The War On Pain Patients Continues!

 
 

FDA seeks immediate removal of doctor-prescribed opioid analgesics from the market. The “war on drugs” has now expanded to people with documented, provable chronic pain conditions.  In fact, federal and state regulators have discussed eliminating opioid prescriptions for acute pain, as well as paying doctors not to prescribe opioids. More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain with no cure available to them via our western medical system. Ibuprofen and other common NSAIDs are linked to stroke and heart attack and Tylenol (generic name: acetaminophen) causes permanent liver damage. Chronic pain patients need access to safe, cheap, and effective pain medications in order to function and have a quality of life. Big pharma and the addiction treatment industry are targeting medications such as Morphine because is not under patent protection and therefore, the cost of the drug is low. Companies stand to make very little profit from it. Follow the money and don’t fall for their propaganda because untreated/undertreated chronic pain can kill!

(Daily Kos) I have not written a Pain diary in a little while. I have been kind of busy dealing with my own medical issues including continued pain and cancer. However, I have been keeping up on what is going on around the country in regards to Pain Patients. I have to say I am so saddened by the current atmosphere of negativity towards Pain Patients as well as the demonization of opioids by those in government like the CDC, the DEA, and even idiot politicians who are reacting to the so-called opioid epidemic as they react to most things, by doing the worst possible things that won’t fix the situation. So many states are passing Opioid prescription laws based on the supposedly “Voluntary” CDC guidelines it is ridiculous. Many are including exceptions for chronic pain patients but many are not. Meanwhile, we have doctors dumping patients as they run in fear of the DEA investigating them. The overall result is many chronic pain sufferers are feeling like the Government has declared war on THEM specifically and individually!

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Can you imagine what it is like to feel your government has declared war on you? It is sure as hell is not fun! Study after study has shown that chronic pain patients are the least likely to become addicts with rates of addiction in the studies from 1% to about 5%. The CDC’s own information is showing that illegal Fentanyl has replaced prescription opioids as the leading cause of opioid deaths yet the persecution continues for chronic pain patients while doing exactly ZERO to help with the addiction issues facing America. Politicians at both the State and Federal levels are cutting funds to addiction counseling and treatment at a time when addictions are rising. Politicians on all levels are scrambling to be seen as doing something to combat the addiction menace yet they don’t want to spend money to do that! The result is chronic pain patients are being made the scapegoats and that is resulting in a rise of pain patients receiving less treatment or even no treatment to combat their daily pain. Can anyone guess what that will lead to and has been leading to? Yep! A rise in chronic pain patients taking their own lives. This is adding to the statistics because the idiots at the CDC are including them in the opioid death stats.

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The CDC guidelines rolled out last year are a nightmare for chronic pain patients. As I stated above these are supposed to be Voluntary yet we have politicians pushing the 90 MED dosing limits as law plus Insurance companies are getting into the act as well. What is worse is that those very guidelines were developed not with input from those directly involved in the care of chronic pain but rather almost exclusively by a group called PROP. This group runs a bunch of addiction treatment centers and has a very vested interest in getting everyone off of opioids as it will greatly increase their business! Every single chronic pain patient who has been on opioids for any length of time will be dependent upon the drugs. This is not to say that they are addicted as Andrew Kolodny insists in every possible forum he can, but rather it means that when the drugs are withdrawn the patient will fall into withdrawal. To Kolodny this means one thing! ADDICTION! To the rest of the thinking medical profession, it means that the person has basically gotten used to having the drugs and care needs to be used when lowering the dose or cutting it off altogether. Kolodny advocates not for titration down but rather cold turkey yanking of all opioids. (Titration is the stepping down or up of a dose of medicine to find the best result for the patient or in the case of down to counter the withdrawal symptoms so they are not life-threatening.) Yes going cold turkey from a high dose of opioids can be life-threatening for the withdrawal symptoms. This does not even cover the fact that the patient will have a return to high levels of pain. Pain that they had thought and HOPED was behind them. It also means a loss of quality of life. It means no longer working or in some cases even getting out of bed. Too many chronic pain patients, this is a DEATH SENTENCE, and all because a group of greedy doctors decided to increase their business by proclaiming opioids BAD!

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Let’s take a look at what chronic pain feels like! Most people are lucky enough to have had no real experience with pain. Some may have experience with acute pain. This is short-lived pain such as breaking an arm or other bone. Unfortunately, sometimes acute pain turns into chronic pain, and other times there is no real start to the pain. No one thing that can be pointed at to say There is the cause”! This is more likely in the case of back injuries where the damage is not done in one big event but rather by misuse or abuse over time, lifting wrong, doing more than you should, and so on. The spine becomes more and more damaged over time leading to more and more pain. This is a lot of my chronic pain. I was a dumbass when I was younger and figured I could do anything. Yeah, where is my time machine so I can go back and kick myself in the ass? Because of that stupidity, I have endured multiple operations on my back as well as multiple procedures such as epidurals and RF Ablations, and other shots to try and block the pain. I have also endured living with a pain level of 8 for years. Most people would have headed for the ER when it got above 6 or 7 but chronic pain patients have learned how to function at that level of pain. To us, it seems NORMAL! Think about that for a minute. Such intense pain that you should go to the ER is your normal state. What you wake up in the morning to (If you were able to sleep at all. I was lucky if I got 4 hours a night) and what you go to bed at night with. It NEVER goes away! It Never Stops! It changes your thinking. You become depressed. Your life gets smaller. You stop going out with friends or family. You may miss work a lot! This causes you to become more depressed. You do what you have to get through each day and then do it again the next day. That kind of life SUCKS! You jump at every chance to get the pain down. Trying new therapies until you have tried them all. Then you find a doctor who will prescribe an opioid to you and the pain drops. You work with the doctor and increase your dosage and now the pain is manageable, it is down to a 4 or less if you are lucky. You have your life back. Now you have someone who wants to end all of that and you can do nothing to stop them. It’s not because you are bad or did anything wrong other than to use opioids to get a handle on your pain. You have become almost a criminal in the eyes of society. Doctors and others in the medical profession suddenly are looking at you like you are a drug addict. You have to go to multiple pharmacies just to get your script filled while dealing with the looks and accusations both silent and aloud of the pharmacy staff. Your life still SUCKS but at least the pain is down. That is what chronic pain looks like and feels like. Before you condemn someone for using opioids as they have been prescribed by a doctor, you might want to think for a moment. Think if you want to be stigmatized for trying to get out of pain.

 

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