4/1/2005, The Myth of Available Pain Care

This is a long article, but a good read from the doctor’s point of view.  As you can see, things seem to have gotten worse since 2005, but they’ve also remained the same.


The appearance of poverty is another red flag. All it takes for a doctor to be targeted is a pharmacist who becomes uneasy with the looks of a patient and responds by lodging a complaint. Then the game is on. Police respond by conducting surveillance. Patients with a shabby appearance are observed and are assumed to be drug addicts intent on scoring a fix. Here, again, the drug war collides with medical reality. Chronic pain is a disease, which predictably reduces its victims to poverty and a poor appearance. It accomplishes this by limiting or removing the ability to engage in gainful employment or even to care for oneself properly. As a result, patients suffering from this disease often just don’t look good. Physicians are arrested over this sort of “evidence.”

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