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Soldiers often have no choice when they are courageous.
But Chronic Pain Patients choose daily the courage to
'endure the unendurable'.
They are the true heros.
(Beverly P.)
March 2001

From Sherri

I have been taking long walks on cyber-beaches lately, be them in Cabo san Lucas, with waves crashing against the rocks, or long stretches of white sand in Bremuda where I can hear the wind rushing through my ears, gulping in the salty hungrily, hoping each breath will renew and restore my weary bones.

My problems certainly are no more, or no less, important than anyone elseís. I can only measure them against myself; against the problems I have solved, the ones laying in wait, and the ones just around the corner, beckoning me and challenging me to conquer them, one by one. Whole or broken, the seashells that crunch beneath my feet tell me Iíve unraveled yet another problem which only a moment, hours or days before felt insurmountable.

I never cease to be amazed and stunned at the amount or ferociousness of the issues for which I am confronted; daily fights for financial assistance, medicinal help (promised, not delivered) and all else that awaits everyone in chronic, intractable pain. While it is true that everyone, not just sick people, must deal with the gnats in the air and the bumps in the road, it is far different when tackling those issues through the veil of pain.

Which brings me back to the cyber-beach and all itís simplicity. I can feel the sand between my toes, warm and sun soaked, stretched out in front of me for mile after eye-squinting mile. It comforts me, that beach. The hot sun pours down on my beaten body, offering a sort of healing. But the Earth canít heal me this time around, good as the sun feels. It can only offer me the sense of healing, which will have to be enough, Iím afraid.

From Paul
March 2003

One thread of reality that ties us all together, is this challenging and most difficult disease, "chronic pain". With this disease, comes so much emotion, so much hardship, so many disappointments, so many broken dreams. Yet, despite all this, we do KEEP TRYING. We try any way possible to try and improve our life. One of the hardest parts of living with this terrible disease, is the evident lack of understanding in the public perception, of just how challenging living with chronic pain is. Too often, we hear statements, "try a little bit harder", "the pain is bad, but could be worse", "others have it worse than we do", just to list a few of the wide gamut of comments that we endure. Even rarely, we will read about a success story, to where a person will have their pain almost cured, or reduced to a capacity, where there is an upsurge in quality of life. If only that could become a more evident reality, but the problem with "chronic pain", as we are all fully aware, there often is very little that can be done.

We often face feelings of "denial" or feelings of "acceptance", of if like me, I am like a pendlelum that swings back and forth between both types of emotion.

In my experience, and with talking to many other chronic pain survivors, so often, we feel that our needs are not met, our voices seem to fall on deaf or uncaring ears, and in being dealing with many medical caregivers, we feel like part of an assembly line prototype, where we are whooshed in, and spit out the other end, often feeling more uncertain, and sometimes with even more questions, than answers. All these things in the life of living with chronic pain.

One thing that seems to be highlighted in the life of living with chronic pain, is the task of survival. We have to spend so much time and energy to try and maintain some sort of quality of life. Too often, our bodies feel like a sinking boat, where water keeps flowing in faster than we can seem to bail it out, to keep this living vessel afloat. Another cruel reality of this disease, is that despite, how hard we try to keep bailing out the inflow of challenges we face, they seem to get heavier and more burdensome with time, rather than becoming lighter and less challenging. And this is just our own way of dealing with this disease.

Then, comes the external factors.... the external challenges that add so much stress with living with this disease. As we look around, and see the toll it takes on each other, this disease has tentacles. It grips our loved ones, where they sit back and watch and see us suffer. Often they feel helpless, as there is nothing they can really do, other than offer us moral and emotional support.

Then comes the sometimes brutal factors... the heavy iron curtain of challenge, dealing with things like pensions, disability insurances, uncaring medical professionals (sometimes they are caring and may appear to us as not caring) trying to exist on drastically reduced incomes, if we are even fortunate enough to have one, and the unreachable dreams that are taken away from us forever. The list can go on and on.

When we are in the environment of a forum, such as OCPM, we often get to know each other, as we make our postings, we get to know a personality of each other. WE often find that we are often at different points in our coping strategies with this disease of chronic pain. Chronic pain certainly causes a lot of DIS-EASE!. Kind of fitting for the work, eh? We find that when one is making progress in feeling a bit better, we only have to look as far as the next person, finding them sliding down the slopes of feeling depressed and overchallenged. One thing for sure, I don't think many, (perhaps any of us) can go for any length of time before the anchors of challenges start pulling us down the pit of feeling depression or feeling overburdened. With chronic pain, that becomes a certainty in most cases.

Sometimes, when we try to express our self, or try to express to others, opinions or ways and means of doing things, it will cause some invasion of personal space. I do not believe it is a negligent invasion of personal space, but rather an olive branch from one chronic painer to another, to try and help pull each other through these difficult days. That is an honourable thing, to have friends, that are there to help each other, even if it sometimes includes words or sentences that could be deemed invasive. I have yet to find, when any of this is for any other reason than trying to help pull each other out of this pit of despair. The words are not said in judgement, but rather to be conciliatory and helpful. I may be wrong, in my opinion, it wouldn't be the first, nor the last.

I cannot speak for others, but I can speak this for myself, and would dare to say it echoes the feelings of many others...that here at OCPM..we find a rare breed of wonderful people. We only have to look as far as the next person posting, to see that we do have TRUE FRIENDS and people that are willing to be there for each other. In that note, I end this post, with the exception of my next sentence(s).

May everyone have a day with less challenge. May everyone have a day that is with less pain. May our soul withstand and meet these challenges we face with dignity and with friendship, our day will certainly be much brighter.

Feb 2003

That Ghostly experience is fascinating. For some reason, that spirit wanted to let you all know it was wandering around in the house.

A fascinating book that touches on these subjects, is written by Michael Newton, PHD, called, "Journey of Souls" and he has another one called, "Destiny of Souls". It is a very intriguing book(s) and one that a person has to be openminded about. He is a psychologist, one that was skeptical about even the existance of spirits or afterlife, until he had patients that spoke of experiences. As a result, he made a very detailed record keeping of these cases, and developed a system where he use hyposis as a tool in which investigated people's past lives. We live in a mysterious universe, and where many forces, particulates of matter, plasma etc, is YET to be discovered.

As for your experience in your home...it makes alot of sense to me. I do believe that some souls remain behind in the physical world, that have not yet gone to the spirit world..they wonder in the spiritual body on earth and sometimes need that nudge to cross over completely to the spirit world. There are many skeptics on the subject...but as in your case...seeing is believing...and when it happens.... you don't need anyone to be skeptical or not...as YOU TRULY KNOW.

It is like chronic pain..... to ones that do not suffer it...they can even deny it does not exist...but ask any of us that do suffer from pain....WE DO KNOW HOW IT EXISTS. It cannot be seen, it cannot be measured, but progress is being made where it will come to pass, that chronic pain can be measured, and where it will be seen on medical tests. We do know that by treating pain..it can be reduced in severity. Yet...there are many articles posted and written by doctors that do not think chronic pain even exists! These would be the same people that likely do not believe in ghostly apparitions, and do not believe in anything that cannot be measured.

Seeing is believing!


A Letter To A Television Station

To whom it may concern,

I am writing regarding the news report: 'Oxycontin May be More of a Pain Than a Relief'. I feel that whatever person it was responsible for airing this totally irresponsible one-sided view on the medication Oxycontin, did not do their homework. Taking this person's ( Chelly Griffith) word that only 133 people were tested before the medication was approved is ridiculous. It sounds as though this woman has many issues that I highly doubt are in any way related to Oxycontin usage.

Your article even misspelled Purdue pharma, spelling it PERDUE. In any case, let it be known that by helping spread mis-information, your station is fueling the fire to help the Government take away one of the best and safest pain relief medicines for terminal cancer patients and intractable chronic pain patients alike.

Your station, like many others only care about sensationlism, and not the real truth behind these kinds of stories. I would ask that you would consider doing a story with people benefitting from Oxycontin. That would be the fair thing to do, but of course I will not be holding my breath on this one. I hope the person that did the article may never need a strong prescription medication for pain one day, or they might find out that they have been taken away from those that need them most.


BARRY 2002

It worked.

They got what they wanted. From the very beginning, they wanted Bill Hurwitz to just go away. This December, Dr. William Hurwitz will be forced to close the doors to his medical practice Ė the same doors that have opened doors of relief for hundreds of sufferers of chronic pain.

Chalk another one up for the "Drug Warriors", those amazingly dedicated civil servants that have been successfully programmed with a seemingly endless supply of ignorance and misinformation. They have successfully intimidated another dedicated, law-abiding physician who specialized in the treatment of chronic pain, into having to walk away from his chosen field. Using the threat of long-term incarceration, these "brave warriors" have managed to wreck the career and the life of one of this countries leading authorities in the treatment of pain, Dr. William Hurwitz, M.D. Not only have they succeeded in causing Dr. Hurwitz to close his practice, they have also managed to cause many other compassionate physicians who use their knowledge and training in an attempt to ease the suffering of those who live with daily, intractable pain, to re-think their career choiceWhat's to stop these "warriors" from focusing their attention on any physician who prescribes opioid analgesics to persons who live with moderate to severe chronic pain? Nothing is going to stop them. That should scare the hell out of all Americans.

No crimes had been committed - at least not by the doctor. Dr Hurwitz, as always, followed state and Federal prescribing guidelines to a tee, especially since he had already been subjected to a similar persecution campaign 7 years prior to this latest struggle. In that case, he was completely exonerated, as well he should have been. All he had to do was to spend tens of thousands of dollars out of his own pocket to prove himself innocent. That's all he had to do; just put his life on hold, put the treatment of his patients on hold(with tragic results in several cases) and spend his own money, to prove that he was doing the right thing all along. Forget about due process. All it takes is for the 'Drug Cops' to accuse someone of violating of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, for the nightmare to begin. Our tax dollars support this "War" without questions or accountability. Anyone who dares to question the wisdom - or the futility - of this "war", is made to feel like they support drug abuse. If they object too loudly they might just find themselves as subjects of the investigation.

I still recall an incident almost 30 years ago when I had been pulled over by a police officer around 4:00am because he wanted to know "why" I was driving around at such an early hour. I worked from 10:00pm-6:00am, and I was on my way to pick up something to eat. When I told him that I was doing nothing illegal, he replied that it didn't matter. He said that even if he didn't have me convicted of anything, he could "damn sure ruin my night" by arresting me on any charge he wanted to, not to mention all the time I would be inconvenienced by having to make numerous court appearances. Being the naÔve 18yr old who apparently did not yet realize when to shut-up, I responded by saying that I was not breaking any laws. It was as if I had flipped a switch, because he grabbed me by my hair and pulled my face just an inch or two from his own and angrily yelled, "Son, I am the G** d**** law! Do you want to try me? I guarantee you that you'll lose if you do. Open your mouth one more time and you'll be picking your teeth up off the road. There's only three kind of people out at this time of the morning Ė police officers, taxicab drivers and thieves." There was no doubt what he was saying and that was the first time in my entire young life that a police officer had been anything other than my ally.

It was a definite eye opener as to the fact that some people use their power to achieve whatever goal they desire Ė right or wrong Ė just because they can. I still don't know whether he actually believed that I was engaging in some type of criminal activity or whether he was just exerting his 'power', perhaps because he was bored at 4:00 in the morning. As I drove away, I shook like Jell-o, for probably the better part of the next hour. I realized at that time, that I had been completely at his 'mercy', for lack of a better term. He had used his position of authority as a means of complete domination and total control.

Now these "bold warriors" will have to find new targets to investigate. Since there are so few physicians who actually specialize in the treatment of chronic pain and palliative care, the recently discharged patients of Dr. Hurwitz will have to scramble to locate another doctor who will continue to prescribe adequate amounts of the life-giving medications they require; the medical care that they so desparately need is a socially bastardized course of treatment that involves the regular use of narcotic analgesics. This will cause another doctor who treats pain properly, to add more patients to his or her already overfilled practice. Now, the new doctor will attract unwanted and unwarranted attention by writing more prescriptions for analgesics, many of which fall into the category of schedule II controlled substances, because these are the medcations that work for these conditions. Unfortunately, the additional prescriptions will attract the attention of the pill police and a new investigation will begin.

Few doctors can withstand the massive financial drain alone that results from having to defend themselves from these arbitrary accusations, not to mention the negative media accounts, which for all practical purposes, will relegate the accused to the ranks of a 'consciousless drug pusher', even without the benefit of a trial.

Far too many doctors are taking 'pre-emptive measures' in this "war on pain patients' by changing specialties, in an attempt to avoid punative action. This will result in many pain patients turning to the 'street' to obtain medications that can improve their lives, which of course, then appear to be nothing other than acts of "drug abuse" perpetrated by "addicts".

As long as these "warriors" continue to make themselves appear to wear the "white hat's", they also continue to have access to an almost unlimited supply of "drug war dollars", provided to them courtesy of grotesquely inflated taxes and legally borderline cash & property confiscations. With all of this money and the publics' misguided opinions pertaining to these medications(and the people who use them), our "drug warriors" can continue to inflict suffering on doctors and patients alike, under the guise of 'protecting us'. Each time another doctor leaves the specialty of Pain Management, the burden of treating the patients who were abandoned, courtesy of our skewwed criminal justice system, falls to the remaining physicians in that specialty. Then, attention is focused on these doctors who are "prescribing large quantities of drugs". OF COURSE THEY'RE PRESCRIBING DRUGS - THAT'S WHAT DOCTORS DO!!!

Barry Tuttle


Correspondence and Outreach Patient Letter Archive

Patient: Tracy Sep 6 2002

[email protected] wrote:

I am a mother of 4 beautiful girls ages 18, 15, 14, and 6. I have a wonderful husband and just a great family. And up until a couple of years ago I had more than any one person should ever be blessed with.

I had a full time job that I thoroughly enjoyed, plus it was a very well paying job. My husband worked full time doing something that he enjoyed and we were able to spend quality time with our children. Doing all the things that we believed a "family" should do. Tried raising our children with morals, with respect for themselves and others, and believing in God first and then our government.

A government that is letting us down in a fierce, fierce way. A government that is taking away what little I have left after having suffered chronic pain for the past two and half years with no hope for a cure nor for adequate relief if things continue the way they are going.

You see, in Sept 1999 I suffered a collapsed lung. This happens when a person has blebs, which are sort of like a birth defect internally. It is not detected at birth, its not tested for until one experiences the collapse. After suffering at least 8 more collapses by Jan. 2000 my surgeon recommended that a corrective surgery be done. The procedure is where they go in, remove the bad portion of the lung (the portion that keeps collapsing), staple the lung closed and then glue the lung to the chest wall in order to prevent any future collapses. The success rate is 95% and it all sounded like after recovery things would be back to normal for me and my family.

That was the farthest thing from the truth. The surgery left me with chronic pleuretic pain and irreperable nerve damage. The surgery left me unable to breath properly on most days, unable to walk to the mailbox much less around the block with my family. The surgery left me pain that has me in tears for 20 of each and every 24 hour day. It took away my ability to perform a part time job much less a full time job. It has left my once stable family torn in more pieces than I can count.

You see, my children now have to worry about their mother. Something that they should never, ever have to do. They have had to grow up faster than is fair to any child because they have to make up for the everyday things that I am not able to do for them anymore. My 6 year old has no idea what "fun" is. Her idea of fun is sitting in bed with me reading a book...a book that we are unable to finish in one or two days because of my intense pain. My husband has had to work harder than ever to make up for the income that I once contributed to the family, so that we can afford the medical treatment - medications, drs, therapists, specialists - Plus he has to try and maintain the stability that we once had as a family unit.

It is so hard to wake up each morning in so much pain that the tears roll down my face uncontrollably while at the same time trying to be a positive roll model for my children and reassure them that I am ok. When I know I am certainly anything but ok. It is so hard to watch my husband struggle with two full time jobs and maintain a household, cook dinner, help the girls with their homework, and ensure that they are able to do some of the things that all teenagers and young children should be able to enjoy.

So you see, chronic pain takes so much away from a person. We are no longer people but rather burdens to all those around us. We become isolated from society because we are no longer able to function. We become depressed because we suffer horrendous amounts of pain day in and day out. Plus we see our families being torn apart right before our eyes and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. It is so hard to find a doctor that is willing to treat us, and when we do they are not able to provide adequate relief. Most doctors know their hands are tied so they turn us away. Society in general turns us away. Every door is closed to those of us that suffer chronic pain. That is humiliating, it takes away a person's self esteem, takes away all that we fought so hard to become. Pain has taken away everything about me.

As a chronic painer I have had to fight for everything. I fight to get out of bed each and every day, I try so hard to fight back the tears and when I can't it is so frustrating. I have had to fight to be seen by a doctor that is willing to treat pain. I have had to fight to get any relief and the relief that is offered leaves the mind in a mess. My first medication was a drug called Neurontin, this drug caused me to forget who I was, where I lived, and I even forgot that I had children. Do you have any idea how hard it was for my daughter when I asked her what she was doing in MY house? Do you have any idea how horrible I felt not only as a mother but as a human being?

If taking a medication that contains an opiod allows me to wake up in the morning and kiss my children good bye as they head out the door for school why should I be denied this? If taking an opiod allows me to walk outside on a sunny day, shouldn't I be allowed this? If taking an opiod means that I can take a deep breath should I be denied something that most people do unconsciously? If taking an opiod means that I might actually smile or laugh with my family - who has the right to deny not only me but my entire family this?

Every day that I wake up the very first thought is not what am I going to do today, its not what clothes should I wear, its not whether or not my socks match my pants, its not any of these things that most people think of. My first thought each and every morning is whether or not today is going to be the day that throws me over the edge, or what is the most effective way to end all this pain...yes, suicide is the first thing on my mind every day. Its the last thing on my mind at the end of each day. And its there on my mind right along with the pain every minute of every day. I have to pray every night and ask God for the strength to make it through another day and to thank him for getting me through the day that is at end.

I'm not asking for money, I'm not asking for special treatment, I'm not asking for a new house or a fancy car. All I ask is for adequate relief. Enough relief to allow me to have one "good" day a week. A "good" day being a day that I can get up without tears, kiss & hug my family good bye as they venture out for their day, straighten up my house, do a load of laundry, make dinner, help my children with their homework, talk to them about their day, and to let them know that they are the most important thing in the world to me. My dream, my goal in life at this point, is to reassure my children that whatever troubles life throws at them, I will always be there for them no matter what.

The past two years I have not lived, I have suffered. I may not be dead, but is this really any kind of life? I don't understand why I am not worthy of proper medical treatment, treatment that involves adequate relief. I have worked, I pay taxes, I am a proud American, I have respected others, I have done so many right things in my life. The pain that I suffer is not my fault, it is not something that I did to myself deliberately or illegally, it is not my fault and it is not my family's fault. Why are we left to suffer like this? Why do I deserve less than some sense of normalcy in my life and the lives of my family?

Thank you for listening, Tracy McAdams

From Sly 2002

I haven't personally had a lumbar fusion, but my brother is a "victim". I say victim because he suffers extraordinarily to this day. He had the fusion years ago. They gave him a TENS unit; tylenol 3 (I'm not kidding); and now, only ibuprofen. There are days when he cannot get out of bed. His doctors definately did not "fix the problem". I'm sure yours didn't either, despite what their vanity and/or fear is telling them.

Just reflecting on it makes me angry. Doctors are so terrified of prescribing real painkillers that they just leave patients to suffer excruciating, morale-crushing, hopelessness-inducing pain, knowing full well the pitiful NSAIDs and procedures they prescribe are as useless as a snorkel in the desert. When you think about it, there is an evil pervading the medical profession which wraps itself around and smothers the very premise under which it is supposed to operate: the easing of pain for the betterment of the patients' quality of life.

When you have doctors refusing to prescribe opiate therapy for cancer patients for fear of becoming a target of our country's criminal justice system; when you have law enforcement agents taking medical diagnoses and decisions from the purview of medical professionals and dictating what they can prescribe to citizens who PAY to have their pain relieved; when you have medical boards holding duplicitous hearings against members of their own profession for doing what they took an oath to do, one can only conclude the only reason for this lunacy is to make people suffer, and that is evil.

Pain is supposed to alert you that something is wrong. But chronic pain is the destroyer of lives. Chronic pain drives one to relinquish his God-given right to pursue happiness. Longstanding pain removes hope - hope the future. Pain destroys families. Pain negatively impacts the economy on all levels. Pain causes other health problems, both physical and mental. Chronic pain causes one to consider taking his/her own life. Chronic pain is evil. To help perpetuate it, however passively, is evil.

A government that witholds, for dubious reasons, those solutions to pain that has been proven to work; when it argues the most senseless reasons borne of ignorance for doing so, then it's character becomes that of an oppressor, not a guarantor of basic human rights. When it becomes so arrogant as to allow - to actively promote - the physical agony of its citizens due to health reasons that need not be, then it becomes what an ancient book, proven by time for its insight, calls a "beast". When you think of a beast, you think of one who destroys, angrily and needlessly, for nothing more than a lust for destruction of flesh and blood.

I hope to God that you find one of those rare doctors who will not be cowed by this evil, one who will stick to his oath because he believes in what he's doing and will let his conscience prescribe his conduct in dealing with those he's charged to aid.

Peace & Blessings

Author Unknown

I'm sick of hearing how a pain medication could make me dependent ...or that I risk becoming an addict! Any effective pain reliever, prescription or over the counter, have risks. That's just common knowledge.

But my God....I would chose DEPENDENCY over DEATH anyday. And my pain levels unchecked are a guaranteed path to suicide.

What Chronic Pain Patient wouldn't? Because there are many patients out there whose pain levels, if remain unchecked, are on a sure road to suicide.

There's just no way many of us could live with the pain.

I really think they should start adding a line in those commercials on pain medications, that says.....


March 2001

The true "dirty little secret" that exists in today's world is that there are thousands of middle aged men and women who live daily with chronic pain, that is NOT being either treated or taken seriously by the medical community.

How I wish that the people who write these news stories would take a moment to think about what would make a mature woman or man become a "drug seeker" ?? It is NOT for the purpose of getting high, but rather that person has acquired a disease and/or condition that requires treatment for pain.

As for medical marijuana, doctors should decide what's best for their patients -- not politicians.
Robert Sharpe
Drug Policy Foundation
Washington, D.C.

April 2001

For years I was told that pain killers were not an option, and I had to come to terms with the arthritis that was to come. Well, I had over 25 broken bones, and the degenerative arthritis has finally reared it's ugly head. I have had several surgeries, and I am a candidate for total hip arthroplasty, which will not be considered until I am in my 50s. I also have a left hip deformity, widening of the sacroiliac joint and I walk w/ an inward rotation of the left leg. I am in the beginning to mid-stages of degenerative arthritis, and I am just 32.

I have had no success with pain management. I have been gadget and gizmo'd to death. Was given every nsaid in the book: Celebrex, Arthrotec, Lodine, Day-pro, Naprosyn to no avail. Doctors just are not educated about Opiate pain treatment where I live. I have suffered for years. I just had a steel rod removed from my leg because it was loose and stainless steel is not used anymore. I was given only 5mg of hydrocodone after the surgery. I would gag/vomit, and almost pass out due to the levels of pain I was experiencing for 3 days.

I have literally suffered needlessly for 8 years. I was coached during the 2 month hospital stay, about addiction when this accident occurred. Here I was lying there at the mercy of my caregivers being told that pain medicine wouldn't guide my life.

I could tell you stories. I only wish we gave as much attention to chronic pain patients as we give to the negative affects of these drugs.

The negative attention and the "police state of medicine," causes doctors to undertreat pain. There are no "doctor feel goods" where I live. Am I a minority?

I am the result and product of "The War on Drugs." Is it o.k. to be in 'pain', but not o.k. to get 'relief' and live a 'normal life?!"

I only hope the process and wheels of change in this area will move faster. Especially where I live. Life is moving fast, and I want to take part in it.

This was written after the
reports on abuses of

By Barry
April 2001

Once again, it appears that we have been cast aside and relegated to second class citizenship so that a major news network can gain a couple of rating points. They will be successful in increasing their ratings because stories, such as the one on Oxycontin, play heavily on the irrational fears of many Americans. CBS knows this, and as a result, they will do everything in their power to perpetuate these fears by intentionally misleading and even lying to the public for their own self-serving interests.

It is the responsibility of the broadcast networks to provide a public service to their audience. They are obligated to report the news in an unbiased fashion. CBS failed to do this with their story about Oxycontin on Monday night.

This report was intentionally presented in a manner that was certain to create nationwide alarm in regards to a drug that has probably saved many of our lives. Who could they have possibly thought would benefit from this story? Themselves - period. They are the ONLY ones who will benefit!

They will try to tell us that they were providing a 'public service' by informing everyone about the dangers of a new drug! So in other words, I guess they are saying that there is a narcotic medication on the market... and there are some people who are abusing it. WELL, DUHHHH!!!

There are always going to be people who will abuse just about anything. There are some people who will lick a toad-frog to get high, but I don't hear anyone crying out to eradicate the toad frog population! And that wouldn't be the answer anyway. Just because some people feel compelled to hold a frog up to their face and then run their tongue all over it's slimy green body, let's not blame the frog. He probably doesn't really want to be licked anyway. He has no way of knowing where that tongue's been!

Ever since drugs have existed, there have been those who use them for no reason, other than to get high. But, these drugs exist for a reason. They give life to those of us who are living everyday, in severe physical pain. Without them, it is only a matter of time before each of us will say, "no more, I do not HAVE to live this way".

And we do not fear death, we actually look forward to it. We only keep living because our death would hurt our loved ones, and we don't want to cause them to have to grieve over us. And we also hope that soon, someone will hear our plea, and give us something strong enough, to reduce our pain to tolerable levels.

I was getting dreadfully close to giving up, when I went to a doctor who was intelligent enough to see through the propaganda and know that Oxycontin would be the right drug for me. It was. I am no longer a prisoner to my recliner. I can do things today that I haven't been able to for years.

It is my understanding that there are millions of us who have had our lives restored to an acceptable degree by using this medication. Are we supposed to go back to our pain, just because some people are overdosing on a drug that they are abusing?

But now, thanks to CBS's irresponsible reporting, we can expect even more doctors than before, to refuse to prescribe this lifesaving medication to the people who need it. It's a shame when someone dies from abusing an illegally obtained prescription medication. But it's an abomination to withhold access of this drug to the people that need it, just because someone died from abusing it.

The Drug War Described In Two Paragraphs
Skip Baker, 2001

"In the beginning, and for thousands of years, the entire point of "Medicine" had been to relieve suffering for human kind. Near the end of the 20th Century however, right when science had learned new ways to extract "narcotics" from plants to make them last longer and become more effective, their control was taken away from medical doctors and put in the hands of "law enforcement" instead. Consequently, most victims of intractable pain could not gain control of their suffering from that point on, plunging tens of millions into a deep agony that in turn created a wave of secret suicides. That went unreported. Law Enforcement destroyed "the practice of medicine" in less than two decades, and they called all this disaster: 'The War On Drugs'.

Just like making a "War On Gas" or war on "Tomatoes," they took something "good" and vital to life and barred it from use for those who needed it, because it made some people feel good. From then on, America never recovered from the madness as billions were spent and we lost control of our media. People who needed narcotics for pain control were called Drug Seekers and Addicts because they wanted to be pain free, as if there was something bad in wanting that freedom from pain. Our entire language had been hijacked and somehow stolen by those who sought control of the masses. There is now only a slim chance that America will recover from this sickness known as "The War On Drugs," while 50 to 60 million of us are unable to get the medicine we need for our pain as the rest of the nation knows nothing about our suffering. The articles about out of control OxyContin just make matters worse while it's the "Drug War" itself that is out of control, NOT the medicine we need for our pain."

From Carrie
April 2001

We all have to be able to function in this life and be able to take care of our families. Pain is disabling and keeps us from doing these things. Continuous pain really disrupts our lives.

'It's an easy way out for those doctors who tell you the chronic pain you are suffering is in your head and very unprofessional of them. And these doctors have the nerve to still bill the patient for the office visit! ( no services rendered!) And the chronic pain even more distressed than before because they know the pain is real, they are still suffering and they still need help!

We are all in the same boat. Pain is pain. You deserve to have your complaints of pain taken seriously and have the pain relieved. Hang in there.

David Borden, Executive Director
Drug Reform Coordination Network


"One interesting question here is if they were indeed diverting Oxycontin, to whom were they diverting it? Maybe some of their buyers were pain patients who couldn't find doctors willing to prescribe opioids to them in adequate quantities -- because of the fear that police and medical board have instilled in them. In that case, is it a crime or a livesaving measure? "

MAY 2001

It has been proven through Purdue Pharmaceutical and other reports on the Oxy abuse, that those that died DID in FACT have other drugs and alcohol in their system. So it was NOT all related to just Oxycontin. I think I read where only one had no other substances in their system.

But we do have to realize and make others understand, these people who are overdosing and dying have done so because they ABUSED this medication. They used it when it was not indicated for them nor how it would have been prescribed. A released med should NEVER be chewed, broke or used any other way but as prescribed. Though these deaths are sad, it is not the PILL that killed them...it was their actions.

Educating doctors, nurses and patients is a very KEY point in helping to curb this. I was always under the impression that the extended release meds were for those that have been on opiates and considered opiate tolerant. Those that are not opiate tolerant would not or should not be given a high milligram dose. Many GP's might not fully understand the workings of Oxy and are following the sales reps pitch of the drug. Many doctor's might be prescribing it hastily to those who might benefit from shorter acting meds for a time.

So educating all concerned in regards to using opiates to treat Chronic Pain is a very important key in the Oxy scare. Everyone must realize that it is not the pill...but the ABUSER that is causing their deaths', The Abuser used this drug in the wrong way...not for pain but to get a "high". This media blitz didn't help matters and in my opinion only heighten the abuse by telling those addicts' who didn't know it gave them a HIGH, just HOW to get one from it!

It is a very sad day in this country when abusers of any substance can and do cause thousands of others to suffer needlessly because they can't cope with their life.

MAY 2001

I certainly don't want to appear cold or uncaring - because I don't believe that I am, but I keep hearing this 'uproar' about Oxycontin abuse and all of the deaths that it has caused from overdosing and feel like we must all look at this "problem" objectively.

The number of people who have actually died from this drug seems to vary greatly, depending on who is supplying the statistics. Since we seem to be unable to get an accurate figure regarding the number of Oxycontin deaths, let's use one of the higher numbers and even round that one up.

Let us suppose that 300 people have died from Oxycontin overdoses. Now let's compare that number to the multitude of pain sufferers who, not only have found pain relief and now have had their lives returned to them, but also to the number of people who have literally been saved from suicide because of the wonderful analgesic properties that this drug renders to the person who uses it properly. I firmly believe that the '300' deaths that are the result of abusing this medication, are WELL within acceptable limits.

Of course, there are going to be people who say that even ONE death is too many. If that is really what they believe, then we need to get busy eradicating other causes of premature death as well.

We should probably start with one of the most obvious offenders - alchohol. Far more people die every year from alchohol poisoning than do those from Oxycontin abuse. Of course, it's usually not very "newsworthy", except for the occasional college student who dies after a night of 'partying'. Aside from the accidental cases of alchohol poisoning, there is also a vast number of people who die every day from the long term effects of heavy drinking. I myself, enjoy a beer or a glass of wine from time to time - except for when I'm taking my medication (which just happens to be Oxycontin), but I guess I'll have to sacrifice that because, as long as alchohol exists, there will be deaths that would not have occured, if it weren't for the booze.

We can't just stop at eliminating Oxycontin and alchohol. Let's take a look at peanuts! Many people have died over the years as a result of anaphylactic shock because they ingested peanuts or other products containing peanuts or even peanut oil. Yet I can't seem to recall any 'media frenzy' demanding that something be done about these killer peanuts! We should eliminate these BEFORE doing anything about Oxycontin because peanuts don't prevent suicides or relieve suffering.

If this sounded ridiculous to you - it was meant to be. Yet the MOST ridiculous thing that I can think of, is to eliminate Oxycontin, or any other narcotic analgesic, just because some people have died as a result of abusing it.

There will ALWAYS be narcotics, there will ALWAYS be a certain number of people who will abuse them and there will ALWAYS be a percentage of those people who will die as a result. The only feasible way to deal with this is to educate people. Let people know that these medications are potent - they HAVE to be, in order to work for those of us who are opioid tolerant. Beyond that, there is nothing more that anyone should have to do. As adults, people can then make their own informed decisions as to whether or not they want to abuse these drugs.

Don't regulate... EDUCATE!

An Idiot's Guide to the Supreme Court Decision
by Steve Kubby

A man sees another man drowning and steals a boat to rescue him. What should happen to the man who stole the boat? Does saving someone's life justify such lawlessness? For centuries, common law has upheld the right to break a law, in order to protect human life.

Now consider this:
A cooperative of patients provides another patient, who faces impending death with a healing herb that is legal within that state, with all parties holding the sincere conviction that it will provide medical relief. Does saving a patient's life justify a cooperative of patients in breaking Federal law? According to the Supreme Court, it does not.

You can break the law to help someone, but if marijuana is involved you can't even pass a state law that allows you to help save a life. Federal law supercedes, or so this Supreme Court would have us believe. Apparently the Supreme Court believes that it...not the People, should decide what plants we may use, what herbs we may take, or who can be President.

From The American
Academy of Pain Medicine

AAPM Releases Statement
on the Diversion and Abuse
of Controlled Substances

Miami Beach, FL - February 16, 2001 -
This official position statement is issued at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, the organization representing physicians who specialize in the practice of Pain Medicine.

We are very concerned and strongly opposed to the diversion and abuse of controlled substances and support law enforcement efforts to stop these criminal activities. However, there is an issue of greater importance to public health resulting from the inadequate treatment of patients with serious pain disorders.

To help prevent these problems, the American Academy of Pain Medicine worked with the U.S. Congress to declare this the Decade of Pain Control and Research, worked with the Federation of State Medical Boards to create a clinical guideline for the appropriate use of opioid medications in treating pain, and is developing an educational program for primary care professionals on pain assessment, opioid usage, and detection of addiction and prevention of diversion.

Millions of people have suffered unnecessarily because of barriers to effective pain treatment. Exaggerated and unrealistic fears of addiction are paramount among these barriers, which should not be re-erected in response to publicity regarding drug abuse. Physicians should not be afraid to provide adequate analgesia when able to do so, and patients with acute pain or pain from cancer, AIDS, and other serious diseases should not fear the use of opioids, which are safe when used appropriately.

Experience and investigation have shown that when opioids are prescribed and used appropriately in the treatment of pain there is minimal danger of creating an addictive disorder. Evidence to date indicates that substance abuse problems have not increased as a result of the increased availability of therapeutic opioids. The public health problem represented by misuse of prescription opioids is miniscule in comparison with that of untreated and unrelenting pain.

From The American
Academy of Pain Medicine

MAY 2001

'My mother-in-law was diagnosed one month ago (she is 80) with metastatic liver and abdominal cancer, primary in the lung. She will live one week to three months, maximum. She does not want to admit pain for fear of losing face, but does admit pain to her granddaughter. She states that she is afraid. That she can not stand the pain.

They prescribed (get this!) five milligrams of morphine syrup, po, every two hours, unless the nurses thought she was sleeping. The hospice nurse there lied to my husband and said that his mother was receiving 20 mg of ms every two hours around the clock and that a patch plus breakthrough med would be ordered on Monday. She lied. She also told my husband that on the weekend, no physician would order pain medication.

Folks, there are NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT! When someone is terminally ill, no triplicates are required. There is no reason for terminal cancer patients to be in pain. The nurses at this place told my step daughter that there was "no Way" that my mother-in-law could be experiencing this kind of pain.

I am a nurse. I hang my head in shame, and I am sorry to be associated with the likes of these people that say they are in a 'helping' profession.

From Greg
MAY 2001

- Round up a few addicts---feed their sob stories to wod-owned media outlets and---presto---a whole host of new drug laws---mandantory minimums--more prisons--more drug dogs----the whole nine yards. We have heard all of this before with the loudly-trumpeted "crack epidemic" and we can see where that got us-- More mandantory minimums--more prisions---and on and on and on---etc. OxyContin is just the more and latest fuel for the hysterical prohibitionist propaganda machine. Just another excuse for spending even more and more on that ever-broadening quicksand pit known affectionately as the WOD!

Redundantly predictable.

From Skip
MAY 2001
Concerning Addicts That Are Now Suing Pharma

Insane madness! It's like people suing the tobacco companies because they didn't know that smoking would kill them! When I smoke I know darn well it could kill me flat out so why should I have a right to sue for it? If they were "addicts" then they LIED to the doctor to get the stuff and should have NO right to sue the company! They need to put me on the witness stand to tell the jury what this could do to tens of millions of pain patients while the nation coddles "addicts!"

From Big Jim Bristow
MAY 2001

Pain, something we all know too well is hard enough to bear and live with on its own, add depression to the picture and you have a blend of physical and emotional imact on the human body, mind and soul that can make accepted visons of hell tame by comparison. It is an interesting play on concepts when you consider that pain can be a major cause of depression and on the other side of the coin, if you are depressed, it will certainly result in a form of pain that can be both physical and emotional. Depression, on it's own however is by far the most vicious. It offers no mercy and seeks only to destroy. Pain at least serves a purpose. It is the brain's way of telling us that there is something wrong with the package or body if you will. Depression serves no worthy purpose, it is simply there to tear our lives apart and it does that very well to a lot of people.

From Chrissy
June 2001

Unfortunately, I think the War On Drugs is just an excuse to cover up what's going on with our liberties. If they (the government) can keep the public's minds focused on something else, then we won't be focused on what THEY are doing. I used to be all for "clearing our streets of drugs". However, I never thought of my pain meds as part of those "drugs". Now, I'm almost to the point of wanting to have all drugs legalized and if an "addict" (of which we are not part of) wants to drug himself to death, let him go! It's HIS body!




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