To the Members of NFTP, all Pain Patients, their families, friends, physicians and fellow citizens.
It is a critical time for pain treatment in the United States. The DEA has reported that in 2002 it investigated 620 cases and prosecuted 597.
In numerous instances DEA agents have invaded physicians' offices with SWAT teams, holding everyone there at gunpoint as they emptied out all patient records, in searches for "diversion", "criminal activity", "racketeering", "criminal conspiracy" and a dozen more half-cocked theories of illegal activity. Physicians are increasingly fearful of prescribing to ANY pain patient, because of the increasingly mindless prosecution they now risk.
The National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain has decided to do something about it. We have started a NATIONAL CAMPAIGN OF PAIN AWARENESS. The NFTP logo, which is 3/4" square, is the symbol of that campaign. You can order this pin by signing up as a New or Renewing Member with a minimum donation of $25 per pin. We are seeking to put 1,000,000 of these pins on the lapels and blouses of everyone in the United States who understands the importance of legitimate and effective pain control. When our goal has been reached, public policy toward pain, pain patients, and the doctors who treat them, will radically change.
When asked what the pin is, we ask everyone who is wearing one to provide the following information:
As many as 50,000,000 Americans suffer pain.
Almost 15,000,000 suffer chronic and intractable pain that is severe enough to be disabling.
As many as 75% of even cancer pain patients receive grossly inadequate pain relief. Because of this, the suicide rate among pain patients is almost 20 times that of all other patients.
The main causes of inadequate pain care in the United States are "opiophobia" and Physician fear of prosecution. Opiophobia is a state of gross ignorance about pain medications. It is fear of addiction, tolerance, organ damage, in patients using opioids to control pain. The fact is that NONE of these things happen to pain patients. Virtually none of them become addicted (although most become physically dependent upon their medicine to give them a life worth living - like diabetics become dependent upon Insulin). NONE suffer organ damage, ALL find a dose level and schedule that works and stay on them for years. Few suffer any form of withdrawal.
Virtually no pain patient wants to take medications and their life improves dramatically when they do. Addicts, on the other hand, love medication and their life falls to pieces as they take more of it.
1 out of every 1400 doctors in the United States gets prosecuted for prescribing pain medication. The War on Drugs has become a War on Doctors. Swat teams now break into doctors offices at gunpoint, and seize everything in a search for wrong-doing. So far this behavior has been immune to any official restraint.
Daily, fewer doctors are willing to treat pain, for fear of official prosecution.
The treatment of pain in America is on a downward spiral. The National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain is a non-profit organization dedicated to guaranteeing that no legitimate pain patient is denied adequate care, and that no legitimate treating doctor will face prosecution alone. The NFTP has begun this National Campaign of Awareness to make everyone in the United States aware of issues about Chronic Pain, and to recruit 1,000,000 workers on behalf of effective, universally available, pain treatment.
Wear your pin with pride, and educate the world about untreated suffering and misguided persecution. We are changing the way Pain is perceived in America, and the way physicians who care for intractable pain patients are treated. Sign up on the NFTP web site today as a New or Renewing Member. With a minimum donation of $25 you will get a lapel pin and your membership in the Foundation.