Yes, the CDC is on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/CDC

I was just thinking about how much fun it would be to leave a daily message for the CDC. Something like…

Hey, CDC, my name is Johnna Stahl. I’ve suffered from intractable pain for 30 years. Your opioid rules may help a few people who could suffer from addiction in the future, but what are you going to do, right now, to help me and 40 million other chronic pain patients?

Hey, CDC, it’s me, Johnna from Albuquerque. I’m back again to remind you that everybody knows the drug war is a failure. Your opioid war is an even bigger failure. How many people have to suffer and die before you come to your senses?

Yes, it’s me again, Johnna from the Q. When will the CDC approve assisted suicide for chronic pain patients?

Hey, CDC, where did you find Kolodny from PFROP? Are all of your “experts” as ignorant as Mr. Kolodny about the treatment of pain?

Hey, CDC, how does it feel to ruin people’s lives? To make them feel like outcasts and drug addicts when they suffer from constant pain? What’s the CDC’s position on creating stigma? Seems like that should be against the law.

Does anybody want to join me in hounding the CDC? I don’t mind being the only one, but maybe I should wait until after payday (budday). I use too many swear words when I don’t have my bud. Just 3 more days…

When an expert is not an expert

I used to read articles at Vice until they published an article about cannabis that was ignorant and wrong. Let’s see what Vice is getting wrong today, shall we?

This article is full of incorrect statistics and biased conclusions that are endemic in the media. And guess who Vice chose as their addiction “expert”?

http://www.news.vice.com/story/opioids-chronic-pain

The CDC insists it isn’t trying to create barriers to legitimate treatment. The new guidelines, the agency says, are the result of extensive input from “experts” and a thorough review of the available “evidence.” They don’t explicitly rule out opioids for chronic pain, but they do send a clear message that opioids should not be considered a first-line treatment…

I’m sure everyone’s experience is different, but my experience has been that doctors don’t consider opioids as a first-line treatment for anything except acute pain, if then. This makes it sound like chronic pain patients just want an easy fix, the pills. That’s very wrong (as my bank account can attest). In other words, the CDC didn’t need to create regulations because of this issue. I’d say that about 95% of doctors already practiced that way. But wait, we need to punish that 5% of doctors who aren’t following the rules, just like we’re punishing pain patients for those who suffer from addiction. Because drug war.

Alternatives do exist. For instance, the CDC says exercise therapy has been shown to improve physical function in some patients. Non-opioid medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be useful for conditions like arthritis and lower back pain, and some antidepressants and anticonvulsants are also effective.

Tell me, how are people in pain supposed to exercise without any pain relief? Sure, exercise will improve my physical function, but why would I want to increase my pain levels without anything to relieve the increased pain? That would make me stupid. Or a masochist. And speaking of masochists…

Hey Kolodny, are you going to treat the conditions that arise from taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen on a long-term basis? Even the CDC advises against that. How about when an antidepressant causes suicidal ideation? Do your addiction centers treat that, too?

In 1996, the American Pain Society launched its influential “fifth vital sign” campaign, giving pain equal billing with blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and rate of breathing… Just as the “fifth vital sign” campaign encouraged physicians to prescribe opioids indiscriminately…

The media and the medical industry love to place blame on the fifth vital sign. Tell me, what does monitoring pain levels (along with blood pressure, etc.) have to do with drug addiction? No, no, no, the fifth vital sign campaign did not encourage doctors to prescribe opioids indiscriminately. That’s doctors talking, blaming overdoses and addiction on pain patients.

That same year, Purdue Pharma released OxyContin, a powerful painkiller sold as a slow-release pill, which the company aggressively marketed as a godsend for pain patients, often to doctors with little knowledge of abuse-disorder warning signs. OxyContin was a blockbuster, reaching sales of over $1 billion by the end of the decade. But it turned out the drug was also pretty easy to crush, snort, and inject for a high — and Purdue downplayed the risk of patients becoming addicted. In 2007, the company and its executives agreed to pay fines of $635 million for misleading the public.

Sure, blame Purdue. Don’t blame doctors, who use ignorance of treating pain and addiction as the reason for Oxy’s popularity. Bullshit. Doctors have always known that Oxy is addictive. All painkillers can be addicting in a small percentage of patients and doctors know that.

One study the CDC looked at showed that dependence among patients on opioid therapy was as high as 26 percent…

Actually, there are studies that show the addiction rate for pain patients at about 3% to 10%, but the CDC wasn’t interested in any information that was contrary to what their “experts” wanted. Why would the CDC base the treatment of pain on this one study? And why is the CDC making regulations according to 26% of the population? What about the other 74%? I can’t be sure, but I believe that constitutes a majority.

But if the evidence doesn’t support opioid treatment for long-term pain, why are so many chronic pain patients convinced they need the drugs to function? Andrew Kolodny, an influential substance-abuse expert and one of the country’s most vocal critics of opioid overprescribing, thinks he has a pretty good answer. Those patients, he says, are probably dependent on the drugs and may be addicted.

Actually, the lack of “evidence” to support opioid treatment for chronic pain has more to do with who funds the research. No one wants to fund research for chronic pain, even if they could find volunteers who would agree to treat their pain with a placebo. Those funding research on pain are connected to addiction, like the NIDA. And when others perform research on pain, if it doesn’t comport with the government’s program on addiction, the research is buried or not even published.

Kolodny doesn’t waver when I mention the desperation I’ve heard from sufferers. “You’ve found a group of very vocal patients who are convinced that everyone is trying to take their opiates away from them,” he said. “They believe that the CDC guidelines — that advocacy groups like mine — that what we’re really after is stopping drug abusers, and that they’re being made to pay the price. That’s totally not what’s going on. What’s motivating us is an understanding that opioids are lousy drugs for chronic pain.”

Pain patients are having their medications taken away from them — not just opioids and not just pain patients. Doctors don’t want to treat any kind of pain because they’re scared. No, doctors would rather blame pain patients, stop treating them, and move on. How many pain doctors have switched to treating addiction (see the first link following my rant)?

Kolodny reminds me of people who think that addiction doesn’t exist. I think he believes that chronic pain doesn’t really exist. For Kolodny, only addiction exists.

Anyone who says that opioids are lousy drugs for chronic pain has never suffered from chronic pain — and is an ignorant asshole. This is who the CDC used as an “expert.”

For consensus, Kolodny says to look to the country’s leading pain clinics. The Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, and the Washington University School of Medicine are a few of the institutions whose experts now say long-term opioid treatments are ineffective and risky. But there are still pain specialists who disagree…

Why doesn’t the media talk to patients who’ve been treated by these allegedly illustrious clinics? I want to hear from them. Actually, I do hear from patients who’ve been treated at these clinics, in comment sections all over the internet. And it’s nothing good.

“The language that they’ll use to describe how they think opioids are helping them is the exact same language my heroin-using patients use,” Kolodny told me. “I’ve been treating opioid addiction for about 15 years. They use the same exact language: ‘Doc, imagine what it feels like every morning — feeling like you’ve been hit in the chest with a baseball bat until you take your first dose.’”

First of all, Kolodny is neither an addiction expert or an expert on the treatment of pain. He’s a dickhead with a lot of power and money behind him, hoping to move up to bigger and better things, probably in politics.

How much has Kolodny’s income increased since he joined the opioid war? How many patients have died while being treated at one of Kolodny’s addiction clinics? Why isn’t he being held responsible for these deaths, like pain doctors are being prosecuted for their patients’ deaths? Why doesn’t the media include the crimes being committed at these clinics when using Kolodny as an “expert”?

Kolodny says he’s been treating addiction for 15 years. Has he ever suffered from addiction or chronic pain? I’ve suffered from intractable pain for 30 years and I think I know more about addiction than he does.

In Kolodny’s view, these patients are feeling better from opioids not because the medication is treating an underlying pain problem but because it’s treating their withdrawal pain. And his view holds a lot of sway….

Really? Seriously? Well, Mr. Kolodny, I haven’t taken opioids to treat my intractable pain for about 6 years now. Why am I still in a suicidal amount of pain? Because the “pain problem” is not an underlying condition — it is the main condition. And it deserves treatment, just like any other medical condition.

Even Kolodny concedes that some patients have been on opioids so long that they may never be able to function without them. Long-term use can cause physical changes in the brain that are potentially irreversible. “What we don’t want is for primary care doctors to just start firing these patients,” he said. “That would be really bad. It’s a problem that we need good solutions for.

Chronic and intractable pain can also cause physical changes in the brain that are not “potentially” irreversible, but always irreversible.

Thanks to the CDC and the media, Kolodny is the #1 enemy of pain patients. And I think he enjoys being seen this way, as it makes him look like a hero to all of his followers. If he can diagnose me as a drug addict because I suffer from intractable pain, then I’m diagnosing him as a masochist who enjoys seeing people suffer. That’s probably why he got into treating addiction in the first place.

Hey, Kolodny, pain patients are being abandoned left and right, and have been for years. Where the fuck have you been? I know, your only interest is addiction. You care nothing for pain patients, yet you claim to be an expert and the CDC and the media treat you like one. But I know what you are. I know you’re partially responsible for an immeasurable amount of suffering and many deaths. How the fuck do you sleep at night?

http://www.nationalpainreport.com/15-years-with-my-pain-dr-and-my-last-appointment-became-my-final-appointment-8831814.html

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/10/25/unwilling-to-suffer-in-silence-over-cdc-opioid-guidelines

Jo
I have had reflex sympathetic dystrophy since I was 13 I am now 39. My left leg was amputated due to complications from the RSD. Unfortunately it spread to my right leg about ten yrs ago and again I’m have major complications. I was in fentanyl pops along w Oxy contin and both were helping me make it through the day . The insurance company or drug company changed the label on the fentanyl to cancer patients only and took out chronic pain sufferers. So now my insurance co will no longer cover it bc I do not have cancer. I was on this drug for years , I didn’t abuse I didn’t sell it I used it bc I’m in extreme pain and it helped, but now that was taken away. My legs keep getting worse I have terrible phantom pain in addition to the RSD pain in both legs and my right arm spread to…

Tina
I had my right hip replaced in 2014. DDD, osteoarthritis, and avascular necrosis on top of rheumatoid arthritis disease. During the surgery the muscle tore off the bone creating an avulsion fracture. Discharged home with a prescription. I went 2 weeks not being able to do my physical therapy or anything for that matter all because non of the pharmacies in our area that accepted my insurance would fill the prescription. Talk about torture.

http://www.petition2congress.com/5202/first-do-no-harm-dea-targets-physicians-who-treat-their-patients/comments/page/350

Doris W. from Lyman, SC writes:
My son is a dialysis patient with a severely deteriorated body. He has severe and very painful bone disease, osteomylatia, with bone forming throughout his body. He currently has open wounds on his legs and scrotum that won’t heal. His health is being undermined because he is in so much pain that he can not complete his hemo dialysis treatments, yet we can find anyone who will provide him pain management. All his doctors say they no longer write opiods. They are AFRAID to do so or it’s against their corporate owner’s policy. He is only 37 years old and doesn’t want to give up treatment. This is terrible malpractice and a real shame in a first world country.

Sharon S. from Wilmington, DE writes:
I am a cancer patient; stage 2 lymphoma and the chemo drugs have left me with peripheral neuropathy. Not finished with this devastation yet. The pain from this condition is with me every day now. After several requests to my doctors for pain meds, I was prescribed Gabapentin. Doesn’t work. After reading through the comments here on this site regarding the failures of the American Medical system and the many people who are suffering as a result, I have to say, I am not at all surprised but I am scared.

Malinda S. from Memphis, TN writes:
Yeah I asked my doctor about the First Do No Harm. He told it wasn’t my license on the line. That was when I truly no longer wanted to live. I felt nothing. With no insurance and trying to get my disability, I am no longer per my neurologist allowed the take pain meds over the counter or prescription. So I have to live in pain 24/7. I have to smile when I want to cry but one of my diseases keeps me from psychically crying. I am in constant pain in my bones, joints, muscles, & chronic migraines. I may be in pain everyday and night, the constant is that I keep loosing friends and family. They just don’t want to deal with me anymore.

Mark N. from Brookfield, IL writes:
For the pain I’ve been put through and the way that I’ve been treated since the beginning of this year, I will, as long as I live never trust or respect Doctors again.

As many times as I try to release my anger, it comes back. Reading about the suffering of other pain patients brings back painful memories for me, but I can’t stop. Maybe I’m the masochist.

Thinking of pain patients in Alabama

I’ve seen a lot of comments recently about the extreme difficulties that pain patients in Alabama are experiencing…

http://www.wkrg.com/2016/10/28/breaking-fbi-agents-raiding-eastern-shore-neurology-and-pain-center-in-daphne/

DAPHNE, AL (WKRG) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a raid operation at a pain clinic in Daphne on Friday morning…

As WKRG reported last year, the FBI raided Physician’s Pain Specialists of Alabama (PPSA) in Mobile, one of the largest pain clinics in the state.

The raid was part of “Operation Pillution,” an expansive, multi-state effort to investigate large pain centers accused of excessive prescription practices. Dr. John Patrick Couch and Dr. Xiulu Ruan of PPSA were arrested and charged for “dangerous” painkiller prescribing practices. Couch and Ruan were charged with the deaths of four people in connection to their practice…

It appears that the DEA has enlisted the FBI to help fight its war against opioids.

My comment:

How many patients was this doctor treating? How many are now going through tortuous withdrawal without any medical assistance? When will the DEA learn that you can’t close down a pain clinic without providing resources for the abandoned patients? How many heroin addicts did the DEA just create? How many suicides? Who can answer these questions? Apparently, not the media.

Dear Dr. Forest Tennant

Even though Dr. Tennant will never see this letter, I’ve got to release some of this anger…

Dear Dr. Tennant:

About 6 years ago, after my pain doctor of 8 years passed away, I flew from Texas to California to see you, because I couldn’t find a doctor in the huge State of Texas to continue my treatment. After a few months of treating me like a drug addict, you abandoned me to a cold-turkey detox. Torture. Six days without sleep. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Dr. Tennant, I think you gave me PTSD. Nightmares of people wishing to do me harm. You should be grateful that I’m not a litigious person.

I know you currently treat other out-of-town patients. I don’t know why you thought I deserved to be abandoned, but I’ll never forgive you for it. Even now, so many years later, I’m still angry. I’ve been unable to let go of the hatred in my heart that I have for you. In fact, it seems to have grown.

You’re a very old man, Dr. Tennant. You’ve already tried to retire once. Tell me, what are all of your patients going to do when you are no longer practicing? Because I know you will be unable to find another doctor to treat all of your patients. I should know. That’s what happened to the patients my pain doctor treated — most of them were abandoned, while a lucky and chosen few were transferred to another doctor.

(If you’re a current patient of Dr. Tennant’s, I would suggest that you start looking for an alternative right now. Today. Do not wait until it’s too late and you have few, if any, options.)

I do not discount the amount of advocacy work you’ve done for pain patients, Dr. Tennant. You are well-known within the chronic pain patient community. But I have to wonder how many other patients you have abandoned, and how many will be abandoned when you are no longer practicing. And when a doctor condones and facilitates torture, I can’t help but lose all respect, not only for you, but for your whole profession.

Yes, I thank you, Dr. Tennant, for teaching me to hate doctors. For finally being able to turn my back on the medical community. For teaching me that the only way to treat my intractable pain is through suicide. After all, I didn’t think about suicide until you abandoned me. If you could do it, then any other doctor can do it, too. I’m talking about a total loss of trust. Thanks to you, I’m just sitting around, waiting for something to kill me.

I’m sure you had your reasons for totally abandoning me. To be honest, I don’t care what they were. I don’t care about your opinion. I can only be thankful to you for allowing me to finally see the futility of “treating” my pain.

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/as-a-chronic-pain-patient-how-many-times-have-i-been-abandoned/

What does cannabis withdrawal feel like?

If you want to know how a medication is affecting you, you can always stop taking it. Having to go without will definitely show you if the medication was helping or not. And it will also show you how dependent you are on that medication.

I use cannabis every day to treat my intractable pain. So, when I don’t have it, I go through a type of withdrawal. I get really sad and cry a lot, often for no apparent reason. I smoke cigarettes like there’s no tomorrow. My insomnia gets worse. I see no point in making any kind of plan for the day because I have no pain relief waiting for me. I lose my appetite, even for chocolate. I don’t want to eat because eating hurts my jaw joints, face, head, and neck. Don’t even try to ask me to smile.

After 3 or 4 days without bud, the sadness dims and is replaced by anger. I’m always surprised at how much anger there is inside of me, so closely contained, just waiting to burst free. Anger, frustration, irritation, and sometimes, even hate. I absolutely hated having to depend on a doctor for my pain relief, and it’s no fun now, having to rely on an underground bud connection.

Yes, bud helps me control my anger. It helps to manage my dark and suicidal thoughts. It puts me in the mood to find just about anything funny. It distracts me from the constant pain. It makes chocolate taste better, if that’s even possible. And it even helps me cut back on smoking cigarettes.

Even though I’m a non-violent person, right now, without bud, I could seriously punch someone. Being poor really sucks, but being in unrelieved, constant pain sucks more.

But is this withdrawal, or is this just my normal, painful state of being? If it is withdrawal, it’s not that bad. Doesn’t last that long. I’ve taken a lot of different drugs to treat pain in the past 30 years, and I’d have to say that the withdrawal from cannabis is no big deal. As long as I know that I’ll have access to it again in the near future, I’ll be okay…

But seriously, right now, stay the fuck out of my way.

In my search terms (Lyrica)

“How much pregabalin is needed to kill me?”

Is this a question about Lyrica or suicide? Unfortunately, I cannot reach out to the person who asked this question. But it made me curious as to whether someone can overdose on Lyrica.

http://www.treatment4addiction.com/drugs/lyrica/

Lyrica Overdose

Although it is not considered possible to fatally overdose on Lyrica, it is still possible to cause damage to one’s body and mind by taking more Lyrica than is prescribed or necessary. The symptoms of overdosing on Lyrica include:

Excessive mood changes
Drowsiness
Increased confusion
Depression
Agitation
Restlessness

Symptoms of Lyrica Withdrawal

The symptoms of withdrawing from Lyrica are similar to symptoms of withdrawals from benzodiazepines and other classified drugs. These symptoms include seizures, insomnia, nausea, headaches, and diarrhea…

This website has a list of reported adverse reactions to Lyrica:

http://www.druglib.com/reported-side-effects/lyrica/reaction_overdose/

http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/lyrica/reviews

Rated Lyrica for Peripheral Neuropathy Report

(10/17/2016) Been on this med for a couple of years. Gradually increased the dose from 25mg three times a day to 150 mg three times a day. I would say that yes it is helpful with nerve pain. But, I have gained 30 lbs, just like the dr said I would. I am so forgetful these days, and sometimes cannot speak clearly or in a fluent manner. Its tough. It has helped with sleep for sure. I would caution going cold-turkey. I steady and slow taper would be best,…as there have been times when I go without and have the most awful withdrawal symptoms. I have been through benzo and opiate withdrawal and this one takes the cake for sure. As a chronic pain patient I have benefited from this med. But I am worried on how much I depend on it now.

Rated Lyrica for Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) Report

(8/23/2016) I was on Lyrica 600mg daily for 4 years. 4 years of absolute hell. took me six months to get off the drug, six months later I’m still nauseous, lightheaded and suicidal. this drug is a nightmare that offered no relief from pain.

Et tu, John Oliver?

Maybe you will recall an article in the New York Times this year about the ER at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, deciding to use opioids only as a “last resort” to treat pain:

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/dear-ny-times-you-suck/

Here’s a recent article praising the virtues of these new programs to treat pain from the American Hospital Association:

http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/7653-overthrowing-todays-pain-paradigm

When leaders set out to create a more uniform approach to emergency pain treatment, the original goal was to run an “opioid-free ED.” However, Rosenberg says they soon realized that this was unrealistic and, instead, have fostered a culture in which physicians have a broader range of resources. Opioids are now the last line of defense.The medical center’s Alternatives to Opioids program was launched in January for patients who present with one of five acute pain diagnoses — headache, long bone fractures, kidney stones, back pain and other musculoskeletal pain…

Since January, St. Joe’s already has cut the number of opioids prescribed in its ED by 38 percent…

The opioid war loves to tell us how much the supply of opioids has been decreasing. How wonderful. But this one statistic doesn’t tell us much. Why don’t we visit Paterson, NJ, and see how it’s doing?

http://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2016/10/7_drug_overdoses_reported_over_1-day_period_in_pat.html

Seven people overdosed on drugs in a 24-hour period Thursday in Paterson – four of them in a one-hour period in a park on Ward Street, authorities said Friday…  All seven victims survived after receiving medical treatment, police said…

“Fentanyl and carafentinal are increasingly apparent and becoming a national problem,” Speziale said Friday. “Many toxicology reports come back with what is categorized as polypharm, which means there’s a combination of heroin, fentanyl and other opiods.” …

http://www.recordonline.com/article/20160109/NEWS/160109447

In fact, law enforcement intelligence points to Paterson and Newark, N.J., as the sources for much of the heroin that’s plaguing the lower Hudson Valley, northern New Jersey and the Tri-State area where Port Jervis sits.

“For western Orange County, Paterson is the connection,” said Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler. Why Paterson? Heroin there is cheap and accessible…

The treatment courts are full. The narcotics unit is running full bore. Meanwhile, overdoses are worsening…

Back to the article by the American Hospital Association:

The massive Veterans Health Administration — with more than 1,700 care sites treating nearly 9 million patients annually — recently rolled out a systemwide effort to better address the complex pain from which returning vets often suffer. Dubbed the Opioid Safety Initiative, it targets individuals on high-dose prescriptions, and helps them to treat their pain through education, a mobile app called Pain Coach, and such alternative treatments as acupuncture. At the initial implementation sites, the VA reduced high-dose opioid use by more than 50 percent, with no rise in pain scores…

With no rise in pain scores? (I’m sorry, but if you believe that, I want to sell you some bitcoins.) Even with those patients who didn’t see a rise in their pain scores after being forced off of opioids, that just means their pain scores didn’t change and are still high.

Rollin Gallagher, M.D., the deputy national program director for pain management at the VA, believes these results can be duplicated easily at any hospital…

Groups like the American Hospital Association urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove pain-related questions from patient satisfaction surveys and, in July, CMS agreed to do so…

From a graphic in the article:

The U.S. has experienced a 300 percent surge in prescription opioids dispensing since 1999, with no corresponding drop in the amount of pain reported by Americans.

I don’t know where they got this information, and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be telling us. Opioids help manage pain, they don’t get rid of it, so why would there be a drop in the amount of pain reported? Using this questionable information, we could also say that there hasn’t been an increase in the amount of pain reported by Americans. And that would be a good thing, but we’re not allowed to give any credit to opioids.

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/10/20/fewer-pain-meds-but-more-overdoses-in-massachusetts

The CDC said it will “take time” before overdoses start to decline.

“Reducing the level of opioid prescribing is a long term strategy to limit exposure to these drugs. Mortality outcomes would not be expected to change for several years after implementation, and impact would be complicated by the increasing supply of illicit opioids,” Courtney Lenard, a CDC spokesperson, said in an email to Pain News Network…

The actions of the DEA, CDC, and VA have actually increased the size of the underground drug market. They have created this demand. They are the reason that people are overdosing on unsafe, illegal drugs. But you see, these government agencies have decided that they’re okay with that. This is a “long term strategy,” and they know that some people will be lost. They think they’re saving lives in the future, which for some reason, is more important than saving lives in the present.

The thing is, everything may be getting even worse for pain patients. Because, allegedly, corporate power has been hampering the DEA’s efforts to get at suppliers and distributors, at least according to recent articles in the Washington Post. Even if Big Pharma just keeps getting a slap on the wrist, that doesn’t mean they’re still operating in the same way. They don’t want to pay more fines and they’re spending millions to develop new and “safe” painkillers (which will be expensive, probably less effective, and out of reach for many patients). And there are millions of corporate dollars funding the opioid war, matched by our tax dollars.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/the-dea-slowed-enforcement-while-the-opioid-epidemic-grew-out-of-control/2016/10/22/aea2bf8e-7f71-11e6-8d13-d7c704ef9fd9_story.html

Before Reeves’s arrival, Geldhof said, investigators had to demonstrate that they had amassed “a preponderance of evidence” before moving forward with enforcement cases, which are administrative, not criminal. Under Reeves, Geldhof said, investigators had to establish that their evidence was “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a much higher standard used in criminal ­cases…

You can label a case as “administrative,” but it still involves drugs and crime, so why shouldn’t the agency be required to prove the higher standard? It appears that the DEA has been stripped of some of its abusive power — and they want it back. So, they’re blaming corporate power for the slowdown in cases. Will Congress give this power back to the DEA? Perhaps I should say, when Congress gives this power back to the DEA, things will get worse for pain patients.

To top it all off, the latest episode of John Oliver is about the opioid “crisis.” I don’t think he added any new information about the opioid war, but he appeared to be on the side of the CDC. He mentioned that opioids were only previously prescribed for acute pain. He included a video from PFROP. He made one slight mention of patients who need these medications, but he mostly blamed the whole thing on Big Pharma, singling out Purdue. He mentions how insurance needs to cover alternative treatments, without including the fact that alternative treatments only work for a small percentage of patients.

For me — who finds humor in just about anything (even Trump) — I didn’t find anything funny in John Oliver’s take on the opioid “crisis.” For the first time, I’m disappointed in Mr. Oliver. I’m sad that so many intelligent people cannot see the whole picture of the opioid war. Cannot see the millions of chronic pain patients who are suffering. And why doesn’t the media ever mention the epidemic of suicide in this country? It’s as if those deaths have nothing to do with pain and the opioid war.

Today I’m very sad that there is not one person with any power who is willing to stand up for pain patients. As if we are unimportant and mean absolutely nothing. As if science means absolutely nothing.

Thanks for reading. Sorry if I bummed you out. Blame John Oliver and Trump. 🙂

Thinking of you, Officer Nadine Hernandez

http://www.mic.com/articles/156621/derrick-rose-lapd-rape-case-investigator-found-dead-in-la-county-home#.NzxlrhqQI

A detective investigating the criminal case against NBA player Derrick Rose was found dead in a Los Angeles County home on Tuesday. According to the Los Angeles Times, 44-year-old officer Nadine Hernandez died of a gunshot wound which may have been self-inflicted…

dsc05030-2

Dear Dr. Bonakdar

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/28/opioids-doctors-chronic-pain-insurance-coverage-column/91124664/

Robert Bonakdar, MD, is Director of Pain Management at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, immediate past president of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management and co-author of the 2016 book Integrative Pain Management. Follow him on Twitter @DrB_Well.

While I wait for things to change, I will go back to the office, sign Dr. Murthy’s pledge, and wait for the day that the sales reps come to detail me on the benefits of group exercise for pain, and the denial letters I keep getting start using more truthful language: “We regret to inform you that this therapy is being denied because we simply don’t want to deal with the real issue. Pain, as you know, is a real bummer…”

My comment:

So many of you “experts” are pushing alternative therapies, as if most chronic pain patients haven’t already tried (and paid for out-of-pocket) most of these treatments (and more). When these alternative treatments only have a success rate equal to a strong placebo effect. What do you propose for the majority of pain patients who don’t respond to all of these alternative treatments? Just suffer, right?

Sure, let’s go backwards in the treatment of pain, like back to the 1980s, when doctors would only prescribe antidepressants for chronic pain — antidepressants, now prescribed like candy, even though sugar is probably a better drug.

“…opioids for pain care has not created any significant improvement in pain and disability…”

Opioids are not miracle drugs. Their purpose is not to cure, but to manage. Have antidepressants created any significant improvement in depression (or made it worse)? Have anti-addiction drugs cured drug addicts, or do some patients have to take them for the rest of their lives? Does insulin cure diabetes? Why are doctors requiring opioids to do more than any other drug?

The most successful treatment for pain is opioids. That’s a fact. The treatment that’s being denied to many chronic pain patients — and cancer and terminal patients — is opioids. Stop acting like most pain patients haven’t already tried all of these alternative treatments (and then been forced into poverty). Stop acting as if these alternative treatments can replace opioids, when all they can really do is help reduce their use (but only in a small percentage of patients).

It’s not chronic pain patients who are abusing their medications, it’s mostly those who suffer from addiction. The opioid war isn’t about the treatment of pain, it’s about the treatment of addiction.

Living with constant pain isn’t a “real bummer.” Donald Trump running for president is a real bummer. Suffering from intractable and incurable pain makes a person wish for death. Because death is preferable to living with constant pain without any hope of relief.

While all of you “experts” are living in a fantasy world, those who suffer from intractable pain are living in the real world. Why don’t ya’ll join us down here in hell?

What’s your #OpioidAwareness story?

http://www.nationalpainreport.com/chronic-pain-sufferers-use-opioidawareness-to-fight-back-stigma-8831569.html

After 30 years of intractable pain, no treatment remains untried. Opioids work best and that’s no lie. Forced to give them up, I now think of suicide. #OpioidAwareness #Painkills2

Clinton Foundation ‏@ClintonFdn, Sep 24
“No child should ever die because of an overdose in our country.” @ChelseaClinton discusses our programs on @TheView. #OpioidAwareness

No one should ever want to die because doctors refuse to treat their pain. #OpioidAwareness #CDCuSuck #NoMoreDrugWar #Painkills2

Cory Booker ‏@CoryBooker, Sep 24
Don’t turn your back on members of your community struggling with opioid addiction this #OpioidAwareness Week.

Don’t turn your back on members of your community suffering from chronic pain this #OpioidAwareness Week. #CDCuSuck #Painkills2

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Do you know a bully?

http://www.mic.com/articles/155219/who-is-alicia-machado-here-s-the-woman-who-trump-called-miss-piggy#.tr2IaVrlu

“One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest,” Clinton said. “He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy’ — then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Alicia Machado, Donald — she has a name.”

Machado was the 1995 winner of the Miss Venezuela pageant. She went on to be crowned Miss Universe the next year, when she was 19. That’s when, according to Machado, she began to be bullied by Trump, who was then the owner of Miss Universe Inc., the company behind the pageant.

In an interview with Inside Edition in May, Machado said Trump bullied her “all the time,” mocking her weight and calling her “Miss Piggy.” According to Inside Edition, Trump wasn’t shy about confirming Machado’s story at the time, giving interviews about how he was taking her to the gym to encourage her to lose weight.

Speaking to the New York Times in May, Machado said Trump’s treatment of her left her with lasting harm.

“After that episode, I was sick, anorexia and bulimia for five years,” she said, speaking about Trump’s public admonishment of her weight. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this.”

As Clinton said Monday night, Machado has become a U.S. citizen — just in time to vote in November’s election.

Do you know a bully? They’re very hard to deal with, even if you try to understand them. Best thing to do is walk away from a bully. Of course, if Trump becomes president, we won’t be able to do that.

#ForAudrie

There’s a new documentary streaming on Netflix called Audrie & Daisy. If you’re a parent, you’ll want to watch it. If you’re a female, you definitely need to watch it.

The movie will make you angry and disgusted. And it will make you cry. After you watch the movie, if you want to talk about it, I hope you’ll come back and comment.

To all of the survivors who were brave enough to be a part of this movie — especially Daisy — I salute you! To every rape survivor, I can’t say this enough:  It. Is. NOT. Your. Fault. And you are not alone. #StopTheShame

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http://www.facebook.com/AudrieandDaisy/

http://www.mic.com/articles/153552/sexual-assault-survivor-s-gut-wrenching-photo-series-gives-middle-finger-to-brock-turner#.qJ5nOWspL

Modern day torture

http://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2016/9/12/half-of-patients-have-trouble-getting-pain-meds

Under comments:

David B. 13 hours ago

My doctor is pain management specialist/anesthesiologist, impeccable record, highly skilled & has controlled my pain more than a decade. My dosage has never increased, nor have I asked for it to be. I’ve never failed a random urine test. My doctor has shown genuine care through some rough patches over the years, more like a friend or brother. I was in excruciating constant pain from spina bifida and frozen shoulder from botched post-op care. My life has been full & productive once I found this doctor. Before that I had 2 concrete plans for suicide w/ everything I needed to carry one or the other out–& every intention to do so once my affairs were in order.

Last week, with no warning, my doctor refused to prescribe more than half of the amount I’ve been on almost 11 yrs. I’m in complete shock. I’m trying to stretch the meds out but I’m getting sicker and sicker from withdrawal. I was too shaken to hear all he said but now knowing what the Feds have done, I believe next month he will send me home with nothing. I’m a widower w/ no living children. My late wife and I had two babies– both were born with spina bifida (years before my own “occult” condition was discovered). Our son died at 17 months, our baby girl at just 20 days. We never allowed ourselves another pregnancy.

A chiropractor suspected my occult spina bifida ten years after my year in Vietnam (drafted) and after our babies were born and died. A neurologist diagnosed it. I worked with pain–took a lot of OTC meds that got me thru, until the shoulder surgery mistake landed me in chronic pain that was unbearable. I never imagined my fantastic doctor would betray me, that the country I fought for would do this to me, to so many of us and most likely more to come. As a veteran, in my opinion, this is torture pure & simple.

Never thought I’d say this but I’m GLAD my dad, a WWII vet who spent 3 years fighting the Nazis in Europe, isn’t alive to see what this country is doing to us. And I’m glad my wife, who was my childhood sweetheart, my first and only love, isn’t here to see me like this. If I can’t find another doctor, tho even if I do, how long before he cuts me off too? I can’t live in agony. I won’t. Why should I when in the blink of an eye I can be 100% whole again and with my wife and my little son and daughter? I will pray for all of you.

God help us all.