Infographic: Opioid prescribing patterns

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I very well may be judged for this, but because of a legitimate broken lumbar and saccral spine, in addition to other issues with pain and neuropathy… I had for surgeries in less than 3.5 years and spent longer in a wheelchair unable to walk after the last last fusions. I would be glad to offer any information to help the study about narcotics/painkillers, abuse, dependency… honestly. I want to help the field and decrease suffering that’s in the name of decreasing suffering. Contact me with any question, if interested. I have grown, overcome, suffered, I like to think and feel I am an open book at this point about this subject, and will be nothing but honest. My goal is to be unaccountable or assign blame, I just want to help. Thank you.
Name: 
Mary Nichols
Email: 
test@test.com
I no longer care about being judged. I have stage 4 lung cancer. I’ll be dead long before complaints or opinions will reach me. I wish that in some way, I could help to expand understanding about drugs and pain relief. Some people have no idea why or how another could suffer this much. I feel like I am alone, and nobody wants to hear what I say anymore…..
Name: 
Don
Email: 
test@test.com
Awww …. I’m so sorry for your pain, and for the feeling you are having. I am praying for you tonight. Praying for comfort and for peace.
Name: 
Stacie
Email: 
test@test.com
Don. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You bring up a critical point in this debate: pain is totally subjective and we can’t directly measure it, so how can we dictate to those in severe or terminal pain what type or how much of a certain pain medication they can obtain or ingest. As for your cancer, if you can look into high dose IV vitamin C (not sure where you live, but most major cities have at least a few doctors offering this service. I have seen amazing results (symptom & pain reduction, tumor shrinkage, and even outright remission) but you need to do the infusion treatments 3 or 4 times a week for at least a few months to get significant results. Another protocol I have seen excellent results with is raw ORGANIC juicing (you need to go to a Whole Foods or similar market and buy exclusively organic fruits and vegetables). Focus on deep green veggies, especially kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, seaweed, various sprouts etc. along with colorful fruits & vegetables like carrots, berries, pineapple, grapefruit etc. There have been reports since the 1970’s of people curing late stage cancers by using intensive dietary juicing regimes where people pretty much exclusively ingested organic juices as their primary diet. There are many other alternative protocols that offer hope as well….try to find a Natropath in your area for at least a consultation. Regardless of what happens, know that there is a loving God who watches over all of us with love, even if we can’t always see it. Warm Regards, Louis
Name: 
Louis Byron
Email: 
test@test.com
Funny,when we need positive thinking the most,it is then it is most elusive.Having the energy and wherewithal at that point,time depend on what stage,but usually a person needs an able bodied determined spouse,not one who is asking why this is happening to her,when she is not the one facing the chemo and the radiation.Love needs to be there,and if it is,it will make a huge difference
Name: 
Boom
Email: 
test@test.com
Don – Even though I don’t know you, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. My prayers are with you. Anne
Name: 
Anne Taylor
Email: 
test@test.com
I’m so sorry to hear that you are sick Don. You should not think that people don’t want to hear what you have to say. I am very interested in hearing about your views. In my opinion, nobody (I don’t care how many degrees someone has), knows the pain anyone else is going through. People have different tolerances to pain and pain medication. I know my body better than any doctor or machine and I know that unless the doctors have been through the same scenario they don’t have the slightest idea of what you or anyone in pain is going through. God bless you Don.
Name: 
Valentina
Email: 
test@test.com
Hi Don, I am also alone. I will listen to you, I am good at it, I have stage 3 COPD and no one to talk to. I am hoping to be as pain free and happy as possible in my remaining days. God be with you, Don.
Name: 
Mary Evans
Email: 
test@test.com
I fall into the highest prescribed age bracket yet cannot get a prescription. I understand the reasoning behind being alarmed by levels of abuse but what I do not understand is the refusal to prescribe to those who genuinely need it simply to increase quality of life by just a little. I like so many others suffer from a chronic condition where I sleep very little and experience pain every waking moment. I keep getting told the objective is to fix the problem, not mask it and I totally agree. Problem is 4 years now, several procedures, countless hours in physical therapy and at least $200k later and I’m in worse pain now than when they started to “fix the problem”. The DEA has physicians afraid of losing their licenses. To top that off my cardiologist forbids any nsaids other than low dose aspirin, Tylenol doesn’t work and will destroy your liver. I’m tired of being in pain!
Name: 
Johnny in pain
Email: 
test@test.com
I also suffer from chronic pain from head to feet and sleep very erratically. I have a pain Dr but his response to me telling him my pain is out of control is always the same; “The answer is NOT more pain meds”. I ask him what is the answer and he claims if I let him do as many injections as he wants it will help, it don’t! This guy is a money hungry, unethical Dr who doesn’t give a crap if I have a quality of life or not. I have finally decided after 3 years I am done, I will find another Dr. The strange thing is every other pain Dr I have seen said the ONLY thing that could help me at this point is opiate pain medication. My current Dr has basically strongarmed me into taking tens of thousands of dollars worth of injections that have done nothing… This guy must have taken a different Hippocratic oath than most Dr’s. I pray that you and everyone else here find relief and peace.
Name: 
Dale Hurst
Email: 
test@test.com
I too have chronic pain treated for 12 years on MS Contin (morphine sulfate continuous release 260 mg a day plus MS IR 15 mg for break through pain. This allowed me enough control to return to school and earn BS and MS besides getting off SSI disability and be productive worker again. I currently am managed on Norco which is ok but not as well managed. 4 back surgeries later I am completing PhD but only because pain is slightly managed with the Norco by my PCP. Don’t lose hope! Pain management doctors are mostly worthless but keep searching for a great one as I did.
Name: 
Michelle
Email: 
test@test.com
I very well may be judged for this, but because of a legitimate broken lumbar and saccral spine, in addition to other issues with pain and neuropathy… I had for surgeries in less than 3.5 years and spent longer in a wheelchair unable to walk after the last last fusions. I would be glad to offer any information to help the study about narcotics/painkillers, abuse, dependency… honestly. I want to help the field and decrease suffering that’s in the name of decreasing suffering. Contact me with any question, if interested. I have grown, overcome, suffered, I like to think and feel I am an open book at this point about this subject, and will be nothing but honest. My goal is to be unaccountable or assign blame, I just want to help. Thank you.
Name: 
Mary Nichols
Email: 
test@test.com
years ago Sir William Osler referred to morphine as “G-d’s own medicine” we have an obligation to use this medicine wisely suffering patients deserve this medication & it is the obligation of caregivers to use it wisely, which from my experience is often not the case
Name: 
Arthur Forman
Email: 
test@test.com
If one has honest pain, and exhausted other avenues. These meds can give back ones life to some degree. Trying to get by without or with just over the counter meds can lead to worse health issues no one seems to track! The doctor who writes the order should work with the patient, if he sees excessive pill taken each person has different issues it is very dangerous when the government try’s to make guide lines. Doctors and insurance company’s need to let Doctor set the boundaries it becomes obvious if a doctor starts writing to much script in very large numbers. My doc counts days and number taken and if any doubt refers to pain management who are skilled in noticing troubles before they start. For some these meds need to be more available there has to be a way to track or give other options to those who may not need them. Seems those with better insurance seem to have more options.
Name: 
Al
Email: 
test@test.com
I see young people get more meds then I do,with nothing be wrong with them.T his is where the problem starts these Drs need to check these kids more.I”m 54 just had my leg cut off,i”ve been dealing with pain for over 15yrs .The only way I make it thru the day is with my meds.
Name: 
Kenneth Cochran
Email: 
test@test.com
How do you know these “kids” aren’t in pain as you are? I have had a five vertebrae fusion at age 28 and currently have a herniated L5 and tons of pain and I’m only going on 38 and PS. I work 80 plus hours a week farming and I own my own excavating business!
Name: 
Garrett Smith
Email: 
test@test.com
#1: Cancer sucks. Esophageal took my mom. #2: Chronic Pain sucks. #3: Judgement sucks. Walk a day in my shoes. #4: The DEA needs to work WITH AMA & other organizations & not just slap unreasonable limitations on a med because of people who misuse opiates. I have to get meds from a pain mgmt Dr in a bigger city each month & I am tracked like a hawk & judged by pharmacists & aids alike. I’ve found it helps to have a long talk with your pharmacist so they can understand your condition & see that you are high functioning, not a pill seeker. Medical marijuana was just passed in my state. It will take a while, but I look forward to having the option of seeing if that helps me manage my pain, etc. We need options & to be included in our healthcare. No one understands us like we do.
Name: 
Kathleen
Email: 
test@test.com
I also deal with long term chronic pain. I had back surgery nine years ago and the good surgeon caused major motor nerve damage and left bone and cement fragments in spinal canal. Bone cement fragment attached to my spinal cord and was cutting into it almost paralyzingly me. Thankfully, I got lucky and found another surgeon, who against odds, was able to remove bone cement from my spinal cord without paralyzingly me completely. Today I am able to walk, but my life has forever been altered. I live in constant pain and the only time I am not hurting, mercifully, is the few hours I’m able to sleep. I can tell you that without pain meds and a good pain management doctor who understands I would not be alive today because the pain, even with pain meds, is intolerable. There are people that need help managing the pain and pain management doctors should be allowed to make those determinations. Not the insurance company, pharmacists, governmental bodies, or anyone else One last thing. You can’t always look at a person and know what they’re dealing with or the pain they feel With pain there are no outward visible indicators. No broken bones or blood and guts to see. We become very adept at putting on a smile and a suit of armor to avoid judgement. Please remember, pain is subjective and it can’t be seen. Please don’t judge others because there’s no way to understand what someone feels.
Name: 
Shirley
Email: 
test@test.com
After reading all these comments it’s clear that there is legitimate use for pain medication and we still don’t know how to curb illegal use of it because you clearly can’t see pain!
Name: 
Garrett Smith
Email: 
test@test.com
I occasionally wish for all the State Legislators and Governor of my state who have written more laws making it hard for those of us who need pain medication to get it would get what I have. Chronic Acute Necrotizing Pancreatitis! I have had 2 celiac plexus ablations. But the pain is still ridiculous. I still work because I need the insurance to pay for pain meds and my monthly followup visits. Yet the State now wants me to visit an additional Dr. A pain mgmt specialist once a WEEK or he won’t prescribe any opioids. The pain mgmt specialist wants to prescribe only 1 type of opioid and it is available at only 1 pharmacy that happens to be 20 miles from me. Oh did I mention the insurance company refuses to pay for that one? And that it costs $250+ a month vs the $20 a month I was spending on what I was taking? Plus the Pain Management Specialist won’t see me unless the last visit is already paid for. With an insurance company? Forget it, they won’t pay for months. So the Dr thinks I should just pay out of pocket. Did I mention there are only 2 Pain Management specialists in the general area and because the law also limits the number of patients they can see the other one is not accepting patients. Government should NOT be involved in medical decisions for a good reason. They know NOTHING about it!
Name: 
Shavri
Email: 
test@test.com
This life of pain is disgusting. No one who has chronic pain should have to go without even the least amount of pain medication I have to practically beg my current Dr. for my prescription every month I hate it and the abusers who have caused the truly pain ridden to suffer like this. I take only hydrocodone 5mg/325 3X a day hardly an addict.
Name: 
Sandra Jamison
Email: 
sxb2202@yahoo.com

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Infographic: Opioid prescribing patterns