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Sick of docs forcing us to do what we do

Recommended Pharmacies on Pharmacy Reviewer

jaders

Exalted member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Posts
2,674
For me it isn't the doctor, it's the pharmacy. Walgreen's pharmacist, who hassled me on a regular basis refused to fill after taking my prescriptions there on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years. I am now going to a mom and pop pharmacy with no issue, but I am nervous about it.

I use a mom and pop place and they are SO great compared to any of the chains. I saw where all these big pharmacies' stock dropped dramatically the other day when Amazon announced their opening of online pharmacies. I wonder if they'll ship controlled stuff, but if so, that's another option. I won't mind seeing places like Walgreens and CVS go straight to hell. They have become fascist pharmacies and deserve to go down, imho... :mad:
Here here! Definitely have had though not very often issues with power hungry pharmacists. I always had refilled my meds around 28-29 days and got flack from a newer pharmacist saying it hasn’t been 30 days. I told her I like to fill my script a day or so early as I never want to be at 0. She refused and made me wait the extra day or 2. Fortunately I’m very conscious of what I have left so it really wasn’t an issue. However law says they are to fill at 28 days.

Don't expect the Mom-n-Pop loophole to last much longer.

The Dept of Justice last month issued tighter restrictions on pharmacies prescribing opioids and has amped up criminal prosecutions against pharmacies. The major chains are all defendants in lawsuits in multiple states, claiming they helped to fuel the "opioid crisis." There's also legislation pending to allow them to refuse or partially refill without doctor authorization for broader reasons than currently exist. At this point, pharmacies are under a bigger legal threat than doctors have ever been.

The Mom-n-Pops aren't filling scripts because they care about you. The DOJ just hasn't caught up to them yet, and they're probably a lot closer to judgment-proof than Wal-Mart.

Two pain patients I know have been cut off just within the last couple of weeks. Not by their doctors, but by their pharmacies.

Ironically, it is still perfectly legal for a licensed pharmacy to send controlled substances through the mail, with a valid prescription, addressed to the intended recipient, and with nothing on the packaging to indicate what it is (so even the feds require good stealth!)

I've been wondering what stance the new Amazon online pharmacies will take on controlled substances. Heard anything about that?
Hey Jaders! I’m not familiar with the Amazon pharmacies you are referring to. What are these or are the subject only to the senior forums? Thanks!

Amazon announced last week the opening of online pharmacies and the stock for CVC and Walgreens,et al plummeted. They’re sure to be completely legit pharmacies tho.
I just read that they will not deliver SOME controlled substances.


Amazon's announced that they aren't going to carry any Schedule 2 pharmaceuticals. They sounded proud of it, knowing the pats on the head Bezos will get for "courageously" foregoing that market share to "not fuel the opioid epidemic."
How people taking prescribed meds by a doctor “fuels” the opioid epidemic is beyond me. If they don’t want to traffic in heroin and meth - more power to them...:cautious:
 

Bawston

Eminent member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Posts
1,313
This is an interesting article on a lawsuit that Walmart is filing. Not that Walmart cares about its customers, I think they just don’t want more lawsuits leveled at them.

“In an unusual move, Walmart has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration, asking a federal court to clarify the “roles and legal responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacies” in filling opioid prescriptions.

.....

So....who published this article? Is this from PNN?

No, I'm not saying Wal-Mart does care about you. And it's kinda ironic after they put up such a stink about carrying Plan B and protecting pharmacists who refuse to sell birth control, but NOW they suddenly care so much about the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship?? I wonder how we rank compared to a six-celled zygote. Or, y'know, a slut woman with an unwanted pregnancy.

On the other hand, Wal-Mart's got more money than God and may be better-positioned to fight this than anyone else. I'll take what I can get.

And they're not wrong. It's bullshit that they're being sued on the one hand for refusing to fill opioid prescriptions, and then sued on the other hand for filling opioid prescriptions. With both those lawsuits allowed to proceed at the same time, it does suggest that the legal role of pharmacists does, in fact, need clarification.
 

Bawston

Eminent member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Posts
1,313
Yes, this was published by PNN but it was also posted on Walmart’s website. I don’t for a minute think that Walmart or any corporation cares about anything other than their bottom line. Anything they do is merely to cover themselves from lawsuits and now, the DEA coming after them. From Walmart’s website:

“Unfortunately, certain DOJ officials have long seemed more focused on chasing headlines than fixing the crisis. They are now threatening a completely unjustified lawsuit against Walmart, claiming in hindsight pharmacists should have refused to fill otherwise valid opioid prescriptions that were written by the very doctors that the federal government still approves to write prescriptions.

We are bringing this lawsuit because there is no federal law requiring pharmacists to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship to the degree DOJ is demanding, and in fact expert federal and state health agencies routinely say it is not allowed and potentially harmful to patients with legitimate medical needs.

DOJ is forcing Walmart and our pharmacists between a rock and a hard place. At the same time that DOJ is threatening to sue Walmart for not going even further in second-guessing doctors, state health regulators are threatening Walmart and our pharmacists for going too far and interfering in the doctor-patient relationship. Doctors and patients also bring lawsuits when their opioid prescriptions are not filled.

Walmart and our pharmacists are torn between demands from DEA on one side and health agencies and regulators on the other, and patients are caught in the middle. We need a court to clarify the roles and legal responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacies in filling opioid prescriptions.”
 

Ellyn

Distinguished member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Posts
813
As has been mentioned, it isn’t the doctors’ fault that their prescribing records are scrutinized by an overzealous DEA under an ill conceived plan to combat opiate abuse. The answer isn’t crucifixion of addicts and cutting the supply to or issuing prescribing directives for doctors. Like almost all of society’s drug problems could more effectively be managed by investing more into treatment and education, instead of enforcement and punishment.
If you, like me, are tired of hearing that your doctor “doesn’t feel comfortable prescribing this type of medication,” be it for pain or anxiety or anything else, vote with this issue in mind.

No, it's not the fault of doctors that the DEA---and, really, to an equal or greater extent, the CDC---have lied to the public that an illicit fentanyl problem is really a prescription painkiller problem. But doctors have, by and large, either sat on their hands and gone along with it, or they're True Believers who are as eager as any federal cop to upschedule prescription meds and persecute the patients who need them (and not just opiates either; good luck getting anything these days for anxiety or seizures or even a migraine headache).

They haven't just sold us out. They've sold out the handful of their colleagues who have tried to stand up to this by allowing other doctors' lives to be destroyed and not saying a word in their defense either. Physicians are a powerful, well respected profession. Arguably, THE most powerful and respected profession. If they stood up against this and said that prescription opiates are not the problem, this shit would stop. But they don't.

I'm not just blaming doctors here, but who exactly are we supposed to vote for to stop this? Most lawmakers aren't doctors. The average congressman's scientific knowledge could be written in the palm of his hand. Liberals and conservatives are united against opioids. It may be the only issue they agree on. (The occasional libertarian who thinks we should be able to have access to whatever drugs we want whenever we want them without regulation has no representation in the real world at all.)

So, who are we supposed to vote for to change all this? It's not on any party's platform. Even most minor, third-party candidates give lip-service to "The Opioid Epidemic." (Pity no one ever trademarked that phrase. They'd be rich.)

A lot of the most damaging decisions are made by employees in federal agencies like the CDC and state and federal opioid committees. Those are the people we need to reach. But it's awfully difficult to reach them when the majority of the medical community isn't willing to stand with us, even when they know millions of patients are suffering.

And need it be said that doctors did take an oath to put their patients first? The Hippocratic Oath no longer says, "First, do no harm," but it doesn't say, "First, save your own skin" either.
Well, election day is now behind us, but in future elections try voting for candidates who support legalizing not only medical but recreational marijuana. If you have access to marijuana (I don't) you don't need to use enough to get high. You can simply use enough to manage pain. It is one of the few things out there which really does manage a variety of painful conditions, with a pretty small dose. I swear, if my state doesn't legalize it within the next few years I am moving to a state where it is legal. I am told it works a treat for the nerve pain associated with damaged spinal discs, of which I have several.
 

jaders

Exalted member
Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Posts
2,674
As has been mentioned, it isn’t the doctors’ fault that their prescribing records are scrutinized by an overzealous DEA under an ill conceived plan to combat opiate abuse. The answer isn’t crucifixion of addicts and cutting the supply to or issuing prescribing directives for doctors. Like almost all of society’s drug problems could more effectively be managed by investing more into treatment and education, instead of enforcement and punishment.
If you, like me, are tired of hearing that your doctor “doesn’t feel comfortable prescribing this type of medication,” be it for pain or anxiety or anything else, vote with this issue in mind.

No, it's not the fault of doctors that the DEA---and, really, to an equal or greater extent, the CDC---have lied to the public that an illicit fentanyl problem is really a prescription painkiller problem. But doctors have, by and large, either sat on their hands and gone along with it, or they're True Believers who are as eager as any federal cop to upschedule prescription meds and persecute the patients who need them (and not just opiates either; good luck getting anything these days for anxiety or seizures or even a migraine headache).

They haven't just sold us out. They've sold out the handful of their colleagues who have tried to stand up to this by allowing other doctors' lives to be destroyed and not saying a word in their defense either. Physicians are a powerful, well respected profession. Arguably, THE most powerful and respected profession. If they stood up against this and said that prescription opiates are not the problem, this shit would stop. But they don't.

I'm not just blaming doctors here, but who exactly are we supposed to vote for to stop this? Most lawmakers aren't doctors. The average congressman's scientific knowledge could be written in the palm of his hand. Liberals and conservatives are united against opioids. It may be the only issue they agree on. (The occasional libertarian who thinks we should be able to have access to whatever drugs we want whenever we want them without regulation has no representation in the real world at all.)

So, who are we supposed to vote for to change all this? It's not on any party's platform. Even most minor, third-party candidates give lip-service to "The Opioid Epidemic." (Pity no one ever trademarked that phrase. They'd be rich.)

A lot of the most damaging decisions are made by employees in federal agencies like the CDC and state and federal opioid committees. Those are the people we need to reach. But it's awfully difficult to reach them when the majority of the medical community isn't willing to stand with us, even when they know millions of patients are suffering.

And need it be said that doctors did take an oath to put their patients first? The Hippocratic Oath no longer says, "First, do no harm," but it doesn't say, "First, save your own skin" either.
Well, election day is now behind us, but in future elections try voting for candidates who support legalizing not only medical but recreational marijuana. If you have access to marijuana (I don't) you don't need to use enough to get high. You can simply use enough to manage pain. It is one of the few things out there which really does manage a variety of painful conditions, with a pretty small dose. I swear, if my state doesn't legalize it within the next few years I am moving to a state where it is legal. I am told it works a treat for the nerve pain associated with damaged spinal discs, of which I have several.

I think at least five more states voted it in this last election. It's such an incredible cash cow, not to mention taking a burden off of courts and jails who no longer have to prosecute it, I think it'll become legal everywhere in the US in the next ten years if not before. It's so ridiculous that in many states it's legal recreationally, and yet classified as Schedule 1!!! How absurd and points out the folly of the whole scheduling business to begin with... :sneaky:
 

Bawston

Eminent member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Posts
1,313
@jaders...my state voted for legalization in 2016 but it took a full 2 years to wind its way through the state committees, individual town approvals, etc. Even once it was finally signed into law, each town then had to approve any shop. Needless to say just voting for it didn’t make it happen because there were so many politicians playing games to slow it down. Four years later aNd we still have just a limited number shops but at least we do have some.

@Ellyn...I have tired it for back and nerve pain but don’t find it as reliable as when I was on a consistent prescription for oxy. There are so many different strains with different THC levels that you really have to experiment. I find the store personnel very knowledgeable but it’s all very subjective (Like Willie Nelson’s dose would put me on my ass for a month...o_O
The other problem is that I’ve got COPD so smoking is a tough one for me and the edibles take a while to kick in so you really don’t have a good handle on how much to use with those. But, as you say, it seems crazy for this not to be legal in all states and have consistency.
 

nobknee

Honorable member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Posts
286
Well, election day is now behind us, but in future elections try voting for candidates who support legalizing not only medical but recreational marijuana. If you have access to marijuana (I don't) you don't need to use enough to get high. You can simply use enough to manage pain. It is one of the few things out there which really does manage a variety of painful conditions, with a pretty small dose. I swear, if my state doesn't legalize it within the next few years I am moving to a state where it is legal. I am told it works a treat for the nerve pain associated with damaged spinal discs, of which I have several.


Support for legal cannabis is quite often cloaked in anti-opioid talking points, exaggerates the effectiveness of cannabis for pain, and leans on a spurious relationship between legal marijuana and a decrease is prescription opioid use.

Pot activists are cheerfully throwing us under the bus to advance their own drug of choice. NORML** has been leaning hard on anti-opioid rhetoric to get cannabis approved as an alternative, even though opioids have a much higher effectiveness rate than THC. (Yeah, it works for you for pain. It also works for me, although to get any pain relief from it, I definitely need enough that I also feel high. Point being, it doesn't work for even most pain patients, let alone all. Opioids are much more consistent.)

So, which candidate(s) should I have voted for? Please, tell me, where are these candidates who are on our side of this issue? If they're so obscure as to have no viable party organization and have never managed to elect anyone to federal office, then what good would it do to vote for them? I'm not bashing on third-parties by saying that, but to get an agenda through does require getting elected first.***

I know I sound jaded. I am jaded. Partly because no one participates in the political actions that are already being organized right now. It's a good day if we can get five people to work on a call to action. Finding people willing to bitch is easy. Finding people willing to write letters and lick envelopes and file FOIA requests is a hell of a lot harder.

The actual day-to-day work of advancing a policy position is boring and frustrating and takes a lot more legwork than just voting. Opioid policy decisions are several layers removed from elected officials, at the CDC and the Health Department and the Justice Department and the committees and working groups of various state-level agencies. We vote for the people who appoint the people who hire the people who are directly making these decisions.

Voting is the culmination of organizing, not the starting point.

**I actually have a lot of respect for NORML. I'm not bashing on them either, except when it comes to this one tactic. Usually, their research is impeccable and I think it undermines their credibility to advance anti-opioid nonsense. But the idea that pro-pot candidates or activists are also reasonable about medical opioids just isn't borne out by reality.

***This also assumes that there's public support for cannabis and/or medical opioids. Perhaps the reason neither major party has taken up these causes is because, by and large, Americans continue to oppose them. Support for cannabis is getting better, but is still only at about 60%, divided between Republican and Democratic voters, giving neither party much incentive to pursue it. In many ways, we're still a very Puritan country that frowns on drugs as weak and sinful, even while we indulge in them without regard for safety.
 

UncleHorace

Senior member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Posts
153
That’s exactly right, in my opinion. And to offer an answer to your post, there is no good option for political leadership when it comes to this issue. Doctors are afraid to lose their licenses, politicians are afraid to lose their seats. We’re on this path now, and it’ll be 50 years before the federal regulations catch up with the medical science that promotes education over punishment. Jailing nonviolent drug users and denying patients prescription medications out of FEAR are cowardly punishments and far from a sustainable solution to the drug problems running rampant in the US

Most of these things aren't new though. They were true 30 or 40 years ago, when opiates were readily prescribed. Politicians have always sought to get elected. Doctors have always been able lose their licenses for inappropriate or excessive prescribing, although it's worth noting that not very many of them actually have. Few doctors have even had a temporary suspension of their DEA number. Are we really going to justify that they're literally killing their patients because they're scared of a strongly worded letter??

I'm not really letting politicians off the hook either. They may not have any knowledge of this when they seek election, but once in office it's their job to learn. But I will give them a mulligan for relying on the information experts give them. We can't really blame Congress for not listening to pain patients, when medical experts tell them those patients are really just drug addicts.

What has changed is what you allude to in the last couple sentences: Now we have this "War on Drugs." Before we can have people fearing unreasonable arrest and disproportionate punishments (and, really, WTF are doctors whining about?? They ought to try being a black man in the Drug War!**); before we can have politicians and law enforcement and the media all jumping on the anti-opioid bandwagon, society itself has to have a pretty unhealthy relationship to drugs.

**I never thought of like this before, but there's a racist, classist component to heaping all this sympathy on doctors who fear punishments that almost never happen, compared to the arrest rates and mind-boggling punishments that blacks have been subjected to in the Drug War. Almost no doctors go to prison; if black Americans were their own country, they would now have the highest incarceration rate in the world, a huge portion of it for drug offenses. Doctors aren't facing life sentences for prescribing for a handful of Vicodin, but black men really ARE facing life sentences for possessing a handful of marijuana.
I agree with most of what you're saying, and I have a sincere appreciation for the thought and perspective you're bringing to the table. You're right, we've had a problem with drugs since the 1970's (I'm not blaming hippies lol), and the political response to the counterculture of the 60's and 70's can be summed up by Nancy Reagan's advice to "Just Say No." This and the War on Drugs (ie mandatory minimum sentences for crack as opposed to powdered cocaine) have done nothing to solve or mitigate the problem. Unfortunately, the Just Say No effect laid the groundwork for pharma manufacturers and distributors, such as McKesson and Perdue, etc, to target and attract ethically compromised doctors and pharmacists to flood the country with OC. Coupled with the mass integration of fentanyl and synthetic analogs into heroin, we have our opioid crisis.

I digress. So, 40 years of the War on Drugs has created the unhealthy relationship with drugs you mentioned (and, implicitly, widespread acceptance of the overwhelmingly racist sentencing requirements for possession of crack cocaine, while casually dismissing how whites caught with some powder get a competent lawyer and probation). Can you imagine where we'd be as a society if all the money that has been spent over the last 40 years, at every level, on enforcing and punishing nonviolent possession had been allocated for federally funded mental health and addiction services? But then private prisons would lose contracts and pharmaceutical companies would miss out on a couple billion in revenue.

As far as the politicians' inaction or misguided action, I think they listen more to lobbyists and campaign contributors than to experts, and that is the most fundamental flaw in how we are represented in the legislative process. Finally, there's a little diversity creeping into Congress; eventually, we might have a Congress that actually reflects the interests and issues of their constituents, instead of a bunch of greedy old white assholes who don't give a crap about you and only care about their own pocketbooks. They will throw you and everyone you love under the bus or in jail if it means another donation from the NRA (or whoever).

You're absolutely right! White people, especially, hold doctors in particularly high regard for no other reason than the color of their coat. Doctors are human beings, some of whom do atrocious and selfish things that white people disregard because, well, they're doctors. It is absolutely an elitist unearned entitlement we have bestowed upon doctors as a whole, who, unless they're Dr. Kevorkian (bad example, as I personally feel he helped those people) or Dr. Lector or someone the media and courts have pointed to as betraying their professional ethics and breaking laws, face almost no consequences for their actions or complicity or negligence.

We're almost at the point of federal decriminalization of pot. That's a start. Other than that, vote for politicians who share your values, blah blah blah --- vote for people of color, and get rid of the McConnells and Kennedys. That's how you can vote the issue...

Whew.. I need to chill.
 

UncleHorace

Senior member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Posts
153
For me it isn't the doctor, it's the pharmacy. Walgreen's pharmacist, who hassled me on a regular basis refused to fill after taking my prescriptions there on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years. I am now going to a mom and pop pharmacy with no issue, but I am nervous about it.
I understand how rigorous and respectable it is to become a pharmacist - it's as rigorous a path as that of an MD but with more hard science. But a pharmacist doesn't see patients. They don't know your medical history, and (outside of limited circumstances) can't prescribe medications. That's what doctors do. SINCE WHEN CAN A PHARMACIST OVERRIDE THE INFORMED ORDERS OF MY DOCTOR?! This has happened to me a few times, where a pharmacist didn't feel comfortable dispensing a medication to me and refused to return the prescription. The nerve of these pricks. Another reason I turned to IOPs...
 

UncleHorace

Senior member
Joined
Sep 12, 2020
Posts
153
For me it isn't the doctor, it's the pharmacy. Walgreen's pharmacist, who hassled me on a regular basis refused to fill after taking my prescriptions there on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years. I am now going to a mom and pop pharmacy with no issue, but I am nervous about it.

I use a mom and pop place and they are SO great compared to any of the chains. I saw where all these big pharmacies' stock dropped dramatically the other day when Amazon announced their opening of online pharmacies. I wonder if they'll ship controlled stuff, but if so, that's another option. I won't mind seeing places like Walgreens and CVS go straight to hell. They have become fascist pharmacies and deserve to go down, imho... :mad:
Here here! Definitely have had though not very often issues with power hungry pharmacists. I always had refilled my meds around 28-29 days and got flack from a newer pharmacist saying it hasn’t been 30 days. I told her I like to fill my script a day or so early as I never want to be at 0. She refused and made me wait the extra day or 2. Fortunately I’m very conscious of what I have left so it really wasn’t an issue. However law says they are to fill at 28 days.

Don't expect the Mom-n-Pop loophole to last much longer.

The Dept of Justice last month issued tighter restrictions on pharmacies prescribing opioids and has amped up criminal prosecutions against pharmacies. The major chains are all defendants in lawsuits in multiple states, claiming they helped to fuel the "opioid crisis." There's also legislation pending to allow them to refuse or partially refill without doctor authorization for broader reasons than currently exist. At this point, pharmacies are under a bigger legal threat than doctors have ever been.

The Mom-n-Pops aren't filling scripts because they care about you. The DOJ just hasn't caught up to them yet, and they're probably a lot closer to judgment-proof than Wal-Mart.

Two pain patients I know have been cut off just within the last couple of weeks. Not by their doctors, but by their pharmacies.

Ironically, it is still perfectly legal for a licensed pharmacy to send controlled substances through the mail, with a valid prescription, addressed to the intended recipient, and with nothing on the packaging to indicate what it is (so even the feds require good stealth!)

I've been wondering what stance the new Amazon online pharmacies will take on controlled substances. Heard anything about that?
Hey Jaders! I’m not familiar with the Amazon pharmacies you are referring to. What are these or are the subject only to the senior forums? Thanks!

Amazon announced last week the opening of online pharmacies and the stock for CVC and Walgreens,et al plummeted. They’re sure to be completely legit pharmacies tho.
I just read that they will not deliver SOME controlled substances.


Amazon's announced that they aren't going to carry any Schedule 2 pharmaceuticals. They sounded proud of it, knowing the pats on the head Bezos will get for "courageously" foregoing that market share to "not fuel the opioid epidemic."
How people taking prescribed meds by a doctor “fuels” the opioid epidemic is beyond me. If they don’t want to traffic in heroin and meth - more power to them...:cautious:
It doesn't. B
Well, election day is now behind us, but in future elections try voting for candidates who support legalizing not only medical but recreational marijuana. If you have access to marijuana (I don't) you don't need to use enough to get high. You can simply use enough to manage pain. It is one of the few things out there which really does manage a variety of painful conditions, with a pretty small dose. I swear, if my state doesn't legalize it within the next few years I am moving to a state where it is legal. I am told it works a treat for the nerve pain associated with damaged spinal discs, of which I have several.


Support for legal cannabis is quite often cloaked in anti-opioid talking points, exaggerates the effectiveness of cannabis for pain, and leans on a spurious relationship between legal marijuana and a decrease is prescription opioid use.

Pot activists are cheerfully throwing us under the bus to advance their own drug of choice. NORML** has been leaning hard on anti-opioid rhetoric to get cannabis approved as an alternative, even though opioids have a much higher effectiveness rate than THC. (Yeah, it works for you for pain. It also works for me, although to get any pain relief from it, I definitely need enough that I also feel high. Point being, it doesn't work for even most pain patients, let alone all. Opioids are much more consistent.)

So, which candidate(s) should I have voted for? Please, tell me, where are these candidates who are on our side of this issue? If they're so obscure as to have no viable party organization and have never managed to elect anyone to federal office, then what good would it do to vote for them? I'm not bashing on third-parties by saying that, but to get an agenda through does require getting elected first.***

I know I sound jaded. I am jaded. Partly because no one participates in the political actions that are already being organized right now. It's a good day if we can get five people to work on a call to action. Finding people willing to bitch is easy. Finding people willing to write letters and lick envelopes and file FOIA requests is a hell of a lot harder.

The actual day-to-day work of advancing a policy position is boring and frustrating and takes a lot more legwork than just voting. Opioid policy decisions are several layers removed from elected officials, at the CDC and the Health Department and the Justice Department and the committees and working groups of various state-level agencies. We vote for the people who appoint the people who hire the people who are directly making these decisions.

Voting is the culmination of organizing, not the starting point.

**I actually have a lot of respect for NORML. I'm not bashing on them either, except when it comes to this one tactic. Usually, their research is impeccable and I think it undermines their credibility to advance anti-opioid nonsense. But the idea that pro-pot candidates or activists are also reasonable about medical opioids just isn't borne out by reality.

***This also assumes that there's public support for cannabis and/or medical opioids. Perhaps the reason neither major party has taken up these causes is because, by and large, Americans continue to oppose them. Support for cannabis is getting better, but is still only at about 60%, divided between Republican and Democratic voters, giving neither party much incentive to pursue it. In many ways, we're still a very Puritan country that frowns on drugs as weak and sinful, even while we indulge in them without regard for safety.
I have to say I think you’re spot on. I respond similarly to cannabis. For enough relief to, say, care for my children or take a shower without agony, I have to smoke or vape or eat enough to where I’m blazed out of my head, high, regardless of the strain or za loud I get. I’m supposed to show up to work like that when the pain gets really bad? On the other hand, when I’m at an 8 on the pain scale, I can function with a clear head for about 8 hours with 20-40mg of ER OxyContin. The changing culture and successful changes to state cannabis legislation is partly the result of a bunch of recreational users wanting it to be legal - which is great! It’s a perfect example of how legislators can sometimes listen to the shouting of their constituents, as well as the success of the hard work by many volunteer political activists working toward a concrete and tangible goal. That’s part of our problem- what’s our demand? “Somewhat lessen the restrictions on opioid prescribing guidelines and encourage doctors to be as liberal as necessary with patients in need on pain relief, for whom cannabis isn’t a viable option!” It doesn’t have the same ring as “Legalize it!”
That campaign has indeed cherry-picked the relatively mild pain relieving qualities as a potential opioid substitute, when, as you said, it simply isn’t true. I said federal legalization would be a step in the right direction out of the War on Drugs. The collateral damage of legalizing pot and of the misguided opioid response are the people who need actual pain relief.

I know you were being rhetorical, but vote for candidates who are willing to break the Puritanical streak, which is basically the backbone of the Reagan Republican Party. I agree that it’s a layered issue that requires a very involved solution, and voting is the easiest thing you can reasonably encourage someone to do. If they care enough, you might get someone to call their congressman. But that won’t do anything without a receptive candidate. We’re so far removed from having a grasp on this issue, it’s going to take time to get it back - if it ever comes back.
 

legend0710

Honorable member
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Posts
232
I’m fairly new to all of this-I only take tramadol. I take it for my pain & depression. I have to have it-no question there lol. But like many others, doc kept lowering dosage and wants me to no longer take it everyday :mad: He says he fears the DEA will come after him (for tramadol lmao)! Sooo, here we are lol. Question is—what can we do? Who can we write to? There has to be something-I’m sick of doing nothing & letting people live in misery because docs are scared to prescribe. I have a friend who is a prof teacher w/ me (not a drug addict-not even questionably) recently diagnosed w/ cancer & his doc is leaving him in miserable pain & only gives him two 5mg a day. He doesn’t even have long to live. It’s sickening watching as the little time he has left, is in misery unless he finds a way to get his meds (illegally tho)! He shouldn’t have to live like this w/ the constant struggle & fear of trouble! We all shouldn’t have to. I guess we can start by being educated on who we vote for etc lol but other than that—what can we do?? Good peeps like us just trying to live, should be more impo than this fear of drug addicts abusing their meds. They choose this! We don’t chose pain/ depression :( we have absolutely no quality of life when we live in constant pain. If I was a doc my patients living in pain would be much more impo to me. & we don’t deserve to live our lives in fear struggling to get our meds, then scared feeling like a criminal for it!! It’s crazy. There has to be something we can do....any suggestions??
This post really hits home. I know there are thousands of people just like us who live in pain for these reasons you mention here. There are now all of these pain clinics, and hypnotherapies out there that supposedly help with pain management. I have severe lower back spondothelesis ( I totally butchered that spelling) My MRI's show many bone spurs entwined within my spinal cord, and they cant do surgery to fix it, they say they arent able to get it all out. I live every day in pain, the tramadol does nothing at all and Ive never found anything other than hydrocodone that ever worked because thats what it was designed to work on.

I'm not one to give up on anything, but the pain is so exhausting, inability to get around, I sincerely accepted the fact I live in pain so severe I cant move for days at a time. Nowhere else to turn. I dont know if its political, or just the DEA but as far as quality of life goes Ive given up on that years ago. Im so sorry to hear about your friend.
 

PaisleyDaisy

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2017
Posts
93
I’m fairly new to all of this-I only take tramadol. I take it for my pain & depression. I have to have it-no question there lol. But like many others, doc kept lowering dosage and wants me to no longer take it everyday :mad: He says he fears the DEA will come after him (for tramadol lmao)! Sooo, here we are lol. Question is—what can we do? Who can we write to? There has to be something-I’m sick of doing nothing & letting people live in misery because docs are scared to prescribe. I have a friend who is a prof teacher w/ me (not a drug addict-not even questionably) recently diagnosed w/ cancer & his doc is leaving him in miserable pain & only gives him two 5mg a day. He doesn’t even have long to live. It’s sickening watching as the little time he has left, is in misery unless he finds a way to get his meds (illegally tho)! He shouldn’t have to live like this w/ the constant struggle & fear of trouble! We all shouldn’t have to. I guess we can start by being educated on who we vote for etc lol but other than that—what can we do?? Good peeps like us just trying to live, should be more impo than this fear of drug addicts abusing their meds. They choose this! We don’t chose pain/ depression :( we have absolutely no quality of life when we live in constant pain. If I was a doc my patients living in pain would be much more impo to me. & we don’t deserve to live our lives in fear struggling to get our meds, then scared feeling like a criminal for it!! It’s crazy. There has to be something we can do....any suggestions??
This post really hits home. I know there are thousands of people just like us who live in pain for these reasons you mention here. There are now all of these pain clinics, and hypnotherapies out there that supposedly help with pain management. I have severe lower back spondothelesis ( I totally butchered that spelling) My MRI's show many bone spurs entwined within my spinal cord, and they cant do surgery to fix it, they say they arent able to get it all out. I live every day in pain, the tramadol does nothing at all and Ive never found anything other than hydrocodone that ever worked because thats what it was designed to work on.

I'm not one to give up on anything, but the pain is so exhausting, inability to get around, I sincerely accepted the fact I live in pain so severe I cant move for days at a time. Nowhere else to turn. I dont know if its political, or just the DEA but as far as quality of life goes Ive given up on that years ago. Im so sorry to hear about your friend.
Ugh. I’m sorry you are in such pain. Have you considered Kratom? It’s legal in most places. It’s true its a bit more of a hassle to deal with the powder rather than a pill, but the fact that it’s readily available makes up for that. I use about a tablespoon once a day and that keeps my back pain under control.
 

nobknee

Honorable member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Posts
286
I’m fairly new to all of this-I only take tramadol. I take it for my pain & depression. I have to have it-no question there lol. But like many others, doc kept lowering dosage and wants me to no longer take it everyday :mad: He says he fears the DEA will come after him (for tramadol lmao)! Sooo, here we are lol. Question is—what can we do? Who can we write to? There has to be something-I’m sick of doing nothing & letting people live in misery because docs are scared to prescribe. I have a friend who is a prof teacher w/ me (not a drug addict-not even questionably) recently diagnosed w/ cancer & his doc is leaving him in miserable pain & only gives him two 5mg a day. He doesn’t even have long to live. It’s sickening watching as the little time he has left, is in misery unless he finds a way to get his meds (illegally tho)! He shouldn’t have to live like this w/ the constant struggle & fear of trouble! We all shouldn’t have to. I guess we can start by being educated on who we vote for etc lol but other than that—what can we do?? Good peeps like us just trying to live, should be more impo than this fear of drug addicts abusing their meds. They choose this! We don’t chose pain/ depression :( we have absolutely no quality of life when we live in constant pain. If I was a doc my patients living in pain would be much more impo to me. & we don’t deserve to live our lives in fear struggling to get our meds, then scared feeling like a criminal for it!! It’s crazy. There has to be something we can do....any suggestions??
This post really hits home. I know there are thousands of people just like us who live in pain for these reasons you mention here. There are now all of these pain clinics, and hypnotherapies out there that supposedly help with pain management. I have severe lower back spondothelesis ( I totally butchered that spelling) My MRI's show many bone spurs entwined within my spinal cord, and they cant do surgery to fix it, they say they arent able to get it all out. I live every day in pain, the tramadol does nothing at all and Ive never found anything other than hydrocodone that ever worked because thats what it was designed to work on.

I'm not one to give up on anything, but the pain is so exhausting, inability to get around, I sincerely accepted the fact I live in pain so severe I cant move for days at a time. Nowhere else to turn. I dont know if its political, or just the DEA but as far as quality of life goes Ive given up on that years ago. Im so sorry to hear about your friend.

I know it's weird to to respond to this with the "love" emoji. Your post just reminded why we're all here. Why I'm so angry and jaded. Just wanted to send you some love and support. Hopefully, you can find someone on here who carries what you need.
 

rhodes23

Senior member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Posts
92
I’m fairly new to all of this-I only take tramadol. I take it for my pain & depression. I have to have it-no question there lol. But like many others, doc kept lowering dosage and wants me to no longer take it everyday :mad: He says he fears the DEA will come after him (for tramadol lmao)! Sooo, here we are lol. Question is—what can we do? Who can we write to? There has to be something-I’m sick of doing nothing & letting people live in misery because docs are scared to prescribe. I have a friend who is a prof teacher w/ me (not a drug addict-not even questionably) recently diagnosed w/ cancer & his doc is leaving him in miserable pain & only gives him two 5mg a day. He doesn’t even have long to live. It’s sickening watching as the little time he has left, is in misery unless he finds a way to get his meds (illegally tho)! He shouldn’t have to live like this w/ the constant struggle & fear of trouble! We all shouldn’t have to. I guess we can start by being educated on who we vote for etc lol but other than that—what can we do?? Good peeps like us just trying to live, should be more impo than this fear of drug addicts abusing their meds. They choose this! We don’t chose pain/ depression :( we have absolutely no quality of life when we live in constant pain. If I was a doc my patients living in pain would be much more impo to me. & we don’t deserve to live our lives in fear struggling to get our meds, then scared feeling like a criminal for it!! It’s crazy. There has to be something we can do....any suggestions??

Tramadol was the only med I found that worked for my depression with virtually no side effects. If something works well then people will naturally become dependent on it. From what I understand other anti-depressants can be difficult to get off as well. Patients are advised to do long, slow tapers when coming off any of them.

What annoys me is, if tramodol is so effective as an antidepressant for so many, then why doesn't some drug company re-imagine and re-market the drug as just that? They could add some St Johns Wart or some other mostly useless, benign herbs to avoid being called copycats. Warnings that the drug can cause physical dependency and that one should taper off at regular intervals, rather than increasing the dosage, to avoid building tolerance.

But I guess the massive lawsuits against the drug companies for causing the "opiod epidemic" have scared them all off from really finding and marketing a genuine cure for depression. Instead it seems like the best we can look forward to is an endless stream of mostly ineffective, placebo pills that cause brain zaps, restless leg syndrome, dry mouth, weight gain, erectile dysfunction and numerous other maladies. The good news is they can then give you more drugs to address those issues. Call me cynical cause I guess I am.
 

Seychelle

Eminent member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Posts
1,533
That’s exactly right, in my opinion. And to offer an answer to your post, there is no good option for political leadership when it comes to this issue. Doctors are afraid to lose their licenses, politicians are afraid to lose their seats. We’re on this path now, and it’ll be 50 years before the federal regulations catch up with the medical science that promotes education over punishment. Jailing nonviolent drug users and denying patients prescription medications out of FEAR are cowardly punishments and far from a sustainable solution to the drug problems running rampant in the US

Most of these things aren't new though. They were true 30 or 40 years ago, when opiates were readily prescribed. Politicians have always sought to get elected. Doctors have always been able lose their licenses for inappropriate or excessive prescribing, although it's worth noting that not very many of them actually have. Few doctors have even had a temporary suspension of their DEA number. Are we really going to justify that they're literally killing their patients because they're scared of a strongly worded letter??

I'm not really letting politicians off the hook either. They may not have any knowledge of this when they seek election, but once in office it's their job to learn. But I will give them a mulligan for relying on the information experts give them. We can't really blame Congress for not listening to pain patients, when medical experts tell them those patients are really just drug addicts.

What has changed is what you allude to in the last couple sentences: Now we have this "War on Drugs." Before we can have people fearing unreasonable arrest and disproportionate punishments (and, really, WTF are doctors whining about?? They ought to try being a black man in the Drug War!**); before we can have politicians and law enforcement and the media all jumping on the anti-opioid bandwagon, society itself has to have a pretty unhealthy relationship to drugs.

**I never thought of like this before, but there's a racist, classist component to heaping all this sympathy on doctors who fear punishments that almost never happen, compared to the arrest rates and mind-boggling punishments that blacks have been subjected to in the Drug War. Almost no doctors go to prison; if black Americans were their own country, they would now have the highest incarceration rate in the world, a huge portion of it for drug offenses. Doctors aren't facing life sentences for prescribing for a handful of Vicodin, but black men really ARE facing life sentences for possessing a handful of marijuana.
I agree with most of what you're saying, and I have a sincere appreciation for the thought and perspective you're bringing to the table. You're right, we've had a problem with drugs since the 1970's (I'm not blaming hippies lol), and the political response to the counterculture of the 60's and 70's can be summed up by Nancy Reagan's advice to "Just Say No." This and the War on Drugs (ie mandatory minimum sentences for crack as opposed to powdered cocaine) have done nothing to solve or mitigate the problem. Unfortunately, the Just Say No effect laid the groundwork for pharma manufacturers and distributors, such as McKesson and Perdue, etc, to target and attract ethically compromised doctors and pharmacists to flood the country with OC. Coupled with the mass integration of fentanyl and synthetic analogs into heroin, we have our opioid crisis.

I digress. So, 40 years of the War on Drugs has created the unhealthy relationship with drugs you mentioned (and, implicitly, widespread acceptance of the overwhelmingly racist sentencing requirements for possession of crack cocaine, while casually dismissing how whites caught with some powder get a competent lawyer and probation). Can you imagine where we'd be as a society if all the money that has been spent over the last 40 years, at every level, on enforcing and punishing nonviolent possession had been allocated for federally funded mental health and addiction services? But then private prisons would lose contracts and pharmaceutical companies would miss out on a couple billion in revenue.

As far as the politicians' inaction or misguided action, I think they listen more to lobbyists and campaign contributors than to experts, and that is the most fundamental flaw in how we are represented in the legislative process. Finally, there's a little diversity creeping into Congress; eventually, we might have a Congress that actually reflects the interests and issues of their constituents, instead of a bunch of greedy old white assholes who don't give a crap about you and only care about their own pocketbooks. They will throw you and everyone you love under the bus or in jail if it means another donation from the NRA (or whoever).

You're absolutely right! White people, especially, hold doctors in particularly high regard for no other reason than the color of their coat. Doctors are human beings, some of whom do atrocious and selfish things that white people disregard because, well, they're doctors. It is absolutely an elitist unearned entitlement we have bestowed upon doctors as a whole, who, unless they're Dr. Kevorkian (bad example, as I personally feel he helped those people) or Dr. Lector or someone the media and courts have pointed to as betraying their professional ethics and breaking laws, face almost no consequences for their actions or complicity or negligence.

We're almost at the point of federal decriminalization of pot. That's a start. Other than that, vote for politicians who share your values, blah blah blah --- vote for people of color, and get rid of the McConnells and Kennedys. That's how you can vote the issue...

Whew.. I need to chill.
Awesome post; should be pinned :0
 

Juno08

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2012
Posts
430
I’m glad this thread has been started. It’s hard because I’ve tapered so far down but it’s still hard to get fully off. I’m on like 1.5 pills a day now. Been like that for about 2 years. I’ve tried and tried. But it also helps me with pain and depression. If only I could get a doctor to be on board and understand. I really would be fine with like 60/month. None of them here will do that, though. 10 years ago when I was first prescribed it, yes, no problem. Now I’m stuck here. I wish I didn’t have to be and I just didn’t have to worry,
 

Seychelle

Eminent member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Posts
1,533
I’m glad this thread has been started. It’s hard because I’ve tapered so far down but it’s still hard to get fully off. I’m on like 1.5 pills a day now. Been like that for about 2 years. I’ve tried and tried. But it also helps me with pain and depression. If only I could get a doctor to be on board and understand. I really would be fine with like 60/month. None of them here will do that, though. 10 years ago when I was first prescribed it, yes, no problem. Now I’m stuck here. I wish I didn’t have to be and I just didn’t have to worry,
Keep coming back:)
pls disregard the glib
thx
 
Last edited:

nobknee

Honorable member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Posts
286
I’m glad this thread has been started. It’s hard because I’ve tapered so far down but it’s still hard to get fully off. I’m on like 1.5 pills a day now. Been like that for about 2 years. I’ve tried and tried. But it also helps me with pain and depression. If only I could get a doctor to be on board and understand. I really would be fine with like 60/month. None of them here will do that, though. 10 years ago when I was first prescribed it, yes, no problem. Now I’m stuck here. I wish I didn’t have to be and I just didn’t have to worry,

Yup, you've come to the right place. You're not alone. You'll find help here. {{hugs}}
 

Juno08

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
May 29, 2012
Posts
430
@marymary I feel your pain. I’m terrified to ever ask my doctor to try certain meds because I don’t want to be labeled drug seeking. I don’t get taken seriously at all, at least not in my area. Sad that people struggle with their prescriptions here. My husband needs insulin daily and sometimes even that is a struggle; and he needs it to live. I can’t even explain how many times he’s been denied a refill or fought with insurance. I’m sad for everyone who can’t get medication that actually enhances their life and quality.
 
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