We Want a Few Good Men and Women to COMMIT themselves!
October 2, 2017
Pain patient communities are in deep trouble all across America. We are being made scapegoats for the incompetence of our own government in its abuse and desertion of people like us — all in the name of solving a so-called “opioid epidemic” which we didn’t create. Our doctors are leaving pain management practice. Our legislators are imposing anti-opioid laws which deny us pain relief and plunge many of us into disability. Hundreds of us are dying by suicide or medical collapse.
We’ve seen online petitions come and go, and we’ve seen letter writing campaigns come and go. Yet nothing has gotten the attention of Washington DC or our Statehouses. It’s time to do something different, and the Opioid Policy Correspondents’ List (which I support as corresponding secretary) needs YOUR help, your FAMILY MEMBERS’ help, and your FRIENDS help to do it.
Instead of writing letters, it’s time to talk in person with our State and Federal legislators and their staffs. We want you or your family members to make a commitment to doing the following — in every US State, and multiple legislative districts within each State:
- Look up the phone numbers and locations of the nearest local offices of your Senators and Congressional Representative. To use the finder below, select “Members” in the drop down and type your state in the text box.For example:
- Call the office and ask to schedule an in-person appointment with the local office director or other staff member to tal. Ask for 30 minutes with the staff member. NOTE: as a general rule, legislator Chief of Staff and Healthcare Legislative Assistant for a US Senator will be located at the Senator’s Washington DC office, not in the Senator’s home state. You may have to schedule during a planned visit of Washington staff to the local office.
- Go to the district office and sit down for half an hour and talk with the legislator’s staff. Start by introducing yourself and telling the staffer that you have a personal stake in the major public health issue that you want to talk about. You (or your family member) are being harmed by the policies of your own government.
- We want them to tell their boss that pain patients’ lives are being destroyed by legislation and CDC “guidelines” which restrict access to effective pain relief. You want the legislator to take a public stand in stopping this abuse.
- AT CONGRESSIONAL LEVEL: We want the staff member to tell their boss that they need to author or co-sign a letter from the House or Senate, directing the CDC to immediately withdraw its March 2016 Guidelines on prescribing opioids to chronic pain patients for a major rewrite. The guidelines are widely known to be biased, inaccurate, unsupported by medical evidence and grossly dangerous to patient health. Even some of the original authors have disavowed them.
- AT STATE LEVEL: Do similar visits with the Governor’s office and the office of your State Senators and Assembly. We want staff to tell their boss that legislation which restricts opioid pain relief is endangering the lives of tens of thousands of people in YOUR state. You are asking for their assistance to suspend or repeal any such law. It is time to get government out of the physician-patient relationship — as required by US Supreme Court verdicts.
- IN MEDIA: separately from your visit to government offices, call a local talk radio show host or the editor of your nearest big city newspaper. Ask to schedule an in-person appointment to talk with a reporter who writes about health and medicine. When you interview, repeat your story and give them paper copies of important fact sheets and papers (the Correspondents List will provide them).
When you commit to doing these interviews, you are not joining a support group. This isn’t about venting or sharing your pain with others who understand. However, you will not be alone or unsupported in this effort. The Opioid Policy Correspondents List will provide you information and backup. We will support you with expert interviews in radio or other media. We’ll talk to you by phone to help you prepare. And we want to hear back from you after your interviews.
The Opioid Policy Correspondents List is a group of 140+ medical professionals, healthcare writers, journalists, blog writers, support group administrators and informed patients. We are lobbying US media and our government to contradict the lies and hype which dominate much of the present public conversation on pain and addiction.
If you or a family member are willing to commit to actually DOING something rather than just talking about it, then please email me, Red Lawhern. Someone will invite you into an online workspace where our internal discussions are archived. We will help you join a national movement to lobby for change with the people who might be able to make it happen.
Please join us in effective advocacy to STOP THE WAR AGAINST PAIN PATIENTS!
Email me about this opportunity to make a difference
Regards and well wishes,
Richard A. “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D.
Personal Homepage — “Giving Something Back”