Why Aren’t Chronic Pain Sufferers Considered Stakeholders When Discussing the Opioid Crisis?

letter to the editor

What follows is a letter I recently submitted to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News.

Dear Editor,

Every week articles appear in the Crescent-News about the current opioid crisis. Medical professionals, substance abuse counselors, law enforcement, local government officials, and former addicts routinely are asked for comments or input on how to deal with drug abuse. There is, however, one stakeholder who is never asked to participate in these discussions – the chronic pain sufferer who takes opioid-based medications. Instead, the aforementioned groups speak as if chronic pain sufferers don’t exist. How else to explain the comments by authority figures about medical marijuana? Here’s a drug that can help people with chronic pain, yet law enforcement and government officials in particular go out of their way to make it hard or impossible for chronic pain suffers to access medical marijuana. Republican state legislators, in particular, are doing their best to make it nigh impossible for chronic pain sufferers to access and affordably buy medical marijuana. Local communities, giving into irrational hysteria, have caused harm to suffering locals by banning medical marijuana sellers. Imagine the outrage there would be if local governments banned cancer treatment drugs. Why, they would be voted out of office. Yet, it seems okay to demean, diminish, and harm chronic pain sufferers. Why is this?

One reason for these actions is that chronic pain sufferers are not part of local discussions about opioid abuse and use. Chronic pain sufferers who use narcotics as part of their pain management regimen are now treated like drug addicts. Chronic pain sufferers must jump through numerous hoops put in place by doctors, pharmacies, and government to get their prescriptions filled. Not one time have chronic pain sufferers been asked to have a seat at the discussion table. Instead, they suffer indignity in silence, fearing they will be looked down on if they dare to complain about the increasingly complex process required to get prescriptions filled.

I have read comments by Defiance Mayor Mike “Medical Marijuana is Not Part of Our Brand” McCann that reveal he is clueless about what chronic pain sufferers (and the handicapped) go through every day. The only way to change such ignorant perceptions is to include chronic pain sufferers in discussions about opioid abuse, medical marijuana, and pain treatment in general. Excluding them paints an inaccurate picture, leading to uneducated, ignorant, and irrational conclusions. Thanks to the war on opioids, chronic pain suffers have been pushed into the shadows. We deserve better.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

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4 Comments

  1. Charles

    LOL. Given the proper persuasion, I bet your mayor could be made to beg for the opportunity to try some marijuana and other pain killers. Just take a baseball bat, roll up his pant leg….

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      I like many of the mayor’s ideas, but he’s clueless when it comes to the issues mentioned in my letter.

      Reply
  2. RW

    I’ve done a little bit of research. There are places in NW Ohio where one can go to get the medical marijuana card. Then other places to buy. It’s expensive, but vaping is probably the best way. I know of a migraine sufferer who found some improvement.

    As for me, I use Kratom for pain flares. Not ALL pain flares, and not every day. I have Tramadol for other days. But it is supremely stupid that I have to hurt all the time. Darvocet was the thing I used to love, took ONE pill before bed, not even every day, and slept well and felt all right next morning. So of course it’s off the market.

    I’m pretty tired of all the ignorant conservatives. Quite frankly, they are full of shit.

    Reply
    1. Bruce Gerencser (Post author)

      Tell me about Kratom? How much do you take? How do you take it? Does it work?

      I took Darvocet too before they banned it. If used it between Vicodin doses. Now I just take Vicodin and NSAID and low dose prednisone.

      Reply

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