Hope or Hype? | New Opiate Prescribing Guidelines
The CDC just released its new guidelines to help doctors understand the looser guidelines so that patients may have some relief from the forced tapers or forced termination of medications. This has resulted in diminished quality of life, driving some into using illicit narcotics, or sadly driving some to suicide since there has been no relief.
Will these new guidelines actually make a difference though? The patients have already been foced to taper. They have been cut off from medication. Labeled as drug seekers. Shut out from medical care. Does this give them hope? Does this give them something to take to their doctor and say, “The CDC says, you can give me some help now?” Will this stop state Attorney General’s from prosecuting some doctors unfairly? Will it stop creating chaos in the system? Will it focus on the fact that while the number of written prescriptions is going down the number of deaths from opioids is going up? You cannot have both. There needs to be an honest discussion about opioid abuse, but it needs to recognize that legal and illegal deaths are two distinct different things. It needs to recognize that most deaths are from illegal narcotics. That legal chronic pain patients are left behind.
In my own experience, I went to a pain management specialist. He told me to stand in the sun. Now, let me explain something. I have Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus. I already do mediation and a Tai Chi / Yoga combination, water therapy, and these do not make the pain miraculously disappear. I have numerous other medical disorders, but for the sake of the discussion of sun I am focusing on Lupus. Sun makes me extremely sick, flares my lupus causing rash, swollen hot joints, migraines, muscle pain and spasms, nausea and vomitting, severe fatigue, and these are just the basics. These symptoms can last for days to weeks. I reminded the doctor I had lupus just in case he forgot, or to give him the chance to remove his foot from his mouth. Sadly, he put his other foot in his mouth and reiterated the fact that I needed to spend time outside in the sun to help with pain. I got out of that office as quickly as I could. There are some things that you need to do for self preservation.
I bring this up because my question is will the new guidelilnes give us hope or hype? How many patients been pushed off the grid for help or given up asking for help? Will doctors change the practices they now have implemented? Over 31 states have passed laws, some draconian, based on the old guidelines.
We hope this gives patients something to at least start with when alternative therapies don't work.
For more informations on the recent change in guidelines you can visit: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm635038.htm