In the midst of a growing national opioid epidemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines advising doctors against prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain, regardless of how much suffering their patients endure.
“It’s a game-changer,” says Andrew Kolodny, director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and the chief medical officer of Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug rehab. “This justifies funding for my job, which means I can continue to take it easy and wear jeans to the office everyday, which is the reason I always wanted to work for a nonprofit.”
The CDC’s guidance was prompted by the increasing number of politicians who want to look like heroes before November’s historic election. Blowhards like Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey have targeted pain patients despite pleas from those suffering from severe injuries and diseases.
“Look, I used to own a bar,” said Toomey (R-PA), former proprietor of Rookies sports bar in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “I’ve seen firsthand the good time buzzed people have, so I think the more important issue is keeping abusers from gaming the system rather than helping those who should be seeking physical therapy or Aleve.”
Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill that mandates patients to register into a statewide monitoring system which would take into account all prescribed medications and sexual fetishes. This would give politicians like himself an added tool to determine which college-aged girls who apply to work for them are on the pill and which were more likely to make suitable travel companions.
Earlier this month, Maine governor Paul LePage introduced opioid legislation, limiting prescriptions for both chronic and acute pain. There has been speculation that LePage is yielding to the pressure of special interest groups representing farms that grow illegal marijuana and the powerful Heroin Lobby whose members benefit when pain patients are denied access to the medications they need most. Others, including LePage’s wife, speculate he’s a moose’s ass.
For Bob Twillman, executive director for the American Academy of Pain Management, the new law in Massachusetts is a “mound of bonafide horse crap.” He said the CDC’s move is an ominous sign that state and federal lawmakers and other lowlifes will drive patients to illegal drugs, suicide, and back alley abortions, particularly older men.
Kolodny, says the blacklash from pain advocates is akin to naysayers of global warming. “It’s a manufactured controversy,” Kolodny says. “Cancer and crushed limbs aren’t all that painful, and everybody knows it.”
CDC advisers suggest opioids should not be prescribed as “first-line” therapy for people mangled in car accidents and falls from anything less than 1,000 feet in the air. They suggest if doctors really feel they must prescribe opioids, three days of treatment or less is sufficient. They recommend going over risks and goals for pain treatment with patients. Those goals could include finding natural ways of getting high by abusing “internet drugs” such Kratom.
In November, the non-profit group Washington Legal Foundation accused the CDC of violating federal law by refusing to disclose the “Core Expert Group” who drafted the guidelines. The CDC issued a statement indicating that though sticks and stones could break their bones, names would never hurt them. When questioned if they would vow to steer clear of opioids if in fact their bones would be broken, CDC officials changed the subject and speculated whether the republicans would have a brokered convention.
The most notable resistance came from within the federal government, the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, which pointed out there were not enough pain providers or members of the so-called LGBT community represented in the group.
Dr. Deborah Dowell, the lead author of the CDC guidelines, who has a long history of membership in metropolitan S&M clubs, says the considerations of pain advocates were addressed in the most recent draft and that if they keep up their backtalk, they are going to need pain meds themselves.