Chronic pain is no joke, and what is happening in the medical world today is affecting people with chronic pain in a massive way. There have recently been new laws passed requiring doctors to lower the amount of pain medication they are allowed to prescribe to their patients, no matter the condition.
According to painnewsnetwork.org, “The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced plans to reduce the amount of almost every Schedule II opioid pain medication manufactured in the U.S. by 25 percent or more.”
If doctors do not hold true to lessening the amount of medication they are prescribing, they run the risk of losing their license.
While this is an effort to reduce drug abuse, it is hurting over 25.3 million people with chronic pain in the United States who actually need this medication, according to the National Health Interview Survey. They can no longer receive the amount of medication needed to simply function throughout the day.
My mother, who was born with Fibromyalgia, is feeling these effects and it pains me to see what she has to go through just to get her necessary medication.
For those of you who do not know, Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder that causes intense, musculoskeletal pain throughout the entire body. Someone with Fibromyalgia will feel pain much more than the average person. My mother, Christina Litten, explained the struggle she faces day to day having to deal with chronic pain, as well as having to deal with doctors.
“We still don’t get respect from the medical community, even though this is a real disorder,” Litten said. “I have been taking Tramadol for years and all of a sudden I have to fill out a contract stating that I will not let other doctors prescribe Tramadol to me.”
Other requirements have now been added to Litten’s regiment when visiting the doctor, or trying to fill her usual prescription.
“I had to give a urine sample to prove I am not abusing medications and it made me feel like I am a criminal,” Litten said. “I also have to see the doctor more than once a year to give a urine sample to continue to receive a medication that only takes the edge off from pain so I can function; it does not stop the pain.”
The issue with these new laws is the fact that it is not one size fits all when it comes to medical conditions. Fibromyalgia, along with many other chronic illnesses, calls for extra attention from the doctor. These people are not drug addicts; they were diagnosed with an illness and need medication just to get up in the morning.
There needs to be a change. It is completely, and utterly unacceptable to treat every person the same in the medical community. My mother, who does everything she can to stay healthy, cannot help that she was born with Fibromyalgia. Treating her like an addict and limiting crucial medication is appalling.