Opioid stigma is keeping cancer patients from proper pain control – Stat News – By Sara Ray and Kathleen Hoffman – July 6, 2018
History is repeating itself. Twenty years ago, a pain management crisis existed. As many as 70 percent of cancer patients in treatment at that time, or in end-of-life care, experienced unalleviated pain.
And we’re heading back to that situation as fast as we can, with one rule after another being rushed to implementation to prove its sponsors are “doing something about the opioid crisis”.
But now that even cancer patients are being affected, I hope the rest of the country can see that withholding pain relief is simply torture and has no place in a modern-day healthcare system. Continue reading
Tapering Long-term Opioid Therapy in Chronic Noncancer Pain – June 2015 – 2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
This is an official document from Mayo Clinic to execute a medically proper opioid taper. While it strongly implies that *all* patients prescribed opioids have OUD and they *all* must stop taking them…
- Nowhere does it say it’s OK to simply stop prescribing and abandon patients.
- Nowhere does it say all patients must be tapered to zero.
Cancer Patients Face Difficulties in Getting Opioids – Alicia Ault – June 26, 2018
Cancer patients have found it more difficult to receive opioids since the opioid epidemic has been in the news and since new policies to stem abuse have been introduced.
During the past year and a half (from late 2016 to May 2018), cancer patients and survivors have experienced increasing barriers to getting opioid prescriptions, a new survey has found.
Letting patients be eaten alive by cancer without providing effective pain relief qualifies as torture. Continue reading
An Open Letter to Dr. Andrew Kolodny – by Loura – ramblingsoapbox.com – June 26, 2018
This is a wonderful well-referenced essay on how Andrew Kolodny, a self-appointed (and self-anointed) addiction policy “expert”, has taken control of the current thinking about the “opioid crisis” with a false narrative, resulting in the destruction of pain patients’ lives.
Dear Dr. Kolodny,
I am one of millions of chronic pain patients in the United States who has been continually and increasingly oppressed over the past few years by progressively invasive and prohibitive laws at the state and federal levels concerning the delicate relationship between doctors and patients, particularly when it comes to a certain class of drugs, i.e. opiates. Continue reading
Dr Bob Twillman Discusses Opioid Risk Assessment in Cancer Pain and New Opioid Policies – April 12, 2018 – Laura Joszt
Typically, cancer pain management is carved out of policies that try to restrict opioid prescribing in an effort to combat the opioid epidemic, but with more and more patients surviving their cancer, there is some uncertainty regarding who is affected by these policies, explained Bob Twillman, PhD, executive director for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management.
The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®):
How does pain management with cancer maybe differ from pain management in patients with other diseases? Continue reading
CDC Report Ignores Suicides of Pain Patients– by Pat Anson, Editor – June 7, 2018
The suicide rate in the United States continues to climb, with nearly 45,000 people taking their own lives in 2016, according to a new Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The suicide rate in the U.S. is so high it rivals the so-called “opioid epidemic.”
The number of Americans who died by suicide (44,965) exceeds the overdose deaths linked to both illicit and prescription opioids (42,249). Continue reading
5 unintended consequences of addressing the opioid crisis – POLITICO – By Sarah Karlin-Smith and Brianna Ehley – May 2018
The push for fewer opioid prescriptions at lower doses and for shorter periods has increased suffering for some pain patients including those near the end of life.
…sometimes solutions give rise to new problems, from hospital shortages of IV opioids to dying patients enduring avoidable pain.
Here are some of the challenges state and federal lawmakers, physicians and patients, are beginning to confront. Continue reading
Hospices Leaving Patients and Families Facing Death Alone | Time.co – Oct 24, 2017
The stigma against opioids is affecting even the people that were explicitly excluded from the CDC Opioid Guidelines. Even people who are dying cannot get appropriate access to opioid medications to ease their agony.
As her husband lay moaning in pain from the cancer riddling his body, Patricia Martin searched frantically through his medical bag, looking for a syringe.
She had already called the hospice twice, demanding liquid methadone to ease the agony of Dr. Robert E. Martin, 66. A family practice physician known to everyone as “Dr. Bob,” he had served the small, remote community in Wasilla, Alaska, for more than 30 years.
But the doctor in charge at Mat-Su Regional Home Health and Hospice wasn’t responding. Staff said he was on vacation, then that he was asleep. Martin had waited four days to get pain pills delivered, but her husband could no longer swallow them. Continue reading
5 unintended consequences of addressing the opioid crisis – POLITICO – By SARAH KARLIN-SMITH and BRIANNA EHLEY – May 2018
The problem is that we are NOT addressing the opioid crisis – we’re addressing opioid pain treatment, not opioid addiction.
Lawmakers are grappling with how to solve the opioid epidemic — and it’s not simple.
The push for fewer opioid prescriptions at lower doses and for shorter periods has increased suffering for some pain patients including those near the end of life. The emphasis on opioids has also overshadowed other forms of substance abuse that require attention. Continue reading