Responses to: OPINION – People Are Dying and the Government is Lying

Here are the responses to this article – This was the article describing my conversation with Thomas Novotny regarding the harm occurring daily with chronic pain patients.  These comments are definitely worth reading:

There are 44 comments for this article
  1. DaveSeptember 27, 2016 at 3:29 am

    @ Tim- The collective tragedies of the past and the rubble of the present politics of pain care dont weigh on me like a nightmare and dont drown my innocence and hopes for a better future. On the contrary, they motivate me to move toard a better future.

  2. MikeSeptember 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Well Tim, I guess I’m even more screwed by the new government regulations.

  3. Tim MasonSeptember 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    USA Today’s Samantha Nelson wrote a misleading story for the world to read during their breakfast meal. “The Opioid Abuser Next Door”. She said in her story that statistic show that there are 2.1 million people abusing prescription opioid in this country.
    I know money is being poured into lobbyists to group chronic pain patients into the “addict class”. The only reason for the addiction profiteers to fund such inaccurate statements is to get addiction treatments paid for by insurance so that they may reap the benefits an insurance plan. Their 100 dollar a week charge to young addicts and pill thieves would go up by a factor of 10 of if they could link every opioid user in the same set. Statistics does not work like that.
    There is no accuracy in media.

  4. Tim MasonSeptember 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    @Dave- I was at a seminar in St. Louis a few years ago. In the lobby I noticed a sign “History of Anesthesiology” 5th Floor. A friend and I thought we would check it out. He is a member of NOCERC. We saw all the early mixtures of exotic gases, archaic ether systems and a drowning victim resuscitation device as used in “The Three Stooges”.
    My friend as the lady hold the exhibit and explaining all the archaic equipment what they used for circumcision. Her mouth flew open and she turned her back to us. My friend is a large contributor to NOCERC and he pressed for an answer, know that there was not one. Not historically and not even now. We were asked to leave.

  5. CynthiaSeptember 26, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    How about giving us an email address, and a mailing address, of one or a few key government officials, and we all send letters and/or emails to them ON THE SAME DAY. And we could al, CALL them ON THE SAME DAY…Just as a start. ….also, I am not able to get to Washington DC for that rally, but I could show up at local offices of my elected officials. And we have to KEEP doing this, maybe every month or biweekly.

  6. Tim MasonSeptember 26, 2016 at 10:21 am

    Lana, these career politicians and those holding honorary degrees cannot obtain a real job at their age with weak credential that pay them the high salaries and perks they get.
    Honorary Science Degree-Laughable.

  7. Tim MasonSeptember 26, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Methadone treatment around here (North West Georgia) costs $95/week. That is $380 dollars + the occasional urine titration to see that the “patient” is not overtaking his/medication. That is a $400 month pain management. The insurance does not pay for this. This is why Addiction Centers and Addiction Doctors want chronic pain patients to be called ADDICTS. This would generated a Windfall for Addiction centers if Insurance started covering methadone treatment. The $400/month would go to $4000/month.

  8. LoriSeptember 26, 2016 at 5:52 am


    I agree that the government wants people on total disability to disappear. I normally would not vote Republican or Trump but the Democrats have a plan to continue this plan to pressure Drs and patients about opioid use. There are people trying to file a class action lawsuit. Petitions have been tried and failed in most cases. I might be interested in working with someone who backs the rights of the disabled to see if we could get theWorld Health Organization to talk to us or the media.
    My email is

  9. MistiSeptember 25, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    the gov wants people on total disability to disappear
    We need to vote Trump to get rid of the Obama agenda
    the only way to get these people to listen to pain patients is to cost them money
    why can’t we contact the World Health Organization petition them to back us ?

  10. DaveSeptember 25, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    @ Tim @ Lana- Moral disengagement is rampant in medicine , government and research- the iron triangle who uses the iron law of oligarchy to minimize or dismiss the relevance of morality in pain care- or those that claim there should be morality in pain care. They use whats known as neutralization theory in victim psychology to justify their position. First- since avoiding addiction is infinately more important then helping people in pain we must only focus on that. They refuse to take responsibility for any externalities- any harm to people in pain for their policies- they deny that there is or could be any harm-and finally they deny there are any victims of their ill conceived policies. After all people in pain are just hysterical malingering catastrophizing drug seekers-and government cant support the needs of such immoral beings. So it is clear the iron triangle consists of demoralized and demoralizing subhumans. They are such stuff as Milgram and zimbardo experiments are made of- they tacitly use the Nuremberg defense.
    And so pain care has denigrated into a cruel theater of absurd for people in pain for they are treated like people in Kafkas The Trial or by doctors who are like characters in Ionescos Rhinecerous. Again its a cruel theater that has no place in civil society.
    Let us not allow the irn triangle to diffuse or deny responsibility for creating the cruel careless clueless pain care system that even infants are frced to endure. Let us confront the irreesponsible dehumanizing unjustifiable ways of DHHS and politicians and all the powers that be that support the gorotesque monstorsity of pain care in the U.S. And if not now -when.
    We know that the DHHS is dead to moral concerns in pain care- they are programmed and inauthentic individuals that dont believe in democratic deliberation as they believe in right wing authoritarianism and fascisim to coerce people in pain to serve their power privelge and designs. They have made a desert of pain care and starved our hopes for a much different and much better and more humane pain care system They have escalated their commitment to a coercive Brave New World of pain care where choices are minimized and the right to chose is seen as an obstacle to their designs. They are a faction that is convulsing the god of pain care -they are the people our Framers- Jefferson, Madison warned us about When they told us that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism.
    They will not let reasoned argument to change their position. For reason is something that they use only to promote their power and privelege and dominium over people in pain.
    We have a chance to vote out incumbents and let the new legislators and governors and president know we seek to restore humanity and civility in pain care and our dried voices will no longer remain mute and meaningless and as distant as fading stars to the inured and immoral monsters in government and in health care. We will not be silenced and we will nt lower our voices. We will use the techniques of Ghandi and MLK and invent new ways to be heard and new ways of petitioning for justice in pain care. we will not repeat the mistakes of the past and we will not stop until it is over over there.

  11. Laura RobertsonSeptember 25, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    We are in life-threatening crises. People with great courage are fighting this fight isolated and alone. We are dying. Some of us slowly, some of us quickly, some of us accidentally, some of us with intent, but make no mistake, WE ARE DYING!


    Laura Robertson

  12. Kathleen HirteSeptember 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I’m on of the victims. I’m told I have pain equal to stage 4 cancer. Too bad I don’t have cancer. Because then I could have meds. It’s not a game it’s not a party it’s not a hobby It’s My Life. I have a spotless record of 20 years of an old dog down dulled- down life of 100% total+ permanent disability.
    If I could help in any way even just giving a statement or putting a face on this I will. I’ve had a very complex surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital buy the top cardiovascular surgeon in Chicago based on his peers vote at that time. The surgery was botched there’s nothing else they can do if it affects my skull my neck my shoulder and my right arm I have a compressed artery would cause constant nerve death and constant painful failed nerve regeneration. In a nutshell that’s where I am also without any help and alone I’m 64 years old and I’m miserable.
    I previously had a rather successful job at Norfolk Southern Corporation in operations and marketing yes I had a good life it’s gone. Thank you for what you have done by speaking to this moronic government official

  13. Jean PriceSeptember 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Glad you’ve shared your conversation with us all, Lana! I’d like to see this in print with a syndicated newspaper!! It is sadly reflective of the non compassionate attitude so many in government have and even the shrugged shoulders of some doctors who no longer treat people with long term pain because it is a hassle…and a bit of a risk! If they…meaning HHS and our doctors….had stood up firmly and vocally against this in the first place, I wonder where we would be now? Probably a lot more comfortable AND more functional! We have a ways to go to get more people in the public informed but the rally will be an eye opener to many, as will this article. Hope those coming to the rally at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. on October 22 see it draw a lot of attention and interest….and support! Thanks for all you do!

  14. DanSeptember 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Yes, of course the government is aware, as they are the ones who created this mess. I owned a very prestigious Marine Construction company for many, many years. The majority of my customers are “higher ups” (politicians and musicians) as living on the water in NJ is quite expensive. Many of whom, I became quite friendly with. I was invited to join in a yacht ride a few months ago with a very influential (government affiliated) friend that I had previously done work for on numerous occasions. Thinking this would be a great opportunity to spend some quality time with a good friend and also seize the moment to discuss the forbidden opoid war, I obliged. Much to my amazement he was very aware of the situation, though he felt very badly, he had no answers or advice to offer. He did suggest that medical marijuana will soon take the place of opoids and be the new “cure all” of course at the pain sufferers cost. You cannot even access palliative care here in NJ without a dx of less than 6 months, so basically it’s now hospice. It appears every avenue has been covered by our government to prevent the legitimate sufferings access to essential medically necessary pain medication. It is against the law for a Surgeon General to enforce sanctions, so instead he created “guidelines ” that physicians and patients know are in fact “law” though we cannot prove it . The “guidelines” further state “non – cancer” pain. Yet another lie imposed by our government, as I myself have stage 4 cancer and along with many of my warriors, have not been exempt in this Tidal Wave of a failed opoid war. We now have patients postponing elective surgeries out of fear of pain. These surgeries that may cost $10,000 now will cost $50,000 by the time that they become mandatory surgeries. I recently engaged in a conversation with a very compassionate RN from the UK, even she is aware of what’s going on in the USA. The nurse stated “she fears this happening in the UK as they seem to follow the US in Healthcare”. PMPs have been implemented. Pill mills and over prescribing physicians have been shut down. Very subjective pain management contracts are in place, along with pill counts and urines yet heroin and other illicit drugs continue to rise. We are all aware prescriptions are plummeting yet heroin is surging. The millions of legimate pain suffering patients are further having the blame placed upon our weary shoulders for any and everything. ” Little Johnny ” was prescribed a bottle of percocet which further lead to heroin use. Who is to say that this is true? My son broke his arm years ago and was prescribed a bottle of percocet yet never used heroin or any illicit drugs. As Regans well celebrated war on drugs may have been Regan and that generations greatest failure, so will be this huge failed war on opoids. Furthermore while legitimate chronic pain suffering patients are being harmed, discriminated against and ignored by the government our continued cries for help go unnoticed. Why? The US Surgeon General is too busy wasting time and money on a letter writing and pocket pamphlet campaign bullying our physicians, while legitimate pain sufferers continue to conform and suffer in silence and misery. Pain, cancer nor surgeries do not discriminate, therefore even people whom are not directly affected by this disgraceful war on opoids need to get involved before it’s too late. Trust me it is a horrible thing suffer or to watch your loved ones suffering and withering away from pain. Especially when there is a well accepted standard of care in treatment of pain to the effect that the dose of medications including opoids should be individualized to enable patients to function and participate in their own health care. This TIDAL WAVE of injustices and harms must end now! We are patients not addicts with no other alternatives! Best.. Dan

  15. Cheri G. FurrSeptember 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Has Mr. Novotny ever managers pain clinic so he knows exactly what sorts of individual severe cronic pain is suffered out in the real world? Has he even heard of Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which is ranked number ONE on the McGill Pain Scale, with cancer being ranked number TWO? Yes, cancer is more common, but there at least 15 million Americans suffer from CRPS! CRPS had no cure. Many of these patients have gone to SEVERAL Pain Management clinics and types of doctors before being diagnosed with such an in intensely painful disease. Intense chronic pain knows no socioeconomic or racial divides. It causes its sufferers to be required to take opiod medication or almost die
    from their pain. In fact, many DO, by suicide. Mr. Novotny ignores this segment of chronic pain suffers completely. There IS NO other treatment on the market right now. When and if a new non-narcotic painkiller is approved by the FDA, this might be a elderful new product to try. But it will take years of clinical trials, an NDA, then more years getting through the FDA, ramping up production, getting marketing ready, sales staff trained, distribution to drug chains from their headquarters, training of the doctor’s, and in 8 years or so, you MIGHT actually get a prescription for it! But chronic pain sufferers who are at their end’s limit cannot wait eight years!!! #chronicpainnotaddicts!!!

  16. davidSeptember 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world- indeed it is the only thing that ever has- margaret mead
    Its up to people in pain to change pain care. Just as it was up to women to improve womens rights or working people to improve labor laws or Blacks to improve civil rights. John Wayne isnt coming with the cavalry t save the day for people in pain, Obama wont get religion when it comes to pain care or when it comes to caring for people in pain, doctors wont see the light and repent of their past clueless, carless, callous, orientation to people in pain. And time wont heal all wounds.
    I dont know who or what people in pain are waiting for- are they waiting for Godot? With their futures at risk, what are they hoping for? If not know when as the philosopher wrote. The time is now to take decisive and energetic action to transfrom pain care- for themselves, for their friends and family-and fr the future.
    Whose to say that government and professionals wont continue to burden people in pain and take away more treatments? They have mved remarkably fast, remarkably callously remarkably undemocratically to add to the misery of pain without just cause. I say their cruel inhumane march against people in pain is not over. The continuing escalation of failure will continue- unless and until people in pain put up a united front against the cruel march of government and their henchmen in medicine against people in pain.
    I havent forgotten the memory of freedom and the history of governments that have opposed it. It is tragic that so many people in pain have accepted the abuses of government with quiet desperation. It doesnt have to be that way. And i hope soon a group of dedicated individuals will arise and stand up for human pain care and transform the hellish system government and professionals have created for people in pain.

  17. jimmySeptember 25, 2016 at 11:51 am

    At what point is this country,must less the president, although im sure he’s itching to get out of office. Finally going to talk about the war on dtugs?????it affects about every sinhle area of life,but people just wont do it. But on other hand at least there should be 5 more states with pot being legalizing it. Thank god for some more common sense got ing on.

  18. LoriSeptember 25, 2016 at 11:09 am

    What is Really Behind the “War on Drugs” : Opinion

    The attached article is an interesting narrative on the history of the so-called War on Drugs.
    If we put two and two together we might come up with the real reason behind it. The War on Drugs goes back a long way and there is really nothing new about it. It’s goal has always been political, and to target a particular group or race as a threat to society. After the 2007-2008 “Recession” many more people from all races and socio-economic backgrounds were suddenly without jobs. Subsequently what followed was an increase in applications for unemployment and federal disability funds. Then OBAMA Care hit adding millions to the roles needing healthcare. Many people may have been taking prescribed opioids to allow a reasonable quality of life and employment productivity. These two things added to the millions already receiving federal funds, was going to “break the bank”. Anyone and everyone seen as a “drain” on society had to go. I believe this is why we have seen no regard for human suffering on such a broad scale. Always follow the money.

  19. DustyladySeptember 25, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I am so sick of our Government butting in where they don’t belong. Pain meds, abortion, who you can marry, marijuana (a naturally grown herb). These are all issues that should ONLY be a personal choice, or between you and your Doctor. Period. In our country it feels like “Big Brother” is watching. And I’m afraid it will only get worse. Pretty soon we won’t be able to use the bathroom without the Government saying we can.

  20. MikeSeptember 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I am a patient with Kaiser Permanente. When I first went to Kaiser I was prescribed vicodin for pain. It wasn’t working very well and I was switched to methadone. It worked well enough that I was able to continue working and function almost normally. Now Kaiser has dropped my dose about 50% to get me below the government’s recommended.morphine equivalent. I can see the writing on the wall that Kaiser will move to stop opiates completely. I am starting now to prepare for retirement on SS disability. I think my only option at that point will be to lie and claim I am an addict and unable to stop, at which point Kaiser will send me to a methadone clinic instead of expensive drug rehab. I will be able to continue pain management. The drawback will be I will have to associate with drug abusers and give up my ability to travel. What a great turn of events considering Kaiser recommended methadone in the first place.

  21. MaureenSeptember 25, 2016 at 9:21 am

    After reading this (although basically nothing new, just added to the ongoing reports, regardless it’s appreciated to know) I find my heart beating really fast, my stomach churning, my muscles tightening, have tears in my eyes and my pain level is rising. Anxiety!! And so all I want to do now is end my day and crawl under the covers.
    I’m scared.
    I had a very bad pain day yesterday, aside from my spinal pain/issues I’m in a wicked FM episode. I’m so inflamed and burning right now.
    Last night while lying in bed not wanting to move an inch due to the pain…I thought to myself “imagine what it would be like without your meds”.
    I’ve gone without meds/withdrawal 2x due to the poor pain management I experienced when I moved to Fla. 2 yrs ago…it was horrific and I really can’t ever go back there. The FEAR of it makes me quiver and depressed. Such an atrocity.
    Dear God, please please hear our prayers and help our community.

  22. DaveSeptember 25, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Never doubt that a small group of dedicated advocates can change the world. In fact its the only thing that ever has.
    So says a famous anthropologist.
    People in pain can and should unite and change the cruel careless clueless misanthropic pain care system we have today. Waiting and hoping that obama or congress or some doctors or civil rights group or john wayne and the cavalry will change it is nothing more then fecundating the useless.
    We have the great advantage of numbers and of learning from occupy black lives matter animal rights movement womens movement the labor movement to name a few . We should call for the resignation
    Of all key staff at dhhs and doj for they are part of the problem. We should askbfor represntation on medical boardsband advisory committees. We should vote against incumbents. We need to impose substantial costs on the powers that be on government and health care.We need to be determined.Failing that dont expect pain care to improve anytime soon

  23. connieSeptember 25, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Sadly this attitude isn’t reserved for the government, I find it in friends, family and acquaintances. If it doesn’t directly and personally affect them people just don’t care. Heck I have even seen this attitude amongst other chronic pain sufferers claiming that if they can do without medication then everyone can!

  24. Martha ArntsonSeptember 25, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Great read! And true! I am one of the victims of the fallout of the CDC guidelines. I was denied anymore prescriptions for Percocet 3 x a day back in March, 2016. I took my own withdrawal which I anticipated but didn’t happen), because I was not addicted after 4 years of being prescribed the drug.
    Now I was dismissed from pain management on 8/31/16 due to some “made up reason” in a letter that was a xerox copy with a check mark next to the “I saw or obtained other narcotics from another physician”? I did not. I got my Records for the past 6 years from the States Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). There was nothing in it that showed anything of the sort. I now am considering a lawsuit (possibly a class action if I can get others to join in) against the Pain Management facility that discharged me under false circumstances. I need help, medically, and with that red flag in my files with them, how am I to find another doctor that will treat me? I feel so strongly about how they were able to just send me a letter, with “false information” about me that I will pursue this until the day I die.

  25. Tim MasonSeptember 25, 2016 at 7:02 am
    The link above describes how internet, social media and blogs are monitored. It appears in fact that the FDA is “looking in the window” so to speak.
    I suspect that much of what is shared on social media or stated in forums concerning how third parties feel, including the public is well known to a certain group of FDA employees.
    I just found this curious and see it as a potential form of government censorship.
    I share some of the blogs and drug topics with social media. (FB).
    I suspect that the chronic pain patient is being viewed as much an inconvenience as the Native Americans were.
    I would say that as a pain society, the Government has no qualms about putting us all on a modern version of “The Trail of Tears”.
    Just my Sunday morning 2 cents.

  26. Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.September 25, 2016 at 6:48 am

    For all of those who asked “what can we do”, I have several suggestions.

    — COME TO WASHINGTON FOR THE RALLY AGAINST PAIN, 10AM to 5 PM on the Ellipse (Presidents’ Park), just south of the White House. If you are unable to travel due to illness or finances, then ask a friend or family member to go in your place. Bring snacks and water, or a portable lawn chair if you can pack one. RSVP to .

    — Write me at or Lana at to obtain a copy of our press release. Print it out and mail it to the city editor at your nearest large city newspaper.

    Help to make our issues as chronic pain patients visible!

  27. Lana KirbySeptember 25, 2016 at 6:18 am

    These facts aren’t exaggerated. Mr. Novotny even started to laugh a few times as to what is happening in the chronic pain arena. This article was written before I was contacted by an 80 year old NY man whose pain clinic had been shut down. And the musician from Oregon who was living a life of agony and had no where else to turn but to the internet, where he found the Rally Against Pain. The situation keeps getting worse and worse. How can the government allow people’s pain medication – their only lifeline to a semblance of a normal life, to be taken away. Are we against overprescribing – Absolutely. Are we against starting opioid treatment of other treatment is available? Absolutely. Are there a large number of people who have no other options than opioid treatment, used in combination with other modalities, in order to sustain functioning? Absolutely. Are these people declining at a rapid rate of speed? Absolutely. So why won’t anyone in Congress or any elected official speak seriously about what we need to do to help the situation? I’m clueless.

  28. TracySeptember 25, 2016 at 6:05 am

    Why can’t we take it to the Supreme Court after Trump is elected.

  29. Tim MasonSeptember 25, 2016 at 5:54 am

    He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska in 2015.
    key word (HONORARY)

  30. Tim MasonSeptember 25, 2016 at 5:17 am

    ” Yet Novotny seemed totally disinterested in changing this sad state of affairs”.
    “Given the attitudes expressed by Mr. Novotny, we cannot be terribly surprised at their disinterest.”
    These two statements quantify what I have been observing and saying about the United States in general. This is an attitude of complacency. A “Not my job” or “Not my problem” response made to “NOT ROCK THE BOAT” to maintain their jobs, salary and benefits fro said job.
    My statement to these individuals is this”
    “Where you are, pain free, I once was, Where I am now suffering in severe pain, you will one day be”
    Now, let me check their credentials and history.

  31. Tamara Anette Johnson-ScottSeptember 25, 2016 at 4:55 am

    I’m CURIOUS, tell me are there ANY “Elected Officials” in our GOVERNMENT SUFFERING with a Chronic Pain Issue???
    I mean you’d THINK that at least ONE person on the DEA, FSA or CDC would be dealing with a debilitating CHRONIC illness! If so do those people SUFFER IN PAIN while in the ER, or do they have their own “mobile medical units”??!! Just curious!

  32. BruceSeptember 25, 2016 at 4:37 am

    The only group that can change the narrative will be the PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. Everything else is futile. When they push back because sales drop off to unrecognizable levels, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL THE GOVERNMENT STOP ABUSING US. There. I said it. Who is the main lobbyist for them? THAT’S who we need to contact, not HHS. I used to work for Health and Human Services, and I can tell you that if Congress or the administration hasn’t signed off on something, it’s not going to happen. They don’t care about us, it’s not part of the global initiative.

  33. Kathy Malles-overcastSeptember 24, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I would like to bring to your attention a different issue that also relates to this issue. There are roughly 150,000 to 200,000 people in this country that are chronic pain suffers that use and herb called kratom. Some of these people have tired of the use of all these pain meds and others have reached a point where the medication no longer work for them, I am one of these people. We are “kratom” users. Kratom is and herb that has certain alkaloids in it that act on the opioid receptors, but does not contain any opioids.Kratom is very effective at reducing pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and has even proven to help people withdrawal from opioids and heroin, and is very effective. Many pain suffers have gotten off of the potent pain medication they have use for years and instead switched to kratom. Kratom can not be overdosed on, it can not cause respiratory depression and is no more addictive than coffee, actually kratom is an herb related to the coffee family.On Aug. 30 the DEA filed a letter of intent to ban kratom as of SEPT. 30, by placing this herb in a schedule 1 category, without even researching the claims made by thousands and thousands of users.As you may know, shedual 1 catagory is a drug with a high potential for abuse and a danger to the public, these are all lie’s! So not only are they trying to take away the medications that chronic pain suffers need to function but they are also banning and herb that could help and does help so many pain suffers as well as those with addiction problems, to not only opioids but also drugs such as heroin, suboxone, ect. If the DEA was to dig further they would find that in 1974 and also sometime in the 80’s certain pharmaceutical company’s placed patents on a number of the alkaloids found in kratom, for there pain relieving qualities in order to do further research. The DEA is claiming kratom is responsible for 15 deaths, when in fact the deaths they are claiming were caused by kratom, also had numerous other drugs in these people’s system, that were more likely the cause of death. They are only blaming it on kratom because “some” kratom was found in the subjects system. The kratom botanical alliance paid for a toxicologist to review these reports and found that it most likely was the combination of other drugs in the system that in fact caused the death’s. The DEA just wants to blame it on kratom. Overdose on kratom is almost impossible because if a person does to much they will automatically vomit it all back up! A person can not overdose on it. The kratom community has been doing everything possible to try and fight this ban since it was made known.There is a petition that has been signed by 135,000 people, there was a protest in Washington D.C on Sept 13th, another one is scheduled for Chicago very soon. We have been calling congressman and senators, and doing everything we can to stop this ban. All of these people with many different chronic disorders, are being forced to go back to pain medications…(if they can even get their pain medications prescribed again, with all that is going on involving that angle). People just recently using kratom to try and get off heroin will most likely relapse and many many people will have their lives drastically destroyed by this ban!! Our government doesn’t give a crap about what we suffer with, and that we deal with crippling pain 24/7. It would not surprise me in the least if this ban combined with the inability for some of these people to get back on pain medication that they will need once they don’t have kratom any longer… would not be a surprise to see a sever spike in the suicide rate! People living in chronic pain have to struggle each and every day to fight with their desire to even keep on going each and every day. Pain has a very deep effect on the psychological and emotion mental health of it’s sufferers. The DEA hasn’t got the slightest idea what they are doing and what is worse is they just don’t care. We the people who use kratom, have the right to use a 100% natural herb to treat our pain, because we don’t want to be all drugged up and zombied out on pain meds and they are taking that right away from us!!!!!…What the hell is wrong with our government!!!!!

  34. Arianne Grand-GassawaySeptember 24, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    How rude and insensitive. How horribly disheartening this is. But unfortunately it doesn’t surprise me a bit, it is what I have run into as well when trying to talk sense about this issue to government officials.Sometimes you’ll get a platitude or two but in the end you are dismissed out of hand and forgotten altogether. Worse, they label you as one of those ‘drug seekers’.

    I would love to be able to mobilize everyone being affected by these inhumane policies, but as stated in the article it is difficult to do when we are barely able to get through each day let alone mount a full scale war on the doorstep of Washington’s elite.

  35. cory winterSeptember 24, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Wholly cow, this is worse then i thought. I truly thought i was being paranoid.
    The government is actually telling millions of chronic pain patients to buy illegal drugs like heroin. They have a vested intrest in keeping the poppy fields alive and booming in afaganistan.
    Its most cost effective to disallow us citizens and american veteran
    treatment from opioids. obamacare, the va or insurance companies willl save billions of dollars. They do this in hopes of pains patients turning to heroin and increasing the bottom line for afganistan. When the taliban ran that country poppy was outlawed, today it is suvsidized and flown here most likely thru military planes to elliminate boarder involvement.
    Any person dropped from a doctor should have the right to sue them for mal pracrice.
    They knowingly gave us these so called addictive drugs and then without any supervision or replacement dropped the patient.
    They should be more afraid ofalpractice then the dea. If they are uninsurable theyll be out of business. THEY SHOULD ALSO SUE THE CDC AND DEA FOR KNOWINGLY FORCED US TO ISE HEROIN TO REPLACE OUR PAIN MEDICATION. THE DEA HAS MADE IT EASIER and cheaper TO BY HEROIN off the street then for a Vet to just get his help from the VA.

  36. MichaelLSeptember 24, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    This is a sad state of medical affairs! The lack of compassion seems to be the general attitude we are running up against out here in the boonies! Maintaining a viable medical practice, with its substantial, income trumps patient suffering! To hell with us pain sufferers! We don’t pay that much, except for the interventionists who are rolling in the dough, refusing pain meds, but using very profitable devices like dorsal column stimulators and pain pumps!

  37. Holly ClowersSeptember 24, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Please submit this piece to and Medpage Today online, and every other media source you can. It needs to be seen and read by as many as possible, and specifically as many physicians as possible. We need docs to fight for us. Also, we need to deflect the shame back onto those who deserve it. Thank you Lana and Red for a job well done.

  38. CynthiaSeptember 24, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    DR. Lawhern, please tell us what to do to stop this madness. I have written many letters over the last couple years…to politicians, etc. obviously, we need to do something more. In this social media era, it shouldn’t be difficult to mobilize people. I know we are all sick, but there must be SOMEThing that can be done. WHy not a class action suit? Are there not any attorneys here on NPR who can advise? If Wells Fargo can get a congressional hearing, victims of this sadistic madness should be able to. Could we band together with veterans, since they are being denied pain meds at the VA? I have horrific neuropathy, but am able to use a computer. I am very lucky that this hasn’t happened to me yet, but it could at any time. It is barbaric and beyond outrageous. Let’s all show up on the same day at our senators’ offices, since traveling to D.C. Would be hard for many of us.

  39. DannySeptember 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    I am petrified because of this situation. After 11 years of medication (different types and strengths) that didn’t help, I found a doctor who was aggressive with his treatment but conservative with his policies, including mandatory drug testing. These last 14 years of being prescribed the proper medications have allowed me to be able to semi-function as a husband, uncle and friend. The actions of our government agencies over the last few years have made it so that I am now almost expecting to learn that my doctor has quit being a Pain Mgt Specialist. When that day comes, my life will be over. I am now 55-years old and the severe pain has taken a toll. I cannot start over, trying to find another doctor. There won’t be any need to try because no doctor will prescribe the meds that I need to survive. And that is such a weight to bear that I know what I’ll have to do. I’ve written my Congressman and my Senators. I’ve written to newspaper editors. Unless there is something else I can do, I feel like I am a nobody, invisible to the “powers that be” and I know that they don’t care about my suffering. This whole situation makes my situation so much worse.

  40. BLSeptember 24, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I certainly hope Mr. Novotny’s opinion regarding the NPS is correct. What the NPS does not say should be frightening to all chronic pain patients.

    What proof does Lana Kirby have that what she have been told about how the CDC Guidelines have affected others is true ? Without medical records, there is no proof. Although it may not matter at this point if there was proof.

  41. Pharmacist SteveSeptember 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    This attitude from Mr Novotny would suggest that the dialogue is being driven by much farther of the administrative structure and he is just “playing along” with the bureaucratic narrative. Here is a recent article from MASS and the Boston Globe that showed that only 8.3% of those people who OD’d have a legal prescription for the opiate that was found in their system via toxicology.. We have an estimated TWO MILLION serious opiate substance abusers… abt 1% of the adult population…and some 8 K – 10 K annual OD deaths. Does this disparity in numbers suggest that maybe 7.3% of the OD deaths are in fact SUICIDES… ocaused by being thrown into cold turkey by their prescriber, on going under/untreated chronic pain or just desperation and deepening depression causes the pts to take the “final solution” to end their pain ? The bureaucracy seems to use the statistics that serves their agency and ignore/downplay those that don’t. The recent rescheduling of Kratom.. with a reported 600 calls to poison control centers over 5 yrs and a Total of 30 deaths WORLD WIDE… about the same number of deaths of babies/kids… left in close cars on hot days EVERY YEAR. In doing so… the DEA has created a much large “black drug market” and the possible increase of people buying drugs off the street.. which is the primary charge of the DEA… arrest those who use/divert/sell illegal drugs. Congress is 43% attorneys (170 house/60 senate ) and because they are part of the judicial system.. have they turned a blind eye to what the DEA/CDC and other parts of the Federal alphabet soup of Federal agencies. All of the impact to the chronic pain community is being caused by laws/rules/regulation/guidelines and perhaps the only way for things to change is for the chronic pain community to financially bind together to challenge in our court system the constitutionality of many of these laws.. or facts … did the CDC have the legal authority to generate the opiate prescribing guidelines in the first place. Because of the passage of the Americans with Disability Act… did it make The Harrison Narcotic Act unconstitutional ?… where opiate addiction was declared a CRIME and not a DISEASE by our court system ?

  42. TOPDOGSeptember 24, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Because of the misuse and abuse of responsibility and credibility as well as incompetence. The enforcement power of the D.E.A. should be removed and placed back into the hands of the state. A semi-secret elite police force within what is already a police state is way over the top. America does not need this throw back to the cold war era. These Federal offices have become an renegade authoritarian haven of despots and tyrants commandeering and miss-directing hundreds of millions into their drug war against citizens and likewise funding state police regimes both within the U.S. and worldwide..It is these federal agency’s that have created the drug problem solely to commandeer funding and as their power base. These renegade authoritarians need to be controlled or removed.

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