I am not alone

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/07/suicide-rates-rise-butte-montana-princeton-study

Growing economic inequality and increasing financial struggles are intertwined with other issues such as health and addiction. Some people living on low incomes hesitate to go to the doctor even if they have medical insurance because of the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. Chronic conditions can go untreated and become debilitating…

The Princeton study and Rosston both identified chronic pain as a big driver of suicide among middle-aged people. “The typical death certificate that I often read is a typical 55-year-old male who is having chronic pain issues in his back and is not being treated,” he said…

Tracy Thompson heads the Laborers’ International Union of North America in Butte. She used to be a construction worker and then held a job at a pulp mill in Missoula, to the west of Butte, until it shut down in 2009.

“We lost four people to suicide when they closed their doors. These were individuals making $50,000 or $60,000 a year, maybe more. All of a sudden they’re forced into early retirement or to find employment elsewhere. One guy had worked there for 30 years. We were all shocked he took his life,” she said. “You see it all around. You see a guy dies at 53. What did he die of?”

According to the Butte-Silver Bow Community Health Needs Assessment for 2014, more than one-third of residents show symptoms of chronic depression…

“We have a very high shortage of mental health professionals in our state, specifically psychiatrists. About 80% of the people who take psychotropic medication in Montana have never even spoken to a psychiatrist,” he said…

“I’ve heard that the majority of Americans are afraid of even a $500 emergency. They’re one broken refrigerator away from not being able to make it. That’s us.” …

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/george-washington-bridge-jumper-debt-woes-article-1.2483173

A man who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge Thursday was a Deutsche Bank employee who was deeply in debt, court documents state. Michael Engelson, 31, of Hastings-on-Hudson in Westchester, had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on over $151,000 in debt three months before his fatal plunge, according to his filing Sept. 30 in Manhattan Federal Court.

He describes himself in the court papers as on medical leave from a job in operations at Deutsche Bank Security, where he made around $84,000 a year…

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/01/medical-marijuana-use-colorado-kansas-veteran-custody-battle

Nine months ago, Schwab tried to move to Colorado to grow medical marijuana for fellow veterans. While he and his wife were there preparing for the move, the state of Kansas took five of their children, ages 5 to 16, into custody on suspicion of child endangerment, ensnaring his family in interstate marijuana politics…

A US navy veteran who served in the Gulf war, Schwab says that he uses a homemade cannabis butter to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, and chronic pain. For years, he says, his mental health issues went undiagnosed, resulting in a bout of alcoholism and substance abuse. He was prescribed a variety of sedatives, antidepressants and chronic pain medication, which he says often made him feel worse. “I got addicted to the pain medication, which led to heroin addiction.”

Schwab says that he has been sober since a stint in rehab in 2011, and that cannabis is the only medication that helps with his anxiety, depression and physical pain…

Schwab says that one of the relatives caring for his children (whom he declines to name) took them to the police station, saying their parents had abandoned them to go work on a pot farm in Colorado. That was in April last year, and Schwab says he has only seen his children three times since then…

The Schwabs have been asked to submit a urine sample that would be tested to see if they have used marijuana before they can visit their children – despite having relocated to Colorado, where he has a prescription…

Schwab says that once he regains custody of his children he plans to sue the state of Kansas for violation of his constitutional rights. “They’re holding my kids hostage and threatening to terminate my rights if I don’t seek cannabis-abuse therapy in a state that’s legal. They’re threatening other people with jail time or losing their kids if they speak out, but I will not submit. I’ll take this to the supreme court if I have to.”

For all of you with the courage and will to fight, I salute you. 🙂

Study: Access to Medical Marijuana Associated With Decline in Obesity

Study: Access To Medical Marijuana Associated With Decline In Obesity

For those age 35 or older, authors determined that the passage of medical cannabis laws is “associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise consistent with the hypothesis of some medicinal use of marijuana.” For younger adults, researchers theorized that obesity declines were the result of less alcohol use…

Sometimes, bud causes the munchies. And sometimes, it can help you diet and forget about food. That’s my Bud:  good for just about anything. 🙂

The Effectiveness of Pills

When I was under a doctor’s “care,” I was required to fill out a daily chart, which included monitoring every pill I took and my pain level at that time. It was like homework that lasted for 24 hours, and then was graded by the “school principal” every month (while I forked over hundreds of dollars for the privilege). It caused me to be overly analytical about my pain, almost like having to track, record, and analyze my every breath. (I’m exhausted just thinking about it.)

Of course, since I’ve recovered from my addiction to doctors, I’ve been busy analyzing other things. (Seriously, I don’t think I think too much, I know it.)

One of the things I was thinking about today (in my sleepless stupor) was the fact that pills are not as effective as the labels and recommended dosages suggest. When I was taking pain pills, I blamed myself when they didn’t last for, say, 12 hours. But my allergy pills work the same way, in that the effects don’t last for a full 12 (or 24) hours.

So, you’ll be sitting there, breathing just fine — then, all of a sudden, you lose the effect of the medication and it feels like you haven’t taken anything at all…

Wait, did I take a sugar pill? Is Big Pharma trying to save money by replacing some of my allergy pills with placebos? What other explanation could there be?

Even though I’ve been taking allergy medicine for decades, I don’t believe this is about a rebound effect or a problem with high tolerance. Since I recently spent a couple of weeks without allergy medicine, I’m using that as a comparison. When 12-hour Claritin-D periodically stops working within that 12 hours, I feel just like I did when I was without it. (The 24-hour dosage works in a similar way, at least for me.)

Most pain patients and doctors think that 12-hour formulations work better, giving a consistent dosage of medication over a longer period of time than four-to-six hour pills.

Yes, it’s true that you take fewer pills, but is it really more effective?

Perhaps the 12-hour pills are more effective for some pain patients, but I didn’t think so. When experiencing those periods of ineffectiveness, it was easier for me to hold off taking another pill when I knew I would be able to do so in a shorter period of time — something I don’t have the option of doing with my 12-hour allergy medication. And I thought the four-to-six hour dosages gave me more relief for a longer period of time, at least compared with the 12-hour pills.

How much time throughout the day are you getting relief? If the pills worked as advertised, they would work for a full 12 hours. Patients wouldn’t need to take more than the recommended dosage and there would be a lot less abuse and overdoses. Is it how a pill is digested? The length of time it takes to work? If a better way of getting our vitamins and minerals is through food (not vitamins), what would be the comparison for pain and allergy medications? Something to think about. (Free the Weed.)

This just goes to show you that every patient is different. But I also want pain patients to do their own analyzing — is all that we’ve been taught to believe really accurate?

This is also about the new abuse-deterrent formulations for pain medications, which also have a problem with effectiveness. It appears that patients are having problems digesting these new Big Pharma formulations. (And I have to wonder why the allergy industry hasn’t come up with their own versions of these formulations.)

Trying to outsmart those who don’t use drugs as recommended seems illogical to me — has that ever happen? And I just don’t think that patients deserve all the blame in the drug war, whether we suffer from chronic pain, addiction, or a mental illness. If you take prescribed medication or illegal drugs for any condition, it’s important to know the limitations and risks of those drugs. Don’t leave it up to Big Pharma, the government, or doctors to tell you about your medications — you’re only getting their side of the story.

When privileged politicians, law enforcement, and doctors try to outsmart street smarts, they will always end up looking stupid. Maybe that’s not a nice thing to say, but I think it’s the unvarnished truth. If it wasn’t true, wouldn’t the drug war be a success?

Okay, I’m done thinking now. Thanks for reading. 🙂

How to Fix Drug Courts

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-01-13/how-to-fix-drug-courts

But to make the courts work in practice, states need to see that they’re adequately funded and properly run. Typically, states offer drug courts as an alternative to prison for addicts who are arrested for nonviolent crimes only: In exchange for pleading guilty, a defendant can spend a year undergoing assessment, treatment and monitoring. Crucially, this opportunity is offered under the threat of sanctions (including jail time) for not following the program…

Many drug courts also need better management. Consider that judges, rather than physicians or other medical professionals, determine people’s treatment…

Indeed, a 2013 study found that two-thirds of drug courts prevented those who had been using illegal opioids from being treated with methadone or similar medication, often on the mistaken belief that such drugs prolong addiction…

My comment:

It seems we’ve gathered a lot of information and statistics for how the drug court system works. Since the opioid war is being blamed on pain patients and their doctors, what I’d like to know is how many of these tragic souls who end up in drug court are classified as suffering from addiction and how many are classified as chronic pain patients? How many of these drug war victims are suffering from depression, bipolar, PTSD, homelessness, or grief?

Let’s say I’m a 25-year-old woman who was abused as a child and have never dealt with it. I’ve been drinking and partying to block my pain, which exposed me to the variety of drugs that I became addicted to. Now, I’ve been arrested, caught selling 10 Vicodin to a friend, and stand in front of a judge in the criminal court system.

This process just increases the shame I feel, not only from my past but from being labeled a criminal for life because of a handful of hydrocodone. Caught in the system, I’m placed in an addiction treatment center, surrounded by other people who know better than anyone else how to find more drugs. Then, I’m given bupe or methadone to treat my addiction, introducing me to new drugs I can use to cover my mental pain.

The reason there is such a high recidivism rate for drug addicts is because the system only tries to treat the addiction, not any of the underlying causes or triggers. In fact, the system appears to create more addicts than it successfully treats.

The Ground

https://crossovertheroad.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/bam/

“When you can’t get up, find something fascinating on the ground.” Me 🙂

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I can’t say this enough:  Thanks for viewing. 🙂

Are you bored
with lying on the floor?
Does your neck hurt
with the effort to avert?
Tired of viewing
only the dirt?
Time to look up…
Time for dessert!

http://lilluna.com/cinnamon-bread-recipe/

I made this cinnamon bread the other day (I, of course, added icing). Unfortunately, I don’t have the words to describe how awesome it is. Even worse, I don’t have any photos, because the bread didn’t hang around long enough to be photographed. (And the blogger at the link has turned off my ability to copy a photo and post it here. Whatever.)

Warning:  This recipe makes five loaves of soft and delicious cinnamon bread, so you have to use fractions if you want to make less. But, I can attest that this bread freezes beautifully.

Americans don’t care about pain patients

Almost 200,000 People Have Signed Petitions Asking Obama to Pardon the ‘Making a Murderer’ Subject

https://www.vice.com/read/almost-200000-people-have-signed-petitions-asking-obama-to-pardon-the-making-a-murderer-subject-vgtrn

As of this moment, there are 1,793 comments on the CDC’s website regarding the new regulations:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=CDC-2015-0112

A search for the word “suicide” brought back 239 results in the comment section:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;po=0;s=suicide;dct=PS;D=CDC-2015-0112

The same search has 3 results in the CDC’s supporting documents:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketBrowser;rpp=25;po=0;s=suicide;dct=SR;D=CDC-2015-0112

First Do No Harm: The DEA targets Physicians who treat their patients pain.

8,829 People Have Sent 21,065 Letters and Emails

http://www.petition2congress.com/5202/first-do-no-harm-dea-targets-physicians-who-treat-their-patients/view/

(1 day ago) Kristin K. from Central Point, OR writes:

It’s a relief to see that people are starting to recognize the demoralizing, and downright appalling scrutiny so many are dealing with. And most are guilty of nothing more than suffering with chronic pain. Depressing, devastating, and most often debilitating, chronic pain.

For twenty years I’ve watched my dad suffer in pain. For the first ten years he was prescribed oxycontin, a very strong, long-acting narcotic, for a spinal cord injury. He hated the way it made him numb emotionally. So he decided, on his own to discontinue the pain meds, and sought out a new doctor, hoping to fond an alternative. After a horrible withdrawal period, that caused mini strokes, he continued pain med free for several weeks. He came to realize he needed the relief the pain meds provided more than once thought.

However, his previous attempt to go drug free had caused his new doctor to red flag him, making it near impossible to get help in the way of narcotic pain medication, despite numerous MRI’s, and x-rays of his extensive injuries. It took going to the local Methadone Clinic, and asking who was known to have the worst reputation when it came to prescribing painpills too easily. They gave me a name and i had dad in to see him the next week. I needed to be sure we were going to a doctor that hadn’t become so fearful of DEA scrutinizing, that he would compromise morhis oath as a doctor, or his morals as a human being. It’s been a battle to say the least. Dad is now on a pain pump, and making slow progress. But, there should have never been a day go by that he had to suffer like he did.

(4 days ago) Someone from Superior, WI writes:

In my area it’s next to impossible to receive opiods for pain relief, chronic and acute. Just in my circle of loved ones, I have seen the following:

A 45 year old woman who cannot get pain medication after major abdominal surgery because her primary care physician wasn’t the prescriber. It was the surgeon who prescribed it, so insurance won’t cover it, and the pharmacy refuses to let her pay in cash.

A 74 year old accused of being a drug seeker when she was brought to the ER with back pain. Turned out she had kidney stones and a UTI.

A 44 year old veteran denied pain meds for a severe, permanent knee injury that forced him into early retirement from the military.

A 21 year old male accused of faking groin and back pain to access narcotics, even though he turned down hydromorphone and asked for Toradol. He ended up needing surgery to remove several 10 mm size kidney stones.

A 42 year old female denied pain medication for multiple foot fractures after an accident.

A 43 year old woman told to increase her doses of naproxen after calling her dr to report renal and stomach side effects. She’s currently in the hospital after developing a GI bleed.

A 55 year old veteran accused of drug seeking when he was brought to the ER with head trauma after being robbed and beaten. Funny how the addict who did this to him is treated more compassionately than the guy he brutalized.

A 38 year old female denied pain meds while having shingles.

And these are just acute pain patients. This doesn’t mention those of us with chronic pain diseases that are denied pain relief. Those of us with chronic pancreatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, numerous back problems, severe osteoarthritis, stress fractures in the spine, neuropathy from diabetes and blood clots, fibromyalgia, CRPS..,,the list goes on. Not one of us can get help from our doctors. Every single one of us in my group have side effects from this lack of treatment. Many of us have uncontrolled high blood pressure from stress and pain, most of us have varying levels of PTSD and depression because of these accusations. One patient has started getting panic attacks every time they enter a medical facility.

Despite opiods being next to impossible to get here, heroin use has risen dramatically…

(2 days ago) Maureen S. from Clifton Park, NY writes:

Very well written! I am tired of being treated like a criminal by my doctor, I am tired of the friggin’ cashier at the pharmacy giving me the stink eye.

I am weary of thinking about suicide almost every day.

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=13163

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a public conference call on its controversial Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain Thursday, January 7, 2016, at 9:00 am ET.

What are politicians talking about?

http://capitolwords.org/about/

For every day Congress is in session, Capitol Words visualizes the most frequently used words in the Congressional Record, giving you an at-a-glance view of which issues lawmakers address on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Capitol Words lets you see what are the most popular words spoken by lawmakers on the House and Senate floor.

I did a search for “chronic pain” and got these results:

http://capitolwords.org/term/chronic_pain/

Not looking forward to the Cosby trial

Are you prepared for next year, when Bill Cosby will be put on trial? Are you prepared for Cosby News 24/7? I suppose it will be just like these famous trials:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2011/07/07/famous-trials.html

Well, this is our justice system — a day late and a dollar short (an obvious understatement). I know Mr. Cosby is innocent until proven guilty, but I’m inclined to believe the gazillion women who were brave enough to come forward.

To the victims who suffer from PTSD, depression, or addiction because of Mr. Cosby, I am thinking about you. (Try bud, it works great.)

Do you think white supremacy groups will gather in front of the courthouse? I’m very sad for the black community, but just keep in mind that more white men are on that top 20 list of famous trials than black or Latino.

Mr. Cosby and his family have had a wonderful life. I suppose the public never really knew him. (Makes me wonder if I’m wrong about what a great guy Bradley Cooper is.) At 78, I don’t know if Mr. Cosby is still raping women or if he’s a danger to the public, but for all those victims, this is what justice looks like.

Kinda sucks, huh?

Now, I look back at all the people who must have known about Mr. Cosby and yet did nothing. Reminds me of the stories of college rape, where bystanders think it’s okay to also do nothing. I don’t know if that’s how rich people live or what, but that’s just screwed up.

Mrs. Cosby is standing by her man — so far. I suppose there will be comparisons to the Clintons, and how there are many women who think Mrs. Clinton was a fool for sticking around. Seems to me that the Clintons had an arrangement; which, in my mind, is their private business. I wonder, did the Cosbys have a similar arrangement? She keeps quiet and enjoys the status and privilege, turning her back on her husband’s criminal activities. (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.)

Well, for me, the trial is just a formality (and a media money maker). I don’t really want to learn any more about how these kind of people live — I’ll never run into anyone like them. But it makes me feel very sad for all the women in Hollywood (and in the music industry), knowing what they have to put up with to follow their dreams.

Quackery

Wikipedia:  Quackery is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan”.

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Neurology/PainManagement/55268?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2015-12-17&eun=g875301d0r

Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, outlines steps for opioid tapering

We really need to look at whether patients consider their lives improved as a result of opioid treatment. My University of Washington colleague Jane Ballantyne, MD, and I recently published a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine…

Many patients struggle with insomnia and anxiety as they taper opioids. It’s important that prescribers don’t add medications such as sedatives, benzodiazepines, or muscle relaxants that can increase risk of opioid overdose in unpredictable ways. Tricyclic antidepressants, like nortriptyline, can provide a safer alternative treatment for anxiety and insomnia.

Since antidepressants only work for (maybe) up to 30% of patients (and that’s for treatment of depression, not chronic pain, where the percentage is significantly lower), what other “safer” treatments do you suggest for anxiety and insomnia? And how do you treat symptoms like anxiety and insomnia that have arisen from the chronic pain itself? Oh, that’s right, doctors are refusing to treat pain, so now they can only “treat” the comorbid conditions — when they’re actually treating the pain with antidepressants…

Perhaps most “experts” don’t know this, but the use of antidepressants to treat chronic pain is actually off-label, except for a very few, specific, chronic pain conditions. Off-label use of medications (not approved by the FDA) has been under a lot of scrutiny lately and the results don’t look good (at least for the patients). So, what does it say about an “expert” who is advocating for off-label use of prescription medications? (Has the FDA approved the use of antidepressants for anxiety and insomnia?)

I have found that many patients in the subgroup taking high doses of opioids have untreated or undertreated psychiatric disorders, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, which need to be monitored carefully. Opioids can mask symptoms of these disorders, so that when a patient comes off opioids these symptoms may reappear or worsen.

Opioids “mask” these symptoms, just like they “mask” pain? And when these drugs are taken away, the symptoms reappear or get worse? Dude, are you trying to say that opioids are actually treating PTSD and depression? And because of the opioid war, doctors have to take away these successful treatments? Replacing them with… antidepressants?

As I predicted, the only drugs doctors are going to prescribe for pain (anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.) are antidepressants. Broke your leg? Here, have some Effexor. Dental pain? Here, have some Paxil.

My blood pressure increases every time I read one of these articles, but the scary part is that this quackery is becoming mainstream.

Guns, guns, everywhere…

http://www.people.com/article/7-year-old-michigan-girl-mom-shot-soccer-practice

A 7-year-old Michigan girl with “a bright future ahead” is dead and her mother is in serious condition after police allege that a family friend shot them both and then himself after soccer practice Thursday night.

Emma Watson Nowling was shot in the head in the parking lot of the Taylor Sportsplex and died later the same night…  Her mother, 37-year-old Sharon Elizabeth Watson, remains in serious condition at an area hospital, according to the statement…

http://www.oregonlive.com/living/index.ssf/2013/05/why_oregons_suicide_rate_is_am.html

In 2011, most Oregon firearm deaths were suicides (76 percent)…

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/01/2014_marked_by_high_number_of.html

In Portland, three women were killed by their husbands or ex-husbands who then turned the gun on themselves. One was Maria Soumphonpackdy, 42, shot dead two days after she filed for divorce and a restraining order against her husband… Nicolette Elias, 46, was killed by her ex-husband in her home after she got restraining and stalking orders against him and he agreed in court to limited supervised visits with their two daughters. One Portland father shot his 4-year-old daughter and then killed himself…

November marked the deadliest month in Oregon for domestic violence homicides: Seven women were killed in five counties. Two of the suspects killed themselves. At least three of the deaths occurred in a home with children present. Five involved firearms, according to testimony before state lawmakers last month…

Inside the Tortured Mind of the Man Who Killed American Sniper Chris Kyle

http://www.newsweek.com/inside-tortured-mind-man-who-killed-american-sniper-chris-kyle-397299

The VA records note that during a follow-up visit five days after his discharge, Routh exhibited no signs of hallucinations or delusions. It was an encouraging snapshot, but it only captured Routh’s state of mind on that particular day. The hospital evaluated Routh to see if he qualified for Mental Health Intensive Case Management, which would have provided him with a host of resources, including regular at-home visits from a caseworker. But the hospital concluded he did not meet the criteria for the service. Despite the knife incident and his history of homicidal and suicidal thoughts, he was not considered a high enough risk.

The doctor did increase the dosages of Routh’s medications, but the new prescriptions, the records state, weren’t sent out until “on or about Feb 2, 2013,” the day Routh went to the shooting range with Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield…

Tale of Two Suicides; Lessons for Opioid Public Policy

http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=12691

http://nationalpainreport.com/tale-of-two-suicides-lessons-for-opioid-public-policy-8828356.html

For one it was the best of times, for the other, the worst. At no time did the paths of their lives cross, but they shared the same fate, one most would consider a tragedy. Their legacies, for pain and public policy, could not have been more different…

 I knew one, only heard of the other; both dramatically affected my life.

Bob was a marine. He had valiantly served his country, and he was proud of it. His identity was so tied to his service that he could not handle the thought of being any less of a marine, a warrior… a man, whatever that means. His back injury robbed him of that identity, and he struggled in a futile attempt to regain that which he no longer was, or, at least thought he was. Perception is reality, and his perception was that he was no longer what he wanted to be, needed to be.

Surgeries and elixers, therapies traditional and non-traditional. All tried in a vain attempt to rid himself his pain. All failed. Some made his pain worse.

He used pain meds to numb the pain, but they couldn’t restore his manhood. In desperation, he kept taking more and more. After a while, he gave up the hope for a cure. He was a broken man, not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually. The meds gradually became a temporary reprieve from his painful reality.

I was his doctor. I never really saw that brave marine. Rather, I saw a broken, staggering man, subservient to the world his pain had created for him. Our goal for any treatment is to improve one’s function. For many, opioids accomplish that. Not for Bob…

I told him that I could no longer prescribe the medication for him as I saw it harming more than helping…

There were no candle-light vigils for Fred [Bob]. He was gone, and quickly forgotten…

Billy’s parents took to the legislature to exact vengeance. While few would ever be driven to action to help Bob, there were many who sought to vindicate Billy. There are few things more motivating than a grieving mother’s wailing, and the legislators were not immune. Soon, laws were being enacted in a vain attempt to “stop the carnage.” In a world fueled more by emotion than reason, the land of “feel-good law,” the law of un-intended consequences reigns supreme. Soon, laws were passed. Addicts still died. Those in pain struggled to find someone with the courage to defy those laws and care…and they died too, but their cries went unheard…

The battle has only started, and it is not just in the legislatures, and not just in my state of New Hampshire. It is also in courtroom. In the chilling wake of a second degree murder conviction for Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, accused of prescribing opioids in the course of her practice that led to the deaths of three patients, I, like many others feel lost and vulnerable…

Under comments:

Jackie
November 23, 2015 at 5:49 pm
Have you wondered if telling Fred you were taking away his medication (his main means of controlling his unrelenting pain) may have in fact been the catalyst for his suicide? As a chronic pain sufferer I know a few sufferers who have done so when no longer able to get the medication they need. It is a very frightening thing to face the kind of pain you know is going to come. My pain is managed by opiates, but my strength fortunately comes from somewhere else.. So it’s never an option I would take, but I certainly understand why others may not want to have to deal with unremitting pain for the rest of their lives.

Shari
November 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm
I have Chiari Malformation and EDS and several other chronic debilitating conditions. I am to the point that I have PTSD because of the treatment I have received due to patient profiling and being labeled a drug seeker. Because of this I am unable to go to any dr. and would rather die in my home than go to the ER because of severe anxiety just thinking about calling to make an appointment let alone actually go to it. I don’t drive and have been house bound since August ’14 and spend most of my days in bed or on the couch. That wasn’t the case when I was going to pain management. I actually engaged in life rather than waiting to die like I do now. I’m 43 I do not receive ssdi and live with family because I have a 9 year old daughter and I am unable to properly care for her! Physically or financially. The thought of living another 5 or 10 or 20 years like this is daunting to say the least! But as I hear far too often “it could be worse, at least you’re alive!”
REALLY??? I fail to see how that would be worse!

Veterans Drop Empty Pill Bottles In Front Of White House To Rally For Medical Marijuana Access

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/105785/20151112/veterans-drop-empty-pill-bottles-in-front-of-white-house-to-rally-for-medical-marijuana-access.htm

In line with the news, the senate passed the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill for 2016 on Tuesday, Nov. 10. The said bill entails VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in states where it is legal…

Too bad the government can’t help veterans who live in states that don’t have a medical cannabis program, or veterans trying to cope with a crappy program. And too bad the government can’t help with the cost of a drug that isn’t covered by insurance. If the VA (and Medicare) can cover opioids, why can’t they cover cannabis?