I’m starting to feel burned out from writing this blog.
Every morning I dread what I’m going to see when I look at my Twitter feed, which is 100% focused on pain and healthcare. I follow many of the outspoken advocates and doctors working in pain management and/or advocacy, and my feed has become a relentless stream of bad news.
The only positive news seems to be coming from scientific research. Every few days I’ll come across some promising results of studies that are pertinent to this blog.
But even the most effective discoveries will not be available on the market for years (up to a decade) and that won’t save us from the ongoing opioid witch hunt.
The anti-opioid folks are using a well-known psychological tactic: if you repeat a falsehood enough times, it is perceived as true and then vigorously defended. It’s been proven that believers will react to any questioning of their new views by doubling down, digging in their heels, and closing their minds.
We all become defensive when we feel attacked, but it’s even worse when a belief has no rational basis, like:
- everyone who chronically takes opioids is addicted,
- we can solve the heroin overdose problem by restricting the supply of opioids prescribed for patients,
- a daily dose of more than 80mg morphine equivalent will cause certain addiction and death,
It’s sickening how the US government has taken sides against pain patients. The CDC allowed the PROP anti-opioid group to practically dictate policy by using their opinionated arguments throughout the CDC guidelines, even without scientific evidence.
The PROP folks are wily – they started feeding the media their opioid addiction propaganda many years ago. It’s almost as though they were planning on this “opioid epidemic” because they are now so perfectly positioned to profit.
As more and more people are forced to stop taking opioids, PROP members are poised to reap financial benefit from their suffering. In this time of desperate need of so many, they just happen to have two lucrative solutions to the problem they have created:
- For pain patients, they offer much more expensive and dangerous invasive treatments (PROP doctors are mostly interventional pain specialists).
- For addicts, they provide recovery facilities (the PROP president is the leader of the notorious Phoenix House).
These PROP fellows are now trying to make money from my suffering, and that infuriates me.
This whole debate is sickening. Many healthy people have the idea that almost any pain can eventually be tolerated and that anyone taking opioids will become addicted. This simplistic black and white thinking has taken over many policy debates lately.
The anti-opioid propaganda has seeped deep into the public consciousness. When even a doctor spouts unscientific hype and tells me “opioids are bad” it breaks my heart for all of us pain patients.
And it’s this heartbreak, over and over, that makes writing about it so painful.
Yet, even though I’ve intended to stop, I’m compelled to continue.
I believe I must in some way protest this huge injustice. As little influence my insignificant blog has, for my own sake, like with any other work, I have to keep going even when I don’t enjoy it.
At least then I get a positive feeling of accomplishment.