Listen to Patients, Not the CDC

Doctors and Legislators:  Listen to Patients, Not the CDC | American Council on Science and Health | By Richard “Red” Lawhern — January 24, 2017

It is now impossible not to see that a revolution of awareness is underway in America: awareness of pain; and that the US government is lying to its own citizens by claiming a greatly exaggerated relationship between pain and prescription opioid addiction. [See CDC Guidelines Refuted with Scientific Evidence – September 8, 2016;  The Changing Opioid Epidemic: Not from Rx – November 22, 2016]

One comment by a woman who names herself  “Donna J” is particularly telling in its scope and precision.  

Donna’s critique gets right to the heart of the matter. CDC bureaucrats and the legislators who oversee them really ought to pay attention.  

PROPaganda … [PROP = “Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescription”, a professional group deeply hated by large numbers of pain patients]… has confused and conflated two different medical issues, chronic pain and drug addiction, as well as padding the numbers by equating prescription medication with illicit heroin and fentanyl…  

To top it off, they deliberately throw together addiction, dependence, and tolerance as if [they’re] all the same.

It’s bad enough [that] this ignorance is force fed to the average citizen, but the medical community blithely goes along with this charade and abandons and destroys patients who are in desperate need of care.

There is no such thing as “hyperalgesia.” Millions of patients have been on stable regimens for years. How did that happen when “we all know” that’s impossible, what with all of us needing increasing doses to oblivion and back due to tolerance?

I’ve been on opioids for12 years, still not an addict, still passing urine analyses, pill counts, compliant and cooperative. But I’m the one who isn’t allowed HIPAA privacy and must sign away my rights… [I’m] not allowed to participate in treatment decisions, just do as I’m told; not given any trust or respect, and … treated like a criminal.

I was also “addicted” to Cymbalta… I had severe withdrawals when my doctor weaned me off when it didn’t work.  Oh wait, that’s “dependence” — you know, like how many chronic pain patients are dependent on their opioids BUT NOT ADDICTED?  PROP conflates the two, [to] fill those rehab beds! Thanks Andrew Kolodny! Y

NSAIDS kill 16,000 a year due to gastrointestinal events. No one is apparently concerned with that epidemic. And we aren’t even counting the deaths due to cardiac or renal events

But PROPsters think I ought to be happy with their advice to take NSAIDS regularly and think happy thoughts — while billing me $200 per office visit for a chance at unremitting pain while vomiting blood due to ulcers.

I’d love to see a news item about the dismal success rates [in addiction treatment]. They’re clueless about addicts, whom they supposedly treat — but now they are experts on chronic pain that most of them have never treated?  But the media just repeat [whatever] PROP says — “anyone who prescribes opioids must be biased by Big Pharma!

“What is wrong with this picture? The CDC’s advisers on Chronic Pain were greedy rehab industry insiders, [who] don’t even know what to do with their own addict clients. But they sure are looking forward to that rehab gravy train coming from Congress.  Anyone who had expertise or an informed opinion about chronic pain was shut out [of the CDC Guidelines process].

Donna J is obviously bitter.  She is also factually correct.

The evidence is conclusive.  CDC guidelines for prescription of opioids to adults with chronic pain were written by a group of consultants who were unduly influenced by anti-opioid advocates, addiction treatment professionals and PROP.  

The writers cherry-picked study data to intentionally exclude anything positive concerning success rates or low risks attending the management of chronic pain with prescription opioids.

The resulting guidelines are being incorporated into highly restrictive State laws that utterly mischaracterize the causes of the so-called “epidemic” of opioid overdose deaths.   

As a result, physicians are leaving pain management practice in droves, deserting their patients and driving some of them into the streets for illicit drugs.  Others have committed suicide, overwhelmed by agony.

How long will it take our government to wake up and smell the coffee?  It is time to withdraw and rewrite the CDC opioid guidelines in a group led by pain management specialists and patients themselves.  It is time to stop the war against chronic pain patients!

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