By Roger Bigelow, Guest Columnist
My doctor responded quickly to the CDC opioid prescribing guidelines by sending a letter to all his patients informing them he would no longer prescribe any opiates to patients in his practice. He gave patients about 4 months’ notice to either find alternative treatment or a doctor who would prescribe opiates.
He had been my general practitioner for about 15 years and had even taken opiates himself when he battled a rare form of cancer recently. He is now in remission.
My doctor and I were friends. In fact, we were members at the same country club. He confided in me. He is by all accounts an outstanding provider. You would be hard pressed to find a better practitioner. Skilled and caring.
He told me the sole reason for changing his opiate policy was fear of the CDC. He demonstrated a "What do you want me to do?" kind of attitude that I suspect is common.
I had expected him to align with his patients, as he has taken an oath to do so. I didn't expect him to cave in so easily. He made no exceptions. I was even more taken aback, given he was a cancer survivor.
As a result, I have had to change doctors, as he left little option. The only pain doctor near where I reside in southern Vermont does not write maintenance prescriptions. I've lost a very good doctor and am now under greater scrutiny.
It's pretty sad when you lose a doctor you had been with for so long. I feel somewhat fortunate to have found another doctor, but it's not a positive change. Not at all.
It's a pretty sad situation we have, where political powers push a false agenda upon the public. If you listen to our "media," you would soon come to the belief that the heroin abuse crisis is solely caused by careless doctors overprescribing. And of course it’s Big Pharma’s fault for developing such effective medications. All it takes is young Jimmy taking two leftover Percocet tablets from the medicine cabinet -- and next thing you know, young Jimmy is plunging a needle into his vein.
Never mind the open borders, drug cartels, counterfeit medications, internet transactions and problems with wholesale distribution. And, of course, young Jimmy (and his divorced parents) are not accountable because addiction is a disease, not a conscious act. So addicts get Suboxone and free needles, while patients with documented medical conditions get cut off -- ironically driving many to street drugs like heroin.
They don't seem to care about the 11 million chronic pain patients who use opioid medication daily.
It's clearly about the money. It always is. With the government paying more and more people (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) and facing an aging population, this is really all about saving our social health programs from destruction.
Prior to accident driven disability, Roger Bigelow worked for nearly 20 years with the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, where he helped develop the world’s first prescription drug program designed to curb diversion and fraud. Roger is a national expert on the subject of drug diversion, as well as a chronic pain patient who has endured 17 surgeries.
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The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of Pain News Network.