The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Opioid Crackdown Leave Cancer Patients In Pain?

Most cancer patients in pain are treated humanely. But the opioid crisis may be discouraging some doctors from prescribing adequate pain relief. Readers share their stories.

Far too many people are dying from opioid overdoses. You already knew that. It’s been in the news for years. Many of the deaths are due to fentanyl. This synthetic opioid has become widely available. It is also being added to counterfeit products made to look like oxycodone or hydrocodone. Because of the opioid crisis, federal agencies have cracked down on this category of pain relievers. Many people in severe pain, even cancer patients in pain, are now being denied access to the only medications that allowed them to function.

Cancer Patients in Pain

Q. I am afraid the new restrictions on opioids may leave some people without good options. I don’t have chronic pain myself, but when my mother was dying of lymphoma back in the 70s, she was getting good relief from opioid pain killers.

Then her doctors, in all their wisdom, took the drugs away because they thought she might become addicted. Yes, they deprived a terminally ill cancer patient the pain relief she needed because they thought she might become an addict. I remember her screams of pain to this day.

I still feel outraged about this; I wish I could go back in time and sue those doctors. I hope reason will prevail now and people with chronic pain will be able to get the pain relief they need to allow them to function day to day.

A. Your story is heartbreaking. We hope today’s cancer specialists and palliative care professionals are not withholding narcotics from terminal patients. However, the panic over the opioid epidemic has led many physicians to restrict such drugs for people in chronic pain.

Until we have more effective and safer medicines, opioids will continue to be an important tool for those in severe pain. We have heard from many other patients who are currently suffering because they have been cut off from opioids. Here are some of their stories.

Stories from Patients in Pain:

Joe A. reports torture in Texas:

“My mother-in-law is 74 and was active, taking care of herself, and getting physical therapy. Six months ago her doctor cut her medication in half. She had been safely taking it at the same level for 20 years. He is now considering cutting her off completely.

“The doctor said she was afraid of the Texas Medical Board and the DEA. The doctor also said that my mother would experience similar restrictions from any other doctor in East Texas. She is now in constant pain. She no longer is able to do her therapy and never leaves the house without assistance. A visiting nurse and therapy provider both called the Doctor and told her how bad things were, to no avail.

“She is being tortured by the CDC, Texas Medical Board and DEA. I am shocked that the medical community has not fought back on behalf of their patients. They are the only expert advocates patients have.”

“Now doctors cower in the corner and allow their patients to suffer needlessly. If mom complains, she’s an addict. If we complain, we are enablers. I pray somebody with influence reads this and many other stories and does something. I have called my Congressman, Senator and local officials. They seem to believe the salacious stories prevailing in the current news that pain medication is the root of all evil. Help, please someone, help.”

Terry in Florida wants to function:

“Sixteen years ago I was struck by a car while riding my bicycle. An artery dissected and I was concussed and have a Traumatic Brain Injury. I try every treatment offered by the medical establishment and nothing has diminished the pain other than opioids. Even the opioids do not relieve the pain, but they do provide me the ability to function and some days enjoy life.”

“I agree that there needs to be guidelines for prescribing opiods, especially for children, but the rules need to consider the impact on the quality of life of the people who depend on them to dampen the pain allowing them to live.”

Marty is one of those cancer patients in pain:

“Hi, I’m 56 if that matters. I’ve read many posts on and agree with almost all. I had a double whammy. First a bad fall from a ladder March 2016 onto my back. That was followed by stage 4 cancer two months later. The cancer treatment was successful. (surgery, chemo, radiation). I was on 10 mg oxycodone during that time so I didn’t feel back pain.

“Once the treatment was over, oxy was cut off. Hydrocodone 10/325 works fine and I take less than prescribed, usually 2. One before I plan on doing anything physical, another after I do it. Without it I stay in bed most of the time.
“My insurance company changed so I had to find a new Primary Doc. The first one assigned me without my knowledge stated by phone message, even before I saw her, she “will not prescribe opioids of any kind to anyone for any reason” period. Shallow minded, forget her. Not a board-certified Doc anyway.

“New one I will see this week. She is aware of my various conditions as I had a phone pre-interview with her staff and they have all my records, medication list. They are directly linked in the same health system that did all the cancer work. So do I go in there acting like I’m on deaths doorstep to get a relatively mild (compared to oxy) pain medication? Over the counter drugs like Advil don’t cut it.

“This so called ‘opioid crisis’ is what many have said. People, often youngsters, get hooked on stuff to get high, turn to heroin, OD, then die. Very sad but it’s making it very complicated for people with legitimate needs to get what works. The government over reacted on this. Don’t hold your breath thinking they will reverse it. They will never admit they made a mistake.”

Queenie in Cincinnati is another one of the cancer patients in pain:

“I have had 31 abdominal surgeries in 41 years. I have been on pain pills for about 20 of those years in between, surgeries. I had a lot of tumors removed and a lot of surgeries for adhesions. In 2004 I was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer. Before being diagnosed, I lived with severe pain for 6 years. I have chronic back problems with deteriorating disks.

“I cannot believe that these people should or could be allowed to take away mine and other people’s pain medication without just cause. In my case (and many others in severe pain) only opioids help. I have tried other meds and different therapies that don’t help at all. Please reconsider, and give us back our life, what we have left to live.”

What has been your experience with pain? Have you been treated with compassion and respect? Share your experience in the comment section below.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I am afraid every day that my pain management doc will quit (as did my previous one) – and I don’t even like him – because the government is interfering with his practice of medicine. I have too many “itises” and “algias” to mention and a million dollars worth of surgeries, yet live in chronic pain.

Without my meds I would be in bed instead of trying to stay active volunteering and doing water exercises. Aren’t politicians practicing medicine without a license? As lawyers (as most of those bottom feeders are) shouldn’t they know that is a crime? I wish each and every one of them a total knee replacement or DDD so they would know what real intractable pain feels like.

As an Australian battling chronic pain for 15 years, l feel so bad for you poor people in the US who are now being targeted by weak doctors that are too frightened to do what is right.
I have a long list of health issues including: CX Spine Spondylosis, Lumbar Spine Disc Degeneration, Inoperable Bilateral Rotator cuff tears, Rheuma, just to name a very few.
My GP has me on slow release Targin (Oxy) 30/15 for mornings and 20/10 at night, Endone 5mg x3 immediate release when needed, Prednisone, D-Mards and countless other anti inflam and pain meds as well as Steroid shots in both shoulders every 3 months.
I have been on this particular dose for the past 5-6 years, l don’t abuse them and I refuse to up the dose any more. All they do is take the edge off the incredible pain l wake to every morning, but it helps. (If l can actually manage to get some sleep at night in the first place)
I think you all are in the same boat as me, we need Opioids to function for Christ sake!
We don’t abuse them because we know the consequences, we use them to try to have a semi-decent quality of life, can’t these idiotic bureaucrats see that?
These office bound bureaucrats are simply trying to cover themselves because of the idiotic, moronic junkies abusing and overdosing on the medication that is keeping us alive. I have absolutely zero sympathy for those stupid knuckleheads.
You are scapegoats for the simple minded fools, simple as that! And for that, l feel so bad for you people. No decent person deserves to live in agony every day, nobody!!
Chronic pain not only leaves us in pain 24/7, but it also affects every other aspect of our lives, it also certainly leads to some form of depression, that’s a fact.
I am so thankful Australia hasn’t gone down the same path as the US and made my life hell like you poor people, we are strictly monitored in our use of Opioids, but it is still available to us in the the dosages we need to function as best we can.
When you visit your gutless pain specialist or GP next, suggest to them to put their head in a vice, hammer a metal spike through their armpit and hang a bag of lead around their neck for a week, then get back to you on how it feels.
I really feel for you people, and I am so angry at the treatment you are getting I am nearly in a rage as l type this after researching the inhumane treatment you are receiving. “Grrrr”!
I wish you well in your fight for a decent living and hope like hell the powers that be see some sense in the near future.
And always remember, you are not alone.
Regards from Aus,

A couple months ago my compassionate pain care doctor said he would only be doing “procedures” from now on so passed me off to another doctor who treated me like a thieving drug addict. I was treated so disrespectfully before I got a word out. He told me patients were sent to him who had a drug problem. That was news to me!

I’ve been on Hydrocodone about 5 years and a Fentanyl patch for chronic kidney pain, DD a self-fusing spine and arthritis. I was doing fine and able to do some things again, but not as I used to,(livestock, horses). I still have many, many migraines which requires a different med and doctor-thank God.

I told this new doctor that I would give it a try in weaning off the Fentanyl,( and I did without a problem.) But I also said I was worried as it has taken years to have this much relief from the constant pain. He got in my face and said, “Why don’t you ask your other doctor if he will take you back!” This doctor is a pain specialist! He certainly specializes in giving pain.

This is the way I, a Grandmother who hasn’t had even a traffic ticket was treated. Needless to say I’m looking for a new, more human doctor.

Meantime I’m in a lot of pain and unable to do most things, including enjoying my grandchildren.

I have had chronic pain for over twenty years, and also use opiods for pain relief. I have Chiari, Fibromyalgia, Autonomic Neuropathy, and more. I have had five brain surgeries, neck and back surgeries, abdominal surgeries, and many joint surgeries. Without any of my meds, I would not be able to even move. Now, I have good and bad days, but there are good days. I am not even close to being addicted and my doctor has willingly given what I need and is happy with my choices of not taking more than I do now.

I am always trying to cut back and plan to go to CBD oil to try it and get of my Fentanyl patches and oxycodone. I have gone down substantially on my Fentanyl, but had to go back up when I tried to go further down. If the CBD oil does not work or I have an allergic reaction as my sister did, I must stay on these meds in order to function.

I do not understand why they do not think of those of us who need these drugs and are not addicted after so many years of use.

Why can’t someone sue them for practing medicine without a license ?Seriously they are interfering between a doctor and thier patients.They are making medical decisions deciding what medicine is needed. This is practicing medicine without a medical license. Time for a class action lawsuit.

I’m 59 yes old and just had my 87th operation. I was born with Spina Bifida, am a left leg amputee and have numerous other physical illnesses due to my birth defect. My pain specialist knows that I’ve been on various pain meds for my chronic pain over the past 35 years yet due to all the DEA changes and threats being made to doctors, she has cut my pain meds in half. I’ve gone from being able to have some productive functioning daily to having to stay in bed 24/7. I have no quality of life anymore and I’m extremely depressed from the daily suffering. What’s it going to take to help us chronic pain sufferer’s who are being treated as criminals?

I cared for a nursing home resident who was terminally ill with metastatic cancer. Although he was aware of his prognosis, he was not psychologically ready to elect hospice care. He needed ever-increasing amounts of fentanyl and morphine. At one point, his doctor said he would not increase the doses unless he chose hospice. The doctor told me he felt his license would be at risk. It believed it was unethical to coerce the resident into accepting hospice in order to have pain relief. The resident did reluctantly agree to hospice.

Afterwards, I reported the situation to our medical director, who agreed the doctor should not have treated the patient according to the “opioid initiative”. The medical director said he would intervene should we encounter another such situation.

A big part of the problem now is people not understanding the difference between Rx fentanyl a person might get for pain and fentanyl analogs which are hundreds of times stronger. These analogs have their own names (carfentinal, sufentinal) and are even spelled differently to avoid someone accidentally using a drug for elephants.

But calling the fentanyl is just another of the steps being taken to eliminate the line between patient and addict. Fentanyl is not killing all these people through counterfeit drugs and being used to cut heroin, it is the numerous analogs that are doing the harm. Prescribing of opioids is at an all time low while deaths involving opioids is at an all time high.

Obviously, these are not patients under medical care. The problem was, is and always will be in the addict community. It must be made crystal clear that these are not patient deaths and if anything cutting back on the small trickle of prescription pain medication that is diverted for abuse has driven addicts to heroin, fentanyl analogs and deaths.

Stop punishing people in pain and physicians who treat them, they have very little to do with this problem and changes to the way pain is treated has had nothing positive come from it. We should be asking why the DEA allowed importation of fentanyl analogs until early 2018 and why they continue to chase doctors and patients that are obviously not the problem. The DEA’s obsession with qualified doctors and legitimate patients is responsible for a lot of deaths, not the field of pain medicine.

Well, I see the opioid “epidemic” is the crisis du jour. Years ago, following a major surgery, I was prescribed Darvocet (no longer available), which I took around the clock for 3 weeks. Yes, you read that correctly, 3 weeks, not 3 days. At the end of that period, I decided I no longer needed the Darvocet, and quit taking it, even though I still had some left. During the following month, I had two episodes of moderate pain, which I dealt with by taking Tylenol. I did not resume using the Darvocet, which I still had. Eventually, I got rid of what was left.

Yet, according to today’s “wisdom,” using opioid pain-killers for acute pain for more than 3 days might result in addiction. What nonsense! My Darvocet use was 30 years ago. I did not become a drug addict then, and I am not a drug addict now.

My suspicion is that those who become addicts following being prescribed an opioid either take the the drug more frequently and/or in higher amounts than prescribed, or that they use the drug to deal with emotional and/or psychological pain rather than just physical pain. It baffles me why the rest of us have to be penalized for the actions of those who do not take or use their medication appropriately.

Oops! Sorry! My Darvocet use was 20, not 30 years ago, although that makes no difference to the point I am making. I simply present the correction in the interest of accuracy.

I am also a chronic care patient from a severe car accident that left me with major back and neck injuries. In addition I have cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. I have been on the same opioid meds for 20 years. I never had a problem until all these dumb kids and adults abuse our meds.

The decision to treat a patient should be up to our Dr not the stupid DEA agents who have NO CLUE!!!! It sickens me that they just want to look good in the eyes of the public to show everyone that they are taking a stance and being proactive. Well instead they are killing the chronic care patients. Cancer patients and destroying our quality of life by taking away our meds. I have tried to go off my pain meds for years. I have tried EVERYTHING from therapy to severing my nerves to surgery. Nothing worked. I could not function.

I took so many Advils and developed stomach ulcers. I was told by a spine specialist that I would be on pain meds the rest of my life. End of story. I accepted that and was put back on my meds. I never abuse them. Even with my meds I am barely able to take care of my daughter and do some normal activities.

I have ABSOLUTELY NO SYMPATHY FOR ANY OF THE DRUG ABUSERS AND KIDS THAT ARE OVERDOSING. NONE! They choose to take these pills illegally. They shoot up and snort the pills. For a “high”!! Where are their parents? They should be putting their drug addict kids in addiction centers. Do not punish the patients that need this medicine to function and to get out of pain for their stupidity. Wake up AMERICA.

The HMO’S now are under severe restrictions in prescribing pain medications. They can have their governmental funding cut if it is found that doctors prescribe opiod pain meds for too long a time, or in connection with other pain meds. My doctor said I had to choose ONE pain med and not take it every day. Before, I had been taking one of them every 6 hours, and in between, a different genre of med, because there is a limit we can have of Tyelenol of any kind, so I had to switch to Tramadol. I fractured my back in 6 places, and then had osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, with fractures in my hips and bones. Now, I don’t know what I’ll do. I am so afraid. In this much pain, I wonder how many of us will just give up living?

My highly decorated uncle was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. He was refused opioids for the pain, because doctors were concerned he would become addicted. He eventually committed suicide because of the unrelenting pain. I hope doctors are not returning to the inhumanity of the past.

I hate to say this, but two or three regulator or family members need to experience a REALLY long term need for a very strong pain relief. Then maybe they changed their minds about what needs to be done.

I’m also very concerned about physicians and hospitals using opiods to “medicate” patients who are NOT in pain. When they are kept in a comatose state, they cannot articulate their needs. I had a friend who was “euthanized” last summer. He was NOT in pain and did NOT want his pain medication to be increased. The doctors discreetly talked to his son, who was medical power of attorney, in the hallway (where my friend could not hear), and convinced the son that he needed more pain medication. After 3 weeks of increasing the medication regularly, my friend was always unconscious. The next step was to stop the IV fluids.

Car wreck in 2000. Broke many places on my foot, wrist, bladder surgery, arthritis in spine and both feet. Several surgeries on both feet, had a major fall and damaged left foot. Have EXTREME SENSITIVITIES TO food, PRESERVATIVES, DYES, chemicals.

Can’t take anything except my one pill NORCO 10/325. CANT EAT OR DRINK OR USE ANYTHING on my body like lotions, soap, name it ANYTHING except special ingredients. If they take my one pill away, that’s it. I’m finished. Get educated…….this is about control and the one world govt.

Do the research. Agenda 21, AGENDA 2030 , AGENDA 2050. It’s all true. Read it, research it and look at all the changes that already correlate with those agendas.

I am appalled that doctors are allowing their patients to suffer! A person is in agony with their pain, and now they are treated like a potential criminal!
My sister had chronic pain. She had two knee replacement surgeries, along with crippling Arthritis. She was living in Texas. She went to the emergency room to get help; she couldn’t take the pain.

The people at the hospital though she was faking it, and just wanted drugs. Yes she needed them. She of course wanted them. They put her through hell! They put her in the Psych ward. Refused to continue the course of meds she was out of. Her body couldn’t take it.

She died in the hospital, because of their attitude and subjective small minded inhumanity. She said she wanted to go home”. Wow, I am sure she did given the mean cruel treatment she got. She figured she can be home and be in the pain. The hospital read her mind, right? Going home to them meant “going home to Jesus.”

Horrible horrible! Unbelievable stupidity and cruelty.

I consider myself an abandoned victim of the “opioid crisis.” My craniotomy for a brain tumor left me with constant skull bone pain. I’ve gradually seen the prescribing community reigned in by scrutiny and sanctions, or the threat of same. I understand and have the deepest sympathy and support of the addiction and recovery community, and for families who are dealing with or have dealt with, the same. Or with worse, the deaths of loved ones due to abused, co-prescribed or illegal medications. And yet, with all the media attention, my primary physician has yet to explain that the changes in my medication protocol are NOT due to “an addiction you may develop,” or to the potential for anti-anxiety medication and pain medication to combine into a lethal overdose. Until I started researching this “crisis” via multiple channels, I thought I had done “something wrong.” The new prescribing protocols turn doctors into DEA agents and patients into criminals.

My 85-year-old mom is in chronic pain and is prescribed opiates. They treat her like a criminal, both at her doctor’s office and the pharmacy. It’s disgusting.

I am a cancer patient in remission who deals with chronic pain (bone and myalgia) from two stem cell transplants, three surgeries and maximum radiation to my neck. I was suicidal until my oncologist hooked me up with a palliative care team who helped me manage my pain effectively….yes with opioids.

I live in fear that the opiate crisis will impact my ability to receive this life saving treatment. I had no quality of life before; now I live a fairly normal life. I get no “high” from my meds, I take them to help me function and a normal level. Opiates don’t completely erase the pain, but they make it manageable.

On the other hand, when my teenage son had his wisdom teeth pulled he received 30 oxycodone pills. He used about 6 of them and Advil took care of pain from there.

I hope the government realizes where the real problems from opiate prescriptions come…over prescribing for patients who have temporary pain. That leaves open the option to take them just because, which results in a “high” feeling and then addiction. It’s not chronic pain sufferers who abuse meds and there is a place for these drugs in managing cancer and other chronic pain that does not respond otherwise.

Living by the Golden Rule should convince one that allowing someone to suffer needlessly is WRONG! I realize that drug addiction is real and horrible problem, but I believe we should not cause more harm to sufferers who can be helped to survive without or with less pain to do so. There has to be a middle ground. These drugs can bring much needed relief to some.

30 yrs ago my wife had terminal breast cancer and other complications with extreme pain. Her oncologist at first prescribed codeine pills & then codeine through a port. Eventually got to 100mg/day. Her GREAT MD said that he would always be there for her pain treatment–and he was. He stated that there was no problem with addiction under her situation. She was able to function until close to her final days.

When a person is terminally ill…who cares if that person gets addicted! The drug will help a person from screaming in agony while dying. Let’s say no death is imminent …again I say so what if they are addicted..let them have it…especially, if it is a pain that will not let up ever.

in addition to previous posts, it should be recognized that effective alternative pain relief practices and products are either not available in many communities, or insurance does not cover. I am talking about accupuncture, yoga, mindful meditation, chiropractic , hypnosis, physical therapy, therapeutic swimming pools, etc. This goes for where I live too! Some quacks, some good hearted helpers, not really trained or licensed.

I am going through the same thing from my doctor. I have no quality of life staying in bed curled up in a ball. Is there a united group to join to advocate for ourselves?

If you find such organization, please let others know. I have had recent knee replacements, and have been treated like a criminal at my pharmacy.

As is true of most things, what is needed here is balance. Human nature tends to swing wide to one side and then the other before finding a middle. That’s because there is truth on both sides. By now most of us know someone who has died from an overdose brought on by an accident or illness and a prescription. Yet more and more stories like the ones you have posted are coming out. Big Pharma is appropriately in trouble because of their corrupt business practices and opioids are their negative poster child, especially in places like rural West Virginia where they have flooded small towns with millions of pills. Finding a good balance of necessary use and monitoring patients so they don’t abuse the drugs should be the goal. But that’s easier said than done.

To me, it is cruel and inhumane treatment to severely decrease or completely stop an opioid medication to a patient who is known to have chronic pain that is only relieved by opioids. It is unfortunate that those who overuse or overdose create the situation of doctors being afraid to prescribe opioids to patients who they know receive pain relief from them just to protect themselves from the DEA, etc. Doctors keeping complete records about their patients who require opioids for pain relief should not have to be worried about false acquisitions. Why are they a doctor if they are not going to truly help their patients, but instead worry about themselves.

I live in Minnesota. The state passed a law a few months ago that requires all pharmacists to report to the state any doctor who prescribes opioid pain pills. I don’t know what the state plans to do with this information. The politicians must think they know more than any physician and will try to warn or punish any doctor whose name shows up too often.

Two years back I spent 10 weeks in the hospital with pancreatitis. That’s when I found out what 10 was on the pain scale. Dilaudid enabled me to survive that horrible near-death experience.
The thought of dealing with a relapse without dilaudid is terrifying. I just don’t understand the irrational thinking behind these pain meds constraints.

Very sad. Also, read stories about 2 Vets who took their own lives when the VA cut off their opioids. What a mean way to threat those wounded in battle.

Those who would write the rules taking away pains meds should have to walk a mile in the shoes of chronic pain sufferers. Their threats to “cut us off” create extreme anxiety that adds to the daily pain of our existence.

My wife’s dentist denied her opioids while suffering from a tooth abscess. The dentist originally denied that it was due to pressure from the State of Rhode Island but his assistant admitted two months later that the State was watching opioid prescriptions so closely that they were not prescribing them to patients that needed them. A small child could have predicted this ridiculous overreaction to the problem. Fentanyl is the problem, not terminal cancer patients who need appropriate medication to survive from day to day. Doctors should know better.

Have had twenty-five surgeries, including back surgery and both knees replaced. Been diagnosed with chronic pain disorder, osteoarthritic arthritis, and bone disease that did not allow metal and screws needed after back surgery. Pain clinics prescribed oxycodone and fentanyl patches. Medication cut in half by doctor. Had to change doctors. Now I have been cut off all pain medication (cold turkey). Must use a walker all the time. At times pain is unbearable. I wonder what the “experts” will do when they have these conditions.

Let’s talk about fake news! People are dying from fentanyl overdose not prescribed OxyContin!! There are cancer, surgery, chronic pain patients that have used these prescribed opioid pain relievers for 10-20 years responsibly! Personally it angers me every time I hear Opioid crisis on TV! These politicians and news reporters really should educate themselves on who is overdosing and on what! I’m even angry that Narcan is used !!!!! If you find out the facts, these Overdoses are heroin laced with fentanyl and were injected illegally by the drug addict!!! Overdose by prescribed opioids are usually suicide attempts!!!! It is sad that these physicians don’t stand up for their patients in pain whether it be for cancer, surgery or chronic pain!!! Reporters and politicians start reading and reporting the facts on fentanyl overdose not opioid overdose!!!!!!

This is very frightening; that people in pain could be ignored because others are abusing these drugs. No wonder people want the right to end their lives. Hopefully hospice will continue to treat people with compassion, and other doctors and lawmakers do the same. After all, this could happen to anyone and everyone.

I think if they live in a state where medical cannabis is legal they should try it— it works all the while also acting as an anti-anxiety and sleep aid.

I am a kidney stone maker. A very painful condition. Based on my last experience in the hospital, I fear what will happen when I get my next stone. I was recently there for a bad fall on my hip. I am 74 years of age. I thought I broke my hip. I was in terrible pain. They gave me ibuprofen. I asked if they were serious, and they said yes.

Why am I paying the price for abusers of opioids? I am not, and I have a long record with them. People who abuse opioids are, to me, not a very sympathetic group. They have been educated as to the risks, and still, they choose to become addicted. I have little sympathy.

Perhaps what’s needed is a group of attorneys who do class action suits. This is a definite miscarriage of justice if there ever was one.

Do away with Opioids. Use Cannabis for pain. Come on, North Carolina. It’s about time.

It has become a human rights violation at this point.

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