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Monday, October 26, 2009

The War On Drugs

I agree that we should fight illegal drug trafficking of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. However, the war on drugs focuses more and more on doctors and chronic pain patients. It leaves patients with no access to adequate pain control medication and doctors terrified of going to jail if they write a prescription for pain medication.

Having lived with chronic pain for many years now I have seen first hand how the war on drugs has changed the way doctors have treated me over those years. My current doctor told me that he is now required to follow a set of guidelines created by the DEA regarding writing prescriptions for controlled substances. Where I live a general practitioner is not allowed to write for any controlled substance medications period. Surgeons are only allowed to write for controlled substances in specific amounts, for no more than 3 months time, and not narcotic medications regardless of the surgery performed or the condition of the patient. They are now required to force all patients to undergo mandatory drug tests and there are ways to fail this test that do not conform to how one uses the medication. For example, a patient given a medication on a PRN (AS NEEDED) basis, if that patient comes up on the urine test without any drug in their system they are discharged as a patient under the belief that they sold or gave their medication away. Even if they bring the bottle to show they have all the pills they should have. All because they did what they were told and only took the medication when they really needed it badly, thus not every single day, as they were TOLD to do by the doctor. They then get puished for this.

The DEA guidelines my doctor spoke about leave no room for "as needed" medication, no room for the doctor's opinions. Flat out, everyone is assumed to be a drug addict and these guidelines are set up to label each person that way eventually.

The DEA should NOT be involved in managing patient's care. That is the province of the medical profession and not law enforcement. I am terrified of the day when I will no longer be able to get pain medication at all, and I know that day is coming. I live in severe pain every single day even with medication. I take as little medication as I need to in order to survive, which leaves my pain level higher than it needs to be and leave me unable to do the things I should be doing.

This video caused me to cry because I too have felt just like Mr. Redman. Pain that is not controlled properly, suffering every day, fighting for my rights with the very people whose job it is to HELP patients, and just wanting to die as my rights get taken away by out of control governmental officials with no real boundaries on their "control" such as the Drug Czar. (Wonder how fast the czar's tune would change if it was their spouse, child, or themself that was living with such life destroying pain)

Watch this video, it gives a true view of the effects of the drug war on the medical profession and their patients.


  1. I know this refers to the US, but similar things are happening here...we just haven't gotten as far as to start randomly drug testing people. In a way I am lucky, I take a slow release morphine tablet twice a day to manage my pain so that it stays at a 5 most of the time, then for days when it gets unbearable, I take severdol, another type of morphine to top up..if I lived where you did and had not had a bad pain day on the day of the test, then I would be deemed as "selling my drugs", which is, to excuse me from swearing, fucking ridculous..if I used them every day they wouldn't work when I did need them and I would become addicted to them...crazy, crazy world we live in...

  2. I hope you do not get to the point of mandatory drug testing for anyone on pain medication.

    What you said about how you would fail the drug test happened to my daughter. She was given medication on an as needed basis. The doctor was very stern when he told her to only take it when she really really needed it. So she did exactly what he said. She happened to have a couple good days in a row, so did not take the meds. Those days came right before a doctor's appointment. They insisted on a drug test and when she came up clean, despite having her medication with her to show she still had all the tablets she should have, he discharged her as a patient because the DEA guidelines required that he do so. I was flabbergasted! He told us that basically she has to take the medication on days of doctor visits, whether she needs it or not, so she can pass the urine test. I was amazed!

    I talked to the other doctor in the office (the one who started that particular group of doctors) and explained what happened. He told me that the doctor had made a bad mistake and he took my daughter on as his patient instead. Because of that she still gets pain control, but her record is marked with that failure on the drug test.

    It is truly scary to think that some day, we will not be allowed pain control at all. I know for a fact that I wouldn't survive very long if that happens.


Thank you for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog. For people who are chronically ill and/or in constant pain, it can be difficult to socialize as frequently as we would like to do so. Talking with others online is a way for us to socialize, chat with others, make new friends, reach out to others in similar circumstances and many more positive effects.

Knowing that someone has read my posts and commented on it, helps in many ways. The biggest two being that it helps ease the feeling of being "alone" and that no one could possibly understand. Secondly, it reminds us that others truly do care and that just feels wonderful!!

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and/or comment on my blog, it really does mean a great deal to me and is helpful too!