President Recognizes the Need for Opioids for Pain Sufferers

President Recognizes the Need for Opioids for Pain Sufferers

Monday, in what seems like an unlikely decision in the current environment on the war on heroin and opioid painkiller addiction, President Obama recognized and supported the pain community when he declined to endorse a bipartisan recommendation that would limit the amount of opioid painkillers that a physician can prescribe.

This past weekend the Nation’s governors met to dicuss the most pressing items of the day, and among them was the rising problem of opioid painkiller and heroin addiction and overdose.

In a joint statement by National Governors Association (NGA) Health and Human Services Committee Chair Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker; Vice Chair New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan; and American Medical Association (AMA) Chair-Elect Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, the committee recommended guidelines to prevent the over-prescription of pain-killers, stating, “We agree that education about effective pain management, substance use disorder and related areas should begin in medical school and continue throughout a physician’s career. That means physicians who prescribe opioids and other controlled substances must be sure they have the most up-to-date training and education to prescribe and administer those substances safely and effectively. It is imperative we provide care for patients in pain. However, prescribing medications excessively or “just in case” is not acceptable and continues to fuel this growing epidemic. Guidelines are an important tool to prevent over-prescribing and identify the signs of addiction while meeting the needs of patients in pain. We must also ensure patient satisfaction surveys and accreditation standards are not contributing to the problem by encouraging unnecessary opioid prescribing.”

Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, stated opioids “are passed out like candy in America,” noting that there are more than 250 million prescriptions a year for painkillers - enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.

The governors also recognized the difficultly in the challenge, “Reducing the opioid pill supply, for example, can have the unintended consequence of increasing heroin use. Laws aimed at unscrupulous providers can make ethical providers less willing to prescribe out of fear of scrutiny from law enforcement.”

While the President recognized the bipartisan support in addressing the nation’s addiction problem, he recognized the needs of pain sufferers, and suggested that action such as limiting the number of pain pills prescribed should be part of a more comprehensive approach.

“If we go to doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem,” said the President, “because the pain is real, the mental illness is real.” He also recognized the need to address the needs of pain sufferers in rural American who may not have the means to afford more surgeries and/or more expensive treatments.

The President continued, “This is an area where I can get agreement from Bernie Sanders and Mitch McConnell. That doesn’t happen that often.”

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Although I am not all that comforted by the Presidents recent comments, this DOES MEAN SLOWLY BUT SURELY, WE *ARE BEING HEARD!* I ask that every single person who read or posted a comment on this blog to P-L-E-A-S-E take 15 minutes to write a letter to the President. He CANNOT UNDERSTAND OUR ISSUES IF HE DOESN’T HEAR THEM!!! THUS FAR **NO ONE HAS BEEN “THE VOICE” FOR US, THE CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS, THE ONES WHO SUFFER HORRIBLY EVERY, SINGLE DAY, JUST TO GET THROUGH THE DAY WITHOUT THESE MEDICATIONS!** Better yet, if we can get our family members & care givers who witness our daily struggles with ongoing chronic, pain to write, fabulous! It is MORE THAN CLEAR, OUR VOICES HAVE THUS FAR BEEN LEFT OUT OF THIS ENTIRE PROCESS! IF WE REALLY WANT CHANGE, WE HAVE NO CHOICE, BUT TO ADVOCATE FOR OURSELVES, UNTIL SOME-ONE…SOME GROUP…SOME MEDIA STATION, SOMEONE who can “BE A FORCE, DEMAND TO BE HEARD” & START THE COURSE OF CHANGE NEEDED TO INCLUDE THE **PROTECTION OF** THE CHRONIC PAIN PATIENTS WHO TAKE OPIOID MEDICATIONS RESPONSIBLY & ARE LIVING A QUALITY LIFE ONLY BECAUSE OF THESE MEDICATIONS! Until then, ALL WE HAVE IS OURSELVES & EACH OTHER TO ENSURE WE HAVE A VOICE THAT’S HEARD. I have included ALL the contact information you need to write (or even call the White House if it’s really too hard for you to write a letter although, I do believe writing does have more of an impact.) Let’s ALL Do Our Part & make this Needless Suffering a Horrible Thing of the Past! I thank each and everyone who takes the time & effort (which I know IS NOT easy) to be a voice for the millions of chronic pain patients who are suffering terribly & needlessly due to the very one-sided view and the laws, guidelines and publicity that have followed. Thanks again to each and every one of you! May we ALL find the inner strength to endure this needless suffering until these desperately needed changes come! How toContact the White House. “President Obama is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, via phone, mail, and the web.” The White House Address 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Call the White House Comments: 202-456-1111 (TTY/TTD: 202-456-6213) Switchboard: 202-456-1414 Visitor’s Office: 202-456-2121 How to write a letter to the President: “Here are a few simple things you can do to make sure your message gets to the White House as quickly as possible. If possible, email us from your computer at This is the fastest way to get your message to President Obama. If you write a letter, please consider typing it on an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. If you hand-write your letter, please consider using pen and writing as neatly as possible *Please include your return address on your letter as well as your… Read more »

Jean Price

Re-reading this article I am once again struck by the lack of clarity and the non support the president offered!! When he says limiting pills should be more of a comprehensive program…that’s NOT recognizing the need for opioids folks! Thats not worthy of this article’s misleading headline! That’s gibberish, like many communications both from government and this site. Clear, unequivocal messages are need for support…not the kind of messages we’ve mostly been getting. And regardless of what the president said, doctors are already limiting pills so what’s the point? Different strategies are need to address our discrimination and denied care! When will we see not just more of the same rhetoric and actually see something that truly supports us and gives us hope? I’m ready, and waiting, and watching…and doing what I can in other areas to impact change. Yet, we need combined efforts..and not this hodgepodge of fruitless activity. Results count…that’s how we will know what works. The results so far are sad…we are worse off than we were five years ago. And fading fast. And the president hasn’t got a clue that his agencies are part of the problem!


JudyHinton, You’re Welcome.


Thank you for sending the links. JH

Judy Hinton

Well, now I have been educated on what the bill of rights means. That is not how it was explained to me. I guess my rights to pain management just took another nose dive! In my first blog, I did not even tell a third of the story. I have read the other 2/3s of what has happened to me in the other blogs posted here and my heart aches for everyone who has had to deal with uncaring doctors and pharmacists. This does not mean that I think that all doctors and pharmacists are uncaring, but more often than not I have left a doctors office with no help for this unending pain. I had a good nine years at the pain clinic and the doctor was on my side, until this opioid controversy started. I had a husband who was wonderful support and now I don’t. I do what I can and am happy that I am not young and facing a lifetime of this as I have read the comments here of people who are very young with this disease with no help in sight for relief for their pain. The fight has worn me out. I did not get into this in time to write a letter in January.


JudyHinton, here are a few more links. The American Hospital Association only mentions pain one time, AHA’s Patients Bill Of RIghts mentions pain one time, “Tell your caregivers if you have concerns about your care or if you have pain. ” That is on page 2 under High quality hospital care at the AHA link below.

American Academy Of Pain Management-



JudyHinton, the Patients Bill Of Rights that you referring to does not guarantee a patient narcotics to manage their pain. The dr is the one that decides that. There are various Patients Bills Of Rights, one of them is the Patients Bill Of RIghts under the ACA. A lot of confusion stems from the words Bill Of RIghts.

Patient Rights-


Over the years while dealing with this disease of fibromyalgia, I have clipped out all items of interest concerning the disease and the many alternative treatments I have tried. I have a newspaper clipping about Doctor kavorkian aiding a 45 year old woman with fibromyalgia to end her life of intolerable pain with dignity. In the article, her father thanks the doctor for his help in ending the terrible pain that his daughter was suffering with and he, as a father had to helplessly stand by and not only witness but was unable to help in anyway. I have another article that I printed from a study on the internet about fibromyalgia which states that it has been proven that opioids work best for women with this condition and the disease is more prevalent in women than men, however, it has been found in grade school children.

Judy Hinton

If the patients bill of rights are not the law, then can someone explain what they are? Judy H


Judy Hinton, Patients Bill Of Rights are not laws.

Judy Hinton

I would like to know what has happened to the patients bill of rights?? It is in every hospital room I have been in since an Oregon state Doctor allowed a cancer patient who was terminal, die with nothing more than extra strength Tylenol to take care of his pain!!! We treat our pets better than this!

Judy Hinton

Thank you for your comments, Alvin! It helps to know that someone understands and you can be sure that I will let THE GOVERNMENT know if I can no longer take the pain!! The problem is that people with this disease ( it is no longer considered a syndrome ) look well!! I for one do not invite people in to witness my pain!! My husband knew because he lived with me. As I have heard in ALL of these stories you risk being labeled an addict. People in chronic pain are more afraid of the pain, so they Very seldom abuse their meds as they know if they do, eventually nothing will work!!! They have done studies on this, but now you won’t hear of these studies!! One dr did a study of 5000 patients and only 7 people were addicted! Another dr. Did not believe the study was correct so he did his own study on 10,000 patients and he only found ONE person who was addicted!!! I was told this by a doctor when I first went to the pain clinic. Judy

Alvin Hill

Your letter is truly heartbreaking. You’ve fought, fought hard against insuperable odds, yet the help that should be available to you and to others in similar straits is denied. I want to tell you that suicide is no answer, but I can’t. Keep fighting, keep seeking and hoping. Faith is a powerful force. But, if the time comes, when torment overwhelms hope and faith, be sure that everyone knows exactly why. Don’t let people in power, like the President, claim that you brought it on yourself. Make them acknowledge their culpability. That’s what I would do!


Everyone that is asked to take a med for chronic pain that is also used to treat addicts needs to remember that it may impact how they are treated for pain in the future and that they may not be able to find a dr that will treat their pain after taking buprenorphine. Not all drs are as well versed with the different meds and uses as the pharmaceutical companies and the politicians want us to believe they are.

I have seen many comments like Carolyn N’s, where a patient was treated with Suboxone or a similiar drug for chronic pain and then they couldn’t find a dr that would treat their pain because they are classified as drug addicts.

BELBUCA™( see link below) is now being advertised as a low potential for abuse pain medication. But, they fail to tell you that it may also label you as a drug addict and leave you unable to find a dr that will manage your pain. I often wonder if one day soon, drs won’t be forced to use these meds to treat chronic pain, so chronic pain patients can be identified immediately, and not for chronic pain.

National Pain Report-Medication with Lower Abuse Potential Now Available-

Judy Hinton

I have fibromyalgia brought on by 3 auto accidents in 4months time. None of the se were my fault! Two months later I could hardly walk down my hall to sit in a chair. This was in 1993-1994. I suffered with two number 10 Vicodin pills per day until 2004 when a friend suggested that I go to her doctor at a pain clinic two states over. My husband passed in 2010 and I had no one. I started spending the winters in Mexico through help from friends as I cannot do any thing at all in the cold weather. I was treated for my pain for 10 years during which time the hospital took over the pain clinic. I have tried acupuncture which is not expensive in Mexico. It did nothing and the dr. had been trained in China. Also, have tried massage, also, in Mexico. The pain clinic then said that they would only treat those who lived in a 200 mile radius and I offered to move. That was not good enough! Now they wouldn’t treat me because I go to Mexico! Mexico has cheap rent and I can function better in the climate. However, I cannot get opioids for my pain in Mexico. Since my husband passed ( due to a doctor giving him a pill with 2 side effects which he had the first side effect 6 months before having the 2nd side effect which caused his death ) I have found out I have osteoporosis. I broke all of the bones in my thigh just falling in my bedroom and I broke a bone in my foot walking on cobblestones. I have had Crohn’s disease since I was in my 20s and am now dealing with macular degeneration in my only good eye! I just turned 75 years old and I have seen first hand how they treat people in nursing facilities who are in pain! They don’t!!! I have dealt with pain since my first period as I had endometriosis and was unable to have children due to this condition. I have never abused my pain meds as I know that if I do pretty soon nothing will work and as with most people with chronic pain I fear the pain more than anything else! I never took all that I was given in those 10 years and so far I have gotten by on what I had saved. I was given two bottles of pills when the pain clinic refused to treat me anymore and those pill were supposed to help me come off of the pain meds. What a kind thought!! What about the pain afterwards??? I was taught when I first went to the clinic how to use the pills to only manage my pain!! If this situation does not change in the USA there be another suicide they add to the govt. statistics!! I will not live in the kind of pain I have without some relief!


Carolyn, I am so very sorry for your diagnosis and for the way you have been treated. It is so very wrong. I hope and pray that there is a compassionate physician out there that will decide to do the right thing. I wonder if you would have legal recourse. This insanity must stop.

Carolyn N

I’m a terminally ill cancer patient and I’m being refused pain medication for the chronic debilitating pain I go through day and night. I’ve thought about suicide to end it faster. No one that feels pain the way I do would be able to live this way. I see an oncologist at the university of ky and I’m told to take ibuprofen for pain. I take 10-20 pills at 200mg each every 3-4 hours. What is wrong with these doctors and why do I have to suffer what time I have left in pain like this I stead of spending it with my kids and granddaughter? I’m not nor have I ever been on drugs or addicted. I was given suboxone for back pain 4 yrs ago and now I’m labeled as a drug abuser. I had no clue about suboxone or did I ever hear about it before being prescribed it by a dr. Now terminally ill and treated bad by any dr that reads my medical records. Hard telling what types of things are said about me that are not true in there.


Ok I Know that having chronic pain personally for 15 years, that it can make you depressed.
depression is a mental health issue.
I don’t think he is saying we are crazy, mentally ill but its a circle, chronic pain can make you feel like giving up on life.
only people with chronic pain will ever understand the true meaning of pain.
how your life goes from everything to nothing,
Health is wealth and no money in the world can cure chronic pain.


So when doctors stopped writing pain meds, death tolls went up. Hmm… by overdose on pain meds? Really. So, basically, a doctor neglecting their oath to put the patients comfort and wellness and quality of life, by denying them the medicine that helps them, forced their hands onto the street to just get through the pain and they died of an OD, but not on the medicine the doctor wrote, since the doctor didn’t write one. The doctor could not monitor their dosing so they had to ‘guess’, they couldn’t tell their doctor because it’s against the law, so again can’t get help from their doctor.
What’s the answer again?
Less pain meds.
Well if you want population control, I guess it is. For an ethical community of actual physicians that care about their patients, it is to screen each patients pain and work out a management that will work best for THE PATIENT - YOU KNOW, THE ONE IN PAIN. NOT MENTAL ILLNESS, and bring them the relief that can give them the quality of life they can have.

Doctors often say to patients, “I’m not comfortable with writing an opiate prescription.” It’s not about YOUR comfort Dr. It’s the patients comfort.

This is just another way for everyone to stay subjects of the system, and we have no choice but to bah, even if we are screaming in pain in our homes, from a wheelchair, they just don’t care.


“While the President recognized the bipartisan support in addressing the nation’s addiction problem, he recognized the needs of pain sufferers, and suggested that action such as limiting the number of pain pills prescribed should be part of a more comprehensive approach.”

The President is In Favor of limiting pain pills prescribed ! He did not say to not limit them. He said “and suggested that action such as limiting the number of pain pills prescribed should be part of a more comprehensive approach.” I thought that most chronic pain patients were against having their pain meds limited and being forced to use non medication forms of pain managment that are expensive and that insurance doesn’t pay for. It seems that I have misunderstood what many are saying.

If those in the rural areas not having access to pain managment was such a concern, why wasn’t it mentioned here “White House Announces Effort to Combat Heroin and Opioid Abuse in Rural Areas” click on the Washington Post link for other issues they will addess like “rising suicide rates, declining physical and mental health, and increased financial stress.” Does anyone see pain management there ?


People who suffer from chronic pain ARE NOT ALSO mentally ill.

Why so few objections? NP please give us more context. The quote is below:

“If we go to doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem,” said the President, “because the pain is real, the mental illness is real.”


While I am glad that pain patients were recognized, I am confused about the comment of mental illness. Was he referring to those with true addiction disorders, or was he referring to those with chronic pain?
I agree with Dave. The consequences they say they are trying to prevent-doctors not treating pain patients-is already happening and going with gusto. This needs to be addressed immediately.
Hopefully, this is a glimmer of hope. I really hope that the words resonate with those who have the ability to make change.


““If we go to doctors right now and say ‘Don’t overprescribe’ without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem,” said the President, “because the pain is real, the mental illness is real.” He also recognized the need to address the needs of pain sufferers in rural American who may not have the means to afford more surgeries and/or more expensive treatments”

Someone please show me where the President said the he supports non cancer related chronic pain patients being prescribed opiates ? Has it dawned on anyone that ” some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have, then we’re not going to solve the problem” means non medications forms of pain managements for those with chronic pain or for those with issues it means counseling for those that are drug abusers/addicts ? Why would those in rural areas not have the means to afford more expensive treatments ? Maybe because non medication forms of pain management aren’t covered by most insurance companies and they are expensive, plus there wouldn’t be many places offering these forms of treatment in a rural area.

Again, I ask, someone please show me where the President said that he supports non cancer related chronic pain patients being prescribed opiates ? What am I missing ?

Rk, there are no laws that say that a dr can’t prescribe immediate release and extended release pain medications. It does depend on how much your total daily pain medications are. Although it isn’t law, the FDA came out with Guidelines a few years ago that state 120 mg Morphine/120 mg Morphine Equivalent Daily ann most drs are going by this. Do you have a copy of your medical records from your previous dr in Florida ? Although that doesn’t guarantee another dr will prescribe you the same meds that your previous dr did. Be sure that you report you’re working to SSA.

Gov. Shulman is a the worst thing that has ever happened to Vermont.I work for the state in Substance abuse. He wants us to “educate” doctors that when Patients ask for pain killers they should be referred to substance abuse programs. The only problem we have is not the 90% legitimate patients who truly need opiate pain killers the problem is the lack of substance abuse programs and funding for people who really have substance abuse programs that are not necessarily related to opiates but other drugs. He has done nothing except cut budget for said programs. Also when he needs something it is readily available, not like the people in this state who do need medication but due to his words doctors are afraid to prescribe needed medications. We have cancer patients suffering in pain and no pain management clinics except for one place in the whole state with a waiting list up to a year.


He said “Because the pain is real, the mental illness is real”.


Wow, the President’s last minute declaration seems way out of character. We’ve all been saying all along that the DEA running doctor offices and pharmacies is absolutely absurd but the thinking on their part is controlling narcotics in the home will stop addicts on the street.
Huh? Where in the hell did they come up with that idea?
Imbeciles are running the DEA and as sorry as I am to say my nephew is in the DEA.
I just don’t want to ask him his take on this since the outcome might really make me sad.

Jeremy Goodwin, MS, MD

Finally a government official-the highest in the land-who sees the gist of the real problem and the DISGUSTING and MISGUIDED way that opioiphobia has been handled by truly misinformed, judgemental and non scientifically trained ER doctors as well as others, and the even more so by inexcusable recommendations made by the scientist-clinicians at the CDC who have no expertise in the area at all, all of whom have directly been responsible for the increase in heroin on the street by their faulty logic-based limitations of opioid pain medication provided to the many tens of millions of those suffering in pain who are NOT addicted ( only physically dependent and tolerant which is NOT the same thing) and who were doing much better before than after their heartless cut-backs in dose and combinations of medications, actions performed irresponsibly and without other legitimate plans being put in their place. The insurance plans are also to blame for not funding interdisciplinary and collaborative work needed with other branches of care such as physical rehabilitation, Chinese medicine and other types of health care, mental health and coping skills training, and social work. They are all needed to minimize using extra medication where no viable options exist. The sudden misguided focus on heroine and other street opioid use, as well as industrial-made medication, was long ignored when the problem was the burden of African American and Hispanic people’s, also fully part of the USA, and the grossly misguided knee jerk reaction enacted when accidental overdoses spread to the white populace reveals racial disparity in care. Those two things are crimes in themselves. At least the President recognises that. Thanks to President Obama we might correct this mess and I as well as others who are expert in this field would be glad to become involved if insurance interference is squelched and the medical boards prevented from ruining our careers on trumped up charges that worsen the problem for patients and clinicians alike, a personal and family -destroying involvement that has made many doctors literally hate the system in which they work and then leave it. We have enough stress without worrying about biased and incompetent state boards removing medical licenses from the few actually caring for and helping those in chronic pain. Genuine misuse of their position to Prescribe incorrectly does need to be addressed but the whole problem needs to be far more insightfully thought through. It involves the whole system that must be revs bed with empathy and kindness. The medical boards answer to no one, write one thing and act in another way and that is Kafaesque and extremely victimizing to all concerned. Let us now try to solve the problem, get legitimate patients off street drugs and into proper care, and the same for those with straight addiction problems who need to be addressed as a separate but very much in need group with racial and ethnic disparity addressed in both cases without bias for once. The time to start reorganizing… Read more »

Kristine (Krissy)

He called us mentally ill?


I don’t get it. The President states “because the pain is real, the mental illness is real”. And now we are celebrating that the President is speaking out for us?!! The CDC LIMITS OPIOIDS ALREADY! Real consequences will come out of those guidelines he called for and enforced AND in fact has already implemented for our veterans! The President sees us as mentally ill and says a few popular remarks that we long to hear and all of a sudden we are happy that he gets it? If I’m not mistaken his words reenforced that pain patients have pain and mental illness, pain can be fixed by surgeries and procedures but people in rural areas need opioids because they can’t get these procedures done and limiting the number of pain prescriptions should be part of a comprehensive approach! What’s so positive and supportive in his words? I honestly don’t get the optimism I hear in this article! All I see is the frog getting slowly boiled to death! I hope everybody reads this article again and really sees the danger in supporting his words as a victory for our cause.

Kristine (Krissy)

If you are making these comments here, please tell me you are also sending them to the person you mention, i.e. senators, governors, etc. This is what we have to do.


3 different doctors also told me they arent allowed to put me on an extended release drug as well as immediate relase opiods even though my old dr had me on both and it worked very well i was able to work part time and manage it but since relocating to this hellhole wisconsin all drs here cut my meds and even cut the instant relase drug i was on to barely nothing so ive been unable to work and trying to live on ssdi for a year is just a nightmare especially since i have no-one. They dont care and it is sickening. The pharmacy doesnt discriminate here as they did in florida but the drs r morons who dont care if your suffering and unable to live or pay bills etc


Ummm according to my dr there already are laws that prevent drs from prescribing over a certain amount at least here in wisconsin they tell me that. 3 drs refused to put me on over 4 pills a day saying they cant put me on 5 or more.

Dorian W

the govenor that said 250 mllion prescriptions a year are written should be fired. WE ACTUALLY HAVE 20 MILLION PEOPLE GETTING at least 1 PRESCRIPTION Every mont. these are the legitimate chronic pain patients that do everything legally and take as prescribed. that math is 240 mill a year. so there are 10 mill acute patients. this number they continue to quote is just made up.
you may get 1 prescrition from a dr.if you have no history on the data base. Doctors rarely refill without having a legitimate problem. TOO MUCH MONEY IS BEING SPENT ON TRYING TO LIMIT PAIN MEDICINE. Take that money and use it to put away the heroin dealers and put junkies in lockdown rehab for at least 90 days plus 90 days of after care treatment and weekly drug tests. if tested positive of to prison for a year. it worked for robert downey and i never met a more messed up drug abuser. Leave the chronic pain patients alone unless they break a law.

Alvin Hill

It’s amazing to see how frequently DEA-promoted misinformation pops up in the news. Gov. Shumlin, for example, repeats the provocative claim that current prescribing practices would provide “a bottle of pills” per year to every American adult. Well, Governor, you should do a bit more homework. According to the DEA’s own regulations, chronic pain patients must obtain a new prescription every month even for medications that they take routinely. So, every one of the millions of chronic pain patients in America accounts for at least a dozen prescriptions per year. This means that fewer than one out of ten American adults would get that bottle of pills. Doesn’t sound as frightening does it?
What is genuinely frightening (to those who know what they’re talking about) is the virtual certainty that millions of lives would be adversely affected by arbitrary limits on prescription medication. The plague of suffering that the neo-prohibitionists are striving to unleash would do nothing to solve the prescription drug problem. In fact, it would almost certainly make the problem worse, as previously law-abiding and well-behaved chronic pain sufferers are driven to find illegal sources for the medications they obtain now by legitimate means. This is precisely the kind of unintended consequence that made the original Prohibition in the 1920s such an unqualified disaster. (It’s worth noting, however, the DEA’s official position that Prohibition was a rousing success, limited only by the fact that it didn’t go far enough!)

This kind of callous fanaticism combines with the ignorance and naivete’ of public officials to create bad policy, which can harm millions. Thank goodness President Obama hasn’t been carried away by the current tide of stupidity.


Some anarchy has been loosed upon the world of pain care-and the President is trying to make the center hold by promoting opioids. However it is clear the damage is done. Doctors are afraid to prescribe opioids-and are uneducated in pain care and don’t care much for people in pain, in the first place. Pharmacies also are also less willing to stock and make available opioids. People in pain have been whipsawed and will continue to be whipsawed on opioids.
So I say to President Obama- a little too little, a little too late for you to start caring about people in pain. Your administration also went after marijuana. Your clueless NIH is fighting the CDC and vice versa. Your National Pain Strategy was supposed to come out in the fall- its almost springtime-and its still not out. Your administration orientation to pain care is sloppy, careless and has lead to much unnecessary suffering. It is your neglect and the neglect of NIH, CDC, FDA. Hopefully a new President will care more about people in pain then you and your administration. Frankly, I don’t think they could do much worse.

Kristine (Krissy)

Somewhere, somehow, the President has listened to both sides. Perhaps he even has a family member or friend with a pain issue. Encouraging.

Mark Ibsen MD

“Gov. Peter Shumlin of Vermont, stated opioids “are passed out like candy in America,” noting that there are more than 250 million prescriptions a year for painkillers – enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.”
Ok Governor:
Are you saying candy should be limited?
How would you do THAT?
Cancel Halloween?
We try to limit candy consumption by education.
We realized long ago you cannot regulate behavior, especially in America.
Thank you president Obama, fir gaving the parental good sense to limit candy, and limit opioids, but not eliminate either entirely,
And look at the potential toke of the law of unintended consequences in any attempts to legislate or regulate our way out of a per curved problem.
Please keep lawmakers and regulators out of the medical exam rooms of America.

Scott michaels

i just recieved a letter from diane fienstein Ca senator. basically saying the same thing.altgough there is a problem. she is well aware of the need for opioid pain relievers and will do her vest to make sure legit patients get what they need. finally a small victory