Making Ourselves Heard

Opinion: Making Ourselves Heard – National Pain Report – by Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

Many of us feel that some sort of “action plan” is needed to challenge the CDC, though there are differences of opinion on what might work most effectively.  

Eventually, patients may need to sue the government.  For now, I offer some thoughts for those who wish to make their protesting voices heard in letters to media editors or legislators.

There are basic realities in trying to raise public consciousness on any subject.   

The most important is that if your words are to be published, then you must write from your own experience and you must write briefly, urging specific actions that other people who aren’t pain patients can get behind.

So how might we be heard?  

The following is one example letter.  You can fill in your own information before removing the brackets.  If tens of thousands of copies flood news offices, then somebody is going to pay attention.


Dear Editor [name, if you can find it]

I have been a chronic pain patient for the past [10] years.  After surgeries and various medications plus other pain management therapies that didn’t work, prescription opioids are the only treatment which has given me a partial quality of life.  But these medications are now restricted by my doctor because of changes in CDC practice standards.

I am one of over 100 million chronic pain patients in the US.  I am not an addict or a drug seeker.  I depend on [drug name] for pain control, but my dose is stable and I take no more than I absolutely must.  I get no “high” from these drugs.  Like thousands of others, I’m being cut off. My pain levels are climbing.  What am I to do?

Restrictive standards for prescribing opioid meds to people like me are condemning millions of pain patients to agony.  Some will seek street drugs.  Others will commit suicide.  And the fictitious “epidemic” of death will go on.

I urge you to help the voices of chronic pain patients be heard.  CDC practice standards must be withdrawn and revised.  Stop the war on chronic pain patients!


Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D lives in Ft. Mill S.C. and. has authored many online articles and papers, advocating for chronic neuropathic face pain patients  for 20 years.  


4 thoughts on “Making Ourselves Heard

  1. painkills2

    I’m no expert on advocacy, but I’m not sure this dude understands how things work in the digital era. Anyway, almost all of the media is on board for the opioid war, so sending letters to the editors doesn’t work — unless you’re rich or famous.

    And suing the government? How often does that work? Do you know how long a lawsuit like that would last? Like, decades.

    The power is in the corporate world. But I can’t imagine any corporation advocating on the side of pain patients, even Big Pharma at this point.

    Doctors used to be on the side of pain patients, but no longer. I’m sitting here trying to think of some group with power that might be on our side, and I can’t think of anyone…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      We need a famous person to be denied opioids for their legitimate and obvious pain – only then will we get some visibility.

      I think many medical organizations would love to support us, but they’re afraid to be seen as pro-opioid. I can’t believe the AMA is silent as all these politicians are essentially practicing medicine without a license

      Liked by 1 person

      1. painkills2

        I think it will take more than a famous person, but I guess we can hope. When cancer patients complain, they can get a little attention. But right now, I think cancer patients are more worried about the price of their cancer drugs.

        The key to a successful revolution is to stop the flow of money. Corporations against gay marriage? Boycott. Invested in the oil and gas industry? De-invest from their stocks.

        Doctors against opioids? Stop seeing them. Politicians against opioids? Stop voting for them. But pain patients can’t do that, as there are very few doctors left who are pro-opioid. Just like there aren’t any politicians left who aren’t on the side of the drug war. Did you know that 90% of our Congress is Christian?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Advocacy Against CDC Guidelines | EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

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