As pain specialists we understand the tremendous impact pain has on a persons’ quality of life. We care for thousands who suffer from chronic pain and we experience firsthand how recent regulations are affecting pain patients and the physicians that care for them. The tragedy of hundreds, even thousands, of drug overdose deaths has understandably taken precedence in the news media. Governments and other agencies have responded to the crisis, but some of the actions taken are highly unlikely to solve the problem of overdoses and needless deaths; meanwhile, they make life very difficult for individuals with chronic pain and for the physicians looking after them.
We fully support the fight against the opioid epidemic as it applies to fighting addiction but not when it hinders patient care.
The arena of Pain Management and how patients are treated is changing so rapidly, making it impossible for most providers and patients to keep up with. Many providers have stopped prescribing pain medications altogether and many pain patients are looking for answers. There has not been enough education about these changes provided to patients, providers or the public. As pain specialist it is our duty to stay up to date on current changes in order to be able to deliver quality care. We want to do our part, within our specialty, to combat the opioid epidemic and to provide answers for pain patients.
We launched the #PainStopsHere Campaign to provide education and resources to healthcare providers, patients, and our community. We also want to bring awareness to the chronic pain We want to help stop the pain, pain caused by addiction and drug abuse AND the physical pain experienced by over 100 million Americans every year.
Following are some of the key differences between addicts and pain patients:
Addicts take drugs to get high and avoid life
Addicts isolate themselves and become lost to their families.
Addicts are unable to interact appropriately with society.
Addicts are eventually unable to hold down a job.
The life on an addict is a continuous downward spiral.
Pain patients take drugs to function normally and get on with life.
When pain patients get adequate relief, they become active members of their families.
When pain patients get adequate relief, they interact with and make positive contributions to society.
When pain patients get adequate relief, they are often able to go back to work.
When a pain patient gets adequate relief, their life progresses in a positive, upward direction.