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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.

Related Posts

Oxycodone side effects

Oxycontin: What’s the big deal?

How to spot a drug seeking patient

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

  1. Dear all Drs,
    If a patient comes to you with prove that they are in pain then it is legit and you should prescribe the correct medication and dosage for that patient. There is nothing the DEA or anyone can do as long as you can show them the proof.
    Your patients should be taking drug tests and seeing you at least every 3 months. Just saying no to writing pain medication is ridiculous. They make pain medication for those who suffer from pain, just like we make penicillin for infections. These people that are overdosing are not taking the medication as prescribed. They are mixing medications and or drinking while taking the medicine. I am not a Dr., but this is just comes sense.

  2. I have been on methadone and oxycdone for 15 years for chronic pain I have severe ra and lower lumbar dis disease knees pain terribly I need my medicine I switched to a dr here in wv 6 months ago he agreed he would help me out now im being told that I have to find another dr cause of the bullshit the cdc put out im on 120 mgsa methadone a day and 120 mgs of oxcydone a day where am I going to find a dr who can continue to treat me or at least taper me off some mr pullen u have no clue what chronic pain is why r u even a pain dr ,

  3. I think all DEA and FDA administrators VA workers and this punk that calls himself a Dr. could live in Chronic horrible pain for a couple of years. Not forever I would not wish this kind of life on any one and besides they would no longer be able to function. Then lets see what happens. Kind of like the horrors that the Lord sent on Pharaoh.
    I hope worms are not eating you tomorrow Dr. Pharaoh.

  4. L.I.P : I hear your frustration. I’ve looked at the data about medical marijuana for pain, and it is far from clear that it is effective. I live in WA where we have had medical marijuana or years, and I have had a fair number of patients use marijuana for pain with mixed results. I have no problem with medical marijuana in any states. DrP.

  5. Dr.Pullen, I understand that Dr’s as yourself are totally for the DEA. What I don’t understand is why did you even go to school to become a Pain Specialist, when obviously you just don’t care about people who suffer in pain 24/7? It would be wonderful if you would take the time to answer some of these questions at least. You took the time to write the article. Since medications that someone can overdose on are out of the question for you, how do feel about legalizing Medical Marijuana in Alabama? I know that doctors have a strong voice when it comes to Marijuana. Please answer me back, either in this blog or just by my email would be appreciated.

  6. I cry as I see how many pills are left in the bottle. Because this bottle helps me with the ability to get out of bed, hold a cup of coffee, brush my teeth and hair, and dress. This bottle makes it easier to walk my dog, wash the dishes, do laundry, drive my car, carry a library book and push a shopping cart. This bottle holds the key to better concentration because I’m not distracted by pain, which makes me more productive in every aspect of my life. With this bottle’s help I can be more loving and pleasant to my family, smile and hug them and mean it. This bottle gives me hope and courage to go on another day, by making the pain more manageable and tolerable, it makes the pain less. This bottle showed me that I have nothing to hide,to not be ashamed because I’m in pain,I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m not faking it, or making it up, I’m not to blame. With the bottle’s help I can go out in public, perhaps volunteer to help a neighbor or friend (gasp), pick up a piece of litter, smile at a stranger, therefore I’m more productive, an asset, and much more pleasant to those around me, and kinder to myself. This bottle gave me the ability to embrace life, and this bottle makes me afraid to live. Now this bottle is almost empty and I have a choice to make. Actually it’s no choice at all. The DEA, my big brother, has taken my right to choose away. And brother, my blood will stain your hands.

  7. “dr” pullen,

    I have seen my life in ruins from metal poisoning thanks to the FDA which allows medical device manufacturers to implant cheap neurotoxins into our bodies. The result is three surgeries, brain damage, no muscle left in my hip because the metal ate/corroded it all. I am in pain all of the time and cannot sit, stand, or walk for more than a few minutes. I am so fortunate to have a GP who has retained some humanity and respect for his fellow human beings. That said, he is not comfortable providing me with an ever increasing dose of oxycodone, even though he admits it is far safer for me than the prednisone I take for some of the conditions caused by the poisoning. I know your kind all too well… Head in the sand and void of any measure of decency. I can only pray there is such a thing as Karma and you and your ilk will suffer the unspeakable terror you have reigned on the very people you took an oath to help. Rot in hell.

  8. I really believe that this is all absolutely ridiculous an uncalled for. I suffer from severe back and neck pain most of my life. If people want the pills then just freaking give them some. I have to buy them illegally. I still get what I want. I have not ever taken more than two pills a day. The medication helps people. That is why everyone wants them. I am not an addict. I suffer from pain. I have the ability to take 10 per day but I don’t because I am not an idiot. Doctors are supposed to help people not judge people. I have disk rubbing together and it is horrible that I would cancel my insurance so that I can go across the tracks and spend my money there. Addicts are always going to have access to anything they want even in prison. Just freaking help people. Prescribe them one pill per day so that they can at least get out of bed and have a chance of some kind of normal life and quit judging. That is God’s job!

  9. The cowards that blame the victim (in the case the patient with pain)should get out of the practice of medicine. Calling people with pain, drug seekers because they are asking for help, or knows what works for them is just malpractice!
    would you do that to any other ailment,and refuse treatment because they are educated on what actually works? Because a diabetic knows what works for the neuropathy do you throw them in with the bunch? Stop justifying your cowardliness,and malpractice by calling pain suffers addicts!!!
    I guess law suits from patients not getting adequate pain relief is where we are headed.

    A Chronic Pain Patient’s Bill Of Rights

    1. I have the right to have my pain believed by health professionals, family, friends and others around me.
    Patients: The person in pain is the only one who knows how much pain he or she has. Patients, report and describe your pain as accurately as possible. Do not feel reluctant to be honest about your pain. Health Professionals/Medical Providers:
    Health professionals, acknowledge that stoicism, reluctance to take drugs, cultural differences, feelings of resignation and other factors often inhibit patients from talking about their pain. You need to work together with your patients to identify and remove these obstacles so that pain can be accurately assessed and treated.
    2. I have the right to have my pain controlled, no matter what its cause or how severe it may be.
    Patients: Pain must be understood, as well as believed. In recent years, major advances have been made in understanding pain and its effective treatment.
    Health Professionals/Medical Providers: Members of the health care team must seek all information and resources necessary to make patients as comfortable as possible. Failure to aggressively treat pain on a timely basis is now thought to be the main cause of chronic pain.
    3. I have the right to be treated with respect at all times. When I need medication for pain do not treat me as if I were a drug abuser.
    Health professionals, the public, law enforcement agents, and even people in pain often believe that using pain-relieving drugs will lead to addiction. Yet this almost never happens. The abuse of drugs is unrelated to the use of drugs for pain treatment. It is normal to want to be comfortable: it is a way of taking care of yourself.
    Health Professionals/Medical Providers: Many of us are fearful about pain medications because we don’t know the facts. Learn the facts about narcotics and other pain treatments. It is your responsibility to help patients and families understand that fears about addiction, sedation and other side-effects are understandable, but often exaggerated.
    Most side-effects of pain medications are treatable. Treat them! Never use side effects as a reason to discontinue treatment for pain.
    4. I have the right to have pain resulting from treatments and procedures prevented, or at least minimized.
    Patients: Many medical procedures and tests are very painful. Tell your health care team about the pain associated with any treatments, procedures or tests you may have to undergo.
    Health Professionals/Medical Providers: Don’t tell patients that pain from treatments is “unavoidable”, or that “it won’t last long.” That is arrogant and it trivializes your patient’s pain. Pain is suffering, no matter how long it lasts. Worrying about future painful treatment is also suffering. Make sure patients know what to expect when undergoing any procedure, and do everything in your power to prevent or minimize procedure pain.

  10. Doctors these days have their hands tied by the government , about the only way for people to get opiate pain killers is to either just call yourself an addict and go on Suboxone or methadone Dr , or go on the deep web and order heroin or strong opiates in countries that dont mind sending you Oxycodone ,or morphine or heroin by mail, beware these new opiate laws have swelled the street cost to unbelievable prices ,. the alternative is to go to a pain specialist which a doctor will or can refer you, Hydrocodone is a sched 2 med now so you cant get refills on any narcotic on top of that all docs must give urinalysis on any one prescribed opiates,..yes the USA so frickn tied down with restrictions , laws , etc, etc, that no matter if you need pain killers or not,the system either makes you pay through the nose or just ignores you, YES A FREE COUNTRY ,..

  11. Dr pullen your article was very insightful I’m very sorry you have been made to feel that way by a few bad apples, but I know there are people out there that are like me chronic pain suffers, I had a heart attack and fell down a flight of stairs and damaged my lower back, rotator cuff, tore my meniscus, and herniated 4 discs,
    this was in 2007 and I have begged every doctor that will take my insurance to operate on these areas I have been told its to risky do to blood thinners I am on, but I have had hundreds of shot in every joint that has pain so I was forced to start a pain medication regiment 4 20mg oxycodone 4 times a day in 2008 and have been to this day as you can imagine it doesn’t take my pain away as much anymore, I have diabetes and have a blocked artery in my left leg cutting blood flow to calf muscle and it causes such pain that I cry aloud and have to hide from my family, and yet again I can not get any surgeon to operate cause the blockage is not life threatening and diabetes is manageable but cause a massive amount of nerve pain I am forced to take more of my medication, I am a family man with four children and worked two full time jobs before my heart attack and other injuries, and now I live off state disability and my 401k I have been to every specialist and hospital in my area to help with my pain issues and have worked closely with my insurance and even have a doctor and nurse my insurance provides that visit me every six months, I cannot afford specialist 4 times a month I have all my documentation of all my injuries, what treatment would you recommend.. Thank you..

  12. I think it is horrifying to see what are government is doing to people with uncontrollable chronic pain. Maybe the president needs to feel this in order to understand. God bless all of you who have to suffer.

  13. I’m a 47 year old male who has bladder cancer and had triple bypass heart surgery last September of 2014,, its a great shame that I have to live in pain every day of my life because doctors seen I was on oxycodone 30 milligrams tablets 4 times daily,,that was the only thing which controlled my chronic pain,,I had a regular physician who was prescribing me this medication for over 5 years,then one day he tells me I have to get into pain management because he couldn’t prescribe me this medication anymore because of such harsh laws now,,his hands were tied,, how and why our government is controlling what doctors can prescribe and be basically useless anymore because they are told what and how much they are allowed to prescribe now,,, now I’m having a difficult time finding a doctor who can prescribe me this medication which I really do need,, when I go to hospital to explain my situation they treat me like a drug addict,, well guess what now I’m currently smoking marijuana which I never did,, and currently having to buy anything off the streets to help my pain issues,, so now you have a law abiding citizen who had never done anything illegal to doing anything I have to do to curve my chronic pain issues,,good going government or whoever had the bright ideas of controlling what doctors can do and prescribe now,, and bet you everyone else is doing the same,, our government are such idiots really,, good going to the smart one who made it hard on everyone out there ,, sincerely Greg king cancer patient,,

  14. Dear lost all sense of humanity,
    I couldn’t read past the 1st couple of sentences without wondering WHY you even bother to remain in healthcare . It’s very obvious you no longer want to be bothered by patients or their healthcare needs. I cringed reading how little you care, the sad reality is, you just don’t care anymore.
    Please, do everyone a favor and get out of the business & away from people you clearly detest

  15. Lt. Balls: It sounds like you are terribly distraught and I wish only the best for you. I fail to see how Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, brought this loss of your medication to you. Did you have to change physicians, or was it a formulary change? Anyway I hope you find the care you need and deserve. DrP.

  16. I was a WOMAN serving as 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army for 16 months, a normal tour of duty in Vietnam. I went to forward areas every single day via helicopter to visit troops where entire mountains had just been exfoliated so the grunts could dig into the poisoned red clay to build bunkers to fight from. During TET of 1968, I was living with Army nurses in Nah Trang, a beautiful tourist town on the South China Sea. The local army base deserted to the jungle to escape the Viet Cong leaving us hiding under our beds because the Viet Cong were going house to house looking for Americans to drag out into the streets and shoot in the head. Finally some Special Forces friends of ours realized that we did not get out and rescued us. They took us to a Huah Mong indigenous peoples of Vietnam camp who fought in the jungles with the Special Forces, whom we already knew were going into Laos and Cambodia nightly even then. We were fed and cared for by this Indigenous tribe for almost a month until our command took us back! Even before I left the country I was already getting sick from all of the chemicals exposures including to depleted uranium, daily camp burnoffs of feces, body parts from the field hospital & depleted uranium & ordinance burned in the camp daily poisoning all of us with much more than just Dioxin! I am now 71 and bedridden! For the past 43 years, until now, I used a 2mg tab daily of Buprenorphine, a weak opioids antagonist that gave me just enough of an energy lift to get me out of bed everyday and brought me a life of value! I had friendships, I worked out at a gym and swam laps daily. Then Obamacare happened and now I have nothing and all I think a about is killing myself! Thanks US Government Ass Holes! I hope you get a lot of joy out of all of the suicides! Not only that I have NEVER, after 3 attempts and hiring a lawyer received even one cent in compensation from the VA, just like all of the other women nurses and ARC recreation workers who were exposed daily to these poisons unlike the millions of officers with desk jobs in Saigon who have been sitting on their fat asses for years! This one drug provided just enough of a lift for my chronic fatigue and aching legs and falling apart feet for over 43 years, now all I take is aspirin and believe me all I think about is SUCIDE! After the life I have had I am more than ready to meet my maker and if whatever that means, I have no qualms about committing suicide, which is probably my only choice out of a bedridden horrible existence that I will not tolerate! I now label Obamacare EVIL INCARNATE! I worked everyday of my adult life until recently, while on this medication. I worked as a computer programmer, having taught myself when my husband died of cancer at age 50 leaving me with 3 children to educate, which I did all on my own. I think I deserve better than THIS! Who out there is with me! It is time for all of us to call for an end to the Crude Nanny State we call Hell! I hope all of you know that WE provided Europe with the most advantaged and cheap “Single Payor” health available in the world today. There you don’t even need a prescription to purchase any drug you want! And for half the price we pay for drugs under Fucking Medicare! Why even marijuana is legal there! Why do you think the Scandinavion countries & Europe have the highest & cheapest health care systems in the world? The MARSHALL Plan gave it to them after WWII! The US health system is ranked number 37 in the world, just behind Zimbabwe! Plus our healthcare cost TWICE what it cost in EU! Stop thinking of the US as a modern world. We are so far behind enlightened people we don’t even REGISTER as advanced human beings! I wish every day I had been born on a different continent! I devoted a lot of my life to being a peace & justice activist but no more! I realize that in my current state I would just be a burden to other activists, so I cannot even protest anymore, ugh! Please make comments and expand on my thoughts!

  17. It is called covering there own butts because the FDA and DEA have both said those of us with horrible diseases as painful as cancer and yes, they exist, should have access to opiate meds they have been taking and proven can be trusted. I have over 4 years of records saying I never missed pills or had a problem with a drug screen and followed every letter of my contract and for that I get a 2 month notice my doctor is quitting and can’t tell me where to go because no prescribes anymore. They are even taking out pain pumps or turning them off. It is downright wrong and I believe the suicide rate with far exceed the overdose deaths in the future.

  18. Some of these comments are truly amazingly heart rending, and this article, and the companion “How to Spot a Drug-Seeking Patient” indicate to me that Dr Pullen, and the doctors with the same opiate averse attitude, are either very poor diagnosticians or trapped in the past. I have not needed chronic administration of opiates for sciatic neuralgia (confirmed by MRI), but on the several occasions that I have needed heavy doses of opiates, including 10 mg percocets, 7.5mg vicoprofen, and even, once, 20 mg oxycontin for several months, I was treated with respect and compassion. Once upon a time, I had an insensitive doctor with preconceived notions and a snotty superior attitude, and not wanting to “start all over with a new doctor” toughed it out for 2 years. I was much younger at the time. SWITCH YOUR DOCTOR, GET AWAY from cold fish like this guy Pullen. I’m lucky I’m in NYC and have been with a GREAT lady doctor for 6 years now, who happens to be a veteran ex-supervisor of a major NYC ER/Trauma Center. Time for Dr Pullen and his ilk to go fishin’.

  19. Major Walter: You are certainly in a difficult position. I have no contacts in your area for advice re a referral. Consider your insurance company or the local medical society for options. Good luck. DrP.

  20. In 2004 I was on oxycodone which was beginning to no longer have any effect on the pain. I was being admitted to the Fort Belvoir Army Hospital every 2 months or less. Because of the medication not adequately controlling the pain I made my second suicide attempt and nearly succeeded. I moved to Johnson County KS in 2005 and was being treated by the Leavenworth US Army Clinic. I was referred to an off base pain manager who is no longer in business and was changed to Actiq 12mcg every 6 hours. I was then referred to another physician that changed the prescription to 1800mcg every 12 hours. Because of insurance I was referred to Dr. Steven Simon who triturated the medication to 1 1200mcg every 6 hours, 1 800mcg Fentora every 8 hours and change the valium from 10 mg every 4 hours to 10 mg every 8 hours which very adequately controlled the pain to the point where I was able to tolerate the pain. That was in 2005. In August of this year I was removed from the Fentanyl medications and returned to the medication which because of its inability to control the pain had driven me to suicide in 2004 when I nearly was successful. I have been unable to find a physician that will prescribe the medication. When the lack of medication efficiency happens I am afraid that because of the inability to tolerate the intense pain I may choose to again solve the problem in an unacceptable way. I faithfully lived by the opioid contract I signed and ever turned my brother in for abusing Actiq and later abusing Soma and Ativan taking massive overdoses. I need help in finding a physician that will prescribe the Actiq, Fentora, and the original amount of Valium. I have been in pain management since 1996 and doubted, belittles, called a liar, and required to see a psychiatrist because my physician said no one could be in that much pain. Pain is a deadly disease that kills first the human spirit’s will to survive and also destroys the patient’s physical being killing the human body a piece at the time. Right now my best bet is medical marijuana but it is not yet legal in Kansas. I have joined the Silverhaired Legislature to lobby the Kansas Congress to pass the medical marijuana bill after passing the House of Representatives is being held up by the senate agenda setter Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook a republican. For me my immediate need is to find a physician what will prescribe the required medication to make life livable again. My cousin who was exactly 3 months to the day older than me had MS and then contracted cancer which became brain cancer. To ease her pain and give her an appetite, something that pain takes away from you, her sisters acquired marijuana which made her final days more tolerable and she began to eat again. I am asking for assistance in finding a physician that will make life more livable for me and stop the need to do the most drastic thing to end my suffering. Pain kills a part of your body and you spirit every day. The only thing that keeps me out of the hospital is that the spasms have not set in yet. When they do I have a decision to make. Doctor, can you assist me in finding a physician that will help me and prescribe the needed medication. The list of pain managers given to me by the pain clinic I use were physicians which give spinal injections and 5 physicians that specialize in these injections have told me that even if they could get the needle into the spinal canal through the tail bone, the could not guarantee even 5 minutes of relief and recommended against this treatment. Dr., can you help me?

  21. Hmm…so all these new laws in place to stop criminals and addicts or teenagers experimenting with medication that doesn’t belong to them.

    Our confusion is this…most of the expainations from the posts of doctors are continually commenting on the all time high level of people dying (still consuming another persons meds) Seeing, with their own eyes these drug dealers on corners and having addicted patients come in needing help with their addiction.
    Seems all that has changed is the ability of those who struggle in pain everyday with a diagnosed illness to get the help they need.
    Chronic pain destroys while families. Our children are Also in danger. Mine never took opiates, but, our children are in danger of malnutrition neglect kidnapping etc because we aren’t getting enough medication to get to the bathroom let alone cook dinner.
    Criminals and addicts will always find a way. Teenagers will smoke bath salts if they really want a drug.
    Please stop hurting us and our families.

  22. Dr. Pullen you are a piece of putrid crap. I have a genetic condition called cystinuria its a kidney disease that causes chronic kidney stones that are so hard they have to be pulled out no litho. after my second surgery I started to get back and testicle pain all on the left side. I am up to four surgeries now and also have picked up a new complication reoccurring bladder spasms. My life has become a mess I spend 3 to 4 days a week on average just laying on the couch with my feet propped up unable to complete normal everyday activities. I cannot even get in to see a primary care dr. I’ve been told my conditions make me a liability. Pain makes you lose your mind after days of no relief. I wish I could see you in real life face to face so I could share some of that pain with you DOCTOR.

  23. Why don’t you just stop being a doctor if your not willing to help people, I had something similar happen for a broken shoulder. Because I had abused drugs 15 years ago and it was on my record, I was prescribed Promethazine, Dramamine, Ibuprofen, and a other slew of crap to help me sleep and for pain. Needless to say my life sucked for awhile, till my injuries healed and was on the verge of wanting to kill myself over pain/sleep issues.

  24. I think it is sad that we have health care professionals who can turn a blind eye and not care that someone is hurting. The DEA doesn’t want to do the job they are paid to do, and why should they? All they have to do is move some drugs up the schedule and call it a day. Who is holding them accountable? Not the doctors, not politicians, hell not even the patients. And why not the patients? Because they have their hands full trying to figure out how they are going to get some damn relief while others are just bitching and moaning because they can’t get their high on! It makes me sick! The DEA is basically saying we are useless we can not effectively do our jobs so for that reason you must suffer. Then those same freaking idiots are confused when heroin, meth, crack and other forms of drugs are abused BECAUSE PEOPLE IN PAIN ARE GOING TO LOOK FOR REMEDIES and a DRUG ADDICT IS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A HIGH! My poor mother lives in constant pain during her last xray they found that she has 8 bone spurs on her right knee and 5 on her left. The doctor even said looking at this I know it hurts but since you are not a good candidate for surgery I can not give you any pain medications. My mother was on Norco 10/325mg 1 table every 6 hours for 5 years and she now gets nothing. NOTHING! She is 63 years old and does not live to get high she takes those medications to aid in pain relief but nobody gives a damn and most doctors are like this doctor who posted this crap here. What happened to do no harm…..leaving someone in pain is doing no harm. The only thing I can say to you is may your doctor treat you with the same callus and disgust you treat your pain patients. I don’t wish you any harm but let’s face it we all die from something and when it’s your turn to need some compassion and understanding, when it’s your turn to beg for mercy and medication, may your doctor look at you and say…….No. And just for the record I am a nurse and if you were treating one of my residents I would have your ass in a sling with the medical board! You have a responsibility to your patients but patient care isn’t why you became a doctor is it? You did it for the money and only the money God have mercy on your soul…….

  25. Nathan: Consider contacting your county health department for the detox resource in your community. DrP.

  26. I have come to the conclusion that the doctors and government people responsible for these decisions are motivated purely by sadism. They don’t actually believe that people in horrific pain are faking it, they just don’t care.

    A close relative of mine took him own life – after several attempts – because he was in such horrible pain for years. Doctors like Dr. Pullen made this possible.

    I have come to the conclusion that, despite any risks, citizens must demand that all opiates be sold freely over the counter. It’s the only way to stop demented sociopaths like this doctor and many others from sentencing people to a lifetime of agony.

  27. You know the whole system is fahked. You take pain pills even as directed you become addicted that’s how it works. An just because someone is addicted does that mean they don’t need the meds? Or does that define who they are? No. But instead of serving they’re country for two years like they use to , now we have a bunch of old white people who need to keep making laws to keep there job. That’s not serving our country but themselves. So now you get in trouble for everything. Its a real issue pain an addiction but let’s not help them let’s just throw them in jail with real criminals so if they weren’t criminals they will be when they come out. An unable to get a job because of the felony yeah thats helping america . Wake the fahk up. Iff there is a demand there will be a supply you say it kills people what about alcohol an tabacco? Somethings got to change. I been online trying to find a dr to ween me off opiates all day everyyone I call is “not excepting new patients” I wanna stop now but can’t handle the withdrawl so what that makes me a bad person for wanting drugs that were made for this reason? People are so ignorant. I’m in bremerton wa if anyone knows someone who will help me or if your a dr plz help me I’m desperate to move on an cut that one thing out of my life it does not define me I am a child of the one true king, an my name is nathan not addict, thx 3604737379

  28. well I am in the situation of so many others,,,sick of idiotic drs who dont give a crap about us in pain…why treat pain like any other condition?? people are on many meds their whole life so what if a person with chronic pain needs meds on a faitly regular basis?????????????????? We dont want to get high..we want a life!!! why is it ok to be forced to suck it up and be in debilitating pain??????????????

  29. Sir, I can only hope and pray that someday you get to watch the person who is most dear to you suffer for years on end in untreated chronic pain.

  30. I’m sorry but i think after reading your VERY OPINIONATED bad wrap of opiates, i have had extensive back surgery w/ titanium rods and 49 screws, just for starters. I have such pain I have passed out from it. How can a so called doctor use not use pain medication when needed, So because a few junkies have tried to pull one over on you, that ruins it for the rest of us who are in legitimate pain!! well then lets just do away with all alcohol in this country, because of all the alcoholics and people it’s killed. For god sake if i’m in pain who the hell are you to tell me my level of pain and what i need. and i’m no drug seeker, i just want my life back…….but hey i tip my hat to the man who’s got it all under control…….you should not be a doctor yourself, because your not empathetic , you have no sympathy, and God willing nothing bad , meaning very painful happens to you or yours,

  31. I fall into the catagory of a chronic pain sufferer. My diagnosis is such that all physicians I have seen do not dispute my complaints of high level pain. They all however insist on using meds that are ineffective which I have willingly tried. I was honest about history of experimenting with drugs and at one time heavily drinking. I am 62 years old and have absolutely no history of prescription drug abuse and no use of any drugs for years. I am always placed in the drug seeker catagory by drs and have resigned myself now to “self medicating” to relieve pain, not for recreation. I would suffer under the care of a dr. in this state of Maine so I choose not to suffer and have no “care giver” and oxymoron? Care givers in this state do not allow themselves empathy, so they choose aggressive denial of helpful meds to suspected drug seekers even when their policies cause prolonged suffering. Who cares in the medical profession…noone!

  32. I’m 14 and addicted to pain pills because no doctor would give me anything so I ended up having to get them off the streets they make such big deals out of it

  33. people with cronic pain.can not get nothing.but people with no pain can get pain meds.so whats up with that????I HURT WITH ARTHRITIES AND ONLY GET OVER THE COUNTER MEDS.

  34. It really sux when you are in pain and dr.’s won’t give you anything because they think you are faking and you are a drug addict when you have had 7 back surgeries. I have 3 scars on my back over 6 inches long and 2 over 3 inches long and I am faking pain just for medications? I live everyday in excruciating pain and can hardly walk. I am on disability and they keep trying to make me go back to work. Did I mention I can hardly walk much less concentrate on work. I had one PM dr. and one day he just told me he could not treat me anymore? No reason what so ever. I was fine taking oxycontin 4 times a day and had a good life with very little pain. I was on them for 10 years. Since then I have had 4 surgeries to repair the problem with it only getting worse. I will take anything I can find because I can’t find a dr. to treat me. Two months after the last surgery they cut me off pain meds and I am hurting like hell right now. It is ridiculous not to give someone pain meds after 7 surgeries. That ought to be proof enough that I am in pain. For young people that go just for the pills offer them back surgery and see how fast they run out the door. Piss on the DEA!

  35. I have degenerated disc des. I’ve had it about 2005 . I was doing well had pain meds an tried to Orkney out at the America time becareful, one wrong move, I’d go back to hospital, now it’s 2015 , not no better old , diabetes , arthritis ,HB ,DEA has went around the country taking Vicodin an any thing with it in off the market state wide.2 things I’d like to say,1 it would be fine ,if people could take codeine / or Morphine. No not me, no shape or form . Allergy deadly. I have friends who get OxyContin , an Tylenol 2s/an3s.OnOn! But me 59year old women in pain constant ,they give crap, take new meds weekly praying it will somehow work, but ever does. I tell the Dr s all the time there in the street u can buy them. Plus they just took a poll ,yes drug overdose are down Pharmacy drug down, but Heron is up even in suburbs ,really w/death,high school …..hay I’m just saying . I’m all fore stopping kid dying. For sure, but us old people in chronic pain need help. We can go on like this. I hope some one reads this and makes some changes fore us, this is not a quality of live. Darlene. Anderson

  36. My son was hit by a van coming home from work on his motorcycle. His leg was attached by 2 tendons. He is in pain 24/7, he now has 2 herniated discs and hip problems. He has terrible depression, and cannot get any help for any Doctor. It seems to me that there must be a Doctor that knows how to tell if the patient really needs the medication or has a problem. I am writing this for my son. I do not drink. smoke, or take drugs. Unfortunately, I know my son needs help for his pain. I can’t stand seeing him like this. He is not an addict, he is is pain.

  37. The end is near? 57 year old male with two many injuries to name, the final was a drunk inducide attempted vehicular homicide while I was on a touring MC death from heart failure and choking on shatered teeth,shattered back, skull, now all titanium. may the four drunkin youths in brunswick burn in hell for what they did to me!
    Was forced into on coming traffic by these monsters, been in painmanagement for almost 10 years now,3 of these doctors have lost ther license,no fault of mine or there’s, just targeted for termination by DEA?
    Was on the largest dose of fentynyl a human can recieve legally,never asked to go that high thats just where they took me because of the pain scale score I gave when asked on each visit, to me no matter what they give you or I should say I pain is going to be present no matter what. I wasn’t drug seeking my history of injury is well documented there can be no dispute to this, never screwed up with a pill count or a toxscreen untill with my final Dr. was warned of dismisal on three seperate occasions however if you do some research on the accuracy of toxscreen, I think you will be shocked that a persons quality of life could based on the accuracy of a test with so many variable’s.
    There is no doubt that the system is ascue and we are in big trouble if you find yourself here, because to the best of my intelegence level there are no answer’s,not from a doctor, a lawyer,a hospital,a government worker alias (COM)or anyone else out there including our wonderfull politision’s, that have pretty much legislated everything but morality including this delema I’m facing.
    so just for argument sake if anyone out there can answer the question? ” can a patient discharged from opiod therepy for non-
    compliance, get back into painmanagement for the same therapy,or is he banned from it for the rest of his natural life?
    And for the record I’m already well aware that this type of treatment is available to the paitent anywhere outside the JUSA
    will check periodicly to this site to see if anyone comes up with a solution, and to them I say run for office I will concider you in the same caliber as a Ron or Rand Paul, God Bless,

  38. I just do not understand where our government has any right to interfere in the/my medical industry/history. They use the so called “statistics” to say that the opiate use has tripled and overdoses have tripled, the government is/does manipulate these to their advantage. Our government is the worst corrupt criminal in this whole mess. People who live in pain everday suffer from just more than pain. I was on very good terms with my pain management doctor of 5 yrs, ALWAYS took my narcotics in at EVERY visit, which was every 2 months, NEVER cancelled an appointment, had to drop a urine at EVERY visit, I NEVER had a dirty urine. After 5 yrs of treating me, with no issues, I went into my appointment as usual, they came back to me after taking my narcotic for count and told me I was off 24. After a minute of wondering how, I remembered that I was in a hurry that afternoon, not thinking, the weather was horrible that day, a big snow storm and I really didn’t want to make the hour drive in it to the dr office so with my mind being preoccupied, I had forgot to grab my pills out of my weekly pill counter that I put them in for Sun-Sat., an honest mistake. I explained to the girl that’s what happened and she left the room. She came back a few minutes later, by this time it is 3 p.m. and tells me that I will have to drive home, get them and make it back by 4 before they leave. I was a bit appalled at the way she said it, but I told her the roads are horrible, its a snow storm out there and it takes me 45 min on a good day to get home, so I refused to drive all the way home. I never would of made it back to the office by 4, being that I NEVER had an issue in 5 yrs I couldn’t believe they were treating me like a drug addict. The next thing I know, my dr. of 5 years comes in yelling and screaming at me, telling me he wont lose his license n so on. I just sat there, stunned not understanding what was going on. His last words to me, “I cannot treat you anymore.” I left the office not knowing what just happened. I got a copy of my file, wanted to know what his reasoning was on paper, and all that was wrote by him is “no reason was given for my count being off.” Then 3 months later his office just up n closed, no reason to his patients. I am now unable to find any pain mgment dr who will treat me once I mention that I went to him for 5 yrs., I did therapy, did injections, did all that. I had a severe reaction to the injections so the only way I can be treated is with pharmecuticals and no other dr wants to do that nor have anything to do with me because of this dr. I am also in Ohio, so that doesn’t help my cause either. Idk, this post kind of got off topic, but our government has scared these physicians into writing no prescriptions stronger than vicodin. We are no longer a FREE COUNTRY, we have surveillance EVERYWHERE, the gov’t taps our phones, computers, everything. We no longer have hardly any of our rights and civil liberties. They say its for our safety, that is just their scapegoat. What do they do for pain? Our government is just a huge joke!!

  39. They have made it next to impossible to establish and maintain a long term relationship with any pain doctor, not to mention they have horrible bed side manner for the most part. I have mild to moderate stenosis in 4 places, spurring in my back from numerous car accidents and haven’t hade any imaging done in almost 3 years. Throughout this time I have been seiing pain doctors however establishing a new long term doctor who will write my meds is not impossible, just cumbersome. I would appreciate any help locating a quality compassionate caregiver. Ideally an internal medicine doctor.
    Thank You

  40. My pain doctor thinks I have a disk that leaked on to my sacral nerve, causing the agonizing pain in my genitals and pelvis that I have 24 hours a day. I also have interstital cystitis and endometriosis. Yet to this quack, I would just have “vague, unverifable” sources of pain. That’s because virtually all sources of pain are(to this incompetent’s way of thinking) “vague and unverifiable” unless they involve cancer or an xrayable fracture. This physician obviously is lacking in diagnostic skills, and would prefer to let patients suffer than possibly give pain meds to someone who isn’t quite suffering enough for his satisfaction. My pain doc has me go to a lab every month , pee in a cup, and prove that I’m taking my meds. It’s that simple. Obviously this guy just doesn’t want to be bothered because, as another commenter stated, he can make more money treating other illnesses.

    That’s what it boils down to for this physician and most others: money and giving a shit. He clearly doesn’t give a shit, and can make just as much or more money treating other conditions that aren’t as much of a hassle, so to hell with patients who have suicidal levels of pain. Dude, let’s hope there’s no such thing as heaven or hell because you aren’t going to fit through the eye of the needle. That burning pain I feel everyday will be yours for eternity.

  41. My heart goes out to you and all others like us. It has a lot to do with money.
    I was seeing the only opiat Dr. In town after both of my injuries. I was almost off drugs from the first (work) when a drunk driver hit me at 45 mph while on my mountain bike. I was so depressed at this point that I was seeing a counselor who rx vallium. My pain Dr. Said it’s either pain pills or vallium and now he’s going to watch me like a hawk. Well he did more than that. He wanted full access to my entire life treating me like a child. I don’t like to be invaded or told what to do and he fired me. I am also screwed because I have a red flag and can’t get help so now I have to live at my parents house as I am disabled I am just sucking up oxygen I feel.
    I have lost everything and everyon all because they say no. I would be working at something if i could think about something else besides pain. Fucking pain.

  42. Kathy. please try kratom, it is legal in the US and natural. Has the pain killing effects of opiates in high amounts. there are several amazing vendors online, try kratora. I also am in pain from sciatica, and after being taken off medicine I started to control my own pain with kratom. Don’t give up the fight, this will return your quality of life, I promise. I hope you read this before it’s too late.

  43. Wow. You’re a total piece of shit. So what if someone wants to get high? Life F%$#&*& sucks enough that it’s no wonder so many people would rather drug themselves into stupor than deal with it. What’s even worse is that you use this pseudo-moral position to justify outright hurting innocent people – and then you blame the recreational users for YOUR decision to hurt innocent people!

    Really, all drugs should be available OTC. If someone does a (real) crime, sober or not, they should be held responsible, but adult patients can make their own decisions about what they put into their bodies. At least in free countries. Not only would this eliminate the majority of crime and danger associated with drug use, but it would also make sure that pain patients have a constant supply of what they need – both things your article fails to address. It also provides people with more reliable and less traumatising to discover self-euthanasia methods should they ever decide to follow that path – an option that all free human beings should be entitled to.

    You should be relegated to an optional ‘consultant’ and ‘advisor’ rather than ‘gatekeeper’. Doctors like you can’t be trusted as gatekeepers. That much is crystal f&%^$#@% clear. Your lack of compassion truly disgusts me.

  44. Why are you guys even entertaining this guy it’s clear he’s the one with the problem here get a life dude.

  45. With all respect to our Dr I pray if ever your in need of anothers Dr Mersey he gives it on the flip side people are completely completely to blame if you go see a Dr and they refuse your request remember their not as dumb as you would like to think they are I have been in pain management 14y now without fault so if you lost your PM Dr you messed up not your Dr.

  46. I lost 4 family members to suicide over drs like this guy who are wearing a sea hat by the Mr hat and finding an excuse to ignore the oath we take of do no harm.I’m now facing the decision of suicide because my ability to live a meaningful life was ripped away.so while you are smug and judgemental we continue to be added to the accidental over dose numbers.we aren’t accidentally overdosing.no chronic pain patient does.we are sick of you not giving a damn.we did not ask for pain that requires opiates.it is a sin .I’ve been in medicine for 26 years.I’m ashamed of the lot of you.and don’t act like your other victim.that’s ridiculous and insulting.

  47. I see both sides of the issue. If you have money (Michael Jackson and others who died from doctors over-prescribing), you can get what you want.

    My father, who died in excruciating pain from throat/lung cancer and the effects of radiation that made him look like like a holocaust death, had doctors giving him various drugs. The doctor worked for the VA in another state. I saw the enormity of the drugs mailed to my dad. I called the office and said he has a doctor and stop sending drugs. The receptionist said my dad would call and call until he got what he wanted. I said IGNORE HIM. They didn’t. By the time of his death (mid 2008), he was given patches and I don’t know if he was still overdosing on the various meds (it didn’t matter – you do what works) but I think he built up such an immunity that nothing killed the pain except death. The doctors take the hit for doing this.

    My stepmother, who I stopped talking to 20 years before her death, was also addicted. She was great at getting what she wanted.

    But the same year my stepmother died, my mom was in the final stages of lung cancer. She didn’t abuse drugs. I heard her screaming in the hospital from pain. Her screams were real and she was reaching the end of her days. The doctors gave her a self-injecting dose of morphine at home where we cared for her. Drs increased morphine and her system shut down as intended. (1997) Sloane-Kettering increased the morphine for my father-in-law and again, I knew his system would shut down and it did as I watched. They’re big and it’s doubtful anyone would sue them.

    Pullen has to cover his xxxx. I don’t blame him. Don’t like him? Go elsewhere. I will likely be in the same position as many of you in the not far future. We’ll find alternatives and hopefully will not die as many are and will – in massive pain.

    We have a broken system. This isn’t a surprise.

  48. a comment to the GOOD doc . while on opiates, i di not want them, and asked to be reduced as soon as epiderals statred to work until my surgeries. but, i slipped and told someone what i was on and you talk about a magnet …… what a big mistake.. i bought a safe.. and hid it .. i never took more than rx . i respected what i was on, when i was offered oxy contin i refused ,after my husband and i looked it up on line {a drug of choice on the streets , so ,very addictive} and the way they pulled me off , i would have been in big trouble on that drug , I can feel for the doctors who are legit and really care about people and not just the mighty dollar bill.and what they must go through, I learned fast, I took several no’s to my neighbor and schemes to try to get pills from me, before she gave up.But who do they tell? I had no idea? How many people does a doctor see in a day?Then if one is on opiate for an extended period of time then the body stops making its own natural pain producing mechanisms {hypalgesia}not sure of the word ,but anyway i have had to do my own research while they allowed me to be in a severe hypothyroid state for 3 yrs ,i finally requested my labs after my cancer bout ,very lethargic ,still kickin, but never took opiates until it was as bad as labor pains ,every day ,for 6 weeks, so I expect, the people who really suffer will have to suffer because of the ones who do abuse these addictive narcotics, and the mothers who let their kids take rx and do not become educated , or the dr or his aid who does not INFORM THE PARENT about the drug that was rx. this is my 2nd comment after my former one

  49. scoliosis ,ruptured disc, severe spinal arthritis and a few other spine ,nerve damage broken foot 3 yrs ,,arch sticks out of the bottom of my foot ,due to drs mistake , other foot ,students made mistakes and bone is growing downward after 8 surgeries not needed . now they, because of new laws have taken me off pain meds , i lay in pain , barely feed myself my sugars 480 plus , can barely take care of myself any more , no weaning off , no heart check up at 60 yrs old . doing more damage than good .. drs here to kill. not sustain life i will not try to get illegal any thing , maybe my time is just up, due to the medical profession , who put me on opiates when i could not walk ,gave me epiderals mrsa and pic lines and surgeries , now the pain is full blown almost .i pray it doesnt.. i am ready ,if i have to go ,i dont want to but look at what they did to me

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