Wanna hear something sickening? Neurontin, a drug developed for epilepsy and used off-label for neuropathic pain, had its sales grow 250% between 2004 and 2019. Why? We don't have 250% more epileptics. No, it's because the drug is being forced down the throats of people who can no longer get sufficient pain relief. The result? Abuse and also more overdose deaths. Just another chapter in our psychotic war against legitimate opioid drugs and the people who need them.
Maia Szalavitz's terrifying article in Wired, which described the cruel laws and punitive regulations that pain patients are forced to abide by, brought to mind hundreds of similarly tragic comments I've been reading for years. These can be found following any of my ~100 articles about pain, opioid denial, or government malfeasance and ineptitude. Here are a few.
Hey, pain patients: You've got company. Me! Thanks to a herniated disc in my neck I'm going through some of the same stuff I have been writing about for years. Stuff that you're well aware of. With one exception. You did not wake up with a bowl of blueberries in your bed.
I've been writing about the barbaric war against pain patients since 2013. Despite the hundreds of desperate emails I've received, and the stories I've read, it has never entirely hit home. Until now. My very elderly mom is being put through the wringer, in order to get some tramadol for back pain. If this doesn't demonstrate the colossal stupidity of our drug laws, nothing does.
It's no secret that the CDC's 2016 Advice on opioid prescribing, by any measure, has been an unmitigated disaster. Dr. Red Lawhern, ACSH advisor and pain patient advocate, spares no one in his discussion of the egregious mistakes that the CDC made -- and continues to make.
The DEA, which has been merciless to pain patients in its misdirected war on opioids, just stepped it up even further. Thanks to an Oregon Representative, we now have SORS (yet another way to restrict prescription painkillers) and SUPPORT, the law that created it. Just plain (and pain) awful.