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Adrienne Dellwo

Painkiller Wars: Where are Patients Left?

By June 26, 2013

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For a few years now, government regulatory and law-enforcement agencies have been fighting a war against prescription painkiller abuse. With abuse, theft and overdose on the rise, that's exactly what they should be doing.

However, the battle lines have been blurred, with those agencies sometimes coming between doctors and legitimate pain patients. It's caused all of us on prescription narcotics to be viewed with suspicion, and it's cost far too many people the medications that help them function.

Now, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is trying to put pharmacists in between doctors and patients. Calling them the "last line of defense" against prescription fraud, it's asking pharmacists to contact doctors not just to verify prescriptions for controlled substances, but to ask about:

  • the rationale behind the prescription,
  • the diagnosis,
  • the treatment plan,
  • the ICD-9 codes for the diagnosis,
  • and previous treatments that have been unsuccessful.

Seriously? I understand that pharmacists are doctors, and they are the experts on drugs. Still, they aren't clinicians or diagnosticians. Should someone who's never had a conversation with the patient, and who doesn't have access to the chart and medical history, really be making decisions about treatment? Over-ruling doctors' decisions?

It's hard enough to find a doctor who will treat illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. So under this plan, we'd have to find the right doctor for us, arrive at a treatment plan, and enter into all of the doctor's required painkiller contracts, only to have the pharmacist say, "No, I don't approve"?

Fortunately, this time we have an ally. The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a warning against what it calls "inappropriate inquiries" from pharmacies that try to dig into these aspects of treatment, saying it's "unwarranted interference."

Okay, so doctors are standing up for themselves, and, by extension, us. They should. However, what does that mean for pharmacies?

With the DEA looming over them and the doctors refusing to play along, will pharmacies keep doing what they've always done, or will they - out of fear - decide not to honor prescriptions if the doctors won't answer their questions? If so, where does that leave us?

Just as many of us have gone untreated because of doctors' fear of the DEA, I'm afraid that more will go untreated because pharmacies fear the DEA. Some people will suffer, and some will probably turn to illegal online pharmacies - which means they're becoming part of the problem the DEA is trying to solve.

Being Treated "Like a Criminal"

Meanwhile, we pain patients will just have to get used to certain things. I hear people say all the time that they're being treated like a criminal when their doctor requires things like painkiller contracts, urine testing, etc.

This week, the AMA held free webinars for doctors to teach them about incorporating urine drug-testing into their practice and how that works with their chronic pain patients, as well as how to treat chronic pain while watching for substance abuse, and the appropriate role of opiates.

"Prescription drug abuse is a serious epidemic that cannot be ignored," said AMA President Jeremy Lazarus, MD, in a press release. "Any action we take to curb it must ensure that patients who are suffering from chronic pain get the treatment they need."

I appreciate how difficult it is for doctors to deal with potentially addictive painkillers in chronic pain patients. I understand that they're trying to protect both us (from addiction) and themselves (from legal action.) With more people dying from prescription painkiller overdose every year, they have to do something.

I just hope they can find a good balance, because I, for one, function a lot better when I can take an occasional Vicodin to manage my pain. I've had to fight to keep that prescription, even though I'm on the lowest possible dosage and only get 20 pills a month. I don't need painkillers every day, but when I need 'em, I need 'em.

So while I don't like medication contracts and close doctor scrutiny, I'll accept it. I'll cooperate with urine tests if I need to, and I'll sign my life away at the pharmacy after waiting a little extra time for them to call my doctor's office and make sure the prescription is valid. I want the prescription drug abuse problem to be battled, and I want the battle to succeed. If I have to be inconvenienced and jump through some hoops that make me feel like a suspect, I'll do it. Why? Because it might keep legitimate pain patients like you and me from becoming collateral damage.

Have you had to fight to get proper pain treatment? Does your doctor refuse to prescribe opiates/narcotics? What do you think is reasonable in the drug-abuse battle, and what do you think is going to far? Leave your comments below!

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Photo © Getty Images

June 26, 2013 at 7:58 am
(1) Penelope says:

Different rules but same kind of issues here in Australia. Doesn’t seem to be making much of a dent in the illegal trade from what I understand, and can make difficult lives even more distressing for patients with high levels of chronic pain.

June 26, 2013 at 8:15 am
(2) Shannon Hutcheson says:

I think having to pee in a bottle to be able to “qualify” for pain medication is going to far. Unless and until you have a history of abuse. We are already automatically considered criminals, abusers, lay abouts or just seekers of free drugs. Making it mandatory would be adding insult to injury.

I don’t give a damn what the gov’t or society thinks or feels about drug abuse, *I* don’t abuse my medication. I have taken nearly the same pain medication for 3 years now. STRONG opioids, beyond Vicodin but not as strong as Morphine, either. What “The Powers That Be” think about controlling pain medication that don’t even know me have no business in my business. Making a blanket decision for all people who need and deserve pain relief medication is not right and will never be right, in my mind.

While some American’s may feel up in arms over pharmacists (at least in this article’s context), I want to point out that it was my pharmacist who recommended Nucynta CR (controlled release opioids are harder to abuse + Nucynta gives me no nausea!) to begin with. I am so glad he did! It is the only thing that helps manage my pain. The only one that even touches it. Though on those #verybadpaindays not much does, admittedly.

I encourage everyone to really talk to your pharmacist, actually. They are trained about medications and know more about them that your family physician. That is their job! Personally, I think the onus is and should be on the individual to make sure they are getting the information they need about their illness, treatment and medication they are given or offered. When it comes to medication, your pharmacist is the most knowledgeable.

If you’d like to hear more about my experience with Nucynta, just find me via my blog LivingWithFibromyalgia.ca

As always Adrienne, your articles are always thought provoking and excellent content! <3

June 26, 2013 at 8:36 am
(3) Katherine says:

I’ve had a prescription for Percocet for years – I usually go through 30 pills in a year. I have a difficult back and a couple times a year I’m laid up for a few days – it makes it easier to get around on those days, and I recover quicker if I can move a little more. I don’t use them much because they make me a little pukey. Honestly I can’t see why someone would abuse them – I would be spending most of my time hurling. But on those few days a year they help.

At my checkup last month I asked about the regulatory climate, and how my doctor might feel about writing a prescription since I had run out a few months before. This wouldn’t be possible, she said – the DEA is so tightly clamped down on everyone she’s afraid of writing even a single prescription for acute pain.

So, yes, the threat of the DEA investigating you is potent enough to keep doctors from writing prescriptions. Will pharmacies bail too? If they start busting pharmacists you bet they will.

June 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm
(4) d says:

I was misdiagnosed with cancer at the age of 7 I was on hard chemo and radiation for year and a half. In my life ive had over 20 surgeries and fast forward 20 years later I’m in a lot of pain. My left side which got the radiation as a kid stunted my growth of my bones from left rib to my lower left hip nothing you can notice just seeing me in person but my X-rays show all my organs on my left side never fully grew causing painful kidney issues causing stones yearly now Spinal stenosis also with sciatic nerve damage going down my leg and now the nerve damage is so bad I lost some feeling in my feet. But with my clothes fully on I look like picture of health but far from it. Just last year I finally got fed up and needed to get some relief and I was shocked to see what I had to be put thru even with all the X-rays and test they did on me. I was getting pain meds as i was having surgey to blast up my kidney stones but after 3 procedures i was shocked when my kidney doctor said yes you still have stones but I don’t believe your pain is from the kidney go see another doctor for your spine and comeback in 5 months with no more pain meds

June 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm
(5) d says:

The spine doctor Did two epidurals on my spine with no relief he wanted to do a third till my insurance didn’t approve it because its not recommended to have three epidurals in 1 year and more so all in two months that doc only gave me at first anti inflammatory and one month of physical therapy that didn’t work then I requested pain meds after 2 months of seeing him and I was treated like scum of the earth by the nurse working there. Now I’m thinking of going to Mexico to get help I feel like there is no end in sight and no doctor able to help me even though I have serious conditions and all my records are here in California showing I’ve had all my surgeries here and as a kid i was deemed disabled by the state of California and have a license plate for that for life. What more do I need to prove ? This has caused me To be extremely depressed as if no one believes me. It’s not all about the drugs I just want help to cope with the pain I wanted a pain doc because they do so much more them just write out drugs they work with you and try to help you thru all the pain I’ve tried natural remedies for years and I’m at my breaking point.

June 26, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(6) Kay Deely says:

In 30 years of pain from CFIDS, Fibro & arthritis I’ve only had 2 docs refuse to write my prescription for Darvocet, and now hydrocodone. I was lucky enough in 1993 to have a wonderful family doc in San Diego diagnose my CFIDS after 3 years of trying to treat my extreme fatigue and brain fog. When I moved to Tucson my first doc was an internist and made me see a psychiatrist to get the Darvocet. My second doc was a family doc who had no problem with prescribing the medication. For two years I had to see a different doc because of insurance changes. He refused to write the prescription sop it was back to the psychiatrist. As soon as I could I went back to the other doctor.x He eventually referred me to a rheumatologist for my knees and she’s been prescribing my hydrocodone since Darvocet was pulled off the market.
I get a 90 day prescription of 360 pills. I don’t use that many but I am so so afraid to be without them that I keep getting the same amount. Needless to say I feel really blessed in the area of pain relief.

June 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm
(7) Rosie says:

While living in California, I had extreme difficulties getting proper pain medication for severe FMS/DDD/DJD, particularly in San Francisco. After searching endlessly for a pain management physician, I was ‘lucky’ enough to find one, who demanded that I take routine urine tests and insisted that I be put on antidepressants. My body does not tolerate antidepressants and told him that. He completely ignored me and had the worst temper of any doctor I’ve ever encountered. After moving to North Carolina, I was fortunate enough to find a great pain management doctor, who is kind, understanding and extremely efficient. While I will always miss living in California, I will never go back there and be treated like a second-class citizen because I live in constant pain and they refuse to understand that fact – despite all the MRI’s and x-rays and other tests that prove the obvious.

June 28, 2013 at 4:12 pm
(8) Tammy Armstrong-Williams says:

I do not mind having to take the urine test. I do not mind having to sign the contracts. However, I do feel like a pharmacists, who does not know my medical history and is not trained in the field of treating patients and diagnosing illnesses, is knowledgeable enough concerning my medical problems to being making decisions like this in my medical plan. I have no problem with my doctor asking me any questions he feels the need to ask in order to help with my medication management. However, I do not have the same relationship with my pharmacist as I have with my doctor. I am comfortable in telling my doctor my most intimate problems as it relates to my health concerns. The relationship is not the same with our pharmacists. They have a different role to play in our medication management. I do feel comfortable asking my pharmacists questions concerning medication symptoms and side effects, and other questions of this nature, not questions relating to my treatment needs. No one and I mean no one should come between doctor and patient!! Let me repeat, NO ONE should come between the relationship in anyway with doctor and patient. That is invading our privacy and the HIPPA law. As long as we are in compliance with the urine tests and the contract we have signed with our doctor, there should be no reason for any outside interference. We already have enough to deal with on a daily basis. We do not need anyone making our lives harder than they already are.

June 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm
(9) Nitalynn says:

I have had fibromyalgia since 1999. It started after emergency gall bladder surgery. In 2007 I was prescribed Ultram ER which, for the most part, controls my pain enough to allow me to function except for occasional flares brought on by significant weather changes that still send me to bed. In the mean time I have developed osteoarthritis in my back. I was given hydrocodone to help with it several years back. I found that when I had a fibro flare it at least the hydrocodone helped me get up out of bed. I can understand why they say that hydrocodone is not appropriate for fibromyalgia. The way I put it is that it does not kill the pain it makes me not care that I am in pain. At the same time my functionality is simply at he point where I can sit and watch T.V. and read. I might not remember what I saw and read properly but it is better than lying around in agony. I have tried a couple of the newer drugs to treat fibro and they did nothing for me. Because of my back I know without the hydrocodone if I chose to do things like cleaning out and relining the kitchen cabinets if I am able to finish the projects I start I will likely spend the next week to month in bed. My husband has a very bad back that no doctor yet has prescribed surgery for because of the likelihood of paralysis and has not yet had a problem getting prescriptions for pain killers therefore I have no problem with access. I do not like the situation though. Earlier this year I broke my leg and it was misdiagnosed as a strained knee and I was in so much pain he insisted take some hydrocodone. I have enough wrong with me that I should not have to jump though hoops to legally get painkillers to allow me to function as a reasonably normal human being. Now I am seeing articles where some groups are trying to get access to tramadol (Ultram) significantly limited if not get the drug removed. Why? because under certain situations the drug can be dangerous! Really!?!?

June 28, 2013 at 5:06 pm
(10) Kat says:

My doctor knows that I don’t always need my lortab & the drug tests might get me in trouble because of that. He’s a kind, considerate doctor & suggested tramadol since I’ve taken it before & did ok on it for awhile… I have problems with meds only working for a few months/years before I have to change them. He understands that I’d *never* sell my pain meds… I need them too much. Just another shining example of the government sticking noses where it don’t belong.
I think a flat sales tax would stop a lot of the crime… if they spend it, they pay tax on it, so the drug sellers, pimps, prostitutes, etc. w

June 28, 2013 at 5:47 pm
(11) FayeM says:

I had to sign a contract on 5/30. Also on that office visit, I had a surprise urine test to do. I only get 4 Lortabs a day and I have not only fibro but also severe diabetic neuropathy of the feet/ankles. Been on this med since 2005.

I am due to renew my Rx on 6/29, and I wonder if I’ll have any problems? If the pharmacist cuts me off suddenly and I have medical withdrawal issues, who is to blame and who pays the hospital bill?

I was told in the contract not to get my meds early, but I need to put in a request for a refill at least the day before my husband picks up the meds.

June 28, 2013 at 7:23 pm
(12) Elaine says:

I’ve had a terrible time getting anything stronger for pain than extra-strength tylenol. Are we miserable people going to soon have to resort to sneaking around places where you buy painkillers from someone off the street? They’ll be the only ones who have them.

June 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm
(13) Abot Bensussen says:

Fortunately, my psychiatrist prescribes oxycodone for my fibro pain. Low dose, and every five or six hours. It’s not enough, but I’m grateful to have it. It enables me to go to exercise classes like yoga and Pilates. My body continues to improve in strength and flexibility. Hurt as it does.

I had to leave the pain management dr. who only advised morphine for my treatment. I don’t like the way it makes me feel, so I fired her and found another one of my drs. to prescribe.

I cannot get hydrocodone anymore, and I do miss it for the harder pains, but there it is, not possible anymore. I don’t want to do anything illegal, so I must adjust. Life is very hard for those of us with chronic pain, meanwhile, the criminal classes get whatever they want.

June 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm
(14) Elena says:

Pharmacist aren’t doctors.

June 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm
(15) bambi says:

I found the same experiences w/ judgement from other people, my primary doctor was fine w/ prescribing vicodin 4x a day. I really did not get much relief from it. My doctor had even tried methadose for the pain and when I had emergency gall bladder surgery,I got comments like “if one pill is good 2 must be better,you sure have a lot of meds for a woman your age” I was given one vicodin and no script to go home. surgery pain is different and I believe I had not been treated as any other post op patient. I had not even been taking Vicodin at the time of surgery. My doc was furious and wrote me a script for diladid for surgical pain w/ one refill. Narcotics for fibro don’t help me, but medical marijuana does. Now I am going through the preconceptions about that even though we have compassion centers here and it’s legal. My doctor who is ok writing narcotics is uncomfortable filling out paperwork for that so I have to go to a specialist.It’s a crazy system.

June 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm
(16) ddebru01 says:

I have been on some major prescription pain meds since 2007. The doctors and I have tried a variety of meds, diets and other possible treatments over the years. The meds I’m on now are the only ones that help and include cr morphine (Kadian) and Percocet along with other things like Cymbalta, Savella and Flexeril. These do not make me feel any type of high, all they do is dull the pain enough to function. So far I haven’t had any issues with getting my monthly prescriptions filled.

The issues that I take exception to are the mandatory urine tests. My issue with that is that I have to pay for them at $150 each time. All of my tests in the past have never shown any type of drug abuse. If the DEA insists that we take them, then they should be free to us. My Medicare and Medicaid don’t cover them.

My pain specialist is now pressuring me to have an RF Ablation on my spine. I have concerns and issues with this treatment plan. 1) I can’t afford the copay. 2) it makes me very nervous about anyone injecting anything into my spine. 3) I have heard nothing but bad about this procedure, even from my doctor’s patients. The treatment I’m on now works well for me, yes I would love it if I didn’t have to pump all these chemicals into my body to feel ok but I function pretty well most of the time. Has anyone had this procedure?

June 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm
(17) Sleepless says:

My mail order pharmacy gives me serious grief over ambien. The one thing that helps my CFS is a good night’s sleep and ambien is the only thing that really does it for me. But every renewal is a fight plus additional authorization by the doctor. Now I get a higher dosage pill and cut it half. Saves money and a huge amount of aggro. But this isn’t an option if you take a time release pill.

And I can’t take NSAIDs because I take blood thinners so that leaves me with acetaminophen which is kind of weak, but getting a doctor to prescribe some acetaminophen with codeine is really hard. I may take 2 of those all year but when i need it I need it. Having to spend $500 on an emergency room visit to cure a headache is just stupid.

It really sucks. My doctor has known me for 20 years and its obvious I don’t engage in drug seeking. How some pharmacy on the other side of he country is going to know this I don’t know.

June 29, 2013 at 1:29 am
(18) Wendy says:

I have had to change doctors twice this year alone because my pain management doc decided to join a clinic that is not in my insurance listing. He was wonderful about giving me what I needed for pain without question. He and I had an understanding. We both didn’t want to go to narcotics, I have been on everything from T-3 to Duragesic Patches 50 mcg and they did nothing for me and that due to financial reasons I wanted to stay on generics.
Right now I am on Tramadol (AKA Ultram) and I get guff from my new doc on taking 4 a day just for that! I have been on this regimen with Zanaflex and Ambien for over 2 years and ironically I found that my new doc is resistant to just the Tramadol at every angle, but he finds that my Zanaflex and Ambien usage as no problem.
He keeps pushing the “Big 3″ as I call them, Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella, all of which are a Tier 3 drug for me and would cost me $45 a month for just one of them! I have Colitis and I have 2 drugs that already cost me around $40 to $45 a month, to add another med at that price would break the bank for me considering I am on 8 meds altogether. It is a struggle each month just to get it filled and its not even a controlled substance like the Ambien and Valium that I am on. It is so frustrating. I hate being treated as a second-class citizen because I need to meds to control my pain. When will it end? Who knows, but I DO know that I am sick and tried of “begging” for my meds each month for pain relief!

June 29, 2013 at 3:02 am
(19) trisha says:

After reading through the comments here, I don’t know whether to thank my lucky stars for pain relief and a doctor that will write prescriptions for the really strong stuff, or to wonder what is wrong with me! Most of the meds mentioned were tramadol (ultram), or hydrocodone in some form….and I was on Fentanyl patches for 7 years before requiring residential treatment to transition to oral meds – Opana ER 20mg twice a day and Opana IR 10 mg 4 times a day, in addition to Tramadol 4 times a day, and Celebrex. It seems like I am on meds that are much stronger than other folks, so am I just “lucky” to be getting the pain relief I need, or am I “needing” to much medication? Hm…

June 29, 2013 at 3:56 am
(20) kt says:

I too have been struggling with this issue. It makes me sick to be treated so insensitively . These “watchdogs” are more concerned about drug abusers than people who are in pain. People who abuse drugs and end up overdosing are making their own bad choices. We all have to pay the consequences for doing that. Punish the abusers and drug pushers that’s fine. But people who are SUFFERING need medication that can allow them to live a reasonably functioning life. God help us if we become unable to acquire the pain relief we all know we need.

June 29, 2013 at 8:29 am
(21) Karen says:

I don’t know about other places but where I live in California, the chain pharmacies rule and you rarely see the same pharmacist in the place. they change them as often as a teenaged girl changes clothes.

Also, since when have Ultram and Ambien been considered a narcotic?

June 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm
(22) CaddyLady 56 says:

Oh I am so tired of being treated like a criminal every time I take my prescription to my local pharmacy. I have been a customer for 20+ years 19 at this one local store-yet each time they refill my narcotics they make me feel like a criminal.I recently was told they could not refill my prescription because they were “all out” and as it was Memorial Day week end-they ” did not know when they would get more”.After more questioning I found out from the pharmacist that he had the 15mg medicine but not the 30mg I had been prescribed !!! Well why didn’t you say that ?I asked? He said I would have to return to my doctor and get a new prescription for the 15mg-All of you know what a inconvenience this is-even 1 trip to the drs is tiring-So we got the new prescription for twice the number of pills due to the lower dosage I would have to take 2 pills instaed of one-and guess what ?They didn’t have enough to fill my prescription ! So they partially filled it and I had to pay full price.Then I was told I would have to go back to the drs and get a new prescription for the remainder of the pills.That meant another trip to the doctor,I had to prove to her that I had not gotten the full amount-and then I had to pay again to get the rest of my original prescription.So it cost me twice as much for my pain medicine-had to take 3 trips to the doctors and even more to the pharmacy.Does this seem like getting a prescription for pain is way too difficult to endure when you are already exhausted and in pain.I cried a lot during this time-Here I was dealing with a Professional Pharmacist who had no intention in making it easier on me. I understand the “letter of the law” and all the restrictions on opiates-but do they have to make it so hard on those of us who are already beating ourselves up because of feeling bad all the time-I belive they are trying to make it so difficult that we just “give up”-and ovedose !

June 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm
(23) Ellen says:

Frankly, I’m pretty sick and tired of this entire effort by the DEA/FDA to prevent patients from receiving effective pain relief via painkillers. I suffer from a severe case of fibromyalgia, and without my low dose of oxycodone two-three times a day I don’t think I could make it through my daily life. I hate being treated like a criminal whenever I go to the pharmacy to get my prescription filled, and as I’ve tried so many other drugs to treat my pain and this is the only one that’s been effective I don’t see why I should be harassed. Nor do I think that my doctors should be harassed by pharmacists or the DEA/FDA either – doctors should be permitted to prescribe whatever they think is best for each individual patient. It’s already bad enough that insurance companies are preventing doctors from prescribing what the doctor believes is best for the patient – we don’t need pharmacists getting involved, too. Stay out of our lives, government!!

June 30, 2013 at 8:16 am
(24) Leann says:

I have lost the one pain killer that worked best when my fibro was out of control–Darvocet. Now I take a rare Vicodin if I haven’t slept for days–and that’s maybe once every 6 months. But prescription insurance carriers have been interfering with doctor’s orders for years (to save them money) and no one seems to give a flip. I have chronic daily migraine as a result of fibro, lyme and chronic fatigue. I cannot get enough imitrex because the drug company has denied me. This is the ONLY drug that works. The doctor understands all my conditions and prescribes it, but I’m just not “normal” and so I cannot get enough medication. RIDICULOUS.

June 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm
(25) Deb says:

I have a bad case of Fybro and osteo arthritis.Right now I take Lryica for my fybro, Cymbalta for my depression, clonopin for my anxiety. My dr. gives me tremodol 1 x day and t-3 for bad days which is just about everyday and these barely work. I am still in pain but its dulled alittle. Recently I had kidney stones and was prescribed Percocet for the pain and what a difference I could actually get some things done because I was pain free.When I went to my RH doctor I told him and asked if he could prescribe some because they worked so well for me, the answer was no. He gave me 1 more tremodol per day. Thanks a lot. And on top of that Im maxxed out on my prescription plan and am relying on samples, and its only June. What are all of us pain sufferers supposed to do? This is ridicules . We are the ones in pain, we know what works and what doesn’t. The govt. is causing enough trouble, leave us sufferers ALONE. Keep out of our business!!!!!

June 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm
(26) Juli in Colorado says:

I have been fighting with my medical clinic since the new doctor took over. He is “old school” and does not believe in fibromyalgia. He finally believed that I was pain sensitive when he was doing a Pap on me and we nearly had to peel me off the ceiling from the pain. He has cut my Tramadol down to 2 a day. He has put me on baclofen which is on the medicaid formulary and has increased the gabapentin which my cancer doctor put me on when I was experiencing hot flashes and night sweats 3-4 times a day. He insists that he wants to get me completely off the Tramadol. I keep telling him that I need my pain meds. He insists that I don’t really need them. Fortunately, my husband always comes to my appointments with me and he backs me up that I need the meds.

June 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm
(27) FibroCFS says:

I’ve taken opiates for 18 yrs. I’m not an addict. If I were they’d know by now!! I take TWO Percocet a day. TWO!! I hate the way I’m treated at my pain clinic. Issues like these make me want to give up on my life. Isn’t it enough to have 24/7 pain?!?!
I think they should consider my record before treating me like a drug addict. Stop lumping everyone into the same criteria.

June 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm
(28) FibroCFS says:

Ps: I’m NOT being treated for Fibro pain. I’m getting pain pills for my bad back. Which isn’t that bad. My pain dr said to me: No one had level 10 pain with Fibromyalgia. I want to strangle him. But of course I have to keep silent or get no relief. RIDICULOUS

July 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm
(29) Miranda J. Childe says:

Thank you, Shannon, for your informative message. We readers of Adrienne”s messages are always looking for new ways to live with our pain.

I have been cut off from my Vicroprofin prescription for a year now. Florida is a hotspot for illegal opiate distribution; you practically have to be in the final stages of cancer to get an Rx! My primary care MD used to prescribe Hydrocodone/Ibuprofen 7.5/200mg.She wrote the RX for 120 tabs with 5 refills. This was more than enough a year, as I only used them on pain days. She saw me once a year for a complete physical and blood profile. The dose never went up for 5 years!

Adding insult to injury, after she abruptly stopped writing prescriptions, I was only able to get one RX from my orthopedic surgeon, a refill required a visit l($125.). When I lost my job a year ago, I also lost my insurance. In order to get the pills I had to pay $268.00, a virtual impossibility on unemployment.

My only access to medical care is the county community health care. They are prevented by law to prescribe any class 3 drugs. As a result, I am slowly eating away at my stomach lining by being forced to take 4 to 6 ibuprofen pills a day. I am not exaggerating when I say that if this will be my life from now on, I hope I die young.

July 2, 2013 at 12:41 am
(30) Buffy says:

It’s not just calling you dr and you waiting 5 extra minutes. My pharmacist said they have to fill out like a 4 page packet on every patient that gets pain meds, call the dr and if they can’t reach them or don’t get a call back in 72 hours they have to deem it non acceptable and send it in to the DEA so you have to get another script, even if it was a good script. Lots of doctors don’t want or have time for the hassle and he said the DEA is hurting a lot of legitimate patients. He said its all from the Florida pain pill mills ( even though I’m in Mo) he said they are using the pharmacy to do their job of finding dr that’s are over prescribing but the scrips filled in Florida were legal scripts and that they could of been held accountable if they would of refused to fill them. It’s crazy the DEA needs to check up on drs themselves and stop treating us with pain conditions and diseases like criminals.

July 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm
(31) wantotango says:

Hi fellow sufferers. THANK YOU for this priceless in-put. My Mom and me both have FM. She is the one on the ‘scarier’ drugs. This is Canada and a few years ago her Percocet use was no big deal. However in the last year or so her prescription for oxycodon SR is closely monitored, more by the pharmacist than our Dr. I myself am getting worse with time and is this what I will deal with? Batten down the hatches pharmacist because I will do whatever it takes, urine tests, you name it to function. I am 52 and don’t want to be on disability. No crime record here. Keep up the good fight and keep these comments coming. I am cheering for you all because you have the courage in more than one way….

July 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm
(32) Susan says:

This is just one more attempt to take the medical care and diagnosis out of the hands of doctors!

My own doctor has been intimidated and harassed by the California Medical Board because he has prescribed a controlled substance that was on maintenance level. They even threatened to take away his license!

I have had to find an additional specialist plus someone to manage my meds all because of this. The additional cost is a hardship, but my real outrage is that my doctor was doing nothing wrong!

Let’s let doctors be doctors, for cryin’ out loud!

July 20, 2013 at 10:31 am
(33) A Pharmacist says:

I can’t speak for my colleagues, but to assume pharmacists are overstepping our bounds is ludicrous. Federal laws place us in a position where we must judge whether we fill the prescriptions we are handed are medically reasonable. Our licenses as pharmacists, essentially our livelihood and careers, are potentially jeopardized when we fill prescriptions the DEA later deems inappropriate.

Arguments that we are “just pharmacists” and should “just fill” prescriptions are poor arguments when our very government mandates us to make sound decisions or risk losing our careers.

I agree that treating pain patients as suspicious criminals is not right, but when a person comes in with prescriptions that run the risk of causing respiratory depression, severe constipation, and potentially kill a person, I am going to ask to make sure.

So the take-home message? Stop blaming pharmacists for following federal laws. Start blaming those we truly are responsible: people who get medications for recreational use, the people who enable them to do so for the past decades, and the government who are now forced to respond.

August 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm
(34) Donna Ratliff says:

This war has affected every single legitimate pain patient in Florida. This is no joke! We have tons of patients that are doing without their legal medication right this minute. Pharmacies are refusing to fill nearly every prescription that comes there way. How are these people to continue living a functional life? They have been on pain medication and some for many years and now they are in withdraw do the pharmacy crawl! This is a living hell here.
The DEA and US government needs to act immediately to stop this cruelty! When pharmacies are so scared and that they only order enough medicine for just a few patients a month, that isn’t humane. Not for a state as Florida that has thousands of retired, disabled patients who moved here for the warmth, sunshine that helps their pain relief. Tourists beware! Think twice before coming here until this mess has stopped. I am asking that ALL pain patients take some kind of action to help this stop. If you don’t? All this will be happening in your state next, take my word for it. I lead the Fight For Pain Care Action Network and we get hundreds of calls with patients living this hell from states all over the nation. It’s coming to your state soon, so please help and stop this madness. It’s up to Patriots like you. If enough people start talking and complaining? This will stop. Please help, won’t you? God Bless.

August 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm
(35) john says:

I live in fl. I have been on narcotics since a teenager due to diseases and illness and severe allegies to anti pyrines like tylonel aspin and nsaids. I have always traveled around the state and sometimes to other states for my numerous specialist. Now almost all pharmacies have been telling me that they were highly recommended by the DEA that the doctor, pharmacy, and patient must all be in the same county. This is not a law! It is only a recomendation and out of fear for the mobster like DEA, they are abideing by it. The pharmacy that will fill, are trying to be legal drug dealers. Charging 8-10$ a tablet for meds that have always been 1-2$ a tablet. This is not rite!!!! What happened to the hypocratic oath? What happened to a patient’s well being?

August 11, 2013 at 12:29 am
(36) A.V.H. says:

To “A Pharmacist”: No, what’s ludicrous is passing off all of the blame for the poor judgment, profiling, and mistreatment of legitimate, suffering patients on “federal laws”. There is no federal law mandating that you treat patients with a prescription for a pain-reliever like they just asked for a fist-full of crack. There is no law that states you have to brush us off, or LIE to our FACES, or treat us with disrespect or violate our privacy by announcing our business to the entire store from your little high-horse of perceived authority. This is about is “C.Y.A.” store-policies (like Walgreensí new “Good-Faith Dispensing Policy”) coming from corporations those in your profession work for; where protecting profits and saving-face is a higher priority than actual health-CARE. The feds aren’t responsible for the lack of compassion and mistrust that pain-patients are receiving from your kind. Every legitimate patient I know has no problem following the laws in order to get the care that they need. But the profession is taking it to a new and frankly disgusting level; one that comes out of a mix of pure fear and pure ego. Whether it’s lack of knowledge/ proper training, misinterpretation of the law, or these new company ďpoliciesĒ, people who are already suffering day in and day out now must go through even more unnecessary and often HARMFUL hell. If you want to sit back & try to distance yourself from the reality of this and claim you are only doing what the “feds” are asking you to do, then you are not only completely delusional and essentially condoning this behavior, but you, along with a good number of your colleagues, are in this profession for the wrong reasons (and/or you have forgotten why you entered the field in the first place) and seriously need to find a new career so that those with a more balanced perspective who can both abide by the laws AND retain an emphasis on taking care of people versus harassing them can swiftly take your place.

August 12, 2013 at 5:13 am
(37) Steve M says:

This article was written by an idiot. We keep accepting these new hoops and the abuse problem never changes (probably because the opioid abuse epidemic was completely manufactured by the DEA and others with a financial interest). We give away one right, then another, then another.

We’ve done this with our civil liberties and it made us no safer,instead we lost our right to privacy and the NSA monitors every communication. We’re doing the same thing with opioids and we’re getting the same result.

Accepting these new restrictions isn’t helping, we need to fight back.

August 12, 2013 at 8:08 am
(38) Debra says:

I’m a Veteran of the U.S. Army and it took me 18 months to get anappointment to the pain management clinic my primary care Doctor would not prescribe me narcotic’s stating that it was the national thing to not prescribe narcotics to people with chronic pain. I’ve never believed this as I have friends with chronic pain and they are taking hydrocodine, percocet and methadone for their chronic pain. So what I believe is that she is afraid of the system of making waves. As I said it took me 18 months of jumping through hoops to get an appointments with the pain management clinic where they might prescribe something stronger than tramadol. When I lived in another state they had me on hydro-codone and methadone for pain upon moving to Florida they stopped all that I believe it’s the state that’s afraid to give me the medications because it was in my medication records to continue me on those medications and they choose not to. I hope this problem with the DEA is worked out very soon. because there are too many people like me and two of my friends that do need pain medication to function in life. I have herniated disks in my lumbar back with two slipped disks bones spurs in my cervical spine at the neuro-foreman and bone spurs in the hip joint I also have Fibromyalgia which was diagnosed in 2000. This is just to sum up some of my problem along with the weekly migraines I suffer.

August 12, 2013 at 9:10 am
(39) VegasIsntALLsin says:

I’m curious how much location has to do with the level of harassment. Most of the people responding, including myself, live in areas with high levels of narcotics abuse. Try living here in Las Vegas! When I see my Specialist that treats people with conditions like mine and I talk about my pain, he says I should be on methadone or everything short of being in a coma because the pain can be so severe. He is surprised I manage how I do on what I take as it is. I don’t manage well at all, but I’d rather suffer all I can before getting hooked on something like that. Meanwhile, pharmacist are budding in my business asking my pain management clinic what warrants my scripts. They don’t understand my condition all that well. They understand pain. My doctor told them I have legitimate pain, I tell them how my pain affects my daily life’and they help try to manage it. That’s their job. They manage pain that other doctors couldn’t do anything else for. If there were other options, my doctors would have done them before referring me to a clinic to medicate my pain. I don’t see what role the pharmacy has in this other than making sure that my prescriptions don’t have serious interactions or affect any allergies I may have. Their job is to manage the prescriptions and compatibility of them with each other and the patient. It almost feels like you go to work and get your cash and take it to the store and the store says you can’t pay with that legal tender here because we don’t think you’re buying the right groceries! What?! I wish there were a way, as a patient, to get clearance that you’re a good person with a legitimate need for the meds and known not to abuse them and you could carry some special card that says you’re not a drug seeker/abuser/dealer, etc that you could show wherever needed and be given the respect many of us here deserve and NEED to maintain some dignity.

August 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm
(40) Katt Morris says:

I’m luckier than many, I take 6 hydrocodone 10mg. a day. It doesn’t get rid of my pain, it just helps me get up & around most days. If the Regulators wouldn’t interfere with Pain Patient’s Rights, I would be better titrated and have better pain control.

Instead, I see my GP who has agreed to treat my pain as long as I don’t “rock the boat” by which he means not to ask for anything stronger that could draw attention from the DEA.

This is a heck’of a way to live, can you imagine a doctor, or worse yet, a pharmacy telling a customer, “Sorry, I can only give you 1/2 of your insulin this month?” Or “Sorry, are you abusing your Lipitor, you are a day early?”

Pain patients are one of the last citizens that are allowed to be discriminated against. Even the disability laws don’t necessarily cover chronic pain, especially if your pain doesn’t cause a physical affliction that can easily be seen. From the dirty looks when you use a disabled parking permit to the pharmacist that announces for all to hear that he isn’t filling your script, pain patients are treated like druggies who must be controlled.

I’m not mean enough to wish my daily pain on anybody, but I do get discouraged and often wish that I could transfer my pain, just for ONE minute, just one, to some of the people who have obstructed my pain management in the past. It isn’t fair, we just want the same as anybody else, the right to pursue some happiness.

August 24, 2013 at 1:14 am
(41) K says:

I recently moved to another state. I have been seeing a pain management dr since my 2nd neck surgery & had been prescribed Oxycontin CR & Oxycodone for breakthrough pain which was working just fine.
The new dr immediately changed my meds to Opana ER & Percocet because the DEA is breathing down his neck not to prescribe meds that may possibly end up on the street. You see, the Opana is made crushproof. This pill is as hard as plastic. My stomach is protesting. It is a joke. I have NO INTENTION of selling my pain meds. RE: the Percocet. It’s the same as Oxycodone but it has Tylenol. Why the change then? Druggies want the pure stuff.
And Valium for sleep? The doctor must hate me, he says. So no more Valium. I had Soma for a muscle relaxer. Oh no, that’s bad too. GEEZ. I take them once, maybe twice a week.

WHATEVER. I am disgusted. I will take my plastic pill & then go buy stomach medicine. I will treat the Valium & Soma I have left like gold since it looks like I won’t be getting anymore of that.

Listen up DEA & pain doctors…..HOW MUCH PROOF DO YOU WANT THAT I AM IN PAIN????? I gave you EMGs, NCS, CT scan w/myelogram, X-rays, MRIs, I went through many many steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, & TWO cervical discectomies with spinal fusion with no relief.

My .38 special in the drawer looks better & better all the time.

September 27, 2013 at 1:53 am
(42) Heather says:

The only thing that keeps my husband with any mobility (he is already very limited) is high doses of opiate pain medication, since he’s been on them 17 years. Now he’s taking old leftovers because we are unable to find any doctor that will let him re-establish on a reasonable dosage. We have traveled across the US, and may have to return to NY and if his doctor is also pressured out of servicing pain patients (he has mentioned that he may one day not be able to serve pain patients any more) we don’t know what to do. My husband will be bed-ridden.

He has been turned down by surgeons to fix his spine, and all that is offered to him is invasive procedures and an anti-depressant that is “believed to have a pain-relieving side effect”. This is not healthcare. This is madness.

November 1, 2013 at 10:22 am
(43) Keith says:

The real problem is that we are becoming a police state. Law enforcement is going unchecked, just like the old Soviet Union and the KGB. These days, they shoot unarmed people in the back and don’t even have to appear before a grand jury.

We supposedly protect our citizens by charging people who practice medicine without a license with a felony because it is a serious crime, but the DEA practices medicine without a license every day.

People who suffer from chronic pain, many of them wounded veterans suffer every day because of law enforcement officers practicing medicine. People think that law enforcement should be allowed to tell my doctor how much medication I need, should call law enforcement when their child gets sick.

I am painfully aware of both sides of the drug problem and need. I had a terrible time with my son because he was addicted to that nasty Molly stuff. Doctors donít write prescriptions for Molly/Ecstasy/MMDA and the DEA isnít going to find it in a pharmacy. I think almost every day, about a young man who was close to our family and died from a drug overdose.
Itís not uncommon for a child to get shot in drug gang crossfire, while trying to walk to school while the DEA is spending their resources harassing doctors, or hiking in our national parks, looking for pot plants.
My spine is a complete mess, from a Car terrible car accident I was in many years ago. Iím about to lose my job and go on disability, because the DEA is harassing my doctor about the pain medication I have been taking for 10 years; now, I canít take enough medication so that I can be a reliable worker anymore. This is a perfect example of wasteful government spending and Washington not working. I have a suggestion for reducing out trillion dollar deficit, fire the useless DEA agent who is harassing my doctor, fire the DEA administrator who sent his agent to harass my doctor, and let me go to work, instead of collecting social security disability.

November 14, 2013 at 6:38 am
(44) Cathey says:

Well guess what kids , went to fill my morphine last night
For the next month . Yes my pharmacy can fill it but I was
Told from now on ” they will not be able to even fill it UNLESS I AM A HOSPISE PT OR AM BASICALLY DYING ! I’ve been on the same dose for over 10 years .
I have no problem getting it written from my dr. , it’s for failed back syndrome I have a spinal stimulator . So …. Yes I’m totally freaked out ! Made an appt to see my dr next week , have no idea what I’m going to do. I function.
Very well on the med Who are the damn DEA to say I can not have one of the things that makes me highly function ! I’ve never once abused it !!!

November 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm
(45) Donna says:

Cathey – How did your follow up appointment go with the doctor?

Here in NC, I have three friends who attend different pain clinics, all of which were denied their usual pain medication/treatment in November. Not by the pharmacist, but by the pain clinic which they attend and have depended on for some “quailty of life”.

Each of these persons have different legit needs for the pain medications he/she receives. None of them absued it. None of them were given a notice. None of them were provided with a different medication, lower dosage or frequency.

I am scared to death about my partner’s next clinic visit. We are trying to prepare for the worse case scenario, but how does one go from 13 years of medication to NOTHING! I am scared for her physical, mental well-being and opiate withdrawal.

November 19, 2013 at 7:40 pm
(46) someone in pain says:


I’m so sorry for your pain. I understand. That last sentence just struck me, because I understand that feeling too….living in severe pain constantly is no joke.

Just wanted to wish you peace.

November 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm
(47) someone in pain says:


EXCELLENT POST. *applause*


December 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm
(48) Charles says:

For the one talking about pain a Living in California. I don’t see a problem. Marajuana is you answer. You don’t have to smoke it. Comes in many forms. After you get your card ask for what doesn’t make you loopy just what works for pain. I suffer with Trigeminal Neuralgia an lower chronic back pain from 3 back surgeries after a motorcycle accident. I wish it was legal here. I would surely do it to medicate myself.
tare care an good luck.
If it doesn’t pass in my state soon I will be moving to where is is. It is God’s answer for pain .

December 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm
(49) Deb says:

It seems if the doctors are no longer prescribing the narcotics – then the companies that make them will start screaming. They need to sell to make profits. If the pharmacies stop as well – I would think the drug companies would start to go under.

January 1, 2014 at 10:22 pm
(50) Ben says:

Georgia a lot of bogus pain clinics ran to when they slammed the door in Florida. But that changed this year, they changed multi laws. Like the best ones, you have to have special paper to get anything narcotic, Also they made it where all pain clinics are owned by the doctor. Where in the old days they would just get a shady doctor and someone else would have the building till the place got busted. This new law, made it where if the pain clinic gets nailed the doctor could lose his license, which if you know doctors that’s the last thing they want to lose. I have ben in pain therapy for 3 years and in that time they have changed ton of things from pharmacy to doctor. Which I better for us. I wish at times, that the DEA wants to control it, they open the pharmacies and deal with it themselves. Kids are the worst and my pharmacist, I know her very well and I saw her blow off this guy for his medicine, I could tell his age, and all. The pharmacy probably had it it was before the new paper came out. I am glad they have done all of this because its to protect us and keep it out of kids hands. Since then in GA Heroin deaths have been on the rise, where on the news they always say they started on pills then went to Heroin, because they couldn’t get the pills anymore. Sad thing, its kids that don’t want to admit it to their parents that they are addicts and get the help they need. I have told my friends that are in pain therapy its going to get worse before it gets better. It just will.

January 16, 2014 at 5:10 am
(51) Wayne Vogel says:

The DEA is on the “take” and a recent agreement with Wal-Greens and the DEA proves it. Wal-Greens agreed (not a fine) to pay $80 Million dollars to the DEA so they could continue to supply Class 2 narcotics in Florida. The DEA claimed Wal-Greens were supplying an illegal market with drugs but Wal-Greens were able to buy their way out of the problem with $80 million dollars! Stop and think about that! Whatís to say if the DEA took an $80 million dollar BRIBE from Wal-Green, so they could (per the DEA) “illegally” continue to sell Class 2 narcotics at their stores that the Cartels and Mexican Mafia, etc haven’t made similar deals with DEA officials? So, who’s left for the DEA to chase? YOU and your Doctor that’s who! So, who are the real criminals here and who are the DEA treating like criminals? You and your Doctor!

January 16, 2014 at 5:11 am
(52) Wayne Vogel says:

The reason there is so much; so called, “…prescription fraud…” is because it isn’t really prescription fraud at all. That is, it is prescription medication that is being purchase over the internet from overseas sources. You can get any pain med, including oxyicodone or morphine if you know what web site to go too. You won’t find these web sites by searching Google (or any other US search engine) for these drugs by using their US brand names or the medical name as they are “blocked” by Google. 95% of the prescription drugs being confiscated are not coming from US doctors or pharmacies but from oversea websites. But the DEA can’t prosecute them (being overseas). So they are going after US doctors who have patients (with verifiable pain issues) but who elect to sell their monthly prescription for cash. It shouldn’t even be a DEA problem that Bob is selling his neighbor Mary his monthly supply of Vicodin. This is a local police problem and yet the DEA is involved and spending a million dollars (of Tax payer money) to Bust Bob and his Doctor for the ninety pill a month he is selling to Mary. Random drug screening would catch Bob and the local PD could and would be notify. As well, the local PD would spend $1000 or less to caught Bob. This whole DEA thing is a scam to line the pockets of the DEA.

January 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm
(53) Mary M says:

I am looked at with extra “caution” because I’m “So young” i’m “22″. I have had RSD/CRPS since i was 13- diagnosed few months later at 14- and i developed fibro at some point but no one officially diagnosed me till December 2013. Despite this in my ENTIRE LIFE I NEVER took ANYTHING stronger than IBUPROFEN . Finally in my second year away at college in Fall 2011, i was 3-4 hours away from home and my doctors- dorming and attending full time (13-15 credits a semester)- i at the suggestion of my Psychhiatrist actually (because the pain was making me mentally worse) so i went to the local ER. They gave me my first 5-325 mg perocet . , i currenntly take 10 mg oxycontin 2 x a day and have 5-325 mg perocet for breakthrough but i take no more than 2 a day and usually four+ hours apart. If in doubt i will “suffer” rather than possibly “overdose”. I don’t like taking meds. It boggles my mind that people want the “high feeling”, i hate that part- the feeling “Loopy” and out of control of my mind i HATE! the meds i take now let me have at least some days that i can get out of the house for at least a short time! I can “function” at least somewhat.. But they (especially the nurse practitioner for some reason) want me off my meds even the non narcotics like topamax and namenda. I wish i didn’t have to take meds, but i’d rather take meds and be able to “function” & not want to be crying & screaming in pain / “praying for death” 24/7 which is what im like off meds! I may stil be in some pain- but i can “tolerate it”, I don’t mind a urine test because i have nothing to hide. I take as prescribed. I

February 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm
(54) ken a says:

i have been taking pain meds for over sixteen years each year they get stronger and stronger now i am on methadone.and have been for nine years get great relive.have no problems but the doctor i had in south Carolina wanted to detox me from that and put me on the something stronger because i was gitting some in between pain.and i said no way so they terminated my contract just tow weeks before my next refill.and they passed around to other doctors that i was a bad risk and would not take treatment had to have my doctor refer me to another doctor in another state if that is not like the twilight zone i don’t know what is.they left me high and dry with out any meds had to go to the emergency room every other day for a shot this state of south Carolina is messed up.my son is a ortho doctor on the hospital ship you see at all wars and natural disasters right now they are in the Philippines and has been for 14 teen years he said he never heard of that he sent me the meds i needed just to tide me over to i got a new doctor.and he has been righting the the boards and anyone that will lison about people like me and many others who have had the same problem or worse about these problems.the law is treating us like criminals the pharmacy’s are treating us like thefts and the doctors are treating us like drug dealers.ken

February 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm
(55) 0 says:

There has to be a way to come together in a class action suit or something,They say their goal is to keep the prescription drugs off the street but nationwide the street dealer is the only person that seems to have an unlimited supply.I can’t afford street prices and they don’t accept my insurance.The only thing our government and the dea have accomplished is keeping medication from the people who desperately need it to have any attempt at a normal life.
There is power in numbers and there is high number of people being forced to suffer in this country.

February 12, 2014 at 10:22 pm
(56) henric says:

Pharmacists should never have the right to overstep a doctor or to violate HEAPA laws period.

February 20, 2014 at 11:18 am
(57) Lloyd says:

I buy into doing what we have to to get our meds so we can have a normal life and I feel my rights are violated evertime I have to do a urine sample knowing that in the next room a person getting ther insulin and I know that is not a sch drug but I need something else to allow me to have a life. I am homeless and have horror stories tring to get help.
So please help real pain patients are out here!

February 20, 2014 at 3:53 pm
(58) kelly says:

I have VERY serious chronic pain issues including fibromyalgia ,DJD,carprl tunnel ,spinal stenosis and scoliosis,sevetal buldging discs,one that actually pops out when I lean forward and. a “pain specialist just cut my pain meds by ovet a third at once with no medical reason except that he could.Now I’ve been left way more incompasitated than before.No alternative treatment was offered and I had to beg for ibuprofen which ended up giving me no relief.I’ve nevet had any kind of drug problem,never been in a.y kind of legal trouble.I also have no family to help me do things so now I’m stuck alone mostly confined to my apt.with no way out.These new regulations a inhumane and senselessly ridiculous and are killing innocent patients!Something has got to change!!We are innocent victims of a very broken system!

February 22, 2014 at 2:02 pm
(59) Belle says:

I read all of these comments and my heart just breaks. I have a good pain management doctor right now who handles my oxycontin… but soon i’ll be moving to California. What if I get there and they decide to just NOT give me my meds. The thought of going through withdrawls will probably cause me to kill myself. I know for a fact that I’ll kill myself. Why? Because to have meds that I’ve been on for years suddenly stopped causes such awful symptoms that nothing can relieve. I’d rather just be dead.

February 25, 2014 at 10:38 pm
(60) kellyee123 says:

can someone help me quickly as I have an appointment on the 26 of Feb. 12 weeks ago I had knee replacement. I decided to just go it w/o heavy drugs. However, two weeks ago my blood pressure shot up and my family doctor said that it was probably the constant pain. So he sent me to the pain management doctors who I had constantly said no to the major drugs. I have a scrip of vicodin here at the house, that the pain management gave me. But I went in anyway since they are suppose to be the “doctors” to help with “constant” pain. They gave me a script for oxycodone with 6 pills… that helped some when I went to PT. The next time I went they did the urine test and gave me tylenol 3. Now, this morning and tonight they called me and want me to come in tomorrow. They are the only ones giving me anything…. my question will the DEA be there tomorrow to take me away. I am very worried.

February 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm
(61) Sandra says:

Belle… please do not kill yourself… there are more ways to skin a cat than taking yourself out of the picture. Ca. is a big state with other states surrounding it… Give yourself a break and think about that cat.

March 19, 2014 at 6:23 pm
(62) Ruth says:

Hi, I have fibo and arthritis in spine. Has anyone had radiofrequency ablation injection with fibo?

March 20, 2014 at 4:51 pm
(63) ginger says:

my bf has been on perks and pain patches for a year due to his back injury at work. he in so much pain cause the docter one day said here you go your cut off and going on methadone
wtf is that how can u put someone on high narcotics and cut them off and go on methadone that insane,
so hjes been running azround trying to find a new doctor and went to clinics and nothing no one will refill it. i think its stupid
he has to go for back surgery and they wont even give hinm painkillers.
what should we do we have dont everything we can think of]
i told my husband that going on methadone is not a choice you be sick and twisted the rest of your liffe

March 25, 2014 at 2:24 pm
(64) Garth Spruiell says:

I just got off the phone with a CVS customer service rep who was responding to an email about being refused service for my pain meds. She explained to me that it was up to the pharmacist’s discretion to refuse service to anyone even after CVS had previously served me. Though she said she was sorry, she didn’t know if I would be served if I tried to use CVS again.

March 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm
(65) melinda horner says:

“Contract” I had to sign with my Pain Management Group

I agree to undergo any treatment or testing that is recommended by my physician/provider, including psychological testing/counseling, radiologic imaging, lab work, physical therapy, international injections, etc. I understand that failure to fully comply with the recommended treatment program may result in the safe discontinuation of my controlled substance medications or even complete termination of the physician/patient relationship.

If I want help with my pain I have to do what they say. If I don’t, I get fired.

4 surgeries in 4 years, disectomy, fusion, rotator cuff repair, shoulder surgery with bone removed, some of my clavicle cut off, etc.foot problems, fibro. Naturally, I work on my feet.

Got fired from first pain management, miscommunication and my screw up, nothing to do with illicits or lost pills or anything. Too long to explain now but caused a lot of trouble. Hard to get new pain mgmnt. once you’ve been fired. Found one, had surgery on shoulder.

2nd appointment and all the doc wants to do is give me injections and a TENS unit. Not against either but I want to be able to make my own decisions and choices. Wanted to schedule a caudal epidural next month I’m only a week out of surgery! Where that contract comes in. I say I don’t want an injection, he can fire me.

What rights do patients have?

March 30, 2014 at 1:30 pm
(66) Anonymous says:

Abuse is not a Legislative, BIG government problem…it IS a spiritual dilemma in this country and needs to be understood by family. Parents leaving there meds around where their children can get them is the biggest problem I hear about. What government CONTROL law will be next? I don’t understand how this works from State to State either. My wife is doomed to a life of Chronic/Severe pain, as stated in Wisconsin, and was given various pain meds to help her function more, that is more normally in everyday activities, then we move to South Carolina to hopefully improve here asthma/bronchitis troubles only to find they won’t give her the medication (hydrocodone) that has been prescribed in WI for a few years now. She has no history of abuse yet, she is being treated as though she has and the system is screwy because her primary doesn’t prescribe that med, but sent her to a pain doctor who does, and she was practically accused of playing two doctors to get the same med twice??? I think there should be more awareness made public to the problem, rather than MORE government controlling us…that is the bottom line here…People with power want MORE and will do and say all kinds of stuff to bring us all under their POWER and I don’t care what anyone thinks to the contrary, they don’t have your best interests at heart in the long run.

April 9, 2014 at 4:40 pm
(67) JulieAnnS says:

I have been on strong meds for back pain and fibro for,over 15yrs. I had to retire on disability, which I despise. I loved my work , and my job. Moving to present. I have now encountered a hip that needs replaced. Drs. are reluctant to do surgery as Ihave contract Immine Globulin and get infusion once a month for it. Basically I have no immune system to ward off infection! My regular Dr. Has send me to a pain clinic for help. Well this Dr. Doesn’t even want togetinto my situation as it means dealing with changing or adding meds. Well, I don’t want to be this way,and need help. Now where do I turn? Any ideas?

April 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm
(68) Another Amputee says:

I am an amputee. Upper mid-femoral to be exact! My leg was torn off….not cut off. I have skin grafts on almost 80% of the residual limb. Making a prosthetic limb fit VERY hard and wearing it a painful experience. Yet, I still wear it.
I was and still am a carpenter with no options or other skills to find SUITABLE work. Yet, I still work.

Now, when asking doctors for pain control they write me those baby aspirin pills…..oh you know Tramadol (Ultram). That’s fine..take what I can get. I have never had history of drug abuse or pill seeking behavior. I follow the prescription my Doctor writes and yet the pharmacy makes my life even more complicated by acting in the same behavior this write up addresses. The DEA is broken. Look at our history…drugs and Alcohol played and still play a vital roll in everything functional with society.

I just ask that the deserving GET and the junkies DON’T!
“Kinda like, back when alcoholics received disability”……. huh.

April 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm
(69) stephanie edwards says:

There has been an increase in the power pharmacies have .Their job used to be to fill a doctors prescription. It has become shifted to their job being to decide whether or not to fill the prescription They will not if they feel they are not comfortable, the residence is too far away from the pharmacy. or the doctor or both. They do not fill for that doctor, or the best turndown yet, they don’t have that medication in stock. I have read the DEA has given, and worse then that it has required the pharmacies to call the doctor and not only confirm the prescription but get the diagnosis and what else has been done before the need of pain pills etc. This is another example of our rights being trampled on and our private health issues being exploited. What about privacy laws? This is also another example of giving corporations too much power. The Walgreens pharmacies are despicable. They are the worst pharmacy ever. The smaller private pharmacies are much nicer. respectable, as well as honorable. At this rate pharmacies like Walgreens will not have many customers anymore and rightfully so,

April 22, 2014 at 11:06 am
(70) Debra says:

My husband is living with an LVAD heart pump and cannot take anything but Tylenol which is virtually useless when it comes to real pain. He was getting like 50 Percocets to last him six months for his headaches and foot neuropathy. The Doctor wouldn’t even let him have Ultram now which I understand isn’t even an Opiate. This is B.S. I have to watch my poor husband suffer because a bunch of junkie addicts can’t control themselves. Old people need their pain meds!!!!

April 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm
(71) Sad for the people and the country says:

I’m so sad for all of you and what you must be living with from our lovely government. My husband also has chronic pain, he had major reconstructive surgery on a shattered ankle about 20 years ago and we all know what happens. Age takes it’s toll and pain gradually gets worse with age and arthritis. He had a script for Hydrocodine until this last 90 day visit to the Dr. When they insisted on piss tests, he turned them down due to his privacy and rights under the 4th amendment. No one has ever presented a “contract” to him or had him sign one. He wouldn’t have anyway. This all is growing from our government and the nanny state of affairs. Instead of putting away the dealers and pushers, they punish everyone equally. What a wonderful world! Glad those dealers don’t feel we are prejudiced against them and are treated the same as our law abiding citizens. I’m sure Obamacare and all the thousands of pages of new regulations has something to do with this too. I’ve seen healthcare rapidly decline recently and I can see what is behind it. I’ve also read that the drug tests cost hundreds of dollars and insurance and medicare don’t pay for them. One other point I’ve read about their little “contracts” is that even if you have a accident like a wreck, you will be kicked out if the emergency room gives you any pain medication. What a joke!!! Hmmm, one more way to separate us from our money. Everyone better stock up on Motrin and Tylenol because they will be restricting that next. Sorry folks but this boils my blood! I hope I’ve not offended anyone but this is too much and our lovely government officials in DC are to blame for much of this. We all must stick together here and fight this for everyone’s benefit.

April 25, 2014 at 11:03 pm
(72) Marcela says:

Can I be prosecuted by Dea if my Dr calls them and tells them my UA came out dirty for hydrocodone.and can my Dr get in trouble for prescribing me opiates when he knew I just got out of drug tehab

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