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Can’t find a doctor to prescribe pain meds? – DrPullen.com – Medical and Health Blog

Can’t find a doctor to prescribe pain meds?

Don’t feel alone.  This doctor is worn down and just saying no.  Opioid poisoning as a cause of death more than tripled in the US between 1999 and 2006.   Death from prescription opiates is now more common than death from heroin and cocaine combined.  (USA Today)

Today a new patient came to the office looking for a physician to prescribe the opiates she wanted to take for her fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, and chronic low back pain.  She proceeded to say she just wished the good doctors who had previously been prescribing her massive doses of opiates were still around.  She thinks one of them must have done something wrong, because his office was just closed down suddenly and all his medical records were taken away.  I’m sure this is the Lakewood, WA  physician who lost his license for inappropriately prescribing opiates.  She was a caricature of the opiate-seeking  patient.  She had not just one of the ill defined painful conditions that are impossible to exclude, but at least three.  She had been prescribed both Oxycontin, as well as large doses of “breakthrough” oxycodone.   I am not accepting new pain management patients into my practice.  This made it easy to explain that I would not be able to treat her for these problems with opiate medications.  Actually the abuse of opiates have become such a rampant problem that I don’t know of a physician in the county who is accepting new pain management patients.  This is sad for patients new to the community with legitimate need for pain medication, but just an impossible position for physicians.  Any physician who becomes known as accepting chronic non-malignant pain patients would be quickly overwhelmed by the droves of new patients needing pain medications who would show up to receive care.  Years ago a wise older physician (he was probably as old as I am now, and likely far wiser) told me we all have our albatrosses.  These he described as very needy and difficult patients that you’d just like to find a way to get out of your practice.  He explained that if we all just keep a few then no one will be overburdened with too many.  Otherwise they will just keep circulating in the medical community, and all of us will still need to take care of them.  It’s best to just buck up and keep doing our best for them.  These days I feel like these patients are not like rare albatrosses, but rather like common crows, just everywhere, and dashing in to pick me apart like road kill.

There seem to be so opiate seeking patients now that an open door to see them would just overwhelm anyone.  Cynically yet realistically I know that this is in part because no one physician will knowingly prescribe the quantity of drugs that they want, so they need to have multiple physicians prescribing their meds who are unaware of each other.   (this problem to be the subject of another post soon)  Anyway this episode made me smile because this patient was either incredibly naïve, or a very good actress.  I suspected the latter.  Most opiate seeking patients are very smooth and make me at least feel like maybe I should try to help them by seeing if I can help them manage their pain with less opiates and good care.  In my experience this very rarely works, because the customer really just wants the drugs.  I know that although there are some patients for whom opiates for non-cancer pain is the best available treatment, there are so many professional patients who resell the drugs on the street and others who are addicted to the meds and overuse them in vast amounts, that as primary physicians we are in an impossible position.  We either become suppliers of the prescription drug culture, or we turn away some appropriate patients.  Which is worse?  This depends on your viewpoint, but at this point I generally just say no.

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237 Responses to Can’t find a doctor to prescribe pain meds?

  1. I am very disturbed by your article. You say Dr’s dont like the difficult patients but that is why YOU have a job, because of people who are suffering. They come to you for help and instead of helping them , you deny them then gossip behind their back. Shame on you. You dont have to have Cancer to be in pain. I have concluded that Dr’s like patients who come into their office with straight forward problems with a straight forward solution like a staph infection. I think these conditions are the ones that you get praised for your treatment efforts by the patient. This gives you a little ego boost and you can go home feeling like you did something. I have news for you , anyone of us who has access to the internet could treat such a thing. A Dr’s job is to go above and beyond what meets the eye and help the patient who has a complex problem. Dr’s used to be people we looked up to, now they are just people who went to school longer. I hope you never have severe pain.

  2. doctors like you make me sick. i’ve been dealing with backpain for 10 years now and im only 25. it’s pretty sad people that actually have pain needs to suffer just because some people are just looking for drugs. I’ve tried every thing from acupuncture, chiropractor, steriods, non narcotic and narcotic pain pills as well as physical therapy. I’m to the point that i’m going to live with it for the rest of my life because of doctors like you who just care about your paycheck and not your patient. i hope one day you have severe pain to the point you cant move and the doctor tells you to go home take a advil and then maybe you will see what we have to go through

  3. Ha. This post makes me laugh. This sounds like the typical doctor, listening to his patient and when the past use of opiates for pain pops up in the conversation, a little door shuts in his mind. For people who have been prescribed these LEGAL painkillers for pain so severe they cannot function in daily life, you would think you could find a doc with a damned ounce of compassion. But no, you find QUACKS, (and yes sir you are a fxcking quack) who are too scared of the iron fist of the FDA to prescribe medications ALONG WITH A CLOSE EYE MIND YOU, for whatever fears they may hold. So you get these quack doctors who see these people in legitimate pain, but once that opiate is mentioned, you might as well walk out the fxcking door.
    You sir, are not fit to be in your practice and just reading the ignorant crap in your article makes me sick. How dare you group me and so many other Americans in with the pill-seekers. Mind you sometimes they go hand in hand, but the MENTIONING OF A DRUG DOES NOT LABEL ‘DRUG SEEKER’ IN BOLD PRINT ACROSS THEIR FOREHEADS.
    I am in legit pain every day of my life, and it is doctors like you who make it hard to get the medications we need to function in our daily lives. Please note I have tried over 100 non-narcotic meds, with little luck here and there, and nothing taking away my severe pain in the full. I do hope you learn that there are legit people out there who do need opiates, and just because in your specific practice and office you dont see opiates doing much help, it doesnt mean it is un-needed and that all users are into snorting or chewing up pills.
    And mind you I am on gabapentin and whatever else for nerve pain among other things, but I need my opiates as well. A full-on approach is better than a half-assed one. thanks

  4. I am a 52 year old mother of two grown boys. I have been suffering for many years with chronic pain. Hurt by the things I did when younger and hurt at work to the point of having to stop working a number of years ago. I have been on the opids for years. There was a law passed some time ago that said we, The people should not be allowed to suffer. We don’t let the animals we love suffer. We take them to the vet and have them put down. The states and people how2 think they know best have decided that we are all abusers and they have a right to control how we are prescribed our medication. I am still trying to figure out were they got their medical degree. Did all the state reps and counselperson go to medical school? I think not. But they are the ones running the part of our lives when it comes to pain medication. The doctors seem to be more afraid of the state that does not pay their wages,[we do] then to listen to the patents.
    I have had lower back surgery, lost a breast, had a triple neck fusion, suffer migrains that stop me in my tracks, and a numerous amount of small things. But get pain meds? Oh Hell No!! First you must drive 80miles to see a pain specalist, who will only address one issue at a visit. And then wait until they and your pcp have had time to go over his findings before you might get anything. God forbid you need something else for the multiple of other issues one may have. Addiction, I have had to go many times without the meds the worst is the pain but more the lose of wanting to be with the ones I love. Even with what few I get a month I still hurt and am uncomfortable. I don’t get to enjoy my grandkids. And that is hard.My kids understand, but the grandbabies don’t understand why grandma can’t come play or just sit at a birthday party its just to painful.
    So were does the blame lie?? To my way of thinking it is a two part answer. The State has come in to override the doctors and the doctors are to afraid to tell the stat that they went to school to learn how to treat humans. The state never took one class. Therefore, I think it is time WE the People take a stand and tell each of out states to get out of the medical profession and go back to what we voted them into RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT. And let the medical profession get back to what hey are supposed to do TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE OF THESE UNITED STATES.
    We are tired of being labeled as drug addics and just want to be treated as normal human beings. I want a little RESPECT and to be able to get the help when needed

  5. i can only wish you have the pain i have endured with no help. i had a fractured neck c5-6 from a car accident, Amaylodoisis, SEVERE degenerative arthritis… in both knees, ankles, shoulders, and i mostly feel like crap all the time.. so if you went whining to one of your Doctor commrads would they deny you?

  6. Hey, I am a seizsure pat. who has been on life support twice . I have had over 150 seisures in about 2 years . Im on 180mg Phenobabital each night by the way i just got the Doc’s to try old school meds They din’t want to ahhhh I found out why ….. Its a cheep med !!!! All the other meds that made me worse cost an outragest amout. I have been trough hell and just last night my family was fishing

  7. It seems to me that a methadone clinic would be the last resort for all these suffering people-you know they also treat people with pain.I know many people will probably be against it but most clinics will help you if you really need it.

  8. I am pain free! I suffered for years with chronic pain; muscle pain and stiffness, severe back pain, inability to walk, sit down, stand up, bend over. Depression, brain fog, and permanent insomnia. Even opiates did not work on me. I begged doctors and specialists for help, but was turned away as a typical hysterical depressive female. I also had poly cystic and giant fibroids. What cured my pain? Progesterone, a hormone. My OB/GYN prescribed it for a prolonged menstrual cycle that would not stop. Within 4 days of taking progesterone, I had no pain! It was like a light switch that was turned off; that fast! Everyone in my life watched me go from a near crippled helpless crying woman to someone who can reach down and touch her toes! My hormone lab tests had come back “normal”, but apparently the lab “normal” was not right for my body! My OB/GYN supports me on using progesterone cream daily. Side effects: deep sleep (fall asleep stay asleep dream!), nearly pain free (even with 2 herniated lumbar discs), no depression, no brain fog. I did get severe acne for 2 months (I had cystic acne anyway, it just got worse) but now my acne is 90% clear! And smelly urine for a couple of months which faded away (it just required a little extra cleaning attention in the private area). I hope this doctor reads this, and realizes that pain problems can be coming from problems in the body that the AMA has not taught them, such as a hormone imbalance! I am medication free now except for the progesterone cream.

  9. I can not get the pain meds i need and a doctor in KY why i have 2 back seriously and have 6 rod 6 sqert’s in my back so now what do i do the gov is now sad you do not need them who do they thank thae are the one knows if i need it are not is me right i take my meds the ones that do not need them will need to get out of it

  10. Hey there DOCTOR

    why wont you ever take some responsibility? it is all because of the rampant abuse of opiates. well i have taken them for abuse and therapy, and if I needed it truly for therapy I wouldnt THINK of abusing, giving away, anything.


    doctors have been prescribing these new drugs and old drugs without a problem until media and political pressure fell, the medical world didnt care, in fact if this wasnt still an issue I could easily walk in a doctors office and get some good CII opiates.


    TRUE story: I have told countless pyschatrists/addictionologists, physicians, LPNs, and P.A.s complete lies to get what I want. At least 5 times I have gone to a different providor, bottle in pocket just in case, and explained how I was on Xaxax 2 mg a day and adderall xr mg 30 a day. Did they ask for the bottles? No. Have I ever had a panic attack? No. Do I have ADHD?

    You doctors and all those we put in our hands! start doing your work! stop sending kids to jail for selling a script someone overdosed on when that person did not need it either!

  11. P.S: Why on EARTH is it so easy to get a prescription for SSRIs – a brain-chemical altering class of drugs – but it takes an act of God to get a prescription for opiates, which are relatively SAFE, and which have been used for thousands of years in their natural forms? (SSRIs, even though they’ve been around for a little over twenty years now in various forms), are BAD NEWS for some of us. Yet, my PCP has been pushing the things on me for three years now! Even though I’ve told him that I can’t take SSRIs because they make me feel as if my heart will burst, I cannot sleep at ALL when I take them, and they cause me to have hallucinations. He claims the side-effects “will go away” over time. If he ever takes them – hopefully he WILL experience the same things I’ve experienced… because apparently, most doctors only go by “popular thinking”, instead of good old Reality.

    Doctor, it shouldn’t matter to you if 90% of the people who claim to need opiates are lying to you. You can’t persecute those 10% who have a genuine NEED for opiate painkillers. At some point, you need to separate your personal opinion of opiates from your OBLIGATION to ease suffering. And I must wholeheartedly disagree with you about your statement, (paraphrasing here), “opioids don’t work”. You KNOW that is NOT TRUE. Opiates DO work; they’ve worked for thousands of years. As patients with chronic pain, WE KNOW they work. They are, however, a threat to the “new” painkillers that cost MUCH more per dose, such as Tramadol. You really shouldn’t let incentive checks dictate your opinion, or your practice of medicine. For example, Tramadol is such a pitifully ineffective placebo that it should be banned as an insurance scam. It causes nausea, dizziness, and ZERO pain relief for anyone who is suffering from actual pain. Granted, it may provide a placebo-type effect in some patients; but for those who are in genuine, all-encompassing pain – it does NOTHING.

    There are FAR too many people out there who’ve been left to treat their own pain with illegal street drugs, (or who are forced to pay someone $5 – $7 per tablet for Lortab).

    Please – anyone who is interested in DOING SOMETHING about the refusal of doctors to properly prescribe pain medications to those who desperately need them – email me. This thread is one of several dozens, (hundreds?), that I’ve seen online about this subject; but I must say that THIS one has motivated me to DO SOMETHING about it.

  12. I’m a 48-year old male who has worked very hard my entire life. Now I’m disabled with multiple lower back issues, including a compressed disc.

    Like others who have posted here, I have full empathy for the “no-win” situation that MDs are in now, with the rampant abuse of opiate painkilling drugs. But that being said, isn’t it the primary obligation of ALL medical doctors to ALWAYS consider the patient first? That is, if a patient is suffering – don’t all physicians have an obligation to prescribe appropriate medication(s)? Of course they do.

    Potential legal issues notwithstanding – if a patient is hurting, you have a moral and ethical obligation to treat them. And if that treatment involves the prescribing of opiates, any/all doctors should be prepared to either (a) prescribe those drugs when warranted, or (b) find a different line of work.

    I realize that this will probably sound ‘overly harsh’ to you.. but surely you must know that, sooner or later, there will be a “landmark court case” that will change all of this nonsense. In other words, a chronic pain patient, (or a group of patients), will bring a malpractice suit against a physician for refusing to prescribe a medication that would have alleviated the suffering of that patient.

    I believe there should be a law that addresses the Rights of chronic pain sufferers. With my chronic pain, I am also in a “no-win” situation. Do you realize how many problems are caused by doctors who refuse to prescribe proper medications on the grounds that they are scared of legal issues?

    For just a moment, think about those patients who must try to go to sleep every night in pain; if they can ever get to sleep, they wake up in pain every morning to endure unimaginable pain and suffering for another day, with no end in sight. It is impossible to describe the hopelessness and depression that accompany untreated chronic and severe pain.

    Hasn’t your profession enabled you to enjoy the “good things” in life? And.. don’t you feel a responsibility ease human suffering? Everyone has to make tough decisions, every day. I hope that you will take a very serious look into your heart – past all of the financial baloney, and past all of the possible implications – and that you will begin to prescribe what you believe your patients NEED. Not what will satisfy the DEA, or any other parties that have no bearing on what YOU are supposed to be doing.

    Please don’t follow the recent trend to deny opiate pain medications to your patients. No matter how you “spin” this, or how you attempt to justify this – it is NOT ethical.

    Whether they admit it to their patients or not.. ALL MDs know that when it comes to treating chronic and/or severe pain, opiates are the most effective… BY FAR.

  13. I’m afraid my comments are much too long. I was just angry because my nephew’s significant other is agonizing pain and her docs won’t give her so much as a small supply of pain pills to hold her over until she has surgery this Friday. She had an ovarian cyst and her uterus removed last year and they botched her treatment and had to perform surgery on her abdomen, which they later said was unneccessary. She now has an ovarian cyst on the other side and endomitriosis. This Friday they plan to remove all her female organs including ovaries and fallopian tubes. But meanwhile, she is suffering terribly. What an inhuman system that makes people suffer so those who are abusing pain pills and/or are addicted may not be able to get a “fix.” I hate pain pills as do all my family members, After an appendectomy in 2007 they hooked me up to a morphine pump and the nurse was amazed how little I used! I have thrown out oxycodone pills and only take a very occasional Tylenol if I feel a twing of artheritis. The only thing I could think of to suggest to my suffering friend was that she guzzle about five strong Manhattan cocktails! I never did suggest that, but I can understand how people might do that! I am at a loss as to how to help my friend. I am writing my federal and state congressmen as well as the president of the United States about this damn war on drugs that isn’t working anyway. Prohibition didn’t work either!

  14. Joan:
    you make some very good points. I will keep those in mind while treating patients and try to be a better doctor

  15. For BEKI,
    In my last sentence to U, I accidentally left out the word “Not”. Sorry about that. It makes a big difference !!
    I hope your doctor will not stop your medication on U.

  16. BEKI,
    U sound like U have a valid complaint here. I have empathy for U. U are so right to say that a Percocet or any other narcotic/Opioid isn’t going to give any pain patient a “Buzz”, because if they are truly taking it for pain, their pain sensors direct that medication to the pain, not the brain. (sorry, I know it does actually hit the brain) But it’s true that there is no “high” for a a pain patient. I have never experienced a “high” taking my meds. NEVER !! I don’t use them for that. EVER !!
    Heck…I don’t even drink. But maybe I should ? Problem is…I’m afraid it’ll make me throw up & I hate doing that.
    I truly hope U never have to go thru what I’m going thru now, from a doctor who doesn’t want to treat any more pain patients with meds only. Some of us cannot get or feel better by getting an operation or a similar treatment. Shots won’t do it. They could also be dangerous for some of us. We have no other choice except to ask for strong medications, just to try to have a slight chance at having a “normal” life. Even if we only get that “normal” life for an hour or two at a time.
    I really shouldn’t even say that becoz I know we rarely get any “normal” life.
    Your point is an excellent one BEKI. Pain patients do not take drugs for any other reason than for getting relief from pain.
    Other things don’t help. We have been there and done that. I know U have, as well as I have. Your so young to have so much pain. I started out at 40 yrs. and have been ongoing without end. My 1st 10 yrs. I tried several different treatments and meds to no avail. All it was…was expensive for me.
    All in all, I do hope your medications are helping U, and will be stopped by an insensitive doctor. Good Luck & God Bless.

  17. Dr. Cynic, I know I’ve replied to this before, but I hoped I hadn’t missed anything, so we understand each other better. U said I told U I only got relief some of the time, so why take the opioids because they don’t work ? This is not true. They have been the only thing that has given me even part time relief. For my condition, that is a success, believe it or not. I’m aware my condition is extremely difficult to treat with any success, and I understand how a doctor can get frustrated with of being able to completely take away my pain, given he is using the strongest medication he knows. But it sounds to me as if your giving up on your patients too easily or too soon.
    Please don’t do this. Sometimes, it takes many years and many combinations to have any success in treating pain for certain conditions. Then too…U also may have those patients that will never tell U they’re getting any relief because they are seeking more meds no matter what. The only way your going to be able to tell the difference between the real and the fake, is to spontaneously test all of your patients and keep a close watch on what’s going on. Not all patients will fit the profile of an abuser. And some real patients may coincidentally look like they fit it but don’t actually. It isn’t all cut & dry unfortunately. But if a patient has proof of their disability. Such as medical records or tests that have been done, ex-rays, mri’s or the like; U should be able to tell the real from the fakers.
    I know at times U might get a patient who appears to be asking for extra meds. However, don’t jump to conclusions too fast. I have sometimes asked to get a refill a little sooner than not because I feel afraid I might run out, and running out is a scary thing for me. My reasons for running out could be that I had a few really horribly painful days and took an extra dose accidentally. Or I forgot what time it was when I took a dose & took a couple too soon. that tends to happen when I’m due to take a dose during the night, so by the time I get out of bed, I’ve forgotten what time I took that night time dose, and I may take the next one at the wrong time. I won’t ever take a dose when I’m not in pain. If anything…I wait too long to take my next dose and I’m suffering too much in between. Maybe I need some type of alarm system to remind me of the times I’m taking doses ? Or I may have to keep a pen handy with paper, to write them all down ? Geezz Doc, that makes me feel older than I am !!

    My point is this tho. Just because a patient on narcotics doesn’t tell U their pain is completely gone, it doesn’t mean they expect U to be able to get them there. In my case I don’t because I already know how difficult it is for that outcome. I settle for partial relief, even tho I take strong meds because I know that’s the best I’m gonna get. I always hope for better…but never expect it, or demand it. I’ll take ANY relief I can get.
    I don’t even remember what it feels like to have a “normal” day of life anymore. To wake up & not feel pain. To be able to put a pair of soft shoes on my feet & not feel pain, but comfort. To be able to walk to my corner mailbox & not worry if I’ll be able to walk back to my house or have to call someone to come to get me with a car. To be able to walk thru the grocery store & not worry that I may have to scream out in pain when I get a sharp pain in my feet that was unexpected.
    There are so many limitations when your in pain, U look for a doctor who can be compassionate with U and pray that they can understand how much U need them. U pray that your doctor will treat U as an individual, with individual needs. Not lump U into a group of patients who take meds for pain.

    Do me a small favor please. Take a closer look at your patients who are in there for back pain or Fibromyalgia. I know these things are real for many people. But I also know a lot of people use these ailments to get meds. I have no idea how a doctor figures out if a patient actually has Fibro. For all I know…I may have that also. I can’t tell, I have so much pain some days, I feel almost like I have other diseases too. I might ? But my main focus is the Peripheral Neuropathy.
    In addition…please don’t feel as if your not helping those who are still in pain, even tho your giving them narcotics. It is possible they may need more, or a better combination of medications to reach their level of pain. A large number of doctors have no idea what amount a patient actually needs to find relief. Possibly, U may not know. U say your giving your patients large doses of Opioids. But what is large to U ? And are U comparing what dose your giving to a back patient with a minor disc problem to a patient who has what I have ? Can’t do that Doctor Cynic. It doesn’t work that way.

    Instead of quickly asking “what number is your pain at”? Like my recent doctor was doing….Take your time asking this…Dig a little deeper on it. As I’ve explained before…to answer this question can be very variable for a patient.

    I truly wish U were located near me so I could sit with U and make sure U are understanding everything I’m telling U. I would love to meet some of your current patients too. I’ll bet U, if everything your telling me is true, that most of them would be devastated if U threw them out like my doctor did to me. Please don’t do that to your valid patients. If U refuse to take in more, I sort of understand. Mostly because of the DEA tho. If your prescribing as much as your saying, I would guess they are on your tail.
    All depending too, if your prescribing Oxycontin or not. I believe that’s the drug they are chasing more so, since that seems to be the one that’s more dangerous in the hands of an addict. I was shocked to actually see people admitting they were crushing their meds on here. No wonder they need more !!
    I would guess by doing that, they are feeding their addiction ?
    Anyway…I think I’ve said enuff. I must give others their chance to speak on here.
    Thanks for listening. (reading)

  18. Good for U K. Parker !!! Stand up and fight for your man. (and yourself)
    If I knew the way to go after my last doctor, I would do it. But these doctors protect themselves in every way possible against this stuff. And where does it get your husband in the long run ?
    The way I see it….your only going to lose all your money to a lawyer becoz he will take U for all U have, just to go after a doctor they won’t penalize. It will linger in the courts for years, just like my divorce did. (It’s been 9 years n’ going so far. )
    These contracts are valid.
    I have no problem signing them, taking urine tests unannounced or anything else to prove I am a valid pain patient. What I do object to…is the doctor who turns down treating U with medications U need, when they know U have valid pain and nowhere else to go. They know how many doctors are out there who are stuck and scared of the DEA threats. There needs to be more of them who will fight the DEA. Who will be brave for their patients who need them.
    I am so very disappointed in mine. I really thought she might have cared ?
    What she has done to me is awful. She must know this. I don’t understand how a doctor can pull this on a patient. Just give your patients the valid testing, contracts and anything else U need to feel safe from the DEA and treat them !!!
    Why did U bother to have me sign everything, test for U, then throw me out anyway ? I mean…what the Hell !!!
    Telling me I did nothing wrong is no news. I knew that. I’m valid !!
    My advice to U, K. is this…………….>>>>>>>>>>>
    As much as U really want to go after this doctor for dumping your husband and his treatment…Keep your money in your pocket is all I have to say. Get out your anger in places like this and keep looking for a better pain doctor. U might get lucky. I hope so. They all can’t be Dr. Pullens or Dr. Cynics.
    And by the way…I DO understand !!

  19. I have arthritis from the top pf my neck to the base of my spine. I have no discs left in my lower lumbar and the discs in my neck are rapidly degenerating. I have arthritis in my wrists, every joint of my thumbs and the top two joints of every finger. I have arthritis in both hips. I have a torn meniscus my knee. I am only 30 years old. I do not want to take opiates but there are some days when the only thing that allows me to take car of my children is a percocet. I have never been high off of one. I do not understand how people abuse them because there is nothing to abuse. Either they take the edge off of the pain or they don’t. I was told to take two if the first one does not work. I tried that and I vomited. When it was too much medication for my body I hit a therapeutic ceiling and my body rejected the rest of the medication. When you can see, without a doubt, that a patient clearly has a condition that causes severe pain, then I promise you, that patient is not getting high on the medication. Their brain is too bogged down by pain signals to process a high. No percocet is not my only treatment, but occasionally it helps the rest of the treatments out. Sometimes when we refuse other treatments it is not because we are fishins for drugs but because the others (NSAIDS, Neurontin) have failed for us and we want to try prednisone, humira, or something that might provide better control. We know the risks, but are wiling to take them. When those are not enough, then sometimes there are days when we need more help so that we CAN function.

  20. my issue is that my husband is on 60 miligrams of methadone a day to treat a spinal issue, that cannot be fixed by an operation in fact would or could make it worse, he’s 43, and his profession is roofing. He has to have these medications to get out of bed or he is crippled just about. Now, yes he signed thier contract which pretty much tells them yes, i can humiliate you anytime i feel like it with no consequences from your end such as wrongful treatment of a patient..which is the case in fact in this particular situation, he had to urine in a dixie cup with no name labels, secretaries that i think were writing there own prescriptions by the way they conducted themselves in this office, sounded like they were high on something? The fact is the wrongful doing was in this Dr. —– —– office, not on the patient..and because he signed this paper cause he is forced to its a no brainer..the patient looks like he did wrong doing and Doc is done.. end of story..NOT! i AM FILING A WRONGFUL TREATMENT AGAINST HIM, IN HOPES THIS HUMILIATION OF THESE DUMB CONTRACTS END, IF THE DOCTOR WRITES THE PRESCRIPTION, THEN TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT THEY DO. This man not Dr. has ruined my husbands job, he has not been out of bed, he’s sickly all the time, the pain is killing him, if something else happens, this Dr. will be lucky to have a practice, i will take him for everything he’s got, he didn’t bank on a wife caring about her husband and the knowledge of pain meds and addiction. He took an oath not to leave any patient in pain or suffering, he in fact has done so more than he will ever imagine, when i call to talk about other options, i got hung up on, well i guess we will see if he hangs up on the Judge of NYS… Yours truly and very serious Kristy Parker

  21. Dr. Cynic,
    I think maybe I wasn’t clear enuff. I did say that I get some relief but I don’t remember saying it was only for a short time. On most meds, the relief only lasts a short time. I don’t know of any that last an entire day.
    Also, what U have to realize is that my pain comes from Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, which most doctors cannot get a lot of success at treating this pain at all. So when I get some relief, to me it is a success !!
    I would rather get partial relief or part time relief, than to get nothing at all. Living with this type of pain for 24 hrs. a day, every day is no fun. If a narcotic/Opioid gives me a couple of hours of getting my pain down from a #10 to a #5 or #6, then at least this helps me function, rather than being stuck in a bed all day.
    It is not a failure on your part to treat my pain. I realize it isn’t easy and I will probably never have full relief in my life. If U were able to give me full relief, U would go down in all the history books !!
    As for other patients, with other types of pain, I really can’t say. I just know my own and what I have to deal with. And when I see a doctor like U tell everybody that U don’t want to accept patients who must take meds for their pain, it upsets me a great deal.
    I am currently struggling to find a new pain management doctor AGAIN !! Not by my own choice…but because once again, another doctor decides they no longer want to treat patients who have to use medications only to relieve their pain.
    All the pain doctors want to do these days is give shots or treatments of some kind that are useless to me.
    Where does this leave me ? Or others like me ? It leaves us in PAIN !! And this isn’t fair.
    Where do we go ? Must we be forced to consider going to the streets ? I Sure hope not.
    If I don’t find a new doctor to continue my current medication within 2 more weeks, I will be without any and lost in the process of looking for a new doctor. I have no idea what to do. I dread the constant, excruciating pain I’ll get again.
    I’m satisfied with a few hours a day relief. I know it’s the best I’m gonna get. IF I can get it.
    Thanks for answering and I hope U understand me better now.
    What U need to realize when some of your patients don’t praise U for relieving their pain all the time….is that we are so sick of being in pain, that we have days when we feel like nothing will ever give us full relief.Or any relief sometimes. We don’t mean to make U feel inadequate. We’re just cranky !!
    U would be too if U were in our “shoes”. That is…IF I could wear shoes.
    U know…..When my last doctor increased my dose by a mere 5mgs. It really increased the relief I was getting from her & I told her she helped me & thanked her. Then she hit me with this bomb about 2 months later & I feel very let down. She told me I didn’t do anything wrong, and I knew that. But that wasn’t going to get her to keep me on as a patient anymore.
    I’m just praying that I can find a new doctor soon. I have 2 appts., but they are at a sports rehab place, so I don’t know if they’ll be able to treat me with any meds in addition to any other treatments they offer. I sure hope so or I am deep trouble. I got a letter from my old doctor the other day…saying ai could go in to see her for one more month of meds if I needed it, but it had to be before a certain date.
    I’ll likely try to go so I can at least have one more month to try finding this new doctor.
    Don’t know if it will help me or not. But at least it’s something.(for one month)

  22. Jessica, I respect some of your feelings about this problem, yet others I can’t.
    I agree that there are a lot of people who claim they have severe back pain & go in to get an exorbitant amt. of pain meds. Doctors are stuck because back pain is hard to prove.
    Being a pain patient for awhile now, I can tell U that I’ve seen some in that waiting room that I could physically see they were taking too much pain meds. Their eyes were all red & bleary & their speech was impaired. Nobody on pain meds for pain should be showing those symptoms. Those people were getting a buzz off of it. It was obvious.
    A patient who is in true pain will never get a “Buzz” from their pain meds. The only thing the meds do, is relieve some pain for them. That is their purpose. And here is where I totally disagree with U. Pain medication is not only meant for cancer patients. People have different types of pain from different causes. When pain is “Acute”, your need for pain meds/narcotics/Opioids should not be permanent. It should be very short lived. But when your pain is chronic, and U cannot find any relief from any other type of medication or therapy, there aren’t many things U can turn to.
    If I could have a decent, normal life without taking meds, I would be fine without them. But this I can’t do. Believe me, I tried. I tried for at least 10 of the 18 yrs. I have had my problem. After this, my doctor recommended some pain management and meds. Strong meds. I’ve seen people taking much more in volume than I take, so I don’t feel that I’m using it as a dependency thing. I take only as much as I can find some relief from.
    It doesn’t matter which type U take. What matters is which type works for your pain. If Tylenol works for U, then great, U take that. If regular aspirin works better for U, then take that. Everyone is different as well as their pain is different. We all have different tolerances for pain also. Unfortunately, once your in pain for a lot of years, U also develop a lower tolerance for it. I used to have a very high tolerance, but I find I’m not as strong against it anymore. I’m tired of being brave. I’m in pain !! Help me !!
    If I should develop cancer in my future, I truly pray that I can be brave & not take too much medication for my pain. But I promise U that if I do need it, I want it !!
    To refuse to treat a patient in pain with the correct medication is cruel & unethical. And if it happens to be an Opioid, then it must be.
    I’m happy that U don’t have chronic intractable pain in your life. If U ever should get it, I hope U can find a compassionate doctor who will not prejudge U. And I’m sure at this moment U will say to me that U will not take strong meds. You’ll make do on Tylenol or something other than Opioids/narcotics. But just wait n’ see. Wait n’ see what your trying to deal with & if U have the strength to avoid strong meds. Honey….when U take every type of over the counter help that’s there & nothing helps at all…where will U turn ? Will U just suffer for the rest of your life ? Will U be willing to not get out of bed each day & not be able to get yourself dressed & washed & fed or take care of your kids ?
    Are U willing to do that, just to be able to tell everybody that U don’t take strong medications ? That’s insane & ridiculous. If U wish to be a martyr, U may do that. But don’t expect everybody else to be one with U.
    I’m sorry for the loss of your relative. But U still cannot judge their pain with another’s pain. They are all different.
    One person can take a 5mg. pill & get totally knocked out from it, while another could take 50 mg. pill & not feel anything. I can’t explain to U why. I just know it is.
    It’s my guess that your relative did have either a high pain tolerance, or was taking other treatment to help in addition what U knew of.
    Can U say that U can compare the pain of falling down & cutting your knee, to the pain U may have from a bad toothache ? I don’t know if all cancer pain is the same, depending on which type U may have. From what I’ve seen or been told, different cancers bring different levels of pain for each person. Knowing this…I would say U don’t have the right to criticize anyone for taking pain medication that is stronger than your relative took. Some people need 3 sugars to make their coffee sweet enuff to drink. Others only use one. Which one is right ? Do U get my point ?

  23. Joan, you completely missed the point. I’m not sick of my patients; I love my patients. I’m saying that opioids don’t work all that well. If you say that they take the edge off for a short time only, then you agree. I have been very generous with narcotics with patients, but they still suffer. Really folks, doctors do the best they can to get rid of pain. but there are no magic treatments.

  24. I know that there really is people out there who are in pain, and who are we to say that they aren’t. But I feel like some people that are in real pain play up there symptoms to get more pain medication then they need. I recently had a family member who died of cancer and at the end was in terrible pain and all she was on was hydro 7.5’s. I know that all people aren’t like this and everyone’s pain perception is different but I feel like doctors should not rx medications such as oxy or roxy for things such as back pain, etc . Those medications are for terminally ill paitents.

  25. Dr. Cynic,
    You sound like a very judgmental person & maybe should not be a doctor at all. Just because U are sick of certain patients, it doesn’t give U the right to say that all of us are the same.
    U should be more careful of which patients U accept to treat, but not deny those who actually need the Opioids for some relief. Peripheral Neuropathy is a very painful condition and I wish I did not have it. It is daily torture. There is no way to have a normal life if U have this disease. Yet most doctors won’t treat it with Opioids, which have been proven to be the only effective treatment for it out there. They certainly are not the cure !! There is NO cure. Your classifying ALL pain patients into one category…ie “Addicts”!!
    That isn’t fair to people like me. I’m left with intractable pain, 24/7 & there’s no willing doctors to be found.

    Returning to work with a painful condition may not be possible in all cases. It depends on what type of job they’re used to doing. In my case, I can barely get out of bed w/o treatment, so how could I work anywhere ? I’m not looking for handouts either. I do not collect S.S. Disability & can’t. But I will agree with U on one point. And that is that a lot of people who take the Opioids for pain, just get lazy about returning to work. But they do this even if they’re not on Opioids too. So how can U say it’s only for that reason ?

    Also, the reason your patients are not telling U they are getting any relief is probably because you are under treating their pain. Most doctors do. If they would take more time to listen to their patients, then give them the correct dosages of meds, maybe they would be getting enough relief ? It’s a well-known fact that pain is definitely under treated. Doctors hand out anti-depressants like they are candy. They are terrible answers to pain relief. Most don’t work.Not for Peripheral Neuropathy anyway. Maybe they might for Fibro or the like, but not nerve disease !! And neither do the anti-epileptics work for us either. Tried those also. Several times, with no relief. Only got brain dead from them.
    I am perfectly normal in the brain dept. I just have excruciating pain all the time. Live with this, Doc. See how it feels. Try to get some sleep. Then get your butt out of bed after maybe 2 to 3 hours sleep & put in a full day of work.
    I’m lucky if I can get myself into the shower for 10 minutes. The water actually hurts when it hits my skin !! Now that’s painful !! Would U enjoy seeing your wife suffering like this ? Or your child ?
    Am I Angry about your comment ? U betcha I am !! Have a heart Doc. Don’t judge us all so easily.
    Sometimes I wish the “real” pain patients would get a badge of some sort, so the doctors would know who to treat & who not to.
    And the DEA should get real also. Don’t they have anything better to do with their time ? Maybe all of them should suffer in pain every day too ? Or try to get a shoe on their foot. Or struggle just to stay upright when they attempt to walk outside for the mail…and not have to feel like they are stepping on rocks the whole way. I can’t even walk thru my own home without some protection on my feet, so it doesn’t feel like I have sharp pebbles under my feet with every step I take.

    U know Doc…when my doctor asks me what # my pain is….I don’t know what to tell them. That’s because my pain varies so often, that it’s impossible to say truthfully. I’m afraid that if I tell them my pain has come down to a 5 sometimes, that they will think I don’t need anything for relief anymore. But also…my pain varies thru out the day and can be anywhere from a 5 to a 12 !! So what do U want me to tell U ? Do U want my pain # at that moment ? Or what it was 5 minutes ago ? Or maybe what it will be in half an hour when my meds start wearing off ?

    I only ask that U be fair to those who really have true pain. Stop turning us away and leaving us to suffer. That really makes a good person start to think if they could take the chance on a street seller. If their own doctor won’t help them, who do we have to turn to ?
    Since this pain started about 18 years ago for me, I have tried several different approaches to find relief. Nothing at all has given me any relief except Opioid use. Even this doesn’t take the pain away. It merely takes the edge off of it for short period of time. Heck, Doc….I’ll take that !!! It’s lots better than nothing.
    I’ve recently heard about a new treatment, which again I’m willing to try. If I can find anything that gives me relief, or that may end my need to use Opioids, or at least cut it down, I will do it. I just hope this works, and I can get it under my coverage terms. Sometimes, they just won’t pay anything to help me get it. This is all not to mention also, that I’m made to travel all over the state to find a doctor willing to help. And this is because most of U are not willing to live up to your Oath.
    I’m sorry that some patients have taken U for a ride. But don’t include all of us in that category, please.

  26. I, also have grown weary of Rx’ing opioids. after 20 years of primary care, I have seen hundreds of people who, because of chronic pain, can’t work, can’t function, and have 10/10 pain. After starting opioids, patients don’t return to work, or function at a higher level, or even say that they are more comfortable. In short, narcotics rarely improve quality of life. Also, no doctor keeps a person in pain because we are cruel or greedy. If we could cure people’s pain, we would do it.

  27. Sorry Maria. I know well how U feel. Just finding a caring pain management doctor is almost impossible. Then when U have one, they feel they can do anything they want, with no regard to what the results do to U.
    Once again…thru no fault of my own, I am without a doctor to go to to help relieve my pain. And why ? Because the DEA has scared them all into dumping all the patients they have who need medication to relieve their pain. Can’t even get a new doctor to take over because all of them are afraid to take U in as a patient if U need meds. Unfortunately, my pain is not caused by something that can be relieved by any type of injection, and because those injections bring in a lot of money for these doctors and med only patients don’t, I am out of options.
    At least U can still find a doctor who will treat U out there. I have nobody. So I guess I will have to remain in intractable pain the rest of my life, because there is no doctor I can rely on to be there for me. Yeah right…What life ???

    The last one I had just plain decided out of the blue that she would not be writing any scripts for any of her patients unless they were also taking injections from her. M-O-N-E-Y !!! in her pocket. With me…all she gets is the 80% of her regular office charge. Not enuff for her part time Saturday morning job to supplement her doctor husband’s income for her.
    All she has to do is keep her injection patients on a Saturday. Work for a few hours, once a week, and she has it made. Let’s not mention that her husband is also the same type of doctor. He does not do medication patients either.
    Well…there are a small few doctors who still treat patients like me, but they are not local to me at all & I can’t drive there. I’m half blind. How would I get to them every 30 days ? Impossible !!
    It’s a tough situation for anyone in pain these days. The DEA is making it harder and harder for us all. Especially doctors like Dr. Pullen, here. PHhhhfffffftttttt !!!

    Just hang in there Maria….you will find a doctor who will both give U injections and meds to fill in when the injection wears off and U will feel better soon. At least U have a chance. I don’t.

  28. I don’t know what to do. I just cry. I feel like I’m a bad person for asking for pain relief. I did the costly injections and they work for a few days… not totally out of pain but a bit better. I give up and I just want to die. Someone just kill me. It hurts. Death is better than pain.

  29. How can U say this Dr. Pullen ? How can U say U are in such a bad position when it comes down to treating patients in real pain ? If U were to require each new patient to bring in their proof of why they are in pain, why would it be difficult to treat them ? Give your patients a urine test sporadically to find out exactly if they’re using their meds correctly or selling them to others. Why take it out on the truly needy patients ? I don’t get that.
    Of course, even patients in true pain who take narcotic meds can many times become “addicted”; or what I prefer to say, is become “dependent” on the drugs they use, they still need them for relief. U can’t truly expect chronic pain patients to use nothing but aspirin. As a doctor, it is your sworn oath to treat your patients with care, as long U do not cause harm.
    All the deaths U speak of are mostly famous people who it’s well known that they abuse the use of these drugs. They take narcotics for a head ache for cryin’ out loud !!
    I don’t think your being fair here.
    I really wish more pain management doctors would just be more careful about the way they accept patients. If they were….I think there would be a lot less abuse going on.

    I, personally, do not advertise who I see for my treatments. I don’t want false patients going there & ruining it for me. But in the office I was going to, I saw many “married” couples there, who even came in from out of state. Now they sure seemed suspicious to me !!
    I also saw other types of couples who both were there for meds. Or one was there for shots & the other for meds. These are the patients I feel need more scrutiny. But ya know what ? they won’t be, n’ that’s because they pay her with CASH !! Lots n’ lots of CASH.
    I was made to sign something today when I was thrown out. I don’t even know what it was. I was so shaken up when she told me to get lost, that I didn’t read it 1st. What could it have been ? A waiver that I wasn’t going to sue her ?
    She recommended we go to a local hospital program for pain management now. Only I already know how they treat U. They use antidepressants only.If U don’t agree to take them, they don’t take U. No thanks. Not for me. Been there, done that. BUT….if it’s shots your seeking, then Bingo !! they’ll take U right in happily.

    As a pain management doctor, U should be pulling for better patient care…Not taking us out, along with the bad guys.
    Take the time to treat every patient right. Don’t treat medication patients like we are there for a cattle call.
    We do need your guidance too.

    Stop taking the cowards way out. U embarrass me !!

  30. I’m not quite sure which way these comments are going. But I have to say that I agree with the majority on what doctors are doing to patients in pain. Who needs doctors anymore ? They are the scum of the earth !! They over prescribe antibiotics, but that’s okay. They under prescribe pain meds n’ that’s okay too ? So what did they take an oath for ?
    I have chronic peripheral neuropathy pain, supposedly from long term Diabetes that was UNDIAGNOSED. Whose fault was this ? Yep..doctors !! I had been seeing a pain management doctor up until today, when she decided she will no longer take care of patients who are on medications. The reason supposedly is the DEA…tho she said she just decided she didn’t want to do it anymore. Just like that. I don’t think so. I believe she’s keeping all her patients whom pay her by cash & who get injections because they bring in the BIG bucks !!

    So I showed up at her office at 10.am. as she asked. I then proceeded to sit there in pain for 3 hours until she decided it was my turn to see her. Then she gave me the boot !! No warning, & your not gonna tell me she didn’t know she was gonna do this last month, so she might have given me a little more time to locate a new doctor. Then she says to me…”U didn’t do anything wrong. I’m just not going to treat U anymore”. How nice of her.
    U see…the story we were all being told about her cutting patients, was that she was weeding out the people who were selling them or the true addicts who weren’t even in real pain. We all agreed with her testing us at random. I had no problem with it. I have nothing to hide. But this witch should’ve been doing this from the very 1st day she brought us into her practice !! Why was she just taking anybody & everybody in, without testing them or asking for their medical records at least ? Could it have been…MONEY ???
    I thought it was odd myself. It was too easy getting her to take me as a patient. I didn’t complain of course, because I was a valid patient & needed the meds.

    Anyway….Your not supposed to cut off a patient on narcotics long term like this. You send them instantly into withdrawals !! They must know this. And it must be illegal. It is certainly unethical !!

    This witch, as I’m calling her…never gave us an appt. We all had to go into her office at varied times in the morning, on a Saturday only. Then sit & wait for our turn, according to the sign in sheet. She always took IME treatment patients & consults in 1st, no matter when they showed up. And do you know why ? I do !! Because those are the patients who all pay her cash in hand.

    Since I have Blue Cross, she gets paid her usual fee, minus the co-pay that I pay her. So what did I do wrong ? Have medical coverage ?
    I just spoke to her billing/info girl the day before I went in. She gave me no hint that I was about to be cut. We were all told that the doctor recently chose this new office for only her medication patients & she would see us all only one day a month there. That was bad enough to know. But to do this on the very 1st appt. day for medication patients ? I mean…WTF !!!

    If I had known I was going to have my head chopped off, I never would’ve rushed to get there, signed in & waited for 3 hours. As a minor courtesy to the medication patients who were there today, she could have come out to the outer office & announced we were no longer going to be seen by her & we would have to find new doctors asap.
    She sent me off with one month’s worth of meds. So if I can’t get in to another doctor within a month, I am screwed !!
    Thanks to the DEA, there aren’t many doctors left to treat the type of pain I have in any other way. If I had another way to do it, I would choose it. There is NO other way !! It means constant suffering, 24/7. No life. No family, no friends. Depression to beat the band. No sleep. No rest. No consoling. Just pure pain & aloneness ’til the day I die. Should I help that day come sooner ? I bet you a lot would and will !!
    No relief from constant chronic pain is torture for anyone. I have gone the route of every over-the-counter treatment there is and that comes out new. No relief. I have been on assorted prescription medications also. (sans narcotics) tho. It was expensive & very little relief.
    I have tried several antidepressants. Several anti-eleptics(?). To no avail. And yet, a new doctor will tell me to try it all again. For what ?? To waste money on candy pills ?
    20 years of this has been enough !! I’m sick of it !!
    And you idiots who tell us we’re nothing but addicts & drug seeking boobs, with no brains had better get yourself back to reality.
    They created narcotic medication to ease pain. So why shouldn’t the doctors use it for that ? No…they’re told to give us all the expensive crap that’s out there, that does nothing for pain. All it does…is addict you to it, just like narcotics do. And they curse you with bad side effects besides. They want me to take a medication that adds weight to my body. I fight to keep weight off as a Diabetic. I do not want a drug that makes me fatter !! That would take my Diabetes into cyberspace !! More medications needed. And expensive ones !! Not to mention, the risks to my life in the process. DUHHHH !!!!
    I am fed up with this system. It has to go !!
    God pray that none of you or your loved ones ever have to deal with chronic, intractable pain. Maybe then, we’ll see a little support from you ?
    I think the DEA or whoever, should remove the licenses of every doctor who tosses out their patients like I was today. How can they allow them to get away with doing this ? It surely does not follow their doctor’s oath.

    What killed me today in her office was a hoot. She’s standing there, knowing I have horrible pain in my feet that can’t be relieved any other way but by narcotics & she tells me that her feet hurt !!
    Well Hell’s Bells Doc…I’ll trade your pain in your feet for mine any day. I said. She laughed…and sent me on my way.
    Oh wait. She did tell me that when I do find a new doctor that she would be happy to forward my records to them. Gee…I’m so grateful to her. NOTTTTT !!!!

  31. I’ve about given up on going to a doctor. Cheaper to stay home and take OTC medication because that is most likely what they will “prescribe” anyway. Forget antibiotics and pain medicine – it’s like pulling teeth to get either.

    What I find amazing is that doctors aren’t smart enough to look at the past history of their patient and figure out that the patient has never asked for pain medicine before and rarely needs an antibiotic. Somehow, all those years of med school didn’t prepare them for differentiating between a person who needs a strong pain medicine to get them through a rough time of injury and the drug dealer or addict. Chances are, if a patient never asked for pain medication before, and especially if they are an older well-established patient, then that patient is in serious pain and needs help. If doctors aren’t going to provide pain relief then what good are they? Maybe I’ll visit the back alleys for my next “doctor” since the dealers apparently are the only people who will “prescribe” the appropriate medication needed. To classify all people who need strong pain medication as problem patients is typical of the arrogance and lack of brains we so often witness in doctors today.

  32. All the people who commented on this are drug addicts. Your dealer,AKA doctor, is either in prison or decided to stop dealing before they are arrested, and now your left out in the cold frantically searching for your next fix. You need to admit to yourself that you are an addict and get help. Try calling Narcotics Anonymous or just drop in at a local meeting. They will help you. I have seen many like you over the years, most end up dead, not from there medical problems but as a direct result of there addiction to pain killers. Most refuse to ever believe they are an addict or have any drug problem because these drugs are legal. GET HELP

  33. I have two bulging discs in my lower back and one in my upper that have caused moderate to severe pain for about ten years now (I am 40). Until about 6months ago I was taking a 7.5mg Lortab per day and dealing with the pain effectively. My GP went out of the pain management “business” due to the red tape involved. We tried Tramadol. It worked about half as well and caused chest pains and made me very nauseous. I’m also on Cymbalta and Gabapentin, as well as taking 1000mg of Advil three times a day, just to take the edge off of the pain.

  34. I have severe back pain due to two herniated discs, one in the lower back and one in the neck area, as well as, three addition varying-in-degree, bulging discs in the lower back. They are documented by MRI. I have endured surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and both narcotic and non-narcotic drug therapy. Surgery did decrease some of the pain, but two years later I still suffer significantly. I had worked thirty-two years, sometimes with injuries that were debilitating, and painful yet i endured. I have since lost my job and my home due to the inability to work. I am able to sit/walk/stand less than four hours a day. I would happily, have tried celebrex, and other non-narcotic medications for pain relief, but my (well-known…one of the blues) insurance company refused to pay for them. At a cost between 350.00 to 440.00$ for thirty pills, I could not afford to even try these medications, (as early stated, i am now unemployed). I am not addicted to narcotics, I AM addicted to living with less pain, to being at least moderately functional, which I can obtain by the use of physician prescribed narcotics. Instead of punishing the patient for needed care, why not FIX our broken medical and insurance programs. It is time for those responsible for these systems in our country to fix them so honest, hard-working citizens can get the care we deserve and pay for, and our doctors are sworn to up-hold.

  35. I have back issues and have had a fusion done. It has been a few years and I am in still in pain everyday. I have been prescribed opiates through the years, recently I am only one Norco 10/325 4 times a day. Just recently my doctors office was raided by the DEA and took all of the medical files and told her she was being investigated for over prescribing narcotics. She has said in the past she believes in the power of medicines. She has dismissed a lot of patients over the years, for taking advantage of her. Most likely it was some of them and maybe some ex-employee, that complained about her. Now, I am having a hard time finding a doctor that will prescribe me my pain medicine. How can I get my medical file and find a doctor to prescribe my medicine?

  36. Wow, I have no doubt that your facts are technically true and there are people that don’t need opiate medications are out looking for them but as I read the blog I was thinking to myself ” I sure hope all these idiots that think it’s their place in life to control what other people do and judge other people don’t ever have a chronic pain problem”. “Why do you think it’s your place to judge others”? Doctors think of themselves as superior to patients and play God! God help you if you ever need a med and some idiot won’t prescribe it because he went to school for a few more years. You’re all idiots including the Dr.


  38. Sometimes I feel like punching these doctors in the damn face, breaking their nose, and tell them the same thing they are basically telling me when they don’t prescribe me pain meds…”Just deal with it”.

    You know, I could probably deal with the pain of a broken nose because it’s temporary. Having chronic back pain is constant. Yet for some reason, just because I can’t prove I am in pain, I can’t get a single god damn doctor to prescribe me any pain killers. The reason? Because I could get addicted! Well, yes…I can also get addicted to alcohol, eating too much food, and gay anal sex. That doesn’t mean I will. It’s called personal responsibility.

    Let us live our own lives doctors. You are fully willing to prescribe us all of your psychosomatic brain altering drugs but will not help those suffering from pain. All I have to say to you is; learn a thing or two about compassion. Karma’s a bitch.

  39. The one thing the doctors are forgetting that oath they took prior to becoming doctors the fear of getting arrested should never play apart of a patients quality of life declining.
    i honestly believe that doctors should be running constant drug tests urine and or blood along with unplanned ones and for patients that are a distant always make it so they could do the testing at a close by facility random counts of medications and figure out a secure way the people cant get away with people doing the test for them. right there weeds out a ton of seekers. there are ways to make it possible for pain patients that are legit to get care. its a madder of getting the lazy asses who seem to think because they have no pain neither do we.
    cause your making your own addicts with the ones who scam doctors get the pain meds to get there bills paid all the real pain patients are getting the treatment on the street because that is what they or we are down grated to.and the wonderful opiate blockers that the doctors give out because patients are willing to say they have an addiction here a news flash. saboxin ,subutext, and other medicines like that they will sell it to get the illegal drugs
    why do i know this? i have a multiple number of junkies as neighbors who are not that bright. so pnce again non-opiate medications are going to be right up there. but their is no rants or raves about that.
    so if that oath and the medical boards standards of continuing to treat for pain with the opiates for the ones that need it not understanding this ???please please tell me then tell my kids cause my quality of life will be going down the shit tube in a matter of a couple of weeks and for it to have clothes on my spine even if its the lightest softest material out there my legs stop working unable to sit, stand lay or take a shower or bath. add it all on top of this whole thing got worse after a nasty assault and being kicked in the spine across a large kitchen and a large deck yup i honestly feel beat up all over. and everything asked of me every urine, blood test, physical therapy, exercise 40 lbs of lost weight. and that’s what I’m looking at and then the possibility of not being able to have my kids because the state received a concern that i was unable to care for me them or my house for over a two month period because doctors think i call that fun.
    and gee i can’t see why people get pain meds off the street .

  40. The real issue here is once again the government is sticking their nose in places that is none of their business. Think about it, you can buy enough gin to kill yourself and that is OK – big tax dollars – but you cant get pain relief because doctors fear the feds. This is just pain wrong. You can buy this stuff all day long on the street but if you really need it you cant get a doctor to help you. What is wrong with this picture?

    It is just plane dumb…

  41. i am an addict in chronic pain. it took 3 mos. to get my dr. to refer me for a mere m.r.i. I couldn’t get a narcotic if hell froze over. i had an epidural injection today in my back and ended up in the e.r. with a re-action. I couldn’t breath, severe pain and my face was so swollen my left eye closed. I was there for 5 hours and because of my history with narcotics, I was sent home with tramadol with in on my charts as an allergy. too crazy. they could give me a patch or something. when i kill myself i will will my dead ass to the hospital and they can carry on with their stupidity.

  42. I have been going to doctors for years for chronic back pain. Recently it has become so much worse, that one day I drove myself to the ER, thinking that I had fractured a vertebrae in my upper back or was having a heart attack because the pain was so intense. My EKG was normal, and an x-ray showed no fracture. Since then, over 5 months ago, I have diligently been pursuing a diagnosis for my severe back pain. I have become unable to work (I do very heavy work and alot of driving for a living). I went to my GP, went to physical therapy, went to an orthopedic doctor, who I am still seeing, and a gastroenterologist, have gotten cat scans, ultrasounds, x-rays, mri’s, bone density scans, and am scheduled for endoscopy, epidural injections and a pelvic and abdominal cat scan with contrast. What has been diagnosed is osteoporosis, arthritis, and degenerative changes in my lumbar spine. No one knows why my upper back is giving me so much pain. But in spite of going through all this, and being willing to continue my effort for a diagnosis, not one doctor has given me any medication that would relieve my pain. The pills I have taken are ineffective or have given me a really bad reaction (neurontin). I am a 62 year old female, obviously the doctors know I am in severe pain or they would not pursue the diagnosis as they are. Why no one can just give me opiates that are effective is beyond me, if that is all that will relieve my pain. I know the risks and the benefits, and for me the benefits far outweigh the risks. I think they just are so afraid of the scrutiny put on them for prescribing these drugs, that they don’t even give them to people who would benefit them. So, here I am, in serious pain, 24/7, with no relief. And I can’t force them to give them to me, even though I am paying them!! It’s just not fair.

  43. You are comparing chronic pain sufferers to “common crows”??? Dear God. Perhaps we should simply cull the masses of this “surplus population,” because, God forbid, they continue to make you feel anymore uncomfortable than you have to.

    These people have lost their jobs, their hobbies, their identities and, many of them, their families to umcurable, insufferable pain and illness. So sorry that you have been mildly inconvenienced by their constant need for care. They clearly have mistaken your profession as a “primary care physician” to mean that you actually do “care.” You, and likely most of your colleagues, clearly don’t. I venture to say that your patients are not the problem, but rather your lack of respect or compassion for them is at the root of this failed system. Simply because you cannot clearly identify the cause of their suffering does not mean they are not suffering. Scientists once believed that rocks couldn’t possibly fall from the sky. You don’t know everything about medicine.

    One day, maybe you will find yourself in their shoes, begging and praying for relief only to be referred to mockingly behind your back, by your “caregiver,” as a “common crow.” I pray this happens for you, so that perhaps you will
    have an opportunity to regain your humanity.

    You, sir, are appallingly arrogant and cruel. You are most certainly due for some serious karmic balancing in this lifetime. Good luck with that.

  44. I totally understand and respect the very tough situation that doctors are placed in. Opiate medications are very addictive, and the potential for an overdose from opiate pain relievers (OPR)’s is at an all time high, now reaching epidemic status. As a physician, you have a very difficult decision to make, and these abuses make it even more difficult.

    I first saw a local physician at the age of 9 for severe lower back and knee pain. I am now almost 26. I have seen multiple doctors every year for xray series, etc. The pain was so debilitating that returning from bent over to standing was nearly impossible and would mess me up for days. Friends would call to ask to come out on weekends and I lost my teenage years saying no and doing the only thing that I could. With this chronic pain comes the fear your loosing the most important years, watching friends party, play basketball and volleyball, soccer, and so on.

    I finally had an MRI last week, they said that I have a bulging/collapsed disc causing pinched nerves. They want to do further testing to determine nerve damage. When I turned 23, I decided one day while in bed crying with excruciating pain to try one last time to talk to doc. Went to new doc, told him how I’ve been accused by doctors of needing to stretch, needing to eat better, needing to find a food allergy, needing to sleep a different way. He started out prescribing gabapentin. Gabapentin made me very, very ill and gave me nighttime problems. Eventually we ended up at Oxycodone.

    Now, a couple of concerns. After a life of being passed on from one toxic medication to another, ie Gabapentin, neurontin, zipsor, diclofenac, etc, oxycontin is by far the least damaging drug. Those drugs are making people ill, there is no doubt in my mind of that. Read the side effects of every medication I listed, some are generic/brand name, same drug,but terrible side effects. Besides the risk of overdose aat high doses and abuse, oxycodone poses the least risk of all those drugs. I never found anything but more pain and agony in those drugs, because now I’m not just in pain, but I have all these terrible side effects.

    The doctor who prescribed me oxycodone saved my life. I was at wits end with seeing doctors who acted like I showed drug seeking behavior. Yeah, because I had devised all this at the age of 9. I lost my childhood and teenage years because not a single doctor would take my situation serious, despite all my times in ER as a young boy. Fifteen years of my life now gone, because doctors were worried about the damage opiates could have caused.

    I think your article was well-written and well-intentioned, and I think you sound like someone who genuinely cares about the health of his neighbor. It really makes me sick to my stomach to think about those poor people who walk into your office, and spend their money with you hoping to find someone that cares if they can find quality in their life. I spent tens of thousands of dollars to get that same exact judgement passed on me. Until you start treating people in pain with respect and understanding, and stop turning away people in pain, you are only furthering the fundamental problem with healthcare in this country. If my doctor goes out of practice, I don’t know that I’ll have the strength to start the whole judgmental process over. Please stop turning people away who are in pain,use your head, and try to make the best decision. Of course someone wil show drug seeking behavior, everything else has failed! Please have understanding. Nobody is insinuating handing these out, but turning people away seems so wrong. I would close my doors altogether if I were a doctor turning away people seeking one last time to find someone who can save their life.

  45. Seems ironic YOU are the cause of my worst LIFE ALTERING problem, and I to you as well. I am in my late 20’s. No want to sell anything/ abuse anything… and no doctor will give me the common courtesy of just telling me how to tell my family why I am okay for a few days a month when I can take a pill that I only take when a bullet is looking less painful. I would love to see what life, liberty or happiness looks Like, but my life… is miserable because if I “found” a way to get narcotics (for a semi-worth while existence) then there goes my liberty (and family) as for happieness… ha. This country is not free, and justice and compassion have reverted to a tyranny of medicine, pharma, and banks. My Biggest goal in life when I hurt; is to have the strength to not die. So sorry for inconveniencing you,sir… we all are.

  46. Oxmoses: This is a topic to discuss with your physician, not something I can try to advise in this forum. DrP.

  47. I have nerve damage and bulging disks in my lower back as a result of falling off a two story house while putting shingles on. This happened in 98, I have not been on any pain meds since this accident, but have used diet and excercise to alleviate the pain. For the most part I have led a pretty normal live but as the years roll by and I’m much older now the pain is far worse and day to day is getting much harder. What options do you think would be best? Is pain management something to look into or are there alternatives I can seek out to at least help me be somewhat productive from day to day?

  48. Jan: You are in a tough spot, and need to look for help with the nerve pain. Drugs like Lyrica or Gabapentin may be helpful. Percocet or opioids in general are a poor long term option for your problem. Keep working with your doctors. DrP.

  49. Three weeks ago I had an ulner nerve surgery and the pain in my hand and arm is excruciatingly painful. I have been on percaset @ 10.325 every 3 1/2 hrs. & it does not remove the pain but takes the edge off enough so that I can function. Dr. is now wanting cut back the meds and she has no answer for my hand problem either. If they are worried about people overdosing, then what about those who cannot live with the severe pain and will go some other way? Is there any answer to this dilemma? This is just crazy stuff. My
    primary Dr. has never, ever given me any pain meds so there is no reason
    to think I am a drug addict. I would much rather be a drug addict then live like this though, being I am in a catch 22.

  50. what do you do when you live with M.S and seizures and the dr calls you a waste of there time. and tells you there dumping you as a pt it has been close to a year since i have even spoken to a dr because i just dont trust them i was born the way i am . i am confined to a wheel chair i have a service k9 i am off all meds including seizure meds ask me if i care if i ever see another dr . which i assure you i dont i read your blurb you honstly come across as one of the ones that would say ohh you have a case of meitus , aka its all in your head syndrome .well its not only in my brain but spinal cord eyes hands legs in short from the top of my head to the tips of my toes which dont have any feeling anymore same with my hands

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