CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS UNITE!​​​​

This letter addresses the current year changes to pain sufferers. (2016)

THE UNTOLD STORY OF CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS!!
FOLLOW-ON TO LETTER ADDRESSING CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERS:


THE GOVERNMENT IS KILLING CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS AND VIOLATING OUR RIGHT TO APPROPRIATE MEDICAL CARE! ALL CHRONIC PAIN SUFFERERS AND ALL AMERICANS NEED TO STAND UP FOR OUR RIGHTS FOR PROPER MEDICAL TREATMENT!!


The government (Obama administration, State of Alabama Governor Bentley and the other governor's of the other 49 states), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have mandated that pain management doctors and clinics arbitrarily reduce and cut the amount of pain medications that can be prescribed to chronic pain patients regardless of their medical conditions, injuries, pain level, size, weight, metabolism, tolerance, race, sex or ethnicity. The CDC has issued new guidelines for all pain medications. Our pain management doctors were ordered to reduce all chronic pain patients down to no more than 90 Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) and advised the doctors to reassess their decisions to prescribe no more than 50 MME per day. If the pain management doctors do not comply with these new guidelines, these doctors will lose their medical license or license to prescribe narcotic pain medication. These new guidelines are unrealistic for chronic pain sufferers. What medication works for one person does not work for another. Depending on the pain medication that works for the patient and their tolerance, more than 90 MMEs per day may be required to adequately control a patients chronic pain.  You cannot put all chronic pain patients in the same box and set a maximum amount of pain medication allowed to be prescribed over a 24 hour period. Chronic pain does not work the same way as it does for acute pain. Chronic pain patients do not get "high" off their pain medications because it attaches itself to the nerve endings to reduce the level of pain so the patient can have some kind of quality of life.


Before it is over with, the DEA, CDC, federal and state governments want all chronic pain patients to take nothing stronger than Tylenol or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (i.e. aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Naproxen etc. prescription NSAIDs - Celebrex, Feldene, Daypro etc.)  to control their pain. NSAIDs have a lot of side effects especially if taken for long periods of time or in high doses. These side effects can be fatal causing an increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, gastrointestinal complications, liver damage and kidney failure. If these over-the-counter pain medications worked for chronic pain patients, then they would never be under chronic pain management care to begin with. This is unreasonable, cruel and unusual punishment for chronic pain sufferers.  


The American Medical Association (AMA) website states that over 100 million people in the United States (US) suffer from chronic pain and their medical records prove they have legitimate medical problems causing their chronic pain that they need treated with opioid medications. The DEA, CDC and government now want to take our pain medications, benzodiazepines and muscle relaxes away from over 100 million people who require these kinds of medications to control their chronic pain. The pain management doctors are not allowed to prescribe these combinations of medications because some people did not take them as prescribed and overdosed. Chronic pain sufferers are being punished because of some people that would not take their medications as prescribed by their doctors.These people seeking a "high" instead of pain management control will continue to abuse these medications regardless of the new guidelines but the people who really need them to have some kind of quality of life are the ones that are suffering from these new guidelines because they will not be able to get their pain medications to control their chronic pain.


Chronic pain is a true medical condition and chronic pain patients are being discriminated against. The DEA should not have the right to come into any physicians office or pharmacy to go through all of their patients medical records. The pain management doctors are the ones that have gone to medical school for many years to obtain their medical license to treat specific conditions and are being dictated by the CDC, DEA, and the government what they can and cannot prescribe regardless of the patients medical problems. The patients medical treatment should be left in the hands of the medical doctors and not politicians and the government based on the patients medical conditions and test results (MRIs, CT scans, X rays etc.). Most chronic pain patients have been under medical care by chronic pain specialist for many years. It is very dangerous to the chronic pain patients to reduce their pain medications to these levels or take them away altogether. This will cause additional medical problems and kill thousands and thousands of people. People with heart problems will end up dying from cardiac arrest or strokes. These deaths will not be attributed to the new CDC guidelines but will be listed as heart disease or strokes.


In addition, the DEA, CDC and government has been targeting benzodiazepines for several years now which is required for our veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and people that have mental disorders.  Now the DEA, CDC and government want doctors to stop prescribing benzodiazepines altogether. All of these decreases in opioid pain medication and benzodiazepines will have a huge impact on the veterans with PTSD, elderly and others with mental conditions along with those that suffer from chronic pain. Our veterans served this country and have come back with PTSD and now they are taking these medications away from them. We are mistreating and abusing our veterans and they will suffer unduly after their sacrifices to this country. It is cruel to take these medications from our veterans and this will kill thousands of our veterans with PTSD or chronic pain and as for that matter, thousands of people besides veterans will die also.   


The CDC website states that the reason for these required reductions in opioid prescriptions is necessary due to the "epidemic of opioid overdose increasing in the US". According to the CDC website in 2014, there was a total of 2,626,418 deaths for all causes in the US. Of which there were almost 19,000 deaths involving prescription opioids which accounts for .723% of the deaths associated with prescription opioids. How can .723% be considered an epidemic? This is an increase from approximately 16,000 deaths in 2013. A significant portion of the increase in deaths was due to deaths involving synthetic opioids (other than methadone) which includes fentanyl. According to the CDC, pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 time more potent than morphine.    


The CDC website reports the top 10 causes for the total deaths (see chart below) in the US which accounts for 73.8% of the total deaths in 2014. Drug overdoses were not in the top 10 causes. In 2013 there was a total of 16,325 deaths (.629%) due to opioids of which 8,257 (50.6% of the total opioid deaths) were due to heroin and 1,342 (8.2% of the total opioid deaths) were due to both heroin and opioids.  The CDC is "fear mongering" the public by stating there is an opioid overdose epidemic by stating that approximately 500,000 people died from drug overdoses between 2000-2014. On average, that is 33,333 people per year over a 15 year period. Also, the CDC website states from 1999-2014 more than 165,000 people died from overdose related to opioid pain medication in the US which is on average of 11,000 people per year over a 15 year period. As you can see, even the CDC website sites different numbers associated with opioid overdoses. This is their way of targeting chronic pain patients who need their prescription medications to have some quality of life. The overdose deaths that the CDC is reporting does not include any other underlying medical conditions that could have contributed to these deaths or were the cause of these deaths. The CDC statistics do not separate the number of overdoses that were due to people taking their pain medications as prescribed vs. those that were abusing their pain medications or buying them off the streets.

RANK
CAUSES OF DEATHS

2014 NUMBER

OF DEATHS

2014 PERCENTAGE

OF DEATHS

2013 NUMBER

OF DEATHS

2013 PERCENTAGE

OF DEATHS


ALL CAUSES
2,626,418
100.00%
2,596,993
100.00%
1
Heart Disease
614,348
23.40%
611,105
23.50%
2
Malignant Neoplasm's
591,699
22.50%
584,881
22.50%
3
Chronic Lower Respirator Diseases
147,191
5.60%
149,205
5.70%
4
Accidents (unintentional injuries)
136,053
5.20%
130,557
5.00%
5
Cerebrovascular Diseases
133,103
5.10%
128,978
5.00%
6
Alzheimer's Disease
93,541
3.60%
84,767
3.30%
7
Diabetes Mellitus
76,488
2.90%
75,578
2.90%
8
Influenza and Pneumonia
55,227
2.10%
56,979
2.20%
9
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome and Nephrosis
48,146
1.80%
47,112
1.80%
10
Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide)
42,773
1.60%
41,149
1.60%

All Other Causes (Residual)
687,939
26.20%
686,682
26.40%


The CDC is double counting opioid overdose deaths. See information/chart below concerning overdose deaths!!

SOURCE: CDC WEBSITE

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db229_table.pdf#1
DATA TABLE: NUMBER OF TOTAL DEATHS, PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL DEATHS 
FOR THE TOP 10 CAUSES OF DEATHS IN THE U.S. FOR 2014 AND 2013

​The CDC is double counting many opioid overdose deaths increasing the overdose statistics to the public. Below is an excerpt from the CDC website admitting double counting of overdose deaths!!

Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths — United States, 2000–2014
Weekly January 1, 2016 / 64(50);1378-82

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6450a3.htm

Some deaths involve more than one type of opioid; these deaths were included in the rates for each category (e.g., a death involving both a synthetic opioid and heroin would be included in the rates for synthetic opioid deaths and in the rates for heroin deaths). For example, in 2013, 1,342 deaths involved both opioid analgesics and heroin. Deaths involving both opioid analgesics and heroin are included in both the rate of deaths involving opioid analgesics and the rate of deaths involving heroin.

Yes, there is a problem with people obtaining pain medications to get "high" and misusing their pain medications causing these overdoses. There will always be a small percentage of people that are able to scam the system to obtain opioids and benzodiazepines in any medical specialty. But the DEA, CDC and the government are targeting the people with legitimate chronic pain problems. They should be targeting those that sell medications on the streets including heroin, fentanyl and cocaine.  The people who are abusing these medications will continue to be able to buy it off the streets and the people who will suffer from these new guidelines are legitimate pain sufferers including our veterans. The DEA, CDC and government will never be able to stop the abuse.   

People who suffer chronic pain do not sell their pain medications and take their pain medications as prescribed. By the time a person has become a patient with a pain management doctor, they have tried all other alternatives such as epidural injections, chiropractic's, acupuncture, physical therapy and other alternatives for pain control. Pain medication is their last resort for pain control and some kind of quality of life.


In order to become a chronic pain patient, the doctor reviews your detailed medical records (MRIs, CT scans, X-rays etc.) to ensure the person has a legitimate medical condition that supports taking pain medication. The pain management doctor requires their patients to sign a pain contract which states the patient cannot receive any pain medication from any other doctor or dentist. Patients are subject to monthly drug testing and random drug testing to test the levels of pain medication in their system to ensure they are taking them as prescribed and random pill counts. If a patient fails a drug test or pill count, they are immediately dismissed from the pain management doctor or clinic. This is how the pain management doctor ensures that their patients are not selling their pain medications and taking them as prescribed.

The government is killing people by decreasing chronic pain patients ability to receive proper pain management treatment and oversight from qualified pain management specialist.This will drive chronic pain patients to seek illicit drugs off the street that these people would  have never considered buying before their pain medications were reduced to an amount that no longer controlled their pain or taken away altogether.  This will increase the amount of over dose deaths due to heroin, fentanyl mixed with heroin and/or cocaine.  The CDC has stated there is a 5 fold increase in overdoses due to heroin because of the new CDC guidelines restricting the amount of pain medication being prescribed to patients. People will start dropping dead because of the increase in their pain levels. Pain has a major impact on the heart and blood pressure. If people's pain is not controlled, their blood pressure will increase and blood pressure medicine will not control it because it is pain driven. Because of the increase in pain, there will be a  huge increase in deaths due to cardiac problems, heart attacks, strokes, increased blood pressure, depression, suicide, accidental overdoses and an assortment of other health problems associated with not having proper pain management. People with chronic pain will resort to buying illicit drugs off the street such as heroin, which usually is laced with fentanyl because they are in pain 24 x 7. Because people will not have their chronic pain controlled, they will become depressed and commit suicide because they do not know how to obtain their pain medications off the streets because they can no longer legitimately get them from their pain management doctor.


The CDC reported studies associated with the amount of pain medication being prescribed and admits in their own website that these studies were of small and poor quality studies. According to the CDC website, these new guidelines were issued to family practice, general practice and internal medicine. Primary care providers account for nearly half of all dispensed opioid prescriptions and their prescribing rates have increased at high rates compared to other specialties. The primary care doctors were told that if they were treating chronic pain patients that required pain medications over the CDC guidelines, that they were to refer the  patients to qualified pain management specialists so they could be properly monitored. However, these new CDC guidelines are now being issued to qualified pain management specialists and if they do not comply, the pain management doctors will lose their medical license and their ability to treat patients.

The physicians oath is "first to do no harm" and in the case of chronic pain patients, harm is being done by the DEA, CDC and our government by arbitrarily mandating a reduction of patients pain medications to a level that no longer controls their pain or taking their pain medication away altogether. Many pain management doctors have closed their practices or retired from pain management because they could no longer treat their chronic pain patients in the manner that the chronic pain patient required. Now so many pain management doctors and clinics have been closed that there are more chronic pain patients than there are pain management doctors or clinics to treat them. The pain management doctors that are still practicing today do not agree with the new guidelines the CDC has issued but are trying to comply to try to help their chronic pain patients as much as the law will allow. These doctors figure that a small amount of pain medication is better than none at all but realize that their patients chronic pain is not being properly controlled. This is criminal to treat chronic pain patients, including our veterans this way and will cause thousands and thousands of deaths.


This is the new epidemic that chronic pain patients are not being treated properly and their chronic pain is not being controlled. The CDC website admits that chronic pain is a medical condition and chronic pain patients should be treated so that their chronic pain is controlled. However, these new guidelines are contradictory to the treatment of chronic pain and as a society, we should never let anyone other than our doctors make the decisions on our medical care or medications we receive to treat our medical conditions. This is an outrage and if society does not stand up and say "no more" then were is this going to stop? How many people will have to die before anyone takes a stand? The government and society for that matter, sees chronic pain patients as nothing more than a "drain on the system" or that we are all drug addicts. These new guidelines will kill thousands of people!

Please contact your government representatives and tell them to suspend the new guidelines for chronic pain management medications. This is the only way we can stop the CDC, DEA and government from violating our rights to appropriate medical treatment!​