Recruiting Pain Doctors to Speak Out

Recruiting Pain Doctors to Speak Out

By Ed Coghlan.

The developing momentum around a national protest set for September 18 is expanding—and now there’s an effort to identify more doctors who will speak out.

The Don’t Punish Pain Rallies are attracting patients and loved ones to what is now over 90 events in September. Protests will be held at state capitals, Emergency Rooms, hospitals, pain management centers, federal offices like the CDC, FDA, DEA, local pharmacies, parks, and other venues that are suitable to receive media coverage.

But what’s been missing in this protest movement is the voice of the people who treat people in pain.

Claudia Merandi, founder of the Don’t Punish Pain Organization, has organized the Doctors’ Collaborative. It’s a forum where doctors can speak freely about the opioid crisis. She said providers she’s speaking with are often speaking with one another in a confidential setting. But many are fearful to come out publicly for fear of retribution.

Merandi believes that patient and provider need to work together in an effort to find a resolution to the inequities. Merandi has created a flier that patients can bring to their providers should they want to join. Many times, doctors believe there is no way to address the strict prescribing guidelines. Merandi hopes this could assist with that obstacle.

If providers are interested, they can reach Merandi at Providers are invited to attend the protests being held on September 18.

To attend a protest, please visit or join the Don’t Punish Pain National FB page. All 50 states now have their own Don’t Punish Pain page to organize effectively within that state. Here’s a list of the rallies. Take a look and see if there’s one nearby. Organizers are stressing there is still an opportunity to create one in your neighborhood.

Merandi pointed out she’s not raising money in this effort.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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tina r rogers

i am looking for a lawyer

tina r rogers

omg has anybody read the 126 page recomendations guidelines??
i have. it is not a law. pain doctors and there existing patients that are doing well on what the doctors treamennt plan is. are exempt!! as long as they are a ligitmate.qualifying doctor todispinse opiods

Julia Heath

Thank you for your recognition and support of so many pain organizations, including Don’t Punish Pain! Claudia is an amazing woman and I’m grateful for her leadership in all of this.

Alice LaPlume

Thank you for trying to hep people who suffer with pain all the time. I have been on a pain medicine for over 20 years. Unfortunatly I have been detoxed 4 times by doctors in my area. This year it happened again and a doctor told me to stay like that suffer! Please help us I am in a wheel chair with sever bac problems and 15 operations I am not allow to go to Boston Doctors any more. This has got to stop. I am 62 and hopefully wont live to long, but please help others I don’t understand why! Except that hospitals and doctor think I’m the eperdemic that is not fair.


Thank you Claudia for doing what you’re doing. Doctors should have been speaking out for their patients all along instead of reducing med dosages. Without patients they’re out of business. They have their educations to back them up. If opiods are so bad then why have they been prescribing them for so.many years? Because they know they work for chronic pain. Thanks again. God Bless


I’m Heather. I am a nearly 33 year old female who lives in “a Southern US state”. I’m also a debilitating chronic pain sufferer who has not yet had children, has no friends , and for whom the “light at the end” is always just out of my grasp. I am a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and niece. I have multiple pain disorders both hereditary and non-hereditary (as a result of years of severe physical abuse by a step-father as a preteen). I have basically just existed… within the confines of my bed/bedroom for the past 3-4 years as my disorders and in turn, my depression, got progressively worse. I finally accepted the truth…that it was too serious and complex for my GP to handle, and I sought the help of a highly respected pain management doctor in my area. Since then, I have been open and accepting of any treatment proposed to me by my doctor…these range from, epidural nerve blocks done under anesthesia, to “Low Dose Naltrexone” capsules, to magnesium and Epsom salt soaks…all while avoiding any opiate containing drug…which was my own choice… I namely sought to avoid opiates as I have a younger brother who is an Oxycodone, Heroin, and Meth addict and I have previously lived and worked in Baltimore, MD, a city gripped by opiate use and overdose. I personally witnessed a man die on the floor and be brought back on the floor of the Starbucks I supervised as a direct result of an overdose. My Dr became more and more invested in my case and I bragged to family about his compassion and ability to understand me and my illnesses and about his relatibility and excellent bedside manner. We decided together that I qualified for an “SCS Implant” trial. I was so excited when the trial helped me out significantly, and decided on day 3 that I wanted the permanent implant. On Monday of this week, my dreams came true and I cried tears of joy as I was given my new lease on life when I woke up from anesthesia and realized that the surgery was a success. My surgical site pain was pretty severe and the pocket where my battery pack was located was nearly excruciating…and I’ve had kidney stones. I was given IV opioids in the surgery center as per usual, prior to going home. I was prescribed an opioid pain pill for use at home. I followed the instructions on the label explicitly, but after finishing the bottle, I was still in pain . My Dr made me feel wrong and ashamed for still having pain not managed by the pills and denied a refill. I cried so much, I felt so betrayed

Sue Stopka

No one can handle pain four-day what other people handle the rest of their life so don’t say what you don’t know until you really know what it is pain is excruciating in your life it stops you from doing your normal functions even cooking dinner is made difficult


Joining others here and asking for a link or directions to the flyer for our doctors.

Kim Hamm

The CDC stated that people where going to have to learn to live with pain….i find that alarming. Multiple sclerosisfor 26 years. Joint, spastic and nerve pain. The lawmakers should be hooked up to a pain causing device for 30 days to get an idea of what its really like. Not asking for pain free but a le to live life with some quality.

Cary Cassell

See you in Frankfort on the 18 th.


How do we get the flyer from Merandi? The one for the providers? Thanks


Ironically, they need to come to save the client. They may be without them otherwise. Realistically, they are too busy.


I hope there is a good following for this. Our doctors felt justified treating us with these meds because of their training. They should be allowed to assess their patients based on medical need, not on oppression and scare tactics.

There is a huge danger in letting politics or the media dictate healthcare. It causes broad harms to the patient population as a whole and can have devastating effects on the individuals and their families.

I have cried out “Do No Harm” so many times, but it’s so much more than that, and in the long-term, doctors will find that politicians, public opinion and the media will penetrate into the field of medicine further and further.

This could eventually go beyond pain management. I’m concerned that my sleep doctor may be next. The next specialty could very easily be psychology. Geriatric care could very easily become another target as the Baby Boomer population ages. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it’s protected from political or media meddling.

The government has very divisive battles over reproductive rights. No matter what your stance, the pendulum can always swing the other way. We’ve seen life-support become a national affair - politicians could squabble over that as well.

They don’t ever look at the individual’s needs. They create some stereotype that covers all patients and they decide based on this non-person and all the evils attributed to it.


On the list of rallies there is a section that says Y, M, N. Does this mean that yes, no or may going to the rally? If so, the number look low! Also, where can I find the handout? Did I miss something?

richard h ng

Many, if not all, pain doctors are afraid to speak out for the patients suffering from chronic pain because they will and may draw attention to their medical practice. Once a pain doctor is under the radar and watched by the regulatory agency such as the DEA, it will become a long ordeal for the doctors with everything to lose.

We can only pray now that this will work before they take our lives away completely. What a shame that it’s come to this. May God bless and keep us all, with prayers to every single brother and sister who is a victim of this most tragic not to mention unnecessary war our government has started with its very own people.


Dont forget veterans facilities. They stopped my pain meds along with thousands of others.


Speaking out is a target on their back. Same for current patients still being treated.