When will I become homeless?

A year and a half ago, I wrote to Social Security and CMS:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/risk-is-stressful/

About three months later, I received a postcard saying my letter was being referred to another office (in New Mexico):

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/my-response-from-medicarecms/

Yesterday in the mail, I received a letter from the Social Security Administration in Kansas City, Missouri:

“We sent you a letter telling you that we were going to review your disability case. However, we do not need to review your case at this time. Therefore, we will not contact your doctor now. We will keep any information that you have given us. We will contact you later if we need to review your case…”

Uh, no, you didn’t send me a letter saying you were going to review my case. I sent you a letter and I never received a response to any of the issues discussed therein. Nothing. Nada.

I always feel anxious when I receive anything from Social Security, just like when I received letters from Unum, my ex-long term disability insurance provider. Since Unum terminated my benefits, I keep waiting for Social Security to do the same. See, disability providers believe that if you’re not taking medications (and seeing a doctor regularly), you’re not disabled:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/my-worst-fears-coming-true/

The DEA and CDC have taken away the most successful treatment for chronic pain. Doctors will no longer treat many pain patients. Medical cannabis programs, where they exist, are too expensive for many of the disabled. So, who has the money and access to see a doctor regularly? Is that a requirement to be disabled? And if you aren’t seeing a doctor, you get kicked to the curb?

No wonder so many people believe in conspiracy theories. Use the drug war to kick people off of disability. Genius.

Checking my mail is a stressful activity. When will I get that letter cutting off my disability benefits? When will I become homeless?

How the government creates criminals

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/15/feds-pill-crackdown-drives-pain-patients-to-heroin.html

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a broad set of recommendations in March for physicians and treatment facilities that dispense opiate medications. The same week Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law some of the most restrictive regulations ever governing the therapeutic use of narcotic drugs—including limiting first-time prescriptions for opioid pain medication to seven days worth of pills. At least six states have passed similar measures restricting the amount and potency of narcotic medications doctors can prescribe…

[Christopher] Baltz was in his third year of treatment for chronic pain resulting from a severe motorcycle accident and was being prescribed a high dose of oxycodone when Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared war on the state’s robust pain management industry in 2011…

Scott’s crackdown led to the closure of some 400 pain management clinics almost overnight, while a coordinated effort by the Drug Enforcement Administration targeted pharmacies suspected of over-dispensing controlled substances.

This took the form of more aggressive enforcement of a decades-old federal mandate known as “corresponding responsibility” that holds pharmacies legally accountable for ensuring the drugs they dispense are being used for a “legitimate medical purpose.”

In theory, the policy is designed to add another check in the process of preventing drug abuse and diversion. In practice, it places pharmacists in the unwarranted position of policing doctors, and discriminating against patients on the basis of often arbitrary red flags (for instance, paying for their prescriptions in cash).

The net effect of the crackdown in Florida was profound and acute. Prescription drug deaths dropped precipitously within the first year-—but heroin deaths rose 39 percent, as patients cut off from legal opioids turned to illegal drugs for relief…

In spring 2013—two days after receiving a courtesy call confirming his monthly appointment—Baltz showed up at his pain management clinic only to find it had been closed down. Within weeks he was making regular trips to Miami to buy heroin.

“The government wants to prevent people abusing pain medication, but there’s no exit strategy,” said Baltz. “I never even saw heroin until this happened.” …

According to the United Nations, 5.5 billion people around the world already suffer from inadequate pain treatment. This includes roughly a third of all cancer patients in the U.S.

Dr. Webster is one of hundreds of doctors and pharmacies that have been investigated by the DEA since it launched its OxyContin Action Plan in 2001. The plan signaled a shift in federal enforcement tactics away from a focus on illicit street drugs and toward preventing controlled pharmaceuticals from falling into the wrong hands. Over the next 13 years the DEA added more than 1,500 personnel and more than doubled its budget. It also significantly ramped up administrative audits of registrants authorized to dispense controlled substances. (As The Daily Beast reported last year, over the same period the DEA was increasing its quotas of Schedule II pharmaceuticals approved for commercial sale).

During one year alone (2009-2010) the number of regulatory investigations conducted by the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control (responsible for policing prescription drugs) more than tripled, according to the Government Accountability Office…

Federal law requires that all prescriptions for controlled substances be for a “legitimate medical purpose,” but it doesn’t define the term…

Ironically, there is evidence that restricting patient access to pain medicine could actually lead to more overdoses, not fewer. Medical examiners are already unsure of how many deaths attributed to “unintentional overdose” are actually suicides. Chronic pain patients frequently suffer from ancillary mental health problems—including depression, anxiety and insomnia—and are at least twice as likely to commit suicide.

In 2013, when the Department of Veterans Affairs responded to a runaway painkiller problem with a new Opioid Safety Initiative, reports surfaced of patients being cut off their medication without proper dose reductions. Within months the agency came under fire for its new policy when a 52-year-old Navy veteran shot himself in the head in front of an outpatient clinic in Virginia after he was forced off his pain meds.

“The medications were the only thing that was helping him, and when they took that away from him, his life just went downhill,” a friend of the dead man told a local paper…

Meanwhile, there is evidence that the majority of prescription opioids that are diverted for illicit use come from the acute care setting, not the treatment of chronic pain.

I’m not sure that makes sense, if this is also true:

From the New York Times:  “And so although emergency physicians write not quite 5 percent of opioid prescriptions, E.R.s have been identified as a starting point on a patient’s path to opioid and even heroin addiction…”

But perhaps it just shows how small the diversion problem really is, even though we’ve spent so much money (and ruined so many lives) in the effort to combat it.

Dr. Daniel del Portal, who teaches emergency medicine at Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, says the modern health care system often incentivizes doctors in acute care settings to find a quick fix for patient complaints. “The pressure is on physicians to make patients happy at any costs,” he told The Daily Beast…

Really? How many doctors have you known that made an effort to make you happy? I don’t ever recall feeling happy after leaving the doctor’s office.

Finally, doctors say there is little use in recommending alternative treatments for patients if they can’t afford them. Pain pills are cheap, and usually fully covered by insurance; physical therapy, chiropractic care, and yoga are expensive, and almost always include co-pays (if they are covered at all)…

Sure, the only reason pain patients don’t use alternative treatments is because of the cost. That really flies in the face of how many pain patients pay out-of-pocket for these alternative treatments, as many are forced to do before they are even given access to opioids.

The fact is that alternative treatments have not proven to be very successful, and their gains are extremely short-lived. This is about treating constant, daily pain, not an injury that will improve over time. For instance, I’m sure there are plenty of pain patients who would welcome a daily massage (if they could afford it), but I would need painkillers before I agreed to let someone work on my body. It would be a treatment that caused more pain, just like so many others I’ve tried. Seems to me that most of the treatments which cause more pain don’t provide as much benefit as their practitioners would have you believe. “No pain, no gain” doesn’t really work when we’re talking about chronic pain.

Another problem is that many of these alternative treatments can be practiced at home, but unless you’re being seen by a doctor, disability insurance companies will question if you’re really suffering from chronic pain. And what’s the point of paying for a doctor if all she can prescribe are these alternative treatments? Because you really don’t need a prescription for yoga, meditation, stretching and exercise, and many other alternative treatments. (Doctors suck.)

Good luck, England

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-21/u-k-tory-turmoil-worsens-as-ex-minister-questions-deficit-focus

Duncan Smith said Sunday he was no longer able to support the cuts to disability benefits while taxes for higher earners and companies are being lowered. He denied his decision to quit late Friday as work and pensions secretary had anything to do with his support for leaving the EU in the June 23 referendum, a position in opposition to the prime minister and chancellor…

While Osborne’s Budget initially drew a positive reaction from Tory lawmakers, criticism soon began to surface about the impact of disability-benefit changes, intended to save about 4.4 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) over five years. The government signaled on Friday, before Duncan Smith quit, that it was looking again at the details…

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/85a8b894-eecc-11e5-9f20-c3a047354386.html#axzz43cEHLGXT

The former Conservative leader quit dramatically on Friday, claiming he had been forced by George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, to implement £4bn of cuts to disability benefits against his will...

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/3024-suicides-at-10-year-high-and-linked-to-benefits

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that suicide rates, which had fallen consistently since 1981, have been climbing since 2007 and are now at their highest in over a decade…

The link between benefits issues and increased suicide risk is being highlighted by charities such as Mind. Speaking to the Guardian, Tom Pollard, policy and campaigns manager at Mind, said:

“Pressurising people by threatening to stop their benefits causes a great deal of financial problems and emotional distress, with some people attempting to take their own lives as a result.” …

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/more-80-suicide-cases-directly-5634404

(5/4/2015) More than 80 suicide cases directly linked to Coalition cuts claim disability campaigners

Privacy is a thing of the past, better get used to it

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-03-11/there-s-no-crisis-brewing-in-subprime-auto-loans

But default on your car payment, and you can expect to have your car repossessed almost immediately. How is this possible? In a word, technology. The modern repo man uses a number of devices to find, track, disable and reclaim automobiles:

Subprime loan underwriters often require borrowers to have their cars equipped with a device that allows the lender to remotely disable the ignition. GPS technology in the devices also lets a lender track a cars’ location and movements. Knowing where the vehicle is, and being able to remotely disable it, makes repossession a snap.

Photographs are taken of “millions of plates a day, with scanners mounted on tow trucks and even on purpose-built camera cars whose sole mission is to drive around and collect plate scans. Each scan is GPS-tagged and stamped with the date and time, feeding a massive data trove to any law-enforcement agency—or government-approved private industry—willing to pay for it” according to Car & Driver magazine. The license-plate acquisition system called Vigilant, adds 100 million photos a month.

License-plate-readers, or LPRs as they are known, are now commonly found at mall entrances, mounted on utility poles, parking lots, toll plazas, and at major highway entrances. According to the site Consumerist, the database of scanned license plates contains “over a billion sightings of individual cars ready for companies to mine.” One company, MVTRAC, has 8,000 fixed cameras, and many more mobile cameras mounted on vehicles, constantly scanning plates.

Some repo companies are using drones to track vehicles and repossess cars; they also can track drivers via their own mobile phones…

This isn’t the first sign of the death of our privacy. HIPAA is a joke and our medical records are passed around like after-dinner mints. And it goes without saying that these technologies are easily abused and hacked into — not only by the government, but also by insurance companies and individuals looking to cause personal harm.

I’m sure some people think, well, I have nothing to hide. And if we can catch terrorists, then a loss of privacy isn’t a big deal.

Until these technologies are used to discriminate against you…

When pain patients attack each other

I suppose it’s not easy to talk “to” people instead of “at” them, especially if you’re on opposite sides of an issue. I realize that my blog allows me to articulate my opinions in ways that I might not be able to if face-to-face with my opponents. However, I put more thought and effort into my writing than I do for verbal communication. In other words, I stand by all of the words and opinions expressed by me on this blog.

I’ve seen the drug war force many changes on the pain patient population in the past 30 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt such desperation in my fellow sufferers. Unfortunately, desperation has caused some patients to draw lines, like how many pain patients blame drug addicts for the opioid war. Like how the DEA and grieving family members of overdose victims blame the drugs.

My blog is mostly about my own opinions of living with chronic pain, although I also include the thoughts, feelings, and comments from other pain patients. Which brings me here…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/future-visit-to-serenity-mesa-addiction-clinic/

Sun, Mar 6, 2016 1:10 pm
Re: Blog posts about Jennifer Weiss-Burke
From: Jennifer Weiss-Burke (jenweiss24@msn.com)

Dear Johnna,

You are right I am not an expert in chronic pain and I’ve never claimed to be. My husband suffers from chronic pain and, like yourself, was dependent on painkillers for a number of years. They almost killed him and destroyed his life so he now seeks effective alternatives and non-opioid medications. So while I do not have direct experience with being a chronic pain patient, I know what my husband went through and continues to go through each and every day.

When you decide to visit Serenity Mesa, I will be happy to have someone other than myself guide you on a tour. You can call 877-3644 which is our main number. Anyone who answers can help schedule something.

I am a supporter of MAT and do not deny any of our residents access to these medicines that are proven to be effective for opiate addiction. In addition my son was on MAT so no I do not deny people access to effective and evidence based solutions, including medication.

We submitted our Medicaid application back in August and are waiting for it to be approved. We have contacted the state Medicaid office numerous times and have been told that all Medicaid applications are on hold because they are changing the application process. If you have any contacts in this area who can help me push the process through I would greatly appreciate it.

No, these are not paid positions. I am a community member of the prescription drug misuse and overdose prevention committee and there are two other community members who are chronic pain patients so your concerns are represented on this committee. The meetings are open to anyone so you are welcome to attend.

You have made a number of assumptions about me that are not true, posted quotes on your blog that I have not said and continue to try and devalue my advocacy efforts. But, the truth remains that young people are becoming addicted to pain killers at alarming rates throughout this country. Kids are dying. Kids are becoming heroin addicts when their supply of pills runs out. Those are the facts. I wish that was my opinion or my over exaggerated perception but sadly it’s not.

I feel for your pain and pray for your strength and perseverance to get through each and every day. I am sorry you are going through what you are going through and hope you somehow find peace. My heart goes out to you.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Weiss-Burke
Executive Director Healing Addiction in Our Community (HAC) & Serenity Mesa Youth Recovery Center
jenweissburke@serenitymesa.com
(505) 363-9684
http://www.serenitymesa.org
http://www.healingaddictionnm.org

Along with this reply from Mrs. Weiss-Burke, her significant other, David Burke (Dbkono@gmail.com), posted a comment to the above link (twice), which I have copied below in its entirety:

As a fellow chronic pain patient I completely agree that prescription pain medications should not be taken away from us! The last thing those suffering from chronic pain need is to suffer daily without remediation. I have been fighting since 2006 with an intense intestinal disease in which I have lost sections of my small intestine and suffer daily from villitrocious sections of my intestines that will never heal. Currently I am still on a variety of other medicines to take care of my condition but I have to live in constant pain everyday.

I, like you, was addicted to painkillers and they almost destroyed my life. I lost everything before I was finally able to detox off the opiates and am proud to say that I have been clean for over 5 years now. I have learned to live and deal with the pain and now advocate. along with my wife, for laws, funding, facilities and whatever else it takes to help stop this epidemic that results in needless opiate overdose deaths.

I have been reading your blog (more like uneducated personal attacks) and have come to one conclusion. You like me are nothing more than an addict. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be so crazed about losing your “drug” and would be more active in doing something about ensuring the laws being put into place protected your rights in being able to use them safely and ensuring that big pharma wasn’t continuing to get rich off of your addiction. If you were actually educated in the facts instead of spewing lies and mis quoting people you would also know that for the last five years we have been working hard with the department of health and many Senators and Representatives ensuring laws like SB 263 and SB 277 among many others protected the rights of chronic pain patients. If you don’t believe me, Call Senator Richard Martinez from Rio Arriba or Sen. Brandt from Sandavol County who is himself a chronic pain sufferer and advocate. Or how about Senator Cervantes. I can go on and on with all the support we have received from both sides of the aisle to show you that one of the biggest concerns from all involved was to ensure the protection of chronic pain patients. Believe me when I say this that your rights as a chronic pain patient are protected.

Unfortunately, your rights as an addict are much harder to protect. In NM there isn’t enough treatment beds for adults, teens, Men or women. When it’s time for you to get help what are you going to do? Where are you going to go? Who are you going to call? Sadly most people have no where to go or call. For the last five years we have been fighting to change that. HAC has been fighting for the youth of this state. Doing everything we can to ensure our young people have a place to go to get help. Wether they are rich, poor, middle class, coming out of jail, homeless or affluent homes. White, black, Hispanic, Native American, purple, or green. After all drugs or addiction don’t really discriminate do they? Have you ever seen anyone die from an overdose? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a 16 year old who is so gripped by opiates that his whole life is consumed by the drug? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a family that has had their lives turned upside down because they lost their son or daughter because of these drugs? Do you not care? Do you not have a heart? I don’t think you do. I think right now you are like every other addict I have ever met. All you care about at this point in your addiction is making sure you are able to get your next dose or “fix”. You are so blinded by your addiction that your lashing out at people who are actually trying to help you keep your precious drugs while trying to make sure others are protected from those same drugs.

My wife may not be an expert in chronic pain but she has never claimed to be. I, however am an expert in chronic pain. My wife has never claimed to be an expert in addiction but an advocate and one who constantly educates herself on addiction. I am an addict and I do the same. We do both however live it everyday. We live it through the eyes of the boys we care for. Through the death of her son. Through the everyday struggle of addiction in my own disease. Through the pain we see in the hundreds of phone calls and emails we receive from parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends of people who have died or are struggling with this horrible addiction!

Do you even know the statistics? Do you even care about where our state falls nationally? Do you even care how many people die every year because of prescription pain pills?

I know if you truly wanted to you could advocate for your cause. It doesn’t take any thing more than picking up a phone or as you are always on your computer or outside taking pictures of planted trash outside your apartment. Just pick up your computer and write a letter to you legislator stating your concerns! Did you know they are required to respond to you? Did you know your elected officials in reality actually do care? All you have to do is try!

You constantly assume things and you know what they say about people who assume things right? There is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing truthful about one thing in ANY of your blogs about my wife or our facility.. We continue to lobby UNPAID for more funding to complete the entire facility. We travel around the state speaking to everyone possible. Anyone who will listen about this epidemic. We will speak to judges, DRs, lawyers, dentists, students, teachers. ANYONE. Especially addicts like you because I don’t want to see you die of an accidental overdose. As a matter of fact I think you should get a prescription of Nalaxone and keep it on hand for anyone around you to know how to use just In case you overdose. Doctors in NM are now starting to co-prescribe Naloxone with an opiate script because the danger of death is so high. There are lots of good NA meetings located around NM. Remember the first step is admitting you have a problem😀 You may have chronic pain but being an addict and a chronic liar can be a far worse disease than the other disability😢

So there is no chance of you misrepresenting this post or me I will be posting my wife’s letter yours and mine on my Facebook page, Yahoo page and have saved a copy of it in my notes in case you decide to alter it in any way. You know being that your so honest and all.

Dear Mr. Burke:

Sometimes my honesty comes across in a negative way…

Well, if I’m being honest (about my obsession with honesty), perhaps I should say that it’s often seen in a negative light. I suppose that’s because the truth often hurts. But since my pain levels are always higher than the pain from honesty, I find the truth to be quite refreshing.

Obviously, this obsession doesn’t win me any popularity contests. But I think the lies we tell ourselves cause us more pain — like anxiety, depression, and digestive problems — than the truth.

So, I think the very last line of your comment pretty much sums up how much you know about me. Funny, if you really wanted to learn more about me, all you had to do was take the time to read some of my blog posts — not just the very small handful that are about your wife.

There’s an awful lot of information on my blog (over 6,500 posts), so I don’t expect you to be familiar with all the details of my chronic pain survivor story. I find it terribly ironic that you accuse me of making assumptions, when it’s you who has made a great number of assumptions about me. But that’s okay, because I don’t mind correcting you.

I think it’s very, very sad when pain patients attack each other. And one of the poison darts often thrown is to accuse another patient of being a drug addict — as if suffering from this additional medical condition is something to be ashamed of. Anyone who follows and reads my blog knows about the enormous amount of empathy I have for those who suffer from any kind of addiction, as well as the in-depth self-analyzing I’ve done on my own addictions.

Tell me, Mr. Burke, do you recognize your addictions?

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/do-you-recognize-your-addictions/

For those pain patients who choose stoicism over drugs, I salute you. I can only warn you that untreated pain can very easily turn into chronic and intractable pain, increasing your daily pain levels, sometimes to the point of being unmanageable (even with drugs).

For those who choose to treat their pain with other drugs besides opioids, I wish you luck. But please don’t play the hypocrite, with the belief that some drugs are good, while others are bad. All drugs have side effects, and you can become addicted to antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and stimulants, just like opioids. In fact, some patients have more trouble detoxing from antidepressants than opioids, with longer-lasting effects. Have you read about brain zaps?

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/lilly-chalks-up-a-win-for-cymbalta-in-first-u-s-trial-over-withdrawal-symptom-claims/

Mr. Burke, you claim to have been “clean” for five years. I suppose that means you haven’t taken any painkillers, as if these are the only drugs that can make one feel dirty while taking, and become clean when they cease taking them. (Heck, some people feel that way about gluten.) If your chosen treatments for pain are working for you, that’s great.

For the past 4 years, I haven’t taken any prescription drugs for chronic pain, even though I’ve had more than one opportunity to purchase them in the underground market. And while you think that I’m addicted to drugs — only interested in getting my next “fix” — the truth is that I was really addicted to doctors and the medical industry. Freeing myself from that addiction was both the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done.

So, there’s no way I can overdose, unless it’s on aspirin. But you’re so very kind to worry about me, Mr. Burke. But dude, there’s no way on Earth that you could ever shame me, although I’m sure you tried your best. Tell me, why did you think it was a good idea to assert that I plant trash outside of my apartment? I think that’s the silliest thing I’ve heard all year.

And no matter how many thinly-veiled innuendos you throw at me, you can’t make me feel bad about my blogging and art therapies — at least they’re free. And I’m sure we can agree that blogging and art therapies are not addicting (unlike the prescription drugs you’re currently taking).

The problem I have with you and your wife’s advocacy work is that it’s not helping pain patients. In fact, it’s harming them. (Isn’t New Mexico at the top of the list for drug abuse and overdoses, including alcohol? And if you check your statistics, you’ll find suicide on that list, too.)

I find it odd that you and your wife don’t understand the results of your actions, but then you both have a rather narrow focus on addiction. And until you read every email (posted on this blog) that I’ve written to government employees (and anyone else I thought might help), you have no business telling me to “try.”

Don’t get me wrong, your comments didn’t offend me. But your attitude — especially as a chronic pain patient — is offensive and harmful to millions of other patients. I think you know that. And I hope you also know how foolish you look, trying to judge me, based on your own misconceptions and the lies you tell yourself.

Dude, you’re not an “expert” on chronic pain. You’re only an expert on your version of adequate treatment options. You discriminate against certain drugs, just like your opinions about me discriminate against other pain patients. I’m not trying to change or open up your mind — no, I’m trying to inform millions of other pain patients what they’re up against in the opioid war.

It’s unfortunate that we’re on opposite sides of this war, Mr. Burke, but I prefer to be on the right side of history. The drug war is, and has been, a total failure (just like prohibition). The war against cannabis has been a disaster, too. The opioid war will also be a failure, but it could take decades — decades of increased suffering, depression, disability, alcoholism, homelessness, and suicides. Yes, and overdoses, too. All because of people like you and your wife. (And a shout out to Unum and the CDC.)

If I believed in shame, I would call that shameful. Hopefully, the patients treated at your addiction clinic are not shamed, as you have tried to shame me here.

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/what-is-the-purpose-of-shame/

Pain refugees in Indiana

Posted at http://www.pharmaciststeve.com on 1/26/2016:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (Feb. 26, 2016)–Three central Indiana pain clinics were searched by federal and local agencies Friday morning. Sources tell FOX59 the Pain Management Centers of Indiana are being investigated for the alleged overprescribing of pain medications possibly linked to overdose deaths. The investigation is spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration along with local agencies in Marion, Miami and Monroe counties. The prosecutors from all three counties are assisting along with The Indiana Attorney General. Records and files were removed in evidence boxes from the clinics. They operate in locations in Peru, In, Bloomington, In and the south side of Indianapolis. The main physician’s home was also searched in addition to the three practices…

Under comments:

boilerrph87, on February 26, 2016 at 10:57 pm said:

Apparently Mr Watson must have a pharmacy degree too because he seems to know so much more about medications than I as a pharmacist

“It is the duty of DEA, the Attorney General and the prosecuting attorneys to investigate such complaints. Whether or not they are substantiated by the evidence being gathered and reviewed may not be determined for several weeks,” said Bruce Embry, prosecuting attorney for Miami County…..

READ: UNTIL we prove you innocent, your reputation and life is toast socially, professionally and financially and even then it is still toast afterwards because you will NEVER recover from this. They have also destroyed your legitimate chronic pain patients and they are now pain refugees because no doctor will take them on within 100 miles and see them as legitimate…

http://www.indypain.com/corporate-news/long-term-disability/

Effective as of January 14, 2016, the Center for Pain Management will no longer complete any new forms or paperwork in support of Long Term Disability.

At the Center for Pain Management, our goal is to restore patients to the highest possible level of functioning. In almost all cases, being on Long Term Disability is not consistent with that goal. Therefore, effective immediately, our medical practice has discontinued support of Long Term Disability and will no longer complete any new forms or paperwork associated with Long Term Disability coverage…

Posted at http://www.mpp.org:

The Indiana General Assembly is now in session, and it appears lawmakers are going to make the same mistake as last year by not passing Sen. Karen Tallian’s comprehensive medial marijuana bill…  Indiana has some of the most draconian marijuana penalties in the country. Possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000…

https://www.facebook.com/Legalize-Medical-Marijuana-for-Indiana-200102390026181/

In my search terms

“will medical marajuana hurt my unum disability claim”

No one really knows the answer to that question. I asked Unum for “all documentation which shows Unum’s position on medical cannabis.” But the corporation refused to respond. I would have to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit to have access to the documents I requested here:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/unum-letter-10242014/

However, if I had to guess, I would say that, considering the effort Unum expends to deny benefits, it would definitely use your treatment choice against you —  not that they would ever reveal that information. But since Unum requires medical updates, you have no choice but to tell them. Unum has access to all of your medical information, so if you want to keep your marijuana use a secret, just don’t tell anybody (including your doctor).

Problem is, how are you treating your medical condition? Without proof in your medical file that you’re being treated by a doctor, insurance companies will question if you are really disabled. So, keep seeing your doctor if you can afford to, just tell him or her about all the other treatments you’re using, leaving out the use of cannabis.