I am so proud of my friend and colleague, Dr. Richard “Red” Lawhern, the co-founder, and Director of Research of The Alliance for Treatment of Intractable Pain (ATIP.) No pun intended, but ATIP is truly at the tip of the spear in advocating for the voiceless masses of chronic pain patients who are currently suffering under the government’s illogical and highly damaging Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. As a representative of ATIP, Dr. Lawhern was recognized at the second meeting of the Inter Agency Task Force on Best Practices for Pain Management on September 25, 2018.
The Task Force is developing recommendations to Congress for resolution of gaps and inconsistencies in medical best practice standards for pain management. Red provided real insights into rates of opioid prescribing by doctors vs opioid related overdose mortalities by all sources.
In speaking truth to power, Red and his colleagues at ATIP are our best hope of reversing the government-sanctioned trend toward cruelly denying chronic pain patients the prescription medications they need to have any quality of life. The science and statistics do not support the CDC’s claims that opioid prescriptions are the driving force in the “opioid crisis.” To the contrary, the government’s own data proves conclusively that there is no relationship between the rate of opioid prescribing and the rate of opioid overdoses. None.
Thank you, Red. You are my hero.