Following is a letter I sent to my congressional representatives and to the President. It started out far more intense, but the character count needed to be 2,000 or less. Feel free to use it as a guide for your own letter. There are links to help you following this letter.
It’s time to end the war on pain and restore compassion.
The sad fact is that responsible citizens are being demoralized because they take opioids to relieve their pain. They have to pee in a cup, guilty until proven innocent, and the tests accuracies are as diverse as the expense. And who pays for this demeaning accusatory test? The patient does. And, if they don’t succumb, they are sent away to suffer through withdrawal, without help. How is such torturous injustice allowed, even promoted, by our government?
The number of baby boomers statistically accounts for upsurge in people with chronic pain, and for many of us, opioids are the safer choice. Overuse of anti-inflammatory drugs cause permanent damage to our digestive tract, kill our kidneys, give us heart attacks, and cause death. Alternatives, such as new antidepressants and anticonvulsants, not covered by Medicare, can cause cognitive problems and have many drug-to-drug interactions. Make no mistake, I understand addiction is real; I understand that suspect behavior should be investigated, but the majority of people who take opioids for pain are not at risk.
Please urge congress to stop discriminating against us. Give patient care back to the physician and quit letting news headlines be a determining factor. Drug testing companies and pharmaceuticals have financial skin in the game using people living with pain as patsies, and most of us will not outlive the research. Untreated pain causes physical stress on the body, and it not only causes harm, it can be fatal. Our government should stop making physicians liable for their edicts. Physicians are damned if they prescribe opioids and damned if harm comes to their patient from not treating their pain. We are real people, with real pain, who deserve to be treated with dignity. We understand we need to be actively engaged in modalities that help us (also not covered by Medicare), and we have earned the right to not be treated like criminals.
Helpful information and links for writing an advocacy letter.
Helpful links for finding your legislators.
Links for advocacy involvement.