an angry man screamin

The CDC has issued new guidelines (JAMA, March 15, 2016) that strongly urge doctors to stop prescribing narcotics to patients with chronic pain. This public health organization believes its mandate will reduce deaths from opioid overdose. What the feds have not considered is the impact on people with long-standing severe pain, especially if they are disabled.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Changed the Rules:

In the last couple of years there has been a huge effort to make it harder for doctors to prescribe opioid pain relievers. In the fall of 2014 the DEA made it much harder for patients to obtain hydrocodone combination pain relievers (HCPs such as Lortab, Norco, Vicodin, etc). Previously, prescribers could call in or send in an electronic prescription to a pharmacy and could give a pain patient several refills. Now, patients can only get a 30-day supply and must visit the doctor’s office each time they need a new prescription.

Stories from Readers in Severe Pain:

The new DEA scheduling change has made it much more challenging for a patient who is disabled or in severe pain to access an opioid medication. Here are just a few stories from hundreds of readers who responded to our post on the DEA decision.

Stefany in Maryland shares:

“I have had 10 orthopedic surgeries–two on my back, plus a spinal fusion. I have also had four hip surgeries. These are only a few of the many surgeries I have had.

“I used to hate pain medication. I did all that I could to avoid taking opioids, relying on 800 mg of ibuprofen instead. Sometimes I try to avoid pain medication, but it is physically impossible. I hurt all over and become so miserable when I am off my meds. Since there is such a strict limit on them I usually run out. Trust me; I do not wish to be on them, but the alternative after 10 surgeries is basically impossible if I am to maintain two jobs and college classes.

“While I completely understand the DEA’s reasoning behind their new laws, all they are accomplishing is making people like us live in hell and for the drug seekers to turn more to heroin. You cannot control the people who are drug addicts. To punish people who do not abuse pain medicine and need them to live a more functional life than one of severe depression due to pain is really unjust.”

John in College Station, TX writes:

“I have been taking hydrocodone for over 25 years because of a severe accident. I have had a total knee replacement and neck fusion surgery. I have three bulging discs in my lower spine with nerve damage in my back.

“Last year the doctor said no more hydrocodone, per the new law, and changed it to Tylenol #4. It’s 80 percent less effective.

“Why did this new law punish me? I was barely surviving with the hydrocodone, and now this. I call it abuse to the elderly. I have a track record of 25 years of taking my hydrocodone and NEVER called in for extra or EVER abused it. Now I suffer in severe pain because others abuse it. The DEA, who got this law passed, did not think how it would effect the people who really need it to survive.

“I’m only 55 yrs old, and I’m scared to death what the rest of my life may become. I do not wish harm to anyone but if the people passing these laws ever experience the pain I have they would never have never passed such a law which amounts to ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY.”

Jake the Vet:

“I am a 28-year-old army veteran. I have a spinal cord tumor located in my nerves and am consistently in extreme pain–8 out of a possible 10 points on a 1 to 10 point scale.

“All I can get from my pain management doctor is a back brace, anti-inflammatories and acupuncture in my ears or gabapentin, which makes me feel awful. I have seen three neurosurgeons, none of whom will touch me. What am I suppose to do? Things need to change in this country. It’s an outrage!”

Carolyn in Nevada:

“I too have been taking hydrocodone for many years for chronic pain. Today I went to the pharmacy and was told I can no longer have it. My doctor prescribes it but the pharmacy says no. I’ll be spending my days in bed, I guess. May as well be dead.”

Charles in Ft. Worth:

“I was in a bad elevator collapse and have numerous spinal fractures as well as bulging, degenerated disks and bone spurs. I have lost two inches in height because of my back problems.

“I am living in pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I need pain meds and I can no longer get any refills. My pain is making my life unlivable.

“The new laws have caused more damage than you can imagine. My mobility is very limited. I can no longer get out of bed or carry on my daily duties as I was able to before the laws changed last October. I feel my life is over. I can’t live with this pain. I don’t know what to do.”

The CDC’s New Guidelines:

In essence, the new federal opioid guidelines state that narcotics should not be prescribed for chronic pain patients. Instead, doctors should recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Other suggestions include cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise therapy or antidepressants. We suspect that there are many patients, like those above, for whom such suggestions will not be met with great enthusiasm.

For acute pain, such as after surgery or an accident, the CDC recommends that doctors prescribe opioids for no more than three days. Really? Some “acute” pain lasts substantially longer than three days!

The CDC acknowledges that cancer treatment may require opioid medication during the active phase of therapy. What the CDC has not taken into account is that cancer survivors may have to deal with chronic pain. The president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said it eloquently:

“Pain does not end when an individual completes treatment. Most often, cancer patients deal with lasting effects from their disease or treatment including pain for a significant period of time or indefinitely.”

The CDC guideline does not seem to take this into account.

Walking the Tightrope:

We recognize that there is tremendous abuse of narcotics in this country, but we are not sure the new guidelines will help reduce the problem. We have not seen convincing evidence that making it harder for chronic pain patients to access drugs like hydrocodone will make a huge difference in abuse or overdose deaths.

We also believe that it is virtually impossible to generalize about the most appropriate treatment for people with severe, chronic pain. Some people will do well with cognitive behavioral therapy; others can only function on opioid medications. These drugs allow them to work and function with dignity. They do not abuse the pain medicine, do not increase the dose and do not sell their medicine to drug abusers. They are about to become vulnerable to a huge federal mandate that will impact how physicians practice medicine.

It is our belief that the CDC should not tell physicians how to practice medicine, especially when it comes to something as complex as chronic pain. Each patient needs to be evaluated individually and treated with respect. The new guidelines will likely scare many doctors away from prescribing potent pain killers for longer than a few days or weeks. That could mean some patients will live in agony with no acceptable treatment through no fault of their own.

Share your own pain experience below and your thoughts about the DEA and CDC rules and guidelines. Please vote on this article at the top of the page. Here is a link to hundreds of reader comments about the DEA’s decision to make it harder for patients to get a prescription for hydrocodone-containing pain medicines.

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  1. Beth
    Newburgh, NY
    Reply

    I’m nearly 49 years young, but my body often feels more like what I imagine an 80 year-old body must feel like. I had a debilitating motorcycle accident when I was 17. I fractured my back and my ankle and have had over 20 surgeries in the following years. I was lucky to avoid pain medications until 2001. Sadly, all other options had been exhausted. I have existed with a bearable, if not comfortable, quality of life for the last 16 years.

    I’m very afraid that is about to change, drastically. My pain management physician will no longer write my prescriptions, citing the new government guidelines as the cause. Unfortunately, I’m not being offered any other options for care. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do now. We pay an awful lot of money for our medical insurance, and we have every right to expect an appropriate level of care. All of these kinds of situations should be handled on a case by case basis. The government is so concerned with those who are addicted and abusing prescription opiods, and those who are dying from overdosing on those same drugs.

    Where is the concern for the patients who are trying to live a life worth living with a bit of dignity? I’m wondering how much concern and outrage there will be when once stable medicated chronic pain patients begin to die from illicit drug use in their efforts to control their pain. Or as those same folks begin to commit suicide because they have no other way to control their pain. I wonder if their families can sue the government, and its agencies for the wrongful death of their loved ones, or perhaps sue for malpractice for no providing adequate healthcare.

  2. Anonymous
    NJ
    Reply

    My Rheumatologist has been giving me 90 Oxycodones/per month for 7 years for RA pain because I’m allergic to sulfa-based drugs. I have bad Asthma and cannot be on Prednisone because my Pulmonologist gives me a Prednisone blast, at least 4 times a year because of allergies and weather changes or I will not be able to breath.

    Now, my Rheumatologist retires, sees me for the last time, sets me up with 2 prescriptions. I cannot get another Dr. to give me the meds. I’ve seen 4, and they will not give them to me. Despite the fact that they are aware of my history, and records and notes were made by my Dr. explaining everything (they made copies).

    So I guess it is best that my body goes into shock, plus be in excruciating pain, without that edge being taken off. Plus lower my resistance, so I can catch Pneumonia and possibly have a cardiac arrest too.

    What kind of asinine people are they? Do they not consider the people who are in chronic pain and are maintaining this type of drug, under a Dr’s care?

    We are not abusing the drug! The drug addicts are!

  3. Pauline
    Funkstown
    Reply

    I have fibro and I an an RN. I have managed on 10 MG methadone twice a day for pain. It h elps my pain, let’s me be functional. Also on neurontin 300 MG twice a day. My primary doc said I had to go to “pain management”. I did. I was put on cymbalta with my methadone. Okay. Now third visit I have been told I will be weaned off my methadone that has kept me functional 7 years. It is not for fibro… cymbalta is..I don’t know how I’ll continue. I work 12 hour shifts. The next day I can hardly walk. I have a house, and life to maintain. I have a grandchild. I am 60 years old. I have to work till I’m 65. This is a nightmare. Not a “war on drugs” this is a war on all chronic pain people. And the drug abusers will still abuse…Street Drugs.

  4. Jeanne
    PA
    Reply

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 5 years ago. I took 5 mg. Vicodin as often as three times a day if I needed it. With the Vicodin, I was able to exercise more and live an almost normal life with the pain and fatigue under control. I switched doctors last year and I’ve been living in Hell ever since. I have 6 doctors who will do absolutely nothing for me. I went to one pain management clinic where nothing they would do was covered by my insurance, and the other pain management clinic wouldn’t even see me, even though I was referred by my rheumatologist.

    I’ve been given five different NSAIDs, which basically destroyed my stomach. Now I take large quantities of muscle relaxers (like 3,000 mg at a time) along with 800-1600 mg of ibuprofen. Sometimes, SOMETIMES that takes the edge off. Of course, I’m at the point of overdosing at this point. I work full time plus overtime and I am a very productive person, but I can see that changing. The government and my doctors are literally ruining my life.

  5. Tom
    cleveland, ohio
    Reply

    When did these crazy people get their medical license. I wouldn’t want to get a surgery today without good pain medication. I had a lung surgery and they gave me a generic dillaudid and it was useless and I was in a great deal of pain and had to wait 8 hourst for another pill. I stated whatever the cost I wanted the brand name and when I received it my pain was 90-95 better within 10 minutes. They can monitor class A narcotics and flag abuses instead of outlawing them.

  6. Shelia
    Glen st mary Florida
    Reply

    I was in a bad car wreck in 02 & someone ran me into a phone pole hit my car twice ripped my most of my right foot off I have severe nerve damage sciatic ostrich ostrich arthritis in my back lower back my right leg and I’ve been taking methadone for years I was taken 220 and then it was cut down to one twice at 1:30 and now they want to go to 75 and I can’t find any guidelines to how many were supposed to have but that’s what the doctors telling me but I don’t understand I can’t find any guidelines to how many were really supposed to be able to have a month if anybody knows where that is please send me the link I would appreciate it but it’s a guidelines it’s not a law I don’t see where this is a law guidelines and allow her to different things am I mistaken here I don’t see how this is possible everything I keep reading it’s the discretion of the doctor.

  7. Cookie
    Reply

    Does anyone working for the CDC have any sense? No one cares about the pain we feel and the fact that we need pain medication sometimes just to function on a daily basis! I have Sickle Cell Anemia, and this disease requires strong IV pain medication when we come to the ER, and we need strong pain medication daily at home as well! Every time I go to the ER for a pain crisis I am looked at as a drug addict seeking IV drugs! I am 62 years old and feel totally disrespected, judged and ignored because I was born this way! This is bad for us all the way ’round’! I hope they are put in the same postion that they have put us in and see what they do! Everyone who takes pain medication is NOT a drug addict!

  8. terry
    tracy ca
    Reply

    12 years ago my ATV flew 20ft in the air and landed on my head. Have had 4 lft shoulder surgeries /neck fusion plate /most recently a rt hip surgery, and I can’t work now. But I worked for 40 years. Pain is bad in my upper back. Am seeing so many drs and also thought of suicide. But then I think of my kids so am trying to live in bad pain. I wrecked/cracked my pro helmet where rubber was showing, in the accident. Wish I would have died. Now am going to try and draw social security. I went from 40mgs methadone to 10 mss a day. I feel your pain. Chronic pain brings on bad depression bad. Some Gabapentin helps, but how long before I get switched to Ibuprofen. Wow! These posts! I feel for everyone with chronic pain.

  9. Sara
    colorado
    Reply

    The laws focus only on the disabled, temporary or not, who have been verified to have a legitimate need because the DEA cannot stop the illegal drug trade within & without the US. They cannot win the “WAR ON DRUGS,” do any significant stopping of cartels, and whoever supplies opioids to dealers. Instead they target honest citizens with legal rx & verified pain . Limiting legal RX will do nothing to the illegal things going on and will increase the suicide rate. A life of nothing but staying in a bed in pain is not worth living, and that is the choice they are now giving many.

    DEA fails at their job and targets the easy targets to make it seem as if they are winning…but it’s a WAR ON THE DISABLED NEEDING OPIOIDS. They will die in pain, live in pain, not be able to take care of themselves, or they will start to try to get Heroin to make up for the arbitrary guidelines putting them in harms way just so they can function another day. I think the policy violates Section 504 of the 1973 Rehab Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating based on disability. There is no connection between the claims of death and legally prescribed RX. An addict shooting up who dies is counted as an opioid death.

  10. Frank
    Onalaska, Tx
    Reply

    We must find a way to get together for there is strength in numbers. Does anyone have any ideas?

    • victoria
      pa
      Reply

      STRENGTH IN NUMBER, YOU ARE RIGHT. Something needs to be done about this. It is effecting so many peoples’ lives. It will put the suicide rate up, unemployment will rise, depression rate will go sky high, and there will be more need for public welfare. We are being punished for other peoples’ stupidity. I am angry at the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies. What can I do to help??

  11. Frank
    Onalaska, Tx
    Reply

    I added my thoughts about a week and a half ago but they were not posted. I do not know why. I made no threats and used no profanity. I am 69 years old this month. I have been in control of my pain for almost 20 years with MS Contin ER and Hydrocodone alternated with Oxycodone for all of these years. Problems began with the new Opioid guidelines. My primary care doctor sent me to a pain management doctor who almost killed me (5 days in intensive care) when she put me on methadone and as a heart patient on Betapace, I had a severe interaction and went into Ventricular Fibrillation, aka the “widow maker.” Somehow I survived. Then this same doctor just cut me off about 6 mos later after giving me 1 month of MS Contin ER and Hydrocodone.

    I found a new pain management doctor who agreed that my conditions are severe and warrant pain medications so he put me on the exact pain meds the old doctor prescribed–oh, I forgot to say I never took another dose of methadone again nor was it ever prescribed again. Anyway for about a year my new pain management doctor has been great. He even told me not to worry about him cutting me off as long as my labs come back they way they should. Two months ago he wanted to up my Hydrocodone to Oxycontin. Because I am on Medicare with a supplemental they would not pay for the Rx, and I did not have 800 bucks. So after trying to get pre-approval for the medicine the doctor wanted me to take my insurance company (Plan D) decided I was “drug seeking.” The pharmacy got in on the act and did something called a white paper, and the doctor got interrogated. Last month my pain management doctor seemed scared. I noticed he lost his friendly staff and had some rude woman giving urine tests and barking at everyone like we were criminals.

    I have severe back and shoulder problems with surgeries, and I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and lytic lesions, and right now they are working me up for Multiple Myeloma. Because I had a blood transfusion in the Navy I had Hepatitis C and took the treatment and have been SVR for about 17 years (free of live virus). With a damaged liver I cannot take NSAIDs, and I am allergic to anti-inflammatory steiroids because they make me so hyper I cannot sleep for days on end and have restless legs. No one wants off of all the medications more than I do. Once in the past 17 years I stopped cold turkey and went one entire year off of everything except my heart meds but the last 4 months of that year I was in bed and I got very obese. My doctor admonished me when I told her I was going to stop the pain meds she said: “You cannot do it.” “Your injuries are that bad and will only get worse as you age!” She was right.

    So at my last pain management appointment my pain doctor said he is going to have to cut me back but first he wanted to see whether or not my labs are correct, and I have cancer (Multiple Myeloma). So here we are. Most of us are good people with bad physical problems. We know we are getting a raw deal by the “powers” that be. I don’t know what I fear worst. Withdrawal cancer: because that was one long 6 weeks or living in the hell of physical pain afterwards. Knowing how we are being crippled by the doctors who swore to:

    “Do No Harm!” That oath has no meaning anymore. At least not to the patient. But being an old man I have seen how doctors have slowly taken a back seat to politics and insurance and Big Pharma. I believe Big Pharma and Industry wants to rid the market of Opioids because they work. Sure they are addictive. Abused by some. So what? The vast majority need them to function. I hope you are reading this. I know it is long but please bear with me a moment. More than 200 thousand persons in the United States of America die each year directly and indirectly from alcohol. 23 thousand addicts die from Heroin and opiates in their systems.

    Heroin addicts use prescription pain killers to supplement their heroin addictions. Granny at 70 is not doing heroin in 99.9% of the deaths. Most opiate abusers die with 3 or more different drugs in their systems. A fact the CDC and DEA and HHS hides. More persons die from Prescription errors than by opiates in the USA. More than by 230 thousand times more. Another 200 thousand persons die each year from Medical Errors! That is 167 thousand times more than opiate related deaths! More persons die from the flu each year than by opiates. So why is the Government calling 23 thousand deaths a year an epidemic but did you know Processed foods cause more deaths in the USA than Opiates? Opiates kill fewer people than just about anything else in this country including Nsaids and Viagra and caffeine and yet the most helpless in our society; the aged and the infirm are in need of government intervention? Really??? Imagine! Bourbon swilling politicians getting between you and your doctor to tell the doctor to stop prescribing a medication that works for you.

    So what do we do? Well. we vote, that’s what. We get together and let the so called Powers that be that we will not stand for their interference. Junkies are not getting on line or standing in line to vote. I am new on here but I hope there is a way we can get together and find one another so we can begin fighting back against this nonsense.

  12. dan
    north port florida
    Reply

    And yes, yet again the government organizations choose the easy way out and cause untold suffering to the millions
    that require pain relief rather than actually doing their jobs.

    Rather than find and close down the sources, such as medical professionals that are abusing the system, and the persons bringing these drugs in from other countries.
    They again choose to limit or in some cases remove this medication from the reach of those in need.

    In the case if CVS recently announcing their decision to limit opiate users to a 7 day supply I have this to say.
    Many of the elderly and poor, which are often one and the same, have limited resources to travel. And to force them to find a ride,
    use a taxi every 7 days is just another hardship added to their already painful lives.
    These people are trying to eek out an existence and remain an active member of society to the best of their ability, and all you want to do is add to their frustrations.

    It was my understanding a ” drug czar ” was appointed in this country.
    I feel confident at this point if he/she still exists, they are pulling in a 6 digit salary for sitting on their plump behind if reducing aid to the needy is the best he can do.

    You people making these laws should have such conditions, but even if you do, you have private doctors, money, and ways to get around these hurdles that the rest of us do not.
    Michael Jackson’s Dr being a case in point.

    This is as ludicrous as requiring everyone to get a ” certified ” birth certificate, because for some insane reason the government doesn’t think terrorists can forge
    one that will pass muster, when we already know they have the resources and technology to do so.

    So the people of this country had to hunt, search, pay fees, spending days if not weeks to get this precious birth certificate that terrorists could have made in 24 hours or less

    When are the people making these laws going to wake up and start doing what they are paid to be doing rather than spending millions to find the easy way out and
    leaving us, the voters, (remember us ? ) standing in the lurch.


    Dan W

  13. Barbara
    Alabama
    Reply

    I am a 62 year old female, I was told 2 months ago by my pain management doctor that Due to new Ga Laws my pain medications had to be cut down. I was injured in a car accident in 2000 and left with severe Lumbar Chronic Pain. I had 2 disc in my neck fused, and DDD all through my spine. Even with the dosage of a 75mg patch and 5/325 Hydrocodone.

    I go to bed in severe pain and I wake up in severe pain. My quality of life has continue to go downhill over the last 17 years. When I walk it become very painful with each and every step I take. I struggle everyday to do the most simple things that most take for granted. In the past year sitting has even become difficult for me I fight depression on my own with out taking those drugs which I struggled to get off of years ago. For the past 3 or 4 years I have been drug tested like a drug abuser.

    Not once have I failed the test. But yet I am told the Government has a right to tell my doctors what is in my best interest. How am I suppose to deal it the one thing that takes the edge off my pain is taken away. Why would I want to live if the pain becomes even more unbearable than it is now.. I fear these Government officials are going to see a large spike in their suicide rates. Because they have no understanding what it is like to deal with chronic pain day and night. You already do not sleep most nights through due to the pain.

    Now you will not get the medications you need to help you cope. How cruel is this to snatch a much needed Pain Medication from the very people that truly need it.. To blame the medication first Off is wrong. If it was truly as addicted as they claim no patient could go with out abusing it. I have been on them 17 years not once taken more than the dosage prescribed no matter how bad my pain was. I never abused my medications and there are drug test to prove this.

    • victoria
      Reply

      Dear Barb from CA,
      I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I am in the same boat you are in. I am so angry at the doctors who have been pushing for me to increase my dose for the last 7 years, which I didn’t. Now they are telling me I need to cut back to a barely livable amount. I have been given 3 months to cut my medication back by 75%. What would I be facing if I would have increased every time he pushed for me to? This will be hard on so many people. MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL WITH CHRONIC PAIN.

  14. Beth
    Ellettsville, IN
    Reply

    I have had multiple fractures of my neck with incomplete cervical spinal cord injury and multiple surgeries to stabilize it and then later had metal from the surgery displace up against the spinal cord where it caused severe pain before it was finally diagnosed along with swelling of the cord and neurological damage. I tried to continue to walk as much as possible after months and months of therapy but trying to walk with weakened muscles resulted in my leaning backward with each step to try to get my leg up.

    This in turn has caused severe arthritis and destruction of the discs in my lower back with resulting pressure on the nerves as well as the overgrowth of a muscle deep in the buttocks bilaterally which is squeezing the large nerve running though there, bilateral trochanteric bursitis, chronic and severe sacro illiac syndrome and other musculoskeletal problems from muscle imbalance.

    I have done months and months of therapy returning multiple times which helped my walking but aggravated the pain, I have undergone numerous steroid injections (you can only have these 3 times a year and if they are given in more then one area the dosage has to be divided making them less effective) I have had nerve ablations done which negatively effected my walking and unfortunately and had no effect on the pain after about a week, and I have had them do the surgical trial placement of a spinal cord stimulator to help with pain.

    Unfortunately, it had to be removed because of a severe allergic reaction but my limited experience was that it worsened rather then helped pain. (It works in only 50 percent of the time and requires rigorous pre-implantation work up because by medicare because it’s cost is about 150,000. I have used a Tens unit which helped slightly for about a month which I later learned is about the longest they work. (Long enough for medicare to pay for them.)

    I have requested the implantation of a pain pump in my spine to help with pain but been turned down because long term use can cause scar tissue growth and could further aggravate the nerve losses from the cord injury. I have tried muscle relaxants with no benefit and currently use the maximium dose of NSAIDS, neurontin which causes a lot of sedation, anti-depresants and an opiod for pain. The NSAID and neurontin provide a very minimal amount of pain relief and the opiod provides about a 30 to 40 percent relief until just recently.

    Prior to being given it I had become suicidal with a plan to slit my carotids in the bath tub because I could no longer live in that much pain. I credit the doctor who finally prescribed it after years of innefective treatment for saving my life. I also have deterioration of my brain consistent with that seen in chronic pain on my brain MRI. It is very likely that the amount of pain I suffer is related to having been inadequately treated for pain for so long.

    This is the number one reason people develop chronic pain syndrome because of it’s effect on the brain and spinal cord. Even if all the problems I have would be healed it is very likely the pain would continue due to it’s effect on the brain and spinal cord. In my experience doctors are not prescribing opiates too freely but should consider them long before they do.

    I have had doctors apologetically explain that the reason they do not is because they fear being prosecuted by the DEA and federal government even when such perscriptions are obviously warranted. This is a shameful situation and is likely to continue to get worse for those who legitimately need these medicines due to the well intentioned but poorly informed passage of recent legislation regarding opiates. It seems to me that addicts are continuing to find things to get high on as they have no need to obtain them legally and that they may have been better off abusing legal pills rather then the heroin laced with fentanyl they are currently obtaining on the street.

    In the meantime another population has been very hurt by these laws and things are looking ever bleaker. Perhaps we will have to declare ourselves to be addicts even if we aren’t so that we can obtain methadone to treat our pain with even though this is far more likely to result in a lethal overdose.

  15. Jen
    CA
    Reply

    I’ve never understood how/why politicians feel they have the knowledge, experience & expertise to determine medical practices when it requires physicians years of education and training (& they can still make mistakes). Chronic pain conditions are not something that those of us suffering from would wish upon our worst enemies.

    However, it would be nice if those in power could get a small glimpse of our daily lives. Prior to becoming disabled three years ago I worked 60+ hours a week, ran six miles a day (six days a week), had low blood pressure, never felt depressed, did a lot of volunteer/community service work & wore a size 7 (I’m 5’10”).

    I’ve gained 80 pounds, have out of control glucose & my BP is 200/120. My life now consists of TV and doctor appointments. I am only allowed two 50mg Tramadol/day, take three different blood pressure meds, two different anti-depressants, have had steroid injections, switched to vegan/gluten & dairy free diet, take MULTIPLE nutritional supplements, and see a therapist so I can “accept” my pain.

    All of this instead of simply giving me adequate medication to alleviate my pain. It makes one wonder if big pharma is pushing the narrative of the dangers of opioids to encourage more drug sales. I’m taking 25 pills a day instead of the four that would stop this hell. Running out of life-sustaining options

  16. Deb
    PA
    Reply

    It has been ten years without pain treatment (Vicodin 4x a day). I don’t live. I’m a miserable soul. I suffer. It affects me mentally now. I sit inside all day… every day. My husband cooks and cleans. I shower 3 to 4 times a month at most.

    I do not want to be alive, but I hope for a better future. The tramadol my pain doctor gives me has an incredible antidepressant effect, so maybe that’s why I stopped with the suicidal thoughts.

    You would think after 10 years I would be “over” some damn opiate. Well, the pain isn’t “over”. Back in 1995, I figured I’d see the day I’d get a titanium spine. Nope. They just took our love of life away. Is there some country I can move to where true pain treatment exists?

  17. Val
    North Carolina
    Reply

    Chronic Pain and taking Norco for over 20 years does not give you a high as it just eliminates most of the pain and makes life with daily task easier. Trying other pain relief such as NSAIDS works some but taking NSAIDS will damage your kidneys! Read on the Warning label of the box and container of NSAIDS. I am one that has had damage from NSAIDS. This needs to addressed to all Government agencies.

  18. MARK
    Reply

    BOYCOTT CVS IF YOU HAVE CHRONIC PAIN!

    • John
      Phoenix
      Reply

      I already did a few years ago when I was told I was 8 hours early to get my pain patches filled (Not at all true) and told to come back tomorrow morning – Christmas Eve! It’s all lame and ridiculous. We wouldn’t stop at a CVS for a pack of gum.

    • Linda
      Central mo
      Reply

      Agree!! Pharmacists r NOT doctors!!! Lrg RN for 45 years

    • Richard
      Tuscaloosa
      Reply

      I’ve been on methadone for about 8 years now from a botched spinal fusion. I have the implanted stimulator that I didn’t want but had to get so my pain management Dr. could make a bunch of money off of me and continue treating me. I think it actually causes more pain at this point. The battery is dead and my current insurance won’t pay to even remove it much less replace it. It’s been hit and miss at Walgreens but it looks like the big med standoff I’ve been expecting is here.

      They wouldn’t even hold my script today and there is no methadone in the entire county. They all say they have met their allotment for the period, whatever that is. The funny thing is there politicians who think this will make overdoses go down. They know as much about meds as they do about guns. I’m not a Trump fan but he has called out the stupidity in politics. We can only hope somebody somewhere will show one of the bastards what pain feels like and we’ll get to at least read about it.

  19. kenn
    atlanta
    Reply

    I pray there are doctors in America who feel for their patients in chronic pain and won’t be bullied in complying with these new guidelines to eradicate opiods. How ridiculous to punish those of us who rely on our medications to get by every day.

    I guess the CDC guidelines wont get turned around until those of us in chronic severe pain, take our own lives. Then and only then will they realize that throwing out the baby with the bathwater was an irrational and futile attempt on dealing with an epidemic.

  20. Anonymous
    Texas
    Reply

    People who suffer from chronic pain who take opioids responsibly are now going to suffer as a consequence of irresponsible drug addicts. Makes perfect sense. I’m 100% certain that this will lead to more suicides. But those suicides will of course be chalked up to “mental health issues” by those who have no idea what it is like to live in severe pain every second of the day, 365 days a year, still having to function as if they were a human being while having absolutely no quality of life. So congrats CDC, you’ll never even notice the harm your causing.

    • Pamela
      Ohio
      Reply

      I agree that there will be more suicides, because life in constant pain doesn’t hold a lot of appeal!! I am a 66 year old woman who has been pretty independent all my life. A few years ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, costochondritis, and degenerative discs in lower back. I have been taking vicodin 5-325, two a day as needed, for at least five years. Went for a checkup the first of July and was informed that all opiate patients were being weaned of their medication. I know I sat there like a dummy with my mouth hanging open!

      Only six months before, he had increased my dosage to three a day! So, I took two a day for July, one a day for August, and now that’s it! Iwent for checkup the other day and had bloodwork, chest exray, ekg and back exrays. Before he saw me, the nurse handed me a form to fill out about mental health!! that’s what you get now! I am pushing my body to function the same but everything hurts and I feel as if I have been beaten with a ballbat!! Yeah, this is really gonna stop us nasty drug addicts.

      I despise the fact that my life is being controlled by a bunch of fools!! Tylenol and Ibuprofen??? Eat some jelly beans, it would control the pain better! I sympathize with everyone going through the same thing, and I found the mental health survey by the nurse, hysterical!

      • HollisCares
        Illinois
        Reply

        I am sorry, but I think your doctor is either highly mis-informed (seriously… a doctor not getting this right?) or s/he has reason to stay off the radar screens of regulators. Everything I have read, and I admit I could not have possibly read everything from every state, indicates that the new rules are for people who have not been on opioids. The dangers of withdrawal alone could have your doctor killing you.

        I have been suffering form chronic pain for over a year and have pretty much lost everything related to a career I worked extremely hard to build. I have been searching every second of the day that I can to find options to get off this stuff. I am trying everything that has hope.

        My doctor is working with me on this but is well aware of the dangers of withdrawal and has made sure I am realistic; I will likely never be capable of functioning without medication for pain. He has assured me that the rules do not do as your doctor as told you. This is very frightening.

        Also,with regard to another post and the pharmacy refusing to give pain meds…I do understand that pharmacies can set limits on how much you can get at a time (to keep extra opioids out of reach of those who may mis-use them) but if a pharmacy refuses to fill a pain medication the script should be taken to another pharmacy – I am confident that a pharmacy cannot just say that you can’t have your script (the insurance company you have may differ and say they will not cover it under a new policy however).

    • Sara
      Reply

      So right! And the suicides will be attributed to the count of an opioid death rather than a suicide because of chronic pain /depression/trama

  21. Tracie S
    Wisconsin
    Reply

    I have osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, numerous bone spurs and pinched nerves. I have had a C3- 7 laminectomy/fusion a L4-L5 fusion and had a spinal cord stimulator implanted. SO FAR I have not had a problem getting my pain meds, but they were reduced quite a bit. I am not here to talk about me, but my son. My son was in a 4 wheeler accident on 8-08-08 when he was 16, he broke his shoulder blade, collar bone and humerus in 2 places, and dislocated his shoulder. He has gone through 8 weeks of PT 6 different times.

    He is now 25 and in pain 24/7, he has been unable to get help, anyone can look at his back and see his shoulder blade sticks out at about a 45 degree angle, his shoulder dislocates itself all the time and hearing him put it back in place is heartbreaking. He has tried massive doses of ibuprofen and tylenol with no relief, he has been drinking lately, but he doesn’t cars for it. He heard about Kratom and it sounded promising but is illegal in our state. He went from a fun loving 16 year old with friends, hobbies..he played drums and then guitar which he can’t do anymore, he never stayed in the house, always out having fun! In the last 8 or so years he has gone from that to a guy who rarely leaves his bedroom. He has gone to doctors for help to no avail. He says all that is left for him to do is get things illegally.

    My son has never been in trouble with the law, no speeding tickets, nothing. I honestly have no answers left for him.. I have been trying for a year at least. I do not condone doing anything illegal, but honestly, is there any other help for him??

  22. k
    virginia
    Reply

    senior people over 55 with bad pain all the time, have no quality of life without their meds.
    it is an unforgivable sin to put them in the same bucket with drug users.
    if you are lucky and get old, you will understand how evil you are for goodness sake.
    if you are on our side,you are blessed if not you will get double what you concocted for us.
    i am at the end of my years,why should i suffer with no quality of life.
    stop pretending to have good morals. when in fact you are naked of morality.
    you are really trying to make your criminals rich and i am tired of it.
    over and out
    “the keith dennis”
    ps.. hope you fall down and hurt your self really bad…GOD knows you are over due

  23. VICTIM4LIFE
    Florida
    Reply

    I finally received oxycodone for my 3 types of chronic pain after being almost 600lbs and confined to a wheelchair for 15 years. I couldn’t move but my brain still functioned and I wanted to work with all my college degrees. Just from receiving pain meds, I lost almost 400lbs without dieting. After losing all the excess weight, I needed surgery that I couldn’t afford here. I went to Argentina, at great risk, to have the skin of four to five additional people removed from my 120lb body. Then I went overseas for 2 years and received pain meds and muscle building therapies.

    I was going to come back to USA and start a life. I then made the most horrible mistake by moving to Florida. I brought back a lot of medication from overseas and I still had other pain meds my cousin held onto that made me really sick. I still went about trying to establish with a Doctor, so my health could be monitored and so I could establish getting my prescriptions in the US again.

    I began to be very afraid. I was on Medicaid and there were no Pain management clinics–no private Doctor would prescribe even an aspirin. The only way to obtain a legal prescription was to go out of State, at the time some weak drugs were still prescribed online and/or pay $800 to see the non-Medicaid Pain management.

    So, I started reducing the medication I needed. My worst nightmare began as I slowly started gained weight because I couldn’t move normally. By the time I was able to obtain more medication from relatives who brought it to me from my Doctor overseas, I had already gained half my old weight back. This ruined all my surgery and caused more complications with my illness.

    I was taking Tramadol to move in pain and saving what oxycodone I had to have “pain free days” where I could live somewhat normally playing with my child and doing house cleaning, (things most people take for granted). I had a bunch of Tramadol that I found I couldn’t take. I have a severe allergy to a now common ingredient they use to form a lot of pills.

    It took a lot with my income and disability to buy a house for my child. We moved into a hick area of Florida. I was struggling to care for my child and myself with the constant medication issues and a relative had just brought more medication from overseas, when I noticed someone had illegally broken into my home, but nothing was missing.

    It was law enforcement coming into my house with no warrant. They even took my office window out. I kept trying to rationalize but there was no lawful reason for it. Then 5 months later, right after my vehicle had broken down, some law enforcement forced their way into my house without a warrant even though they knew they would contaminate our living space because my child and I have severe airborne allergies.

    They took ALL MY MEDICATIONS and when they did this, they put me in a mental institution because I said “If I have to suffer this pain and go back into a wheelchair, I will go to a State that allows legal euthanasia and get help to end this.”

    They knew my degrees were in Psychology as well. Try even not being disabled and getting a job after being locked up in a mental institution. At the Mental Institution, I went through withdrawal, but that was a cake walk compared to the debilitating pain that I had to endure with no medication. I couldn’t walk anymore.

    They had to bring a wheelchair in so I could go to the bathroom. I was in so much pain I stopped eating and drinking. I could feel pain from my Diabetic nerve pain, Fibromyalgia and arthritis. I could feel pain on top of this pain from irritable bowel syndrome. I had severe breathing issues and had to be given medication from being exposed in my home.

    The Doctor there diagnosed me with PTSD from what I had gone through, and saw my Chronic pain. He put me on medication for PTSD, Chronic pain and Irritable bowel syndrome. It was a Psychiatric drug because that was all he could prescribe. He told me I had made a mistake moving to Florida. He then released me.

    Meanwhile, law enforcement were trying to bar me from returning to my own home in a completely incapacitated position. I went home anyway and I had to get my child to hospital for allergic reaction as well. The house had to be special cleaned and aired but we had to remain on allergy medication.

    As soon as the DCF worker law enforcement had reported to saw me, she said there was no way she could bar me from my home. She even said that she could not and would not tell me not to find any way to get my medication. She said she was a human too and she would not want to live like that.

    After all of this, instead of giving my belongings back and admitting they had made a serious mistake, officers kept coming out to my house, which had no trespassing signs posted and again they had no warrant to be there. First they tried to get me to leave my house and then they tried to get me to do illegal things so they could get evidence to try and prosecute me.

    The medication I was given made me vomit all day and I lost my vision. Everything was blurry. I was really scared and in agony. I was just able to lie on the sofa in pain all day. My husband said it made me more depressed and anxious then when I was not taking anything. It did nothing for my Chronic pain and my hearing sounded like everything was in a tunnel. When I stopped taking it my vision returned

    We left Florida for the Holidays to get away from all this and obtain medication as my husband’s health was greatly affected. I was now not able to care for him or my child. My husband had a massive heart attack and we became trapped out of State. We lost our house and all the money put into it. Our belongings the police took were never returned and a lot of our belongings were stolen from the house. My husband now has 20% of his heart left.

    I think the CDC and Law enforcement are abusive and people who are sick are THE MOST VULNERABLE VICTIMS. How can we fight back if these deranged people take our life medication from us? I cannot believe all the Doctors who took a sacred oath to “DO NO HARM” are doing NOTHING. Just ONE Doctor makes enough money to hire an attorney to reverse this.

    Many Doctors say they are “afraid” to spotlight themselves. Law enforcement and the CDC have become a new generation of terrorists to Doctors and they are abusing sick people. In my first Psychology class, I was taught that a lot of people in the Police force were abused as children and they become Officers so they can empower themselves.
    Most Officers do not even have a college education or any training in Psychology.

    In 2013 there were over one Million Doctors in the USA. If they each just donated ONE DOLLAR to a legal fund, that’s enough to go to the Supreme court many times.
    My husband used his own money to prevent more attacks on the US from the Middle East and we are rewarded by losing everything. We lost our lives.

    I called many attorneys and pleaded for help but the only thing I was told was that without money, there was no help for us.

    • Pamela
      Reply

      Very well put! I could wish triple what we are going through!

  24. Stephanie
    Cincinnati, OH
    Reply

    I have been in severe chronic pain for nearly 5 years now, since I was 19!! I used to get prescribed Oxycodone, which helped tremendously. But after the CDC started putting this ridiculous law into effect I can no longer get my medication. I have lost my job, my fiancé (which was actually a good thing about the fiancé), lost my apartment, and now I’m living with my parents again and I’m living a miserable existence in my bed where i think of ways to kill myself and then talk myself out of it, over and over and over again.

    It is the worst life anyone can live and I know there are thousands upon thousands of others that feel the same way. I agree that the CDC or any government agency should not be aloud to tell doctors how to treat patients. Every patient is different and we should all be given proper medical treatment that will allow us to live again!! Because this isn’t living!!!

    • concerned
      Reply

      please be okay and call a suicide hotline

      • Barbra W
        Colorado
        Reply

        Call a suicide hotline! I know you may try to be helpful, maybe even prevent this person’s death. However, when this person makes it through this day, what about the next. I am so sad to see all of these comments. It makes me wonder how many employees the CDC has that have chronic pain and work only with ibuprofen. NONE is the answer. Any of the recommendations the CDC advises to manage chronic pain have serious other issues!

    • Sara
      Reply

      Absolutely! There is no life in pain. I don’t know one person dealing with severe pain/disability that hasn’t thought of ending it. When I was on steroids, one of the side effects can be suicide…very common with steroid use. And how I managed it was I made a deal with myself after deciding my method, that if I went to bed & got a full night’s sleep & still felt that way strongly the next day, I gave myself permission to do it. I never did because after a good night I felt better the next day.

    • victoria
      Reply

      MY HEART BLEEDS FOR ALL CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS. We are going to be going through hell.

  25. Kelly A
    Canada
    Reply

    I hesitate to add my own 2 cents, but maybe it could help someone? I am a 31 year old chronic migraine sufferer, and as of the last 8 years, been diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and an undiagnosed but very bothersome heart issue that rears it’s ugly head every few months and causes 24-48 hours of constant vomiting and dry heaving when nothing left… or visa versa, the vomiting attacks cause the heart damage. Either way, it happens, and I know what it’s like to suffer in pain. Yet my diagnoses/illnesses/disorders aren’t 1/4 as bad as MANY who’ve commented here, and considering what I have gone through (I’ll explain a little later, but am trying to keep it short) I truly applaud everyone’s strength here to keep going through it all… because even though I don’t suffer half as bad as some here, I’ve had those dark days where you wonder if death is the better alternative. Better than fighting the pain/sickness and NOW trying to fight the medical system/government on top. What I am trying to say, if it’s hard for me… I cannot image what it must be like for the millions worse than me. My god, what is happening is flat out barbaric, cruel, primitive, sick, and sad.

    Because of my age, and how I choose to dress etc, I am seen as someone/something VERY different from who I actually am, and sadly have been treated based on outer appearance and first assumptions rather than being treated on who i am as a person… as an equal. I mention this because I am a person who’s fallen through the cracks… My family Dr. who knows me very well, had me on pain medications for years. Nothing major, just Tylenol 3 and then 4 years later when the 3s didn’t work as well. Working under fluorescent lighting gives me awful migraines, and I work with xray machines where I have to inspect luggage etc. Hence the tylenol. There are times however where I would get one so severe that would last for days and I would have to take a stronger medication or go in for IV treatment including opioid medications. Dilaudid, Toradol, Gravol and zophran. Plus the 3-4 bags of saline and sometimes potassium if it was low from migraine induced vomiting. This was the go to for years until this bizarre vomiting/heart issue popped it’s ugly head up.

    So bam fast forward a bit… 3 seperate stays on the cardiac unit, more prescriptions for narcotics due to chest pain etc during these “attacks” as well as many other medications. But this about opioids/narcotics. Anyways long short, because they couldn’t find the reason for these attacks of non stop vomiting, heart damage, and way above normal troponin levels when this happens, they narrowed it down to stress and anxiety when all tests came back fine. Ummmm ok LOL!!

    Anyways nearing the end of my story here, after repeated attacks and emerg visits, when they decided it was stress/anxiety they wanted me to see a therapist, which goes on file of course. And now I was being treated as a mental health patient?! Which soon somehow turned into me being a drug seeker?!? (I didn’t know behind the scenes all these new laws were coming into effect) so now not only was I not being helped during these heart/vomit attacks, but the treatment for my migraines and PMDD were now being called into question and my Dr. was getting flack from outside pressures. I was told as much.

    We discussed at length whether or not my dr. thought i was abusing at any point, and just what the heck was going on. THAT’S when I found out about these new laws and government pressure to stop perscribing, or to look out for people drug seeking, addictive behaviors etc. Which, in their new found paranoia, and as mentioned above my age, how I dress etc, would explain how I was very quickly tossed into a category I did NOT belong. My Dr. being backed into a corner didn’t know what to do, and I was tired of suffering so I decided to do a LOT of research and take things into my own hands.

    I am not proud of this, but I did what I had to do in order to get some sort of quality of life back, and be looked at as human again rather than a drug seeking MENTAL?? patient lolol. Anxiety and stress… if anything THEY gave me anxiety and stress. My Dr. actually mentioned methadone as a way to kill two birds with one stone. I immidiately got pissed off and broke down… I said that’s for junkies and asked if that’s what she now thought too? We are very close, praise god, and we both shed some tears and I knew she wasn’t toying with me and she didn’t think that way, but mentioned it because she truly thought it may help.

    I’d been on Tylenol 3 then 4 for YEARS! At 200/mo. She knew that there would be some discomfort stopping the medications, and then what would I do for pain management afterwards? So I buckled down and did months of research before I decided ok, let’s do it. I learned the government was only gonna get worse and make it even harder to get pain medications, and learned from research though it has MAJOR dependency warnings, which are basically when you get on Methadone you WILL become dependent and have to withdraw when you stop, that it does REALLY help with pain and that millions are actually on it from their pain management drs as an alternative to taking so many pills. That not everyone who takes methadone is a junky.

    Now here’s where I am a tad ashamed… sadly where im located, methadone is NOT widely prescribed for pain. My only option was go to go a methadone clinic as an “addict” and explain I’d been on medications for years and am now dependent, they want to stop my meds and I can’t. I was told this directly before I came in for the appointment that in order to get on methadone you HAVE to test positive that day at the clinic for opioids. So I researched and took as much tylenol 4 as I “SAFELY” could without OD so my levels would be high enough to show up on a urine test.

    I went to the clinic a nervous wreck… im an airport screener, im NOT used to being around heroin addicts or pill addicts. But my job is super important and I wanted… no i NEEDED my quality of life back, so I went, told my little story of being dependent on my meds and needing “help”. Which wasn’t an untruth… i DID need help, just not as an addict. I was urine tested and put on a small dose that very day.

    That small dose is all that was needed to get my life back. I’m not a drug user, so within a couple months I was able to take my prescription home and not have to go there daily as the addicts do. It REALLY does help with pain, and I only take it twice a day. Also the best thing is you DON’T feel funny from it. I noticed when I’d take my meds on empty stomach id feel a lil loopy light and funny… which im assuming is the “high” people talk about. Or that rushy feeling you get followed by loopy when you get IV medication… it doesn’t do that at all!!! It just takes away the pain before you know it and you’re on your way to doing whatever it is you do.

    I agree NO ONE should have to come to this point… NO ONE should have to fight for quality of life and care. ESPECIALLY when you’ve been given relief and because of some government officials MORONIC idea, you’re now left without… that’s just… you don’t do that to a living being. Here I have something to end your suffering…. buuuut no I’m not gonna. Excuse me??? No… this shouldn’t be… but it is. And because it is sometimes we have to do drastic things.

    Folks if you’re thinking of suicide PLEASE think of researching and getting on methadone… at very least until this MADNESS is over. It was created in Germany during the war when they’d run out of morphine and other opiate drugs made from the poppy plant. So it REALLY does work well for pain, and studies suggest that it’s also one of the few drugs that work well for neuropathic?? pain. Pain that comes from the brain or messed up nerves that other opiods cant touch. DO THE RESEARCH!!! It sure as hell beats thinking of suicide every moment of every day.

    I’m so sorry to have rambled, but this may REALLY help a LOT of people until the government pulls their heads out of their butts.

    Religious or not, I truly pray for everyone here. Their well-being, and to be PAIN FREE!!! Until people are willing to listen we need to do what we can to safely gain a quality of life. I sure as hell wasn’t going to use Heroin for pain, so I looked up my next legal option for help, and methadone was it. :)

    I hope I can help at least one person, or save someone from suicide… that’s why I decided to write my story.

    • Sara
      Reply

      One thing I learned having to go every where to even get a proper diagnosis: if your doctor doesn’t have a clue what’s wrong with you they will say you are “drug seeking” or need psych help. Because of their failure to properly diagnose you have to be your own advocate to get proper treatment. In one case I went 3 years slowly dying because a catheter had been left inside my body, and they all said they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. So I had to do my own diagnosis & get to the right Dr. & fly across country to get it removed.

      But as far as pain meds, your Dr. can lose his license to practice. Walgreens got huge fines because they were found to be filling too much in Florida. Pain mgmt. has to be careful, too. Mine closed in March & a new one expected me to provide surgery records that had been destroyed 30 years ago! Took 5 months to try & get in. I didn’t want that burden to be on my family dr. but I’m really disabled, the least of which is MS, and they were making me try & do all this documentation as if I had no limitations!

    • Sara
      Reply

      I’m told that methadone is harder to get off of than heroin.

  26. TV
    Colorado
    Reply

    Last month my Primary Care Physician informed that he was no longer prescribing pain medication. I have been, like many in this forum, on these pain medications for many (17) years. I owned several restaurants over the last 20 years. I suffered a severe accident where I destroyed my lower back and severely damaged the disks. I have been taking a lower-level pain medication for the last 15 years, named Tramadol. I can’t understand why or how anyone would wish to abuse this drug; however, evidently many people are turning to this drug who no longer receive the stronger medications. So now even this drug has been scheduled as a dangerous narcotic by whoever decides this.

    I truly feel for the families of people who have died from pain medication overdoses; however a system needs to be in place for those of us who have been forced to resort to the help that these pain medications provide. And if it were not for the 200 mg of Tramadol (doesn’t diminish my thinking like the stronger pain Meds) per day that I have been taking for what seems like forever, I would not be able to function well enough to work and or live a somewhat normal life. Even with the medication I currently take, my pain is still here every waking moment. But the severity is much less than with Tylenol, Advil, Aleve etc. On a scale of 1-10 it’s an 8 with the over-the-counter medications and a 4 with my Tramadol. I wish they would have acted more with logic than emotions. This is a ridiculous situation we now find ourselves in! I have periodically stopped taking the medication for two 6 month periods & have been miserable during those times while trying alternatives. Sad.

    • Robert
      Buffalo
      Reply

      I’m in the same boat. My doctor cut me off. He gave me some ibuprofen samples and said good luck. He did say you can thank the cdc. I have three herniated discs, degeneration of the spine, Sciatica, arthritis in my hands. I was prescribed 10mg hydrocodone for my chronic pain. I was able to function and work. Now my back throbs.

      I can’t sleep. Im in so much pain. I hate to say. I think your gonna see alot of suicides and people turning into alcoholics and heroin. I’m actually turning back to a alcoholic. I didn’t drink for 7 years. Now I need it just to sleep. Thank you CDC.

      • Pamela
        Reply

        I totally understand! I haven’t had vicodin for five weeks, and I’m not craving it, so that’s done. However all the pain that I was taking it for has come back! otc meds do nothing and I am miserable at least 6 days out of 7! I’m 66 and I feel 106! The slightest thing I do-vacuuming, etc. has me in misery for days! I feel like my life has been ruined. I look in the mirror and I have aged 10 years in the past few weeks. I am at the end of my rope.

  27. Wayne
    Reply

    What I want to know is this, “what in the hell are we in chronic pain, HORRIFIC chronic pain, supposed to do no?” Are we supposed to buy Heroin off the streets? This pain sufferer will not do that. I refuse. So, the result is my quality of life is so bad I want to eat a bullet most days. I can’t take it anymore.

    Now, they won’t even write for muscle relaxers because people are abusing them along with pain meds too. The only thing that actually reduces the pain level, pain killers don’t kill pain, they just give your brain the ability to put you in denial about how miserable you’re on. so just yet another blow to people who are actually in pain. So, what the hell are we supposed to do? They’ve declared war on opiods but given us no alternative. I’ve had it.

  28. Julie
    Arizona
    Reply

    For the past 25 years I’ve managed my chronic pain with opioids. Just recently I had to switch pain management doctors, mine lost his license. Because it’s been years since I tried the alternatives, gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta etc they want me to do it all over. The way I felt on those drugs is aweful and I won’t go through that again. My x-rays and other tests were years ago so I had to pay for a new c-spine & l-spine MRI. In the mean time my pain meds were cut by 75% and now that has triggered something, I can hardly get out of bed!

    To go from years of controlled pain to bedridden is unacceptable but who do you complain to? I can’t image another 10-20 years of this it’s no kinda life.

    • Pamela
      Reply

      I was given Cymbalta six or seven years ago. I took it for about six months and had nightmares from hell. It was awful . Then I took Lyrica for a year, giving it the old college try. Dr. just kept increasing the dosage when I said it didn’t seem to do much.

      When I stopped it I nearly lost my mind. Dr. swore there would be no withdrawals from Lyrica!! It took at least nine months to feel halfway normal again and I nearly drove my family and friends crazy, because I had no idea what was wrong with me!! Now here I go again with no Vicodin.

      I wish to God I had never gone to the doctor in the first place. I hadn’t been for fifteen years, and they were the healthiest of my life! Cymbalta and Lyrica are pure hell in a bottle for some people!

    • John
      Phoenix
      Reply

      We have the worst governor as far as being emphatic at all. He spent over $3 mill for 4 people to investigate the made-up “Opioid Addiction Crisis.” There’s no way to determine who accidentally overdosed or intentional. Besides since when have we been able to trust govt numbers?

      They said unemployment was under 5% when guess what – no one was approving UE claims and we find out 95 million are out of the work force. I digress. Everyone needs to speak up and not let these jokers that we voted for run our lives. Seems a lot like single payer huh? They have all the control and we can no doubt follow the money.

      If they cheat in Wall street they can certainly cheat at making money from funneling everyone in one direction. This drug war needs to end. Personally I’m looking to file a discrimination complaint/suit.

      Think about it there’s no other medical condition where you’d have to see a “specialist” every month ($$$) to get the same treatment just to improve your quality of life. We have cowards for doctors too. Time to fight back!

    • victoria
      Reply

      I am in the same boat. I got cut today 75%. That is a lot to cut back. I have to work or I will be homeless and hungry. what will happen to us all? I am so grief-stricken by all your stories. This was not the right way to handle it. And the doctors should never have been pushing them to begin with. I am finding an attorney. The quality of life is going to be hell for most of us. This is affecting millions of people, and something has to give. I wish you all the very best. Try to stay strong

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