Pain patients are apparently no different than addicts, according to Andrew Kolodny, a member of the CDC panel responsible for the new opiate guidelines, and the chief medical officer of Phoenix House addiction rehab and a member of PROP:
“And what they’re saying is, let’s not penalize the pain patients for the bad behavior of the drug abusers. The reality is that we don’t have two distinct populations. There’s a tremendous amount of overlap. And when you look at who’s dying from painkiller overdose deaths, the majority appear to be patients having these medications prescribed to them for chronic pain.”
As a chronic pain patient, I am disgusted and humiliated by these comments! Honestly, who the hell do you think you are to spew this garbage?! Do you suffer from a chronic medical condition? Are you unable to work, even part-time or from home? Are you incapable of earning any type of income? Do you rely on the government to supply your food, medical care, and prescription coverage? Did you fight for almost five years FOR this coverage? Are you unable to get out of bed most days? Are you near constantly in excruciating pain? Do you only leave the house to go to doctors, pharmacies, and medical testing and treatment? Have you tried every available medication for your pain to no avail? Have you suffered side effects from these meds that are worse than your average symptoms? Spent days in a dark room, curled in a ball, crying, screaming, and wishing for anything to take the pain away? Are you so depressed and anxiety-ridden that you wish you were just done with it? Are you constantly hearing about breakthrough medicines and treatments, only to find out it’ll be five years until it’s available to you? Have you lost all of your friends and most of your family due to your enforced isolation? Are you grieving for your past life? Wondering “why me?!“ If you can answer yes to these questions, I still would never forgive you for your lack of empathy and compassion! I am not an addict! I hate the fact that I need these pills to get through every day! I hate that people look at me differently because of my chronic conditions! I’m missing out on my own life! And it’s not like I’ll get another chance! I am forced into extreme action due to no choice of my own! I don’t want these drugs in my system long-term! I have no idea what they’re doing to my body! Until a cure is found, which won’t happen until research is funded for these diseases and conditions, I rely on these pills to do the little bit of activity I’m able to accomplish. And by no means am I pain-free due to these pills, but they allow me to survive. SURVIVE! NOT LIVE! Thank you Andrew Kolodny from myself and my fellow chronic pain warriors for the slap in the face you’ve given us when we’re already in constant pain! Shame on you!