Opioids: Chronic Pain Sufferers Seek a Voice

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Barby Ingle advocates for chronic pain patients in Nevada. Photo courtesy KLAS-TV.

The “opioid epidemic” has created a nightmare for many chronic pain patients. They are met with roadblocks at pharmacies— and that’s if they can even get a prescription.

Doctors in Nevada are fearful they will be targeted by law enforcement for running “pill mills.”

In “The Other Side of Opioids,” KLAS-TV takes a closer look at the numbers and discovers that many of the deaths attributed to opioids in Nevada involve illegal drugs like heroin.

That raises questions about many of the restrictions currently imposed as a result of the “opioid epidemic,” and law enforcement’s proper role in dealing with the crisis.

The one-hour special program interviewed a number of chronic pain patients who worried what a legal crackdown on opioids would mean to their lives.

“Opioid shouldn’t be taken off the table because of media hype and hysteria,” said Barbie Ingle, a pain patient advocate.

See also: “Criminalizing the Opioid Epidemic is No Way to Help Chronic Pain Sufferers.”

Vanessa Murphy is an investigative reporter for 8 News Now/KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, Nev., and a former John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Justice reporting fellow. Her complete report is available here.

4 thoughts on “Opioids: Chronic Pain Sufferers Seek a Voice

  1. With four others (Dr Lynn Webster, Josh Bloom, Steven Ziegler and Barbie Ingle, I supported Vanessa’s 8 News Now/KLAS-TV colleague George Knapp in a four-hour segment on Coast to Coast AM Radio, November 24 2017. This reporting team is doing Peabody Award- level investigative work on “The Other Side of Opioids” . To hear the stories of patients being denied care and doctors hounded out of practice by the extra-judicial tactics of DEA “diversion investigators” simply google the hashtag #OurPain.

  2. Its a human injustice to deny pain meds to patients suffering. when a person has 14yrs of pain that is treated stable with pain meds,the person had no issues of misuse. Now,because drug dealers,organized crime,drug addicts and greedy pharma and greedy politicians thru lobbyists those patients cant get help. The patients aren’t in denial, they know they were quality of life-able,but now contemplate suicide numerous times a day. The hype that every pain patient is addicted is fake.The powers that be are unable to profit gobs of money treating pain,but have monetized it by industry investment in stupid devices and techniques and false positioning that every american is addicted to pain meds.

    [EDITOR’S NOTE: this comment has been edited and condensed for space.]

  3. As a chronic pain sufferer myself, the hysteria surrounding prescription opioids for people who need the pain killing effects is appalling. Many of the opioid drugs responsible for addiction are coming into the US illegally. As one article mentioned, overdose deaths attributed to opioids include heroin and illegally smuggled Vicodin family of drugs are being lumped together, causing the uninformed and ignorant to blame chronic pain sufferers. Under pain management programs supervised by medical personnel, such addiction is rare. Those who need the drugs to lead some semblance of a normal life and are being denied the medications by self righteous busybodies, end up suffering from severe depression, unbearable pain and unable to work and in time, suicide.

  4. I have been in pain management for ten years during which time I had a failed 3-level and a 7-level cervical fusion. Life is much changed since January 2017 after a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill my prescription from my anesthesiologist/pain doc. Blue cross has denied my prior authorization demanding that I get tapered off what has been working. We are still waiting to be reimbursed $4,000. They lost the receipts we sent them. Every month it is some entity making it an ongoing struggle to get my medication. I have been called a liar and doctor shopper by my former primary care doc because he misread my pharmacy record—that’s happened with two docs. I don’t have a pcp anymore. I’ve had to pee with the door open. That’s just a sampling. Without a strong family, my consulting work and a fierce desire to have some quality of life, I wouldn’t have chosen to hang in there recently. I’m a 58-year old grandmother who has seriously wondered how hard it would be to get herion. Please help me and others. Some days are unbearable. I broke my jaw, not the law. Why am I treated like a criminal?

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