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Not so good news concerning pain meds

maddysmommmaddysmom Posts: 137
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Pain Medications
Again, people with true, chronic pain will probably be under treated because of abuse of pain meds. SIGH.



  • that because people misuse, and abuse these drugs, it makes it harder for doctors to want to treat people with real chronic pain that need these medications. It's just not fair.
  • I think the doctors who are legitimate know who their legitimate patients are. On sentence said the FDA/DEA and drug makers want to be sure medication gets to those who truly need it. It's those who abuse the drugs they are trying to look out for.

    Excuse me... but - I truly believe if someone is addicted to something, no matter what it is, they will find a way to abuse it. No matter what the big pharmacies or federal agencies do to prevent this.

    They put a limit on how much sinus medication you can purchase at once, yet, I am still reading about meth labs being shut down.

    People who are on a self destructive path are like the proverbial train wreck...

  • My Dr. tells me all the time that he "boots" about 3 people a week from his practice who has abused the pain meds he gave them in one way or the other.

    He told me I would never believe the stories he hears :O

    I think 3 a week is a HIGH #, but I am sure he knows what he is talking about.

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • PS: Finished reading the article and OMG! People chew the ER pills!? :jawdrop: So some dumb a##'s and jerky abusers are going to make it ever harder for us legit ones -----grrrrrrrrrr X(
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I amputated my right index finger due to an accident and had it re-attached. I had a pin sticking out of it and it just throbbed and really hurt......kept me up at night. The surgeon refused to give me anything for pain.....not even for a few days. I remember calling his office and his nurse putting me through to his cell phone. I was in tears asking him for something, because at that point, I hadn't slept well for three days. He got short with me and said OTC meds should take care of any minor pain I may have. Minor?????? :))(
  • Oh my GOSH! MaddysMom - do you live in Kentucky? That doctor was so very very insensitive, unethical, and a big ole jerk! I'd never go back to him. And, hopefully you'll never have to!

    OTC meds are great for some things (ok - most things) but I can only imagine the pain you went through...
  • and he is a plastic surgeon.....not sure that really makes a difference. Unfortunately, I had to go back to him for a few follow up visits and then 6 weeks later to have the pin removed. Needless to say, there wasn't much conversation between the two of us because of how I was treated. What kind of injury do you have to have to receive a few days worth of pain meds? When I left the hospital, I was discharged with antibiotics to prevent infection....that was it.
  • That is just insensitive and irrational treatment.
    As my doctor tells me when I express a concern about addiction, as long as the pain is equal to the medication effect, there is no risk of addiction.
    The medication is in effect negated by the pain, so there is nothing left to be a problem.
    I read that pain is largely untreated, and is a huge problem in general.
    As with a lot of things, the abusers and dishonest people make it very difficult for the genuine and honest ones.
  • Peter B said:
    As with a lot of things, the abusers and dishonest people make it very difficult for the genuine and honest ones.
    I'm sorry, but that simply isn't true. Narcotics have always been difficult to get once laws were passed against them, even when the numbers of abusers were far lower than they are today. Unfortunately, it is the power brokers and those who wish to control what people can put in their own bodies that are to blame for this one.

    It is essentially no different than making laws against people buying and consuming double bacon cheeseburgers. We all know they are bad for us, but some eat them anyway. They have already started putting laws in place to protect us from ourselves...and the slow lingering death from fatty foods.
  • I have trouble swallowing that argument, mainly because I've never been to an appointment with my PM when there weren't police in the office, and more often than not, they end up hauling someone out in handcuffs.

    I actually have a running bet with my partner on whether the police are going to be investigating or arresting at each of my appointments. So far, I'm up 3 romantic dinners and 2 months worth of taking the trash to the curb. :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" />

    My doctor isn't paying any mind to uppity people trying to protect society from bacon cheese burgers. He's too busy paying attention to the drug seekers and criminals spinning tales right in front of him.

  • Congratulations on your winnings but aren't you just a bit disturbed at having uniformed police spending more time at your clinic than patients? That has got to create the most wonderful atmosphere of trust and warmth between doctor and patient. Somehow I have a hard time blaming all of this on someone who has an inordinate amount of enjoyment from taking his/her pain meds.

    What I was attempting to say previously is that some people have food addictions or a host of other addictions but they are not imprisoned for 20 years for their medical problem. We have many non-opioid medications that cause more death and destruction than opioids, but where is the outrage over them? I just think that this particular problem has been blown up out of proportion and done so deliberately compared to other dangerous practices and now helps fund a multibillion dollar enterprise of prisons and law enforcement that has become self sustaining.

    Just as when the government illegally taps my phone and my computer - I don't blame the terrorists for the lose of this particular freedom, I blame the government that used the terrorists as the excuse to do so.
  • Bad communication day yesterday. I will try again.

    What I had attempted to say yesterday is that it is a shared responsibility for this lack of available pain medications - shared by those with addiction problems and the government. But the primary responsibility rests with the government, not those addicted. Denying opioids to addicts and denying opioids to legitimate pain patients are two different problems, not one.

    I have been a chronic pain patient for a third of my life. I don't care if the government is having difficulty working out a way to deny addicts their drugs without denying pain patients as well. It is simply not their right to deny pain patients adequate treatment and so I hold the government responsible for this mess, not the addicts. If the addicts had their way, pain medications would be available to everyone including pain patients. It is only the government which chooses to regulate who gets treatment and who does not, so the responsibility is theirs. That is all I wished to say - sorry for taking so long to say it.
  • My bff and I have this conversation frequently. We believe this problem is not just gov intervention, but Drs that will prescribe anything to anyone for a price and the addicts themselves. My belief is that anyone with chronic pain, it is provable. There are too many tests, (many of which I have done many times) that show what can be causing the chronic pain, or in the case of the amputated finger, that Dr was a sadistic A**hole. I have been prescribed tramadol for my back pain many times. It has proved worthless in most cases, unless I double or triple the prescribed dosage. Then I am the one abusing it. But at no fault of my own. I wish one month of chronic pain on these dr's that don't have the sense to properly test patients for conditions that contribute to chronic pain. Bet they would change their practices immensely.

    I am currently on 7.5 percocet 1-2 tablets every 6-8 hrs for pain, 10mg gen valium for muscle spasm every 8-10 hrs and I DO NOT abuse them. Most days I take a little less than prescribed, I take enough to stay comfortabe through recovery.

    Stepping off my soapbox now. Wishing everyone smart dr's like mine. :)
  • Police in the doctor's office?! I'm astonished to say the least. Why at the office - don't they have better things to do, like solve real crimes?

    As for the addicts, if desperate enough they'll get hold of their fix, whatever it may be. You can buy opiates on the internet (Europe).

    As for Dr. Finger, I'd like to see him manage on tylenol with a detached finger! I wonder which appendage we should chop off to test his pain threshold?
  • I share your astonishment, Val. I have never seen a policeman in any hospital I've been to, let alone near the pain clinic. None of my friends in PM in the US have mentioned anything like this to me - it can't be that common an occurrence, surely?
  • I really don't have a problem with the police presence in and around the office. I don't think it does anything to undermine the trust or "warmth" between my doctor and me.

    I had an appointment earlier this week and issue du jour for the visiting detective was a patient that forged 5 prescriptions, all CII's and all at ridiculously high doses, like 10 160mg Oxycontin tablets per day. The only real prescription the person obtained from my PM was for physical therapy.

    That's not a person who simply gets "an inordinate amount of enjoyment from taking his/her pain meds" and in my book, that qualifies as a real crime. I'm glad the police and my PM are working together to take action against the person/people involved.

  • hello,
    yes i have seen DEA agents stand in front of a pain clinic and check ID's. some folks were so shook up they just left the clinic. it was not my dr but my buddys i just drove him there and his dr took his $300 Office Visit money and told him he could not see him anymore. and no medication.
    very scary!

  • There are signs at my PM clinic stating there are "plain clothes" police officers at the clinic AND "anyone caught selling their prescriptions will be discharged from the clinic and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law".

    Does this bother me? No. Why? Because I am not guilty. I do not divert my medication. It has become a precious comodity in my home - sort of like the chicken I cook for dinner. I NEED it in order to survive the circus that is my life. Too many people depend on me for me to not take my meds and follow other treatment prescribed by my PMD.

    I am thinking all these precautions that are put in place don't concern me, the legitimate patient. (oh pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease, let that be correct!) and that hopefully, those who do abuse will move on to some other clinic or addiction...


  • That's another part of the reason police in the office (uniformed or otherwise) don't bother me. I follow my treatment plan and my pain contract right down to the letter - exercising, losing weight, taking my meds exactly as prescribed, notifying my doctor of pharmacy changes, never missing/cancelling appointments, always keeping my billing current, etc.

    When I see an officer at Walmart, I don't assume they've come after me. Why would I assume their presence at the doctor's office or pharmacy has anything to do with me?

    I really have to wonder why it would bother anyone to have officers around. If your concerned that they're going to take action against you, then you must be doing something to plant that seed in your mind...?

  • I don't abuse or divert my medications...in fact, no one at my clinic does, so we have no need to have either uniformed or plain clothes officers around the office. We have had no arrests in the 3 years I have been going there, so no one really worries much or feels the need to look over their shoulder.

    It makes one wonder what kind of person attends your clinic where they must constantly have a police presence there. Surly the police are there for a good reason, so I find it hard to believe that your clinic isn't simply a breeding ground for drug abuse. The fact that you choose to continue your relationship with known drug abusers and doctors that prescribe to them makes me question whether you are actually there for legitimate pain relief at all.

    See how silly that sounds.
  • I go every month to my PM. When my mother was ill, I had to take off a good bit to bring her to her appointments, which meant, there were times when I did not have an office visit for 3 months, sometimes more. My doctor continued writing my prescriptions because she knew why I was unable to attend in person.

    When I finally did make it to the office for my appointment, I'd noticed the waiting area was pretty full. Almost looked like a DMV or something! I looked around at all the people and clearly, there were the "not so legitimate" people, sprinkled in with legit patients. The next month, same thing. The third month, not so much.

    I think most were "doctor shopping" (oh my!) and once they realized it ain't gonna happen, they move on.

    Just because those patients are there, that does not mean they are being doled out pills at a whim. Police presence just adds a little bit more safety to the doctor and his patients when (God forbid) he turns down the wrong patient and that patient pulls out a gun and shoots him.

    Again, I am not disuaded from my doctor because the "po-po" is there; I feel safer.

    These people are going to go where ever they can to try and get the pills they want. Eventually, they'll get lucky, I guess... Odds are in that favor. The fact they are there has no bearing on the doctor, unless they are there month after month and have no legit reason for being there. Which is something I will not worry my pretty little head over. But I will keep my eyes open and watching any sudden movements!

  • You know, I never thought about the worst case scenario that you spoke of- a disgruntled ex patient could walk in and decide to shoot up the place. In that case, I feel a lot safer knowing that there are undercover police around.

    I watch the news and it's clear to me that there is not one place where you can assume to be completely safe anymore. I have cut back on my news watching because it is so upsetting and depressing. Sorry if I veered off the subject a bit.

    I've seen a police officer exit my pain clinic once and I wondered what happened. Perhaps someone was caught doing what they weren't supposed too. It could also be that he's a client, who knows? ;)

  • I live in Appalachia. The entire mountain I live on is a breeding ground for drug abuse.

    I've already acknowledged that the officers are around for a very good reason. I'm not the one that questioned the impact of their presence.

  • Hey, you know that would not surprise me in the least.

    I was a legal assistant/secretary for a prominent disability attorney. He was physically fit. (boy was he EVER!) He suffered with back pain. He went to a doctor to be checked and the doctor told him his condition did not appear to be severe and presribed Advil/Motrin/Ibuprofen.

    He confided this to me, and I told him - "If you met a potential client for the first time, and it was obvious he 'worked out' - big biceps, toned legs, etc - would you think he was credible, or would you dismiss him?" He said he never thought about it that way, but to him it explained the doc's response.

    He eventually found another doctor - a doctor who suffered back problems, as did 80% of his staff! I think that makes the doc more empathetic/sympathetic to our symptoms.

    Well, hope you all have a great day with as many pain-free moments as possible (hopefully all strung out together into a pain-free hour or two!).
  • Just as some of you have explained, most pain patients don't worry about a police presence and the increased arrest rate of both patients and doctors for themselves, as they are not breaking any laws nor intend to do so.

    What we worry about is the pain patient that chooses to sell his medications, maybe even for a good reason - after all, if a person is disabled and has no income for food or rent, selling a few pain pills to get by may seem reasonable. Or heaven forbid that a patient decides to abuse his medications and ODs. It is almost impossible - no, it is in fact impossible for a doctor to prevent isolated cases of this occurring, and when it does, often one more good pain management doctor is out of business, leaving his patients to scatter to try and find another good doctor. But every time this happens, the other doctors get more fearful and less willing to take the chance of the same thing happening to them.

    The result is an ever increasing strata of pain patients seeking an ever dwindling supply of capable and brave physicians willing to risk arrest and imprisonment to take care of those in actual pain.

    I would think that would concern us all.
  • Hi John Doe,

    In your post above, where you explain, 'What we worry about ..... ', I was wondering, who is 'we'?

    You talk with some authority on the matter; out of interest, are you a law enforcement officer?
  • Actually, I am retired Val. I did spend some time in law enforcement, but in this case I was speaking as a chronic pain patient of 20 years.
  • John that explains a lot .... thanks. I couldn't understand why you were expressing views so strongly and using the term 'we'.

    Things are so very here different in the UK. Doctors are never paid to write scripts; they all work for the NHS. It's looking more and more likely that the US is going down our road, so I imagine the problems described above will vanish very soon.

    Once the NHS (or whatever it is going to be called) takes over, absolutely everything has to be accounted for and doctors writing private scripts for cash will finish.

    Good name too John Doe!
  • I just got to say something about the "Police in the Pain Clinic" thing. I am a Police Officer and here in Florida, abuse of prescription meds is a horrible problem. The most common reason for the Police to be at the pain clinic on "Official" business is when patients attempt to get their meds before they are due because "somebody" stole their prescription. Im sure these thefts do occur on occasion but not to the same people over and over. These people are usually abusing their meds. Even so, the only thing that an officer does in this case is generate an incident report which is forwarded to the narcotics unit for follow up. If a pattern is discovered, the narcotics unit will take it from there. The only time you will see an officer take someone from a Doctors Office in handcuffs is when there is a case of "Doctor Shopping". Most of the pharmacies in Florida are electronically linked now and if a person goes to doctor "A" and gets pain meds and then goes to Doctor 'B" and gets pain meds for the same problem, the pharmacy will notify the Doctors and Police and action is then taken. Those of us that dont abuse our meds have nothing to worry about.
  • I read the article too. As far as doctors go, and the govt, I think the drug makers will send it out and the doctors will throw the crap right in the trash can. Their doctors and their going to prescibe what they want to prescribe. There are 2 things going on with doctors, Under-treating somebody or Over-treating somebody. Under treat they don't give you enough and your in pain. Over treat and risk of addiction etc.....

    As far as people trying to cheat the system, they have gotten so much better then they used to be and I'm glad of it. People like us in pain need these meds and if kids had to go thru the pain like we do and had to use the meds for what they designed for and not to get high, would realize their not much fun. I've gotten where I can't wait to get off the stuff.

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