Every single word of this is #Truth. If you aren’t yet aware how patients with chronic pain, cancer pain, even in hospice, are now being left to suffer without adequate pain control because of a gross misunderstanding of how the opioid overdose numbers rocketed up over the past decade, please read this cartoon carefully, and consider that it may be you or a loved one being tortured by pain that could be treated humanely, and without risk of addiction in the vast majority of cases. But it won’t be, because of misinformation, mostly among/from law enforcement – not from our doctors whose hands are being tied (or cuffed.)
That’s just crazy and an absolute disgrace. Pain relief is an essential function of good medicine and withholding proper pain relief is malpractice. No person in pain should have to suffer because of the illegal misuse of drugs by other people. Only a corrupt system would punish victims because of its failure to find a real solution. Best wishes and I hope you get your meds.
Why are people being denied pain medicine?
Don’t cheat the body by killing it or yourself. Suicide is losing a perfect place to be okay. The amazing body has no limitations on a price like the six million dollar man. Live and let the self answer this crisis for doing what government is causing. In old days aspirin and a Pepsi or Coke was used….just saying.
Thanks for that, Teresa. I knew there was a problem, but not that it was this bad.
My heart hurts for anyone in constant pain.
Just because there’s abusers, doesn’t mean legit patients should be neglected.
So wrong on so many levels!
It’s always to extremes, never considering the needs of others.
Peace to you and anyone who is suffering with this problem.
It’s a game changer…for sure!
I am sorry for what those in chronic pain must endure, while governments focus on money, power, and preserving their fiefdoms.
More Government is Better Government, and nobody needs that.
Thank you for this. Living in endless agony with nobody who cares about your health & well-being is brutal. We’re living in cruel times & having endless pain without relief is no way to live
Not being a Twitter fan, I Gaggled “opioid hysteria” & found this short piece which also mentions palliative care:
From an article entitled “Patients Denied Proper Treatment Due to Opioid Hysteria” by Emily R. Ivari in the San Antonio Report dated September 30, 2019:
“As Dr. Ginevra Liptan aptly put it, ‘Ultimately the ‘opioid crisis’ is not about opioids, it is about addiction and mental health and societal despair.’ She goes on to conclude, ‘We cannot win by playing an eternal game of ‘whack-a-drug’ without addressing the underlying societal ills driving substance abuse and addiction. Responding to a substance abuse epidemic by taking opioids away from those in chronic pain simply creates an epidemic of under-treated chronic pain.’ “
(Loved the term “whack-a-drug” …!)
There are NIH programs presently underway to address both the opioid addiction problem and the pain problem.
“Safe and effective therapeutics to treat pain without risk of addiction are vital tools for addressing the opioid crisis in the long term. The HEAL initiative research has advanced several promising therapeutic candidates, including a new nonopioid approach to treat neuropathic pain that received an investigational new drug approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, the HEAL initiative investigators have patented novel targets for chronic pain and migraine, inflammatory pain, and visceral pain.”
We know the problem and we’re working on it.
The gal in the comic today may have bra tighter than necessary. Loose lips sinks ships. Want help.., tell doc you are suicidal. Buy a ticket for a straight jacket.
I live in a country that is a gateway for cocaine smugglers from Colombia and Peru, sending their drugs to Mexico, the United States, and Europe. Literally, tons of the shit are interdicted on a weekly basis by our military and police, yet it is only a drop in the bucket.
The demand is higher now than it ever has been, particularly in the U.S. market, because of the crackdown on perscription opioids by the U.S. Federal Government forcing many people to buy street drugs to relieve their chronic pain.
I’m not sure who are more deserving of a special circle in hell … the narcotraficantes and mafias or Big Pharma, but I do know that millions of people are suffering and dying because of all them, and because governments like the United States, use ineffectual and immature methods of confronting and dealing with the problem.
Taking opioids away from CPP’S is pushing them to be less productive members of society, ie…trying to work as much as they possibly can. This pushes them into poverty & onto welfare. Some will end up homeless. Suicides do go up because who wants to be in constant pain & homeless. Taxpayers should be standing behind them since this will make taxes higher. Most are no longer working due to having no pain meds(opioids). People should be wanting them to have the ability to be productive members of society. Why don’t more people stand behind CPP’s instead of leaving them unable to have a QOL. Help them accomplish things not be bedridden. Why not help them?? Save a life.
I know someone (now in their early 70s) who was first prescribed low dose percoset (5mg oxycodone with a little acetaminophen) over 12 years ago for chronic multiple point arthritis and nerve pain. The initial reason (drug hysteria had not peaked) was to reduce the amount of a different dangerous OTC pain medication they were taking to try to be able to live a pain-reduced life: ibuprofen!
Their opiate dosage has just slightly increased (along with the pain) over that long time, from about 1 tablet to about 1.5 -2 tablets a day. Their otherwise highly dangerous NSAID daily dosage has been halved (lowered by at least six 200 mg pills a day) for over 12 years! Now their doctors are very hesitant (scared) to prescribe it and their anxiety about obtaining continuing prescriptions is at almost another disease level.
Perhaps the most under-reported “evil” behavior resulting from the “opioid crisis” is that of doctors and many non-front line “health professionals” who insist (often based on their own well-being as 30-40 something “athletes”!) that chronic pain sufferers should just “tough it out” or try non-drug “therapies”. Sheer arrogance about others’ pain!
As was said, the problem is not legally prescribed opiates, but the underlying social causes of addiction and self-destructive behavior. And now add the “opinions” of non-sufferers, including idiotic media, about what individual patients must go through because of this mis-perceived social problem.
I don’t know the sources of the problem … I do know that somebody I love suffers from it. And I think tens of millions of people in the US can say the same thing.
For some odd reason, the comic author is unable to see my earlier comment, so this is just a test.
If only it was that simple. We have a VA clinic here in WI that was known as “Candyland”. It was hard to get out the door WITHOUT a scrip for oxy. I’ve watched several people I know slide into addiction as their MD’s failed to properly monitor their use of opiate pain killers.
A very large part of the problem is the MD’s who prescribe without a basic understanding of their responsibility to monitor. And then we have the overtly criminal actions of some MD’s and pharmacies who have flooded many areas of the country with an essentially unlimited supply.
My own office encounters several cases a month of “retail” drug fraud. We offer a low cost accidental injury plan that includes coverage for medications. The plan is available through several of our competitors as well. The person buys the plan 3 or 4 times. They then either self-inflict or have someone hit them to produce a meaningful bruise. They proceed to hit 3 or 4 different urgent care centers and end up getting 3 or 4 scrips for opiate pain pills.
Fill the scrips, sell the pills for as high as $7-$10 each on the street. Lather, rinse, repeat. We only catch them when they show up on our claim reports with an unusual number of occurrences. Or if the TPA is on the ball and happens to notice the same patient name on 2 or 3 claims from separate plans (we use the same TPA).
Big pharma and the Docs created a monster. The government had a role as well. How many addicts have we created, side by side with the cartels? How do we fix it?
The problem Teresa describes is very real. The solution? I wish I knew.
There are some doctors who have discovered that writing prescriptions can be more lucrative than treating the sick. Regardless, people with chronic pain deserve relief.
Unfortunately, the HEAL initiative is overly optimistic.
Development of Opioid alternatives that are equally effective with no addictive potential are decades away.
There’s significant misinformation surrounding RX Opioids. The Addiction rate in “Medical Use” has been found to be less than 1% in multiple large studies.
The Overdose Crisis, is a result of Polysubstance Use (up to 6) & Black Market Drugs, primarily Illicit Fentanyl.
Using the term “Opioid Crisis” conflates legitimate RX use with Illicit Drugs & prejudices public perception.
I know pain. F pain. Smashing a thumb in a door doesn’t phase me. My bird taking a chunk out of my finger I barely notice. Broke a toe last week, the roast beef-less one on the left. Hurts like a freaking SOB, I told the wife with a laugh. It did, lol.
I call stuff like that amateur pain.
I know, fear and loathe suicide pain. Pain that if it didn’t abate suicide would be the only option. Opioids bounce off it like bullets off of Superman. The pain is episodic and relatively rare.. My greatest gratitude.
My heart goes out to those with chronic insufferable pain. I’ve much admiration for smart and conscientious doctors. My disdain is hot towards the MDs, the demons from Hell, who deny medication. I’ve know them. F them.
Thank you for sharing this message Teresa. My heart is with you. I know how it feels.
Twitter question – I know how to follow a user (and get notified of their tweets), and how to search and read right now a hashtag. But how do you FOLLOW a hashtag topic, so new tweets with that tag will show in your notifications?
Pain relief is a real concern. Long ago, I witnessed a dear uncle dying of leukemia, who had withered from being a robust ex-SeaBee to an 80-pound victim writhing on his hospital bed and begging, “Somebody please kill me!” after the morphine was no longer effective in blocking his pain (this was in the 1950s). And I have other memories as well relevant to this issue. But I am wary of concentrating blame in one direction or of finding putative solutions in one direction. I am aghast at the wild world of Big Pharma, finding pretexts to charge 10 cents for a pill in one place and $70 dollars for the same pill in another place, while uttering platitudes about how this is necessary for humanitarian reasons—which, putting it as politely as I can, I don’t buy. I neither have nor see any simple solutions to a real problem….