Unwilling to Suffer in Silence over Opioid Guidelines

By David Hendry, Guest Columnist

As an Army combat veteran, certified public accountant, law-abiding citizen and also a 70-year old arthritic, I am outraged by the restrictions imposed on primary care physicians for prescribing opioid pain medication.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s opioid guidelines are officially "voluntary" but have primary care physicians plainly scared about losing their licenses. My own physician, who has provided me with a low dose of Norco (and I have never asked for an increased dose), has suddenly found a host of reasons to discontinue it.

I listened carefully to this man I have known for years. He is not a very good liar. He is scared.

The "voluntary" guidelines seem to be saying to doctors: "Cooperate. We would not want anything to happen to your medical license, would we?"

That is the phrasing and logic of an extortionist.

How did Norco and heroin get lumped into the same set of statistics? I have even heard someone say, "Norco is a gateway drug to heroin.”

In fact, heroin has been a problem for decades. Actions to reduce its use have been ineffective and heroin has nothing to do with mild doses of relief for painful medical conditions that will never go away.

DAVID HENDRY

DAVID HENDRY

And how did I get statistically lumped in with addicts and criminals? The New England Journal of Medicine article "Reducing the Risks of Relief" acknowledges the opioid problem, but it is clear that there is not enough scientific evidence for such a "one size fits all" rule.

It is inhumane to remove pain relief and offer nothing as a replacement. Over-the-counter medications have their own problems and now we are told to go back to them? If they were effective, we would not need stronger medications.

The callous decision-makers (we're from the government and we are here to help!) exemplify the words of Francois de La Rochefoucauld: "We all have enough strength to endure the misfortunes of others."

We need a class action lawsuit to restore a reasonable balance between "pill mills" and the responsible use of narcotic pain relief. The class of people injured by the CDC guidelines and subsequent state-by-state actions include people like me, my wife (who suffers from post-polio syndrome), wounded veterans, and many others.

We are law-abiding Americans who recognize government over-reach and are unwilling to suffer in silence just because of a bureaucrat's decision.

David Hendry lives in Arizona. He has been a Chief Financial Officer and CEO for several mid-sized businesses. He also has a Master’s Degree in Health Care Management and a Master's in Education. David enjoys tennis, the outdoors and teaching, and is a proud Army combat veteran.

Pain News Network invites other readers to share their stories with us.  Send them to:  editor@PainNewsNetwork.org.

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represent the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.