The Opioid Crisis is Affecting People in Chronic Pain

Investigative reports across the country have been chronicling the effect on those who need strong medications to combat chronic pain. State and federal regulators have been cracking down on how doctors prescribe opioids, in hopes of stemming the deadly epidemic. Doctors have been told to cut back on the strength and number of opioid prescriptions they write, leaving fewer people who are at risk of overdose or death.

In addition to more accountability there needs to be compassion and best practices for people who are physically suffering. Not only that, but administering necessary pain relief for short-term excruciating pain. By lowering doses on prescription for chronic pain, the blame of the opioid epidemic is being passed onto patients and shaming them as well.

The Chicago Tribune reports that chronic pain patients are being singled out on a daily basis for something that other people have abused. One patient asked, “Those of us who have legitimate conditions, why are we being treated differently?” This person also said the questioning he undergoes about his opioid treatment use feels just short of harassment.

A woman in the Portland, Oregon area with fibromyalgia and a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, told a reporter form KGW News that one doctor suddenly stopped writing her prescription without notice, and she was left having to scramble to find another doctor. Reports will vary, and the onus for the crackdown can’t be placed entirely on physicians. The CDC issued new prescribing guidelines that not only urge doctors to use alternative pain therapies before opioid medications, but reduce the opioid prescriptions for all patients:

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently introduced a new journal: Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research—a peer-reviewed journal entirely dedicated to the scientific, medical, and psychosocial exploration of clinical Cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system. According to a new study, 93% of patients prefer cannabis over opioids for managing pain. These finding, may help those in chronic pain to seek medical cannabis as a substitute for opioid medications for which they have been prescribed.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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