Amy Holden Jones is a veteran television and movie writer. She co-wrote Beethoven (as a St. Bernard owner I have a soft spot for it) and Mystic Pizza.
What, you ask, is she doing in a chronic pain story?
This month, through Twitter, she inserted herself into the opioid debate when she wrote:
Twitter is currently flooded with what may or may not be doctors and patients defending opioids. Some are no doubt bots or paid by #pharma. Try truth.
As you might guess she quickly found out that there is a point of view in the opioid “debate” that a whole lot of people who are neither bots nor bought by the pharmaceutical company weighed in.
There were hundreds of replies…many outrages and far too many for us to list here.
One patient was our friend Lelena Peacock, who quite simply, let Ms. Jones have it. As she told us over the phone this week, “I was kind of fed up.” Here’s her Tweet “storm”.
My name is Lelena, & I’m a pain patient that happens to benefit from #OpioidAnalgesics.
Like other #PeopleInPain, I suffer under the tremendous, soul-crushing weight of #OpioidStigma & #PainStigma. I’m considered a FAILURE, & people like me are blamed for the #opioidcrisis.
Every day, the #stigma grows, like an aggressive #cancer.
I’m an outcast in my own country, & definitely discriminated against at hospitals, pharmacies, & doctor’s offices.
#Advocacy groups that speak for #PainPatients are being destroyed because of #OpioidHysteria.
My future is uncertain, like MILLIONS OF OTHERS who suffer silently. Will a new pain medication be unveiled soon? A morally acceptable form of #relief from the 24/7 agony I experience?
Will I be able to afford new drugs & treatments?
Or will I be sentenced to endure it alone?
Some of us have already paid the ultimate price.
How many more must die, ON BOTH SIDES, before we are willing to be HONEST about pain & #addiction?
There’s so much more to this story. It’s too nuanced for a platform like Twitter.
I hope & pray you’ll seek out the truth, & realize #PeopleInPain deserve a voice too.
The intensity of Lelana’s (and hundreds of other responses) caused Ms. Jones to tweet the following on July 23—three days after her original tweet.
I have said repeatedly here and elsewhere there are appropriate uses. Families whose loved ones OD’d are arguing for an end to irresponsible prescribing. It’s not controversial.
We’ve contacted Ms. Jones to see if she wants to do an interview. She currently is executive producer on a Fox TV Show Called The Resident
Perhaps her Twitter interaction will spur a curiosity and even an episode about chronic pain—a topic that is remarkably under covered in American media.