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Pain Management Community
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547368 tn?1440541785

The Climate in Opiate Therapy for Chronic Pain Patients!

Hello Members.

I'm sure you are all aware of the opiate phobic climate that exists in America. Different states vary a bit as do different PMPs. However it's clear that the government and it's agencies have waged war against Practitioners prescribing opiates for Chronic or Acute pain. That certainly feels like war against Chronic Pain Patients also.

More and more Chronic Pain Patients are being prescribed less and less opiates. More and more of us are even able to find adequate management.  In general that means that more and more of us are less functional, sleep less,  ambulate less, communicate less - and simply live less!!  Less activity often brings on more medical issues - more medical issues increases chronic pain and can produce more reasons for it. Situational Depression is more likely to occur in those with no pain management or poorly managed chronic pain.  

There are treatments, procedures and alternative therapies that should always be used before long term opiate therapy is instituted.Indeed these procedures can often go hand in hand with opiate therapy to best treat Chronic Pain.

Who wants to be a Chronic Pain Patient?  Who in their right mind wants to rely on a drug to function - Or - face frequent ridicule and judgement -  Or - be required to deposit urine in a little container for testing - Or - worry the UDT will produce a false positive or negative - Or - worry their PMP will retire, move or just quit - Or - and the list of "Or" goes on! Who really wants to be a Chronic Pain Patient? Certainly not I. I'm guessing, certainly not you!

America has an epidemic of addicts. I'd argue with the facts, the statistics that have claimed for year; it's not the Chronic Pain Patients that encounter a high or even a moderate percentage of addiction. Indeed the statistics say that less than 4% of Chronic Pain Patients ever become addicts. Those stats are being hid today. Other stats are being used - ones that talk about overdose and death. Overdose and death, especially of our young is heart breaking and must be addressed. Responsible opiate prescribing is a must. I - and probably you agree with that.

Sadly it is the Chronic Pain Patient that is paying the price for the rampant addiction in America. We should not be required to live less, suffer more - or be treated like second class citizen. We deserve better!

There are groups of Medical Practitioners and Providers that see our plight - that want to improve our lives and ease our pain. Here is a link to a recent article in Pain Medicine News. It discusses some of the issues we face. It talks about the new "guidelines."  Guidelines have come from multiple governmental agencies trying to get in on this free for all in Pain Management.  Read closely - you may be surprised to learn just who is behind the CDC Guidelines.

http://www.painmedicinenews.com/Web-Only/Article/03-16/CDC-Opioid-Guideline-Puts-Pressure-on-PCPs-To-Put-Away-the-Prescription-Pad/35657

Sorry, I am not a good writer. There's so much more to be said.  I have just scratched the surface of the problems brought about by the drug epidemic in America. I've barely touched on the huge issues the drug epidemic has rained upon we Chronic Pain Patients.  My heart goes out to the ppl that have lost sons, daughters or any loved one to this craziness. They need answers and solutions too - just as we do.

I have to believe that someday our pain will be better treated than it currently is - that we will be better treated. I am hopeful that these few Practitioners and Providers will be heard. They won't give up. Somewhere, some how,  someday we will meet in the middle. Illegal drug use, OD and death will drop dramatically. Chronic Pain Patients will be recognized and treated effectively with whatever it may take. I encourage y'all to make your voices heard - sign every appropriate petition - write our elected officials, local and national. We need to do our part to institute change. I know for some of you that may only involve keeping this issue in discussion - every where you can. The pendulum will swing again! It always does. My friends let's do our part to help this pendulum swings back to our benefit.  

With You - in Chronic Pain,
~Tuck
3 Responses
242912 tn?1402543492
Excellent post, Tuck, excellent!
1 Comments
You're very welcome. Good to see you on the PM Forum. Please stop by again.

~Tuck
Avatar universal
Thank you for the post.  The check list the physicians are supposed to follow is scary, how are some people going to function with the level the CDC has given as a guideline???  I mean I'm sure the doctors are nervous enough as it is, but how many of them are willing to go to bat for their patients just so we can have a somewhat normal life.
Also Tuck you said we should write our elected officials, are there specific ones that are better to write then others?  Thank you for your advice.
1 Comments
You're welcome! I'm happy to discuss the opiate-phobic environment in Pain Management. It's important that we do more than voice our concerns and complaints to one another. We need to become active in pushing for fairness for us - for all - including fairness for our Providers. Many feel like they are not allowed to use their medical discretion. The independence to manage patients using their years of education and experience has been stripped from them by politicians. Where does that makes sense?

Too many politicians don't have all the facts. They are not hearing from us! We need to change that.

You've asked an excellent question. Each state differs a bit. If you research your state elected officials you should find one that appears to have more interest in this subject that others. You'll find one that is more active in the "War." It'd obviously begin with that official - but I contact them all!!

Remember these officials are hearing the horrendously sad stories from families who's loved one OD and died! Our youth is at risk - and some began with prescription opiates. They hear about the terrible Heroin addiction that continues to rise since the crack down on prescription opiates.  I believe that many of these officials want to help. Don't we all!! It's a horrid situation! However this "help" should not come at the expense of Chronic Pain Patients - and that's what has occurred.  

So if you can't determine whom in your state appears to be most involved - don't be overly concerned. Contact all your state and federal representative.  Help may come from someone that has been a little quiet on the issue.

Thanks for asking.
~Tuck
Avatar universal
Thxs Tuck, great post. And as things get reduced, dosage wise, chronic pain patients will find it harder and harder to adhere to their contracts. I can imagine the CDC's restrictions causing even more pain contract violations, which will make them even happier as well, fulfilling their end goal of no real relief for pain patients. If they had a real alternative, that would be one thing, but to simply say no, without any reasonable options, craziness.
1 Comments
You're Welcome! It is true that the end goal for many involved is to ban all opiate prescriptions except in a few, very short term acute situations.

These changes are affecting end-stage disease patients and our dying!! Our dying!! My Lord how is that fair?

There's little Dignity in Death - but we all should have the right to end our days as pain free and comfortable as possible. Many of  these Groups are even against allowing adequate opiate prescribing during the dying process. This must change!! Our dead can't change it - we have to be active in the change!

Thanks for your comments My Friend In Pain,
~Tuck

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