Exclude Chronic Pain Patients From The Stronghold Of The CDC Guidelines

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Everyone knows about the opioid crisis that currently exists in the United States.  It is no secret that the government is cracking down on doctors who write prescriptions for pain medication for their patients if they do so without good cause.  I don’t think that there is one single citizen who would disagree with the decision to tighten the guidelines for doctors who carelessly write prescriptions for pain medications that aren’t warranted.  But when it comes down to a patient being diagnosed with a chronic illness, such as CRPS, Sarcoidosis, Osteoarthritis, Arachnoiditis, Lupus, or Fibromyalgia (just to name a few), I think it is reasonable to say that a doctor should be able to use their judgment, evaluate a patient for symptoms related to their illness, and prescribe medications accordingly, even if those medications are narcotics.

We now live in a society where a drug addict can walk into a police station or hospital, say that they are an addict and that they want help, and they are given what? METHADONE!  What is methadone??  It’s another drug!  And after countless hours of research, I can’t find ANY evidence of how this has improved the opioid situation on the streets.  However, you have people that hold jobs, pay bills, have been diagnosed with legitimate illnesses, and they can’t get the medications they need to control their pain because of the guidelines set forth by the CDC.  There are so many possible solutions that may lead to progress on both ends of the spectrum, but nobody is putting forth any effort for the pain patients – they’re only looking at the death rate of the abusers who either use illegal drugs, or use synthetic or stolen medications to satisfy their habits.

I suffer from two autoimmune diseases (and have to be tested for a third).  The two confirmed diseases are tag teaming my joints, and making it very painful for me to function with any type of normality.  It’s gotten to the point where I am in pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Where is my assistance?  How am I supposed to pick myself up off the floor when my husband isn’t there to help me, because he works to support his family?  Who is going to pay my bills when I have to miss work because I’m in such an incredible amount of pain that I can’t get out of my bed?  What will happen when I reach a level where I will have to depend on medications to quell my pain?  I’ll tell you exactly what is going to happen – I will not be able to get my medication because of irresponsible individuals who made the decision to pick up a needle and spoon, a straw, a joint, a pill, a handful of pills, or whatever their poison of CHOICE was.  Where is this okay?  Two words – it’s not.

Where is it okay for insurance companies to deny testing for people that have obvious signs of illness?  Where is it okay for a cancer patient to be denied his chemotherapy…or for a patient complaining of pain to be denied a simple MRI?  And when they have to fight like hell to get the tests they so deserve to determine that they DO have an illness, where is it okay for them to be denied the medications they need to ease their pain?  Where is it okay that our Veterans are being put in the same situation, after they incur injury or illness after they gave of themselves to protect our country and our freedom?  Another two words – it’s not. How many people have been killed by drunk drivers, yet alcohol is still legal? Where is the difference?? 

According to the CDC and the FDA in a recently published article, the biggest culprits responsible for opioid-related overdoses and fatalities are listed as follows, in order of those that are mostly responsible:

Heroin 8,412
Cocaine 5,836
Oxycodone 5,417
Alprazolam 4,217
Fentanyl 4,200
Morphine 4,022
Methamphetamine 3,728
Methadone 3,495
Hydrocodone 3,274
Diazepam 1,729

Also, between the years of 2010 and 2014, 3/4 of the fatalities that involved oxycodone and hydrocodone involved other substances - aka MULTIPLE drugs, and 15% of those fatalities involved alcohol.

Please – eliminate legitimately ill patients from the CDC guidelines – find a way to identify them as chronically ill patients, and start enforcing the laws for people who illegally abuse any type of drug, no matter the drug.  To make people suffer for no other reason than another person’s irresponsible choices is just cruel and inhumane!  There is a distinct difference between abuse, addiction, and dependency.  And people who are truly ill DEPEND on their medications to live and function!  For once in your lives, do the right thing and come up with a solution that will benefit everyone!



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