Smokers and abuse victims at risk for being denied pain meds

SAIF Corporation is a “Workers’ compensation insurance provider,” so it’s no wonder they are against pain medications.

http://www.saif.com/employer/news/2378_3969.htm

“Until the 1990s, opioids were highly regulated and not typically used except in acute pain or terminal cancer care,” said Dr. Franklin Wong, medical director at CareMark Comp, a managed care organization. “But then, well-intended physicians concluded that opiates could be used safely to treat chronic noncancer pain, although these conclusions were not based on clinical studies. Thus began the rapid growth of opiate use for noncancer pain.” …

Yeah, because only cancer and terminal pain are deserving of treatment, right?  And while “experts” can keep claiming that treating chronic pain with opioids is not based on clinical studies, they never mention the reasons those studies haven’t been done:  Drug War.

“Opioids have been proven to be effective for treating pain during terminal illness, but not for treating chronic pain long-term without users facing the risk of overdose, dependency, or addiction,” said Tammy McCoy, RN, former SAIF medical services manager…

You know, there are risks for every medication you take, including over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and cold medicine.  But dependency should not be seen as one of the risks, or else we would have to apply that to every single prescription medication used on a long-term basis.

First of all, if opiates are to be used for chronic noncancer pain, physicians need to assess the patient for risk factors, which include a history of smoking, family or personal history of substance abuse, history of sexual abuse, and a history of psychological disease.

Those risk factors discriminate against millions and millions of pain patients.

Dr. Wong added that physicians are learning more about when opioids can be most effective. For example, opioids have not proven useful for fibromyalgia, chronic axial low back, or headache, yet they are often prescribed in these cases…

It’s like those who work in the worker’s compensation industry believe that untreated pain will allow people to go back to work, when all it does is create more people on disability.  Of course, these patients will be disabled and no longer collecting worker’s comp, saving this industry lots and lots of money.

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3 thoughts on “Smokers and abuse victims at risk for being denied pain meds

  1. People need to be treated like people and individual treatment plans need to be formed for the chronically ill. We don’t fit in perfect little boxes and our illnesses certainly don’t. It doesn’t mean we don’t deserve treatment for our pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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