When a pain patient sees a pain management physician, the majority of patients are required to sign a “Pain Contract” in order to be seen and have ongoing treatment by the pain physician. There are many rules a patient has to abide by in these pain contracts.
Some of these rules include:
*Agreeing to random urine drug tests
(If a patient has any illegal substances, other prescription pain medication not prescribed by the pain physician, or even medical marijuana show up in their urine, they will be terminated from the pain physicians office and care. This is done to make sure the patient is following their pain physicians orders, not obtaining medications from another physician, or using illegal substances).
*Agreeing to random pill counts
(Patients can be called at any time and expected to come into the pain physicians office, in person, with their medication, in the original containers to have it counted. This is to make sure the patient is taking the pain medication as prescribed and not misusing the it).
*Filling prescriptions at one pharmacy only
(Most pain physicians require that the patient tell them ahead of time what pharmacy they plan to get their prescriptions filled at before any prescriptions are given to the patient or sent to the pharmacy. This is done to make it easier for the pain physician to find out what prescriptions were filled and when they were filled).
*No use of medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, or any other drug whether prescribed or not
(The pain physician will make sure the patient is not taking any other substances or medications not prescribed by them by doing random urine drug tests. Patients risk being terminated from their pain physicians office and care if something not prescribed by them or something illegal shows up in the patient’s urine drug test).
*No other physician can prescribe pain medication except current pain physician
(The pain physician will check the online State Prescription Monitoring Service to make sure a patient has not been prescribed or has filled a prescription for pain medication from another physician. This service also lets the pain physician know that the patient is using only one pharmacy to fill their pain medications).
***With this service, any physician, as well as law enforcement, can look up a patient’s name and see what medications were filled, where they were filled, the amount of each medication filled, what physician prescribed the medication, and the date in which the medication was filled.
(If a patient needs surgery or dental procedure that require pain medication, this has to be set up in advance. The physician or dentist doing the procedure has to notify the pain management physician about the procedure and what medications are going to be used).
*Mandatory follow-ups with the pain physician every 1-3 months for re-evaluation and new written prescriptions
(A pain physician requires the patient to follow up every 1-3 months to be re-evaluated and to get new pain prescriptions written. A patient cannot call their office requesting a refill on their pain medication. The patient has to be seen in person to get written prescription refills on their pain medication. If a patient misses their appointment, or does not call to cancel and reschedule their appointment, they may be terminated from their pain physicians office and care. This is done to make sure the patient is following their pain physicians orders and in order to continue the patients ongoing treatment).
These are only a few of the rules in a Pain Contract. Most pain contracts have additional rules, but these are the most popular, so to speak. Most pain patients who see pain a management physician, are heavily monitored and have to abide by the rules in the pain contract in order to receive and continue pain treatment.
In March, 2016, the CDC made their Opioid Prescribing Guidelines public. These guidelines were written by the CDC and those in the addiction recovery community because of the increasing number of people overdosing and dying from opioid abuse and misuse, aka, the “Opioid Epidemic”. The guidelines were written to be “Voluntary” for primary care physicians, but many physicians, including pain physicians, have adopted these guidelines as “Law” in their practice. Many pain physicians have done this because of the increased presence and the harassment of the DEA. Many physicians have been threatened by government officials if they don’t abide by the CDC guidelines and reduce the amount of prescriptions they write and the amount of medication their patients are on.
Many things have rapidly gone downhill for pain patients since the CDC guidelines were made public. Pain patients have lost their physicians, been totally cut off their medication or have been made to drastically decrease their medication to a dosage that no longer manages their chronic or intractable pain. Many pain patients can no longer hold down a job, take care of their family or even take care of themselves because they no longer get their medications or have been made to decrease their medication.
Then… pain patients were made to hear, by the media, through articles and videos, that those with addiction problems should be treated with opioid medication for their opioid addiction.
Those in the addiction recovery community want to treat the pain and agony of withdrawal with an opioid medication. What about the pain and agony that pain patients have to deal with on a daily basis?
The pain and agony of withdrawal goes away in a few weeks, a chronic or intractable pain patients “pain and agony” never goes away… It can last a lifetime.
With the current so called “Opioid Epidemic”, and pain patients being blamed for this epidemic, many pain patients are asking themselves;
“What more do I have to do and how many more hoops do I have to jump through in order to get adequate pain treatment and the medications I need”?
Here is some brief information on the opioid medications that the addiction recovery community wants to treat opioid addiction with.
Methadone is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the “high” associated with the drug addiction.
Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. It is available only from a certified pharmacy.
Methadone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming even at regular doses . MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Taking this medicine during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Buprenorphine is used to treat narcotic addiction. Buprenorphine is not for use as a pain medication.
Buprenorphine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Buprenorphine can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Buprenorphine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Buprenorphine may cause life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
(This medication is used in combination with Naloxone which is called Suboxone)
Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.
Suboxone is used to treat narcotic (opiate) addiction.
Suboxone is not for use as a pain medication.
Suboxone can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming even at regular doses. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Taking Suboxone during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.
Fatal side effects can occur if you use Suboxone with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.
Those with chronic or intractable pain did not ask to live the way they do. They live in constant unrelenting daily pain that is unimaginable to those who do not have pain on a daily basis. They were dealt very negative cards in their life. Some are the victims of accidents, whether a car accident, work accident, or something else, and others have diseases they surely didn’t ask for. Many of those who suffer with this type of pain use some sort of opioid medication to manage their pain issues. With their medication being taken away by the US government, it is frustrating for them and their families. It’s hard for them to understand why they can’t have opioid medication for their pain and those with opioid addiction can have opioid medication. They often ask themselves or others;
“Why is our medication being taken away from us and given to addicts?”
I don’t have the answer to something I don’t understand myself.
This is Why Some Chronic and Intractable Pain Patients Are Against Those With Addiction!!!