The Opioid Crisis

I’ve been on a very potent opioid , Fentanyl (50 MCG) since  2005.  I started out at 25MCG.  My primary care physician whose been writing my scripts stated to me that the DEA was sending her alerts.  She would have to refer me to this pain management doctor over in Torrance.   Keep in mind, I have NEVER abused my prescription, and have always taken it as prescribed.   I do not drink or do recreational drugs.  I have respected the laws period!  Having said this, I understood where Dr. D was coming from.

My husband and I had the consultation with Dr. B who stated I was a classic case.  I have had a previous spine surgery  at L5-S1 as well as deteriorating disc disease above the old surgery. I also have RSD.  We decide to try the epidurals – I  have had two epidurals thus far.  I am also still on my Fentanyl.    After my second epidural I got real sick.  My blood sugar spiked (I’m diabetic) high, and I ended up in urgent care along w/IV drip.  I was ready to fire new pain mgmt. doctor but glad I didn’t.

Last week, I had a follow up with Dr. B (pain mgmt doctor) which my husband accompanied me to.   Dr. B spent 30 mins w/ us explaining a lot which we appreciated.   He told us that the people who are over-dosing are abusing their medications.  They are usually drinking alcohol – and/or taking with other street drugs.

Due to all the media coverage and DEA’S  – physicians have stopped prescribing and are turning their patients over to pain mgmt. doctors. Often, patients who are not lucky enough like me to get a good pain management doctor – end up in real trouble. They are not taken care of so they turn to heroin on the streets.

Heroin, is a huge issue today and I am sure you have read or seen in the news on all the overdoses.   Drug dealers are lacing heroin with an elephant tranquilizer over 5,000 times stronger than morphine. … It’s called  carfentanil (read the link).  By the way, If our government really wanted to fix the heroin crisis that is plaguing America – all they would need to do is go to Afghanistan and destroy the poppy fields. If you would like to learn about the Heroin epidemic take time to read this article which my pain mgmt doctor directed me to.

Dr. B, I have great respect for him because he took time out to tell us what is truly going on with this OPIOID CRISIS.  I really needed to hear all of this. Doctors, good doctors, do not want to lose their licenses.  He has to weed through the many that come into his office sniffing around for more drugs- in other words they are usually street addicts.  They must take a urine test and if it comes back “dirty” they are out.

Prince, (singer) had absolutely no prescription for any controlled substances in the state of Minnesota in the year before his death, and did not test positive for fentanyl when he overdosed on Percocet the week before his death. That means Prince’s fentanyl abuse was not long-term, and the fatal dose was likely consumed 24 hours before he died.

No one seems to be taking a good hard look at the patients who have been on opioids for years, and are functioning human beings and just want some quality of life.   I am one of those very people.  I do feel they need to start coming up with alternatives that will cut the pain for us.  I would be in favor of that of course…but until they find this alternative to opioids- I will continue taking mine and do it responsibly as I have been doing for over 10 yrs.

If you would like to read more – here’s another article worth reading.   A Civil War over painkillers rips apart a medical community.  It’s all so complex and I only hope the powers to be do not start taking people off theses opioids who really need them and who do not abuse.  What has happened to personal responsibility?