fear and panic about a non-existent crisis while targeting the weakest among us; the elderly, cancer patients and the disabled. If I’m ever giving the opportunity to address the honorable President Trump, I will tell him in no uncertain terms: Sir, you have been lied to. If you really want to help America please abolish these guidelines and the VA’s policy to deny all pain medications. Please create a “consumer based board” which is solely made up of chronic pain patients who have experienced excruciating pain and issues getting LEGALLY prescribed opioid medication.  I would also request you conduct focus groups of chronic pain patients who have been treated successfully with opioids for years.  Only then will you have guidelines that serve the public, primary care doctors, and chronic pain patients. Lastly, adequate pain control is a fundamental right of every American, veteran and civilian, so it is imperative a section be created detailing how patient abandonment will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Without your intervention, members of congress will continue funneling money into the healthcare, pharmaceutical and rehab industries instead of providing adequate healthcare for ALL Americans. They will continue to do this because they have been bought and paid by the contributions from these multi-billion dollar corporations which we cannot compete against.

We even have a several examples sitting on the Senate VA Committee: for example the honorable Chairman Senator Johnny Isakson received over $3 million dollars from them. The honorable soccer mom Senator Patty Murray has received over $2 million dollars. And let us not forget the honorable Senator Bill Cassidy who recently sponsored a bipartisan bill, CARA 2, providing millions to the manufacturer of Suboxone, a drug known to fail 66% of the time to treat both addicts and chronic pain patients. This drug is especially evil in the method it is delivered, plastic strips, which make safely withdrawing a virtual nightmare for anyone it is prescribed. Senator Cassidy has received but a small $4.5 million in campaign contributions from the healthcare community.

I would like to ask the senator; Sir, how much stock do you have with Indivior?

Sir, do you know that on the packaging you will find the following? SUBOXONE Film can cause serious life-threatening breathing problems, overdose and death, particularly when taken by the intravenous (IV) route in combination with benzodiazepines or other medications that act on the nervous system. Just exactly how do you propose to save lives by providing an expensive $2,000 plus synthetic opioid which fails to help anyone the majority of the time?

The betrayal of the America for greed must end now. Adequate pain control is a fundamental right of every American, veteran &civilian, so it is imperative we stop these attacks against legitimate patients. The result is already building to the second “Trail of Tears” as congressional greed once again corrupts the very laws intended to safeguard life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Congressional leaders please let this message serve as your wake up call.

Americans are going to hear the TRUTH.

Veterans are not going to take the abuse any longer.

Vets are not guinea pigs! The contract with our government for service includes appropriate and adequate healthcare in exchange for serving our country. We did our part; now do yours!

Either, stand behind your oath of office to defend this great nation or get the hell out! No more DENY till DEAD for veterans! No more DENY till DEAD for defenseless Americans!

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Matthew Giarmo

TThere is no epidemic. Orders of magnitude more lives are lost to alcohol, tobacco, &. sugar. Only 4-6% of patients prescribed painkillers will develop a use disorder & of those only 8-12% will turn to heroin. Most opioid overdoses involve heroin surreptitiously adulterated by counterfeit fentanyl and most prescription painkiller deaths involve a concurrent substance like alcohol or a benzo. The Fed wants you blame everything from the sagging workforce participation rate to the decline in the US life expectancy on opioids when in actuality the increase in overdose deaths since 2000 can only be blamed on life in 21st century America. And this figure will rise but only bc Federal surveillance and meddling in prescriptions forced doctors to abandon their pain patients, driving these patients into the Street — a trend supported by the fact heroin overdoses are up 19% while prescriptions are down 29%. There IS an epidemic - an epidemic of patient abandonment and untreated pain caused by Federal bureaucrats advancing their careers by pandering to cops and the grieving survivors of dead heroin addicts. McCarthyism & Old Salem have a new face.

Richard Reifsnyder

Richard Reifsnyder, Mr.Rose,First I Thank You for your service to our country.Well written speech to these incompetent,lying money hungry trolls.Iam in for what ever comes out of this,I will donate money for a Class Action Lawsuit,Sign One,March in Washington,whatever it takes to help our Veterans and Millions of Chronic Pain Patients.Iam astonished not one lawyer or an ethics committee is not investigating the CDC over the lies on OD Deaths caused by Heroin and Fentanyl.Iam sorry Dr.Jane Babin asked the Head Official from the CDC Dr,Dowell some technical questions on the Opiod Guidelines.One question was ,”When a Medical Examiner checks a decreased person for an OD Death what Drugs Are Checked For beside Opiod Medication?One week later Dr.Jane got this answer,”We Dont Have A Definitive Answer Because Of Unavailable Data.”How convenient CDC.Mr.Rose I Thank You again,Iam all in to whatever you and the Veterans and Chronic Pain Community wants to do to resolve this travesty.There has been enough Inhumane suffering and suicides from a Biased Congress,Senate,and the Major News Networks.


We chronic pain sufferers hear you loud and clear, sir! We, at least those who are still able after being sold out by everyone imaginable, will stand with you in this fight. It’s ridiculous that it should even be a fight! But it is what it is. And I have my own pitiable story as to my own suffering with this ridiculous DENY TIL DEATH order. It apparently is doing its dastardly deed in the private sector, as well!

How do I explain why I’m back on strong hypertension medications? How do I explain why I again need anti-depressants and anxiolytics and anti-insomnia medicines once again? Oh, that’s right, it was the discontinuation of a simple, tiny tablet that was taken away from me, with apparent glee by the powers-that-be. How does any rational person not understand that with adequate pain control, you can take care of concomitant medical problems too? When did we become a police state where lawmakers, and even rogue doctors who have their own agenda, dictate to us a one-size-fits-all bandaid over our bleeding arteries?

Look in the mirror, all of you who hopped on this “opiate crisis” bandwagon myth! We chronic pain patients are MAD AS HELL, and you do not want to lose your vacation homes to us in a very large class-action lawsuit! I don’t want your damned old house anyway! Another house I’m medically unable to clean. All we want - all any of us want - is our adequate pain control back in our own physicians’ quite capable hands, to be responsibly prescribed and tailored to fit each patients’ unique and complex needs!


Thank u 4 telling u r story. I agree if any one can turn this mess around it will be the veterans who will lead us. I thank u 4 u r service & hope u & our veterans will help lead this horrific battle.

James Thorne

I believe you are mistaken about Trump being lied to .Remember that stack of regulations he had overturned that were higher than him sitting at his desk. Those were mostly overturning human rights protections again violations of rights enacted over the past 50 years and especially during the Obama era. Trump unleashed the DEA that Obama’s people had been holding back from Purdue and its distribution chain. They wouldn’t have stood by while all this happened. The CDC wanted to punish Purdue so they stacked a committee with interventional anesthesiologists and addiction specialists who had an ax to grind against opioids and they frankly lied that long term opioid use doesn’t help anyone. It is unprovable( But find me one pt who would agree that has taken opioids for decades) They had clear conflicts of interest. The anesthesiologist wanted more $$ to stick needles and tubes in peoples delivering local anesthetics and steroids which is malpractice IMO and the addiction specialist wants to get rich putting everyone on agonist/antagonists for life. The CDC head was an idiot thinking nothing bad would happen by setting back pain management by 50 years. So the guidelines went out and hundreds of protest letters came in from good pain specialists and pain society MDs who were floored by this development. They thought the guidelines wouldn’t come to much then state medical boards and the veterans affairs and hospitals across the nation adopted them, treated them as if they were written in stone laws and started pulling honest MDs licenses or making them agree not to exceed the ridiculously minimal dosages recommended in the guidelines so that chronic pain pts were who were often taking much higher doses for serious pain issues, for decades, were summarily cut off and left to suffer an agony no MD could have tolerated for minutes let alone the rest of their lives.
The death rate for the disabled/chronic pain patient in the 60’s before pain meds were relatively available was 10X the national average. Now that meds have been available for nearly 50 years their numbers are 10s of millions. Their death/suicide rate will skyrocket without meds. There are 1000’s complicit in this Holocaust from the committee, CDC, medical boards, hospital administrators, MDs, nurses, all callous sadistic, ignorant, regressive, unempathetic Nazis who have thrown their oaths to do no harm out the window. Are we going to give them a pass after millions die just like they did in Germany.

Lynn Wentworth

Thank you Sir for your letter. I am also writing a letter to my congresswoman, my president, the attorney general. The back door investigation not done in Congress but instead in the CDC is two parted, the CDC makes the recommendations based on non medical professionals, not including doctors, patients but instead rehab businesses and using street use deaths as the model.
The second part is the DEA, they are used to attack our doctors and remove their license if they prescribe what is necessary. What a racket.
I am a cronic pain patient and have been for more than 20 years on the same medicines throughout these twenty years with my pain under control, not now. Since the war on drugs, those like our servicemen and pain clinics have become full on guinea pigs as those on the streets still find their drugs and we are left to fight alone, it is horrible the sucide rate has already began to climb to unimaginable heights as well those that turn to the streets for drugs that are designed to kill.
I am fighting every way possible to change this disastrous policy and urge those that suffer to join me by writing our congressman and senators, include our President Trump’s and our Attorney General as well. Together we can make a difference, it is the only way!
Thanks again for your continued ued fight as I will join you!

Brian Hilton

If this is all true, it should put to an end all the hypocrisy and lip service to our veterans and Americans. I am not so naive though. Seriously this should wake our elected and appointed officials up.

Deborah Fitzgerald

THAT’S FANTASTIC!!!!! So Proud of you standing in and up for ALL Chronic Pain Patients alike. I Pray that the Good Lord above will continue to keep your Strength, Courage and Faith STRONG!!! I hope you can get them to listen. To listen to the cries of Millions of Americans who are in Constant, Horrible and Debilitating Pain. When we Lost our Pain medicines we lost our dignity, our self respect and our Faith in our government. We have Lost our WILL TO LIVE!!! It has been stripped from us not because we are hurting ourselves or others! But because the government made decisions based on False and Tainted information.
Robert, you are ready to set the FACTS Straight!!! I THANK YOU for your Courage to face them. I PRAY they Hear you!!!


Great job and God Bless you! I’m also a chronic pain sufferer and my comment I guess is political but factual. Someone made a comment about the vote in Pennsylvania recently being a good thing. Just a reminder, this opioid situation started under the Obama administration coinciding with Obamacare. The costs of opioid medication was substantial in their view (not mine). Instead of continuing to pay for it they started “the big lie” the so called “Opioid Epidemic”. President Trump wants to repeal Obamacare and get government out of healthcare! So far he has been unable to achieve this. If democrats are put back in office they will resume government takeover of healthcare and they will continue to get rid of things they don’t want to allow or pay for. If you want government out of our doctors offices we must repeal the healthcare law. Those in government are way too political and neither party needs to be telling our doctors what to do or what to prescribe! They need to quit threatening dr’s and insurance companies. Government MUST NOT be in the business of paying for healthcare! Look at the mess that Medicare is, the VA etc.. Government has proven they do a crappy job of running most things! VOTE FREEDOM!! NO GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE!!

Cindy Deim

Thank you so much for all your tenacity. I believe the veterans if anyone will turn this thing around. I’m sorry to all those who have fought for this country are being treated so unfairly. It sickens me.

Jeanette Kirkland

A class action lawsuit is needed for the end of this abuse of chronic pain sufferers. I have been on opioids for twenty years from multiple injuries. Now my doctor says she will loose her license if she prescribe my pills. She says I am technically a addict. And I say no I am not my body maybe addicted to opioids but I am not. I am dependent on opioids to treat my chronic pain. There is a difference. She says Saboxone is the replacement drug I could get to replace my pills. I will not take it as it is worse than the pills I am on now. We need a lawyer to help us fight this gross abuse of chronic pain patients.


First I feel it is important to share that not only am I a chronic pain sufferer but a veteran and a Registered Nurse. I have have 3 backs surgeries in a 4 year period with the 4th currently pending. Every day that I wake up I pray that God will help me get through the pain and as the day progresses and the pain intensifies I pray that a God will forgive me taking my life from. I have unsuccessfully tried twice to take my life, the the last time became very clear to becoming successfully.
What I wanted to share was that the medication that people continue to talk about “Suboxone” is an opiate agonist that blocks opiate receptors in the brain, thereby blocking any efffect opiate could have. In fact half of Suboxone is made with Naloxone which is used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose rapidly. So why would someone give a chronic pain sufferer a medication that doesn’t work on pain, could kill you when mixed with alcohol and is used for rapid detox this medication? Well, we’ve all heard of the placebo effect correct? This is one very expensive placebo and the provider actually cuts off anyone’s ability to take opiates.
So…there it is! The where, why and what for. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I have spent the last 20 years trying to make things better and educating myself as much as possible.


I see alot of comments…how can we do something about this loudly and quickly!!! I’ve been trying to think of something!!! Thought about calling an attorney. But we need the truth to be told and need results now!!! We are losing more and more rights every day! I’m sick of it!! And I’m so sorry for the vets! They should get the best of everything instead of how shameful our government and some of our society does. I feel scared!! If my pain gets worse, I don’t think I can hold it together. Ideas?!!


Also plz don’t forget about the chronic migraine sufferers!!! You are treated like an addict when you get there….my last visit was a nightmare…I got a PA but I don’t know if that made a difference… I told him that he could see by my medical records that I’ve suffered migraines for over 35 years. I said” I’ll tell you what usually works if you want to know. And he said yes I said well I take Zofran at home for nausea but it’s not working so phenerganwould be better and I’ve always found that Dilaudid gets rid of my migraines. I didn’t even get the Dilaudid word out of my mouth and he is already shaking his head no and said that he does not give that for migraine anymore. I asked why…I was told it was too addictive. So I said “I’ve had Dilaudid many times to combat a migraine headache that I’ve been battling for for 5 days because I don’t like coming in here getting treated like an addict and it’s worked. Even though there were times I had to have two doses instead of one and I never woke up the next day craving more Dilaudid. He said no I can give you morphine and I proceeded to tell him that morphine never works it makes me feel worse and it just makes me sicker but he just kept shaking his head and told me that was all he was allowed to offer me. So against better judgement I agreed because I was at the point of doing anything to help. He comes in a half an hour later to check on me and I told him I felt worse because of the morphine and the nausea medicine that you gave me which was not phenergan was not working and the morphine might have taken the edge off but I couldn’t tell. His response was okay I’ll get the paperwork ready to get you out of here all I could say was fine because I was ready to explode and I’ve been escorted out before which really makes you look like a druggie. So I paid $100 copay and get treated like I’m lying and looking for a high. And sent home feeling as bad as when I got there…that’s never happened to me before… usually they will offer other options but not this person who is supposed to help ppl. I could always count on the ER as a last resort but now it’s a chance to get the right Dr and they exist but are few. So now there’s nowhere to turn for migraines. I’m seeing a neurologist this week so maybe hope there. But what happened to patients being individuals?! And seeing pain management on Monday….oh boy….if he can look at my MRI’s and not offer some serious pain relief, I’m in the wrong place


God bless you. I’ve been trying to raise awareness about the so called opiod crisis. I’m not a veteran but suffering terribly…to the point of barely functioning. I’m 55… and see a pain management Dr on Monday but they are being forced to hold back on pain meds from what I’ve read. I don’t know how to make this big and loud!!! But maybe you have started something. God bless and feel free to keep in touch. I’d love to hear about any response. Email is janibaby63@ I had thought about class action lawsuit but don’t know where to start.

Lori T.

I just heard the good news! I am thrilled for our special CPS marine! I am so happy that Robert not only addressed the plight of veterans issues with getting their meds, but the civilian population of CPS as well. This dear man thinks of others as he deals with his own suffering. I salute you sir and thank you for all that you have done for the veterans and the private sector CPS as too. I urge the National Pain Report to get this info into the hands of the general media outlets. The REAL truth of this so called opiod epidemic must be told. I think many people think of us all as just drug addicts not willing to change our lives. That simply is not true. We all want to be happy, loved, and be productive members of society. None of us want to feel useless, afraid and ridiculed by our peers nor the government. We all have contributions to make. We are all children of God, who want to do right by others. When we are all so sick that many of us cannot get out of bed and care for ourselves, but could, if we had our correct pain meds, it just pains me to think of our plight. We did not chose this impediment. It brings tears to my eyes to know that many CPS have a suicide plan, including myself. This is just not what we all signed up for in life. Yes, we are angry. We have that right. I plea with the whole of the CPS community to find some way find our collective voices. I will do just about anything to help us all. Robert Rose got the idea rolling, he broke the ice, now all of us must help him….willingly, to educate our families, our communities and our government and to let them know WE are not going away. If the government thinks the body count is high now, just wait until all of us lose the ability to get proper pain relief. The suicide rate will skyrocket. It tears me up to think that the majority of pain patients have a suicide plan, me included. That is just a horrible statistic! But the government and the community at large MUST get the message that we matter. Just because we don’t feel well doesn’t mean we can’t contribute to society. We are all valued souls and would be greatly missed if we all just checked out because we can’t get proper pain relief. Shame on the government for devising these archaic opiod rules. They haven’t learned from the decades long “War on Drugs” Robert Rose did us a huge favor, now we all must help him by doing anything we can to educate the bad actors in society today. Count me in. Let’s do this folks!

Nancy Wilson

Thank you and God bless you for your continued service to the American people! I am proud to be your sister in Christ, and I am proud to be an American!

Nancy Wilson

Amen! I am proud to be your sister in Christ! I am proud to be an American! Thank you very much, and God bless you for your continued service to the American people!

Brian K Olear

I bad a doctor’s appointment today at a local VA clinic
The doctor told me within 5 years opioid medications will be no more
If true nows the time to get these governments into court and remove their powers to regulate our healthcare and the ways and medications doctors treat us with

Patricia May

Thank you Mr. Rose for getting all those facts together and standing up for the [edit] so many of us have been going through. My headache neurologist came over from the VA. It explains a lot! He was horrible— shamed me, wrote in my medical file “chronic opiate user”, ignored my thyroid eye disease which has required a third surgery and horrible headaches. Did nothing to help my headaches. Bullied me into back surgery—the neurosurgeon had written “won’t fix her nerve damage and decrease her pain”. I had the surgery, was forced to decrease my pain meds to the CDC’s required maximum. This surgery caused a vertebrae to slip over another one and now I need a fusion surgery with metal rods in my back.

I tried to go off my pain meds and took lots of ibuprofen and Excedrin. I am now in kidney failure, can’t take those meds anymore.

Now that I have my pain meds decreased I want to try medical marijuana. I get drug and alcohol tested (I’ve never done anything wrong and they treat me like a druggie, there’s no dignity). If you have pain meds you are “an opiate user”, the whole country thinks you’re a bad person. If I tried a natural path and they found marijuana in my blood test, I get kicked out of my doctor’s care.

My primary doctor is so scared by the CDC that I had two liver surgeries with no extra pain meds. I looked like I had cancer I got so thin from the months of pain. She stopped my headache meds, she said the DEA is coming to get her. Our pain doctor here TOLD her Fioricet is NOT on the DEA’s radar, still I suffer without it. I had my last back surgery with no extra pain meds., and it will be the same if I get a fusion. I still have Fentanyl patches but they are 25mcg instead of 50. I do save enough of them for the day I can no longer stand the pain so I have a way out of this unnecessary suffering.

I also suffer from a horrible tremor/movement disorder. I take Klonopin. Now the DEA is after my other neurologist for prescribing benzos for someone on pain pills. I NEVER drink alcohol!! I’ve been on both for years and lived a happy life. Now I just stay home in bed most days, exercise, and then back to bed.

God Bless you sir! I hope you get the help you need. I hope some news organization picks up your story. The media is NO MORE OPIATES crazy. My son just had oral surgery with Tylenol with Codiene. The codeine made him throw up. Poor guy. Suffering for nothing.

Stacy Cooper

OMG, THIS IS AMAZING and exactly what our President needs to get his hands on. Also, Greg Garfield from The Five on Fox News has defended chronic pain patients everytime the “opioid crisis” topic comes up. We need to find those rare public figures who are willing to look beyond the lies. Great job!!! And thank you from the bottom of my heart and beyond.


Many thanks to Mr. Rose for his efforts. Is there any way that those of us with the means to help can? I want to make sure that Mr. Rose has the support to do whatever he can so that this message becomes mainstream and that it will inspire others to follow suit. I’m not sure how many followers this site has but I was wondering if we were able to pool our efforts and funds perhaps we could get our own lobbyists to fight for our cause. I would love to be able to fight this like Mr. Rose but because I have good days and not so good days I feel my inconsistency would hurt my singular effort.

While I am a chronic low back pain sufferer for close to 30 years and I suffer debilitating pain, I read this site daily and I can’t understand how the DEA can threaten pain management doctors that are responsibly treating patients that have diseases like CRPS, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and some of the other extreme chronic conditions that make my pain seem tame by comparison. I know what I feel like on bad days and it seems like a crime to make these people with major pain generators be forced to taper or be cut off from opioids altogether because of manipulated data. I believe our power would grow exponentially from banding together in addition to speaking out as individuals so maybe the people that run this site can come up with a way for us to join our resources and make ourselves be heard and actually listened to.

In my 30 years of dealing with chronic low back pain I have tried over 34 different therapies including a spinal fusion, spinal cord stimulator, stem cell therapy, injections galore and many other therapies and the only thing that works are opioids. Most of the people seem to understand this and until something else better comes along we need to make these available. I have old dogs that I can go to my veterinarian and get better pain treatments for them than I can for myself. I’m grateful for that but it’s sad that in this day and age we can’t be treated as well as our pets.

To those that run this site, please give some thought to how to help us be able to band together so we can be heard. Mr. Rose, thank you again for your service to our great Country and for all of your efforts on behalf of our veterans and chronic pain patients.

Pam dH

Your letter is very well written, Robert! The TRUTH, finally! And I promise to continue passing it along to President Trump, and all the legislators and governing bodies I can think of! I hope and pray that your words finally bring the change needed to INCLUDE CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS and PAIN MANAGEMENT PHYSICIANS in ALL “OPIOID EPIDEMIC” DECISIONS from now on.


As a trained pain management physician, I intentionally ended my career. I self destructed! It was the result of my continued treatment of chronic pain, in a compassionate manner, based on scientific facts (not those cherry picked facts of Dr Kolodny and his cohorts). After the loss of my medical license, I, became a person with the chronic pain, of a peripheral neuropathy, caused from a fall, and a broken back. (post-traumatic cauda equina syndrome) I had suffered from fibromyalgia, prior to my injury. The medications and the sedentary life style, with reduced life stresses, seems to have eliminated most of that. I have, also, been denied adequate pain medication, by an anesthesiologist, who bragged about the fact that he had, NO ONE on “narcotics” for neuropathy. He wrote a letter to Medicare to try to get permission to put a dorsal column stimulator, in spite of the fact that I had suffered from MRSA, that could have killed me! He told them I had exhausted the treatment options. HE LIED, to get permission to make $20,000 It seems that I have been punished by both sides of the disaster called pain management medicine!

You see, I was a general surgeon, who learned during my residency in 1982, that chronic pain could be safely treated with opiates, without major risk of addiction. Having had a graduate education in the biological sciences, as well as a two year certification course in pain management, after becoming a board certified general surgeon, I seemed to be over-educated. It caused problems with the other doctors who stated, “You act like you think you are smarter than us!” I did not. But I did have as much education as an MD, PhD! I SHOULD HAVE known more! But, that did not make me smarter!

I still could not win. Without a license, the VA would not consider me for employment. (Wonder how the unlicensed physicians got in!) But, I did have the privilege of treating a few veterans for their chronic pain. Thank you for your service. Thank you for pointing out that the “opiod crisis” is a manufactured crisis, fueled by the media. Through their ignorance, we all suffer.

As an addendum let me tell you about my “Godly” practice of medicine. I practiced medicine with prayer. I was once criticized by the head nurse in my hospital for doing that. She was the choir director of the local Baptist church! God bless you for your work! I, too, wish I could address the problem to Mr Trump. I would have a few stories to tell him!

Renee Mace

I am a victim too of WA State but I am not a veteran, my husband is. I am slowly being weaned down so low on my life saving medications and I have never been so scared in my life. I have tried everything out there and up to date the only relief I get is my pain Medications. I do not understand why when something works and we get a taste of controlled pain relief to only have it either taken away or lowered so low that you won’t get the relief you need to stay healthy. For me to lower my pain medications means that my type2 diabetes will come back and my blood pressure will be OUT OF CONTROL, and waist line will expand do to immobility and isolation and all the counselling that I had for depression will be out the window because how can one be happy when the future for myself and other chronic pain patients is so bleak? I want to thank you for writing down what I couldn’t say with so much knowledge as yourself. Mr. Rose, if you need any signatures or anything else, count me in.



I thought I knew much. I knew nothing!

Cin Har

God bless you and I’m so sorry that you risked your life to keep us safe at home and now you and myself as a senior citizen are being denied medications that give us a somewhat normal life and the ability 2 function more I am so sorry you have been put through such and emotional roller coaster God bless us all and keep us safe that live and Non-Stop chronic pain I have to conditions that are considered rare and my pain management doctor just dropped me 2 weeks ago I’m 65 and I’ve worked since I was 15 and now I’ve been left to lie in bed and suffer like a dog that’s been hit by a car and dragged along the side of the road left to die I pray for you and I hope you get the help you need and we need as human beings we are not machines we are human beings and we deserve after working our whole life and paying into the system are medications God bless us all


I’ve suffered from CRPS for years now, undiagnosed osteoporosis leading to breaking 4 metatarsals and my ankle, in a cast for a year. People that don’t understand CHRONIC PAIN CANNOT UNDERSTAND living day to day in unbearable pain. They can’t see it, so it must not be there. Thank you for the best, well thought through letter I’ve ever been blessed to read regarding real people that are just trying to live daily and have some relief to be able to actually enjoy what other people take for granted. May God Truly Bless You, and open the minds and hearts of some officials/Government Leaders that can begin to listen to “the other side”, not addicts, but patients that are responsible, but begging for “life” without unbearable pain.


Everything he said is true. I have chronic pain and was being treated successfully with pain medication. Without warning I was dropped almost a month ago and left to suffer horrible withdrawals on top of debilitating pain. When I tried to seek help with another doctor, the only thing they would give me is Suboxone which caused horrible side effects and did Nothing to help the withdrawals or pain. This must stop. We need help!


What an excellent, well written letter about a horrible subject. Well done Marine.


So what happened? Anything?

Amazing what one Pennsylvania election result can change.


Give ‘em hell, Marine!

Jan Poole

Thank you Mr. Rose for your brave service to our country and it’s people! I have CRPS 19 years ago, from a crush injury to both legs and feet. A lot of you know that it’s the highest rated pain on the McGill Pain Index & is known as the Suicide disease.
Every major newspaper and news media should print/read this letter so the public knows what their Government is doing to them! Because everyone is just an accident disease disorder away from joining the pain community. But the MSM won’t be allowed to tell “the other story” because the Government’s agenda is to remove every Opioid off the market and put everyone in rehab!

Anyway, I just wanted to thank Mr. Rose again for what he has done. I am a Christian also, and I know God will bring attention to this issue as He has done through your persistence! God Bless you Robert and all our great vets!


Thank you Ed and Robert Rose for this breakdown of the mis- informed OPIOID CRISIS.
Well stated…how can our voices be heard???


God bless Robert Rose!


Dear Robert,
I am also a chronic pain sufferer. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that has no treatment, no cure, and is degenerative. It affects the entire body, making it unstable and causing multiple joint dislocations and partial dislocations, often several times a day. This of course causes intense pain. EDS also causes numerous secondary conditions, including fibromyalgia, ME/chronic fatigue, dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (dysautonomia), gastrointestinal problems, chronic headaches, chronic nausea, gastroparesis (stomach paralysis)… and the list goes on. The worst of all of this is chronic pain and chronic exhaustion.
I was successfully on pain management for 14 years. I never got high from my meds, never craved them, I took them as prescribed, and never shared them with others. This is true of the vast majority of chronic pain patients. It gave me some quality of life.
In May of 2016 my pain medication was taken away due to a false positive on a tox screen. I have steadily gone downhill since.
My husband, a 26 year veteran with the U.S. Navy, died 6 years ago this June. I am now living alone, and even the simplest task is monumentally difficult for me. Getting groceries, picking up prescriptions, going to doctor’s appointments, etc., are extremely difficult for me. Cleaning my house is impossible. I spend most of my days either in bed or laying on the sofa. I even put off getting up and going to the bathroom because I just don’t have the energy, and some nights I don’t eat (I only eat one meal a day as it is), because I don’t have the energy to cook. I did not have these problems when I was in pain management.
I have been turned down by 5 doctors now, and I see #6 next week. I’m not holding my breath.
I have a suicide plan should it all become more than I can continue to deal with.
Our government is practicing medicine without a license, and it’s cruel and inhuman. All most of us want is a little quality of life. I had that while on pain medication, but I don’t have it anymore.
I used to love my country, and I believed that it would always do what is best for the people. I don’t believe that anymore.


Help me with my chronic pain!!!


Please spread the word on social media this must get out.
The American people are being lied to You know it, I know it but many are not aware and believe whatever the Gov. and media have told them .
I want to Thank You for your hard work and effort it will pay off for the good of those who need it !!
All things work for the good of those who love God and have been called.

Judie T Plumley

Thank you for your service and your letter!

Dearest Robert,
Oh how very, very proud I am of you!! Your voice was heard! Ever since I read your story and sent you a text the other day, I’ve prayed so very hard for you. Your story sir was not in vain after all! Praise God above! Thank you for standing up for us civilians as well. It means more than you know. In my mind sir, you are a true hero; someone who deserves a Purple Heart! I just thank God that He gave you the heart you’ve got. Also if you still make that trip to Washington on April 7th, you won’t come back in a box. I fell asleep praying for you and your wife the other night. My faith for you is that great!!! Thank you ever so much again for speaking out for all of us! Praise God you were finally heard!!!
Terri James

David W Cole

Well that’s excellent news, hopefully someone well listen. Kudos to Robert for his persistence! Thanks for the update Mr Coghlan