The War on Pain Patients: A Primer
The federal government is waging a war on pain patients in America. Politicians and the media portray people who take pain medications as the cause of the American opioid crisis. Problem: this portrayal is a convenient lie.
It is convenient for politicians because it is a tidy solution to the government’s failed “War On Drugs.” Rather than take on the actual cause of the opioid epidemic – the lucrative illegal drug trade – politicians are waging a very public war against the legal prescribing of opioid pain medications. Every day, another politician joins the cause. In state houses and in Congress, an increasing number of legislators are co-sponsoring bills to curb the legal prescribing of opioid pain medications. It is the policy issue du jour, and any politician wishing to be elected or re-elected must state loudly that he or she is firmly anti-opioid.
For the media, the American opioid crisis has it all: it is sensational, it is easy, and it is lucrative. Stories showcasing patients-turned-addicts delivered by very sincere anchors sitting in front of stock photos of prescription bottles are dramatic, but lacking in substantive facts and relying on numbers that have been manipulated to support false claims. These stories keep people watching their networks and reading their publications, which ensures advertising dollars.
The CDC’s Prescribing Guidelines clearly communicate a threat to physicians who prescribe opioid pain medications. Those who continue treating their pain patients with appropriate and necessary opioid medications are at risk of legal action and possible loss of their medical licenses.
Lost in all of the political bluster and media hype is the fact that the government is targeting the weakest, most vulnerable members of our society – people living in chronic, debilitating pain. Very few politicians and media outlets are telling their story. We want to change that.
Red’s Body of Work
Forewarned is forearmed.
Read up so you’re ready to counter any false claims with hard facts.
- Comments to “Treatment for Acute Pain: An Evidence Map”
- An Agonized Death that Didn’t Have to Happen
- Regulators, I Double Dare You! (to Reexamine the Medical Evidence)
- Inconvenient Truths in America’s Opioid Crisis
- An Open Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee
- What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?
- Opioids: Chasing the Wrong “Epidemic”
- A Message to Legislators: Stop Your Phony War Against Pain Patients!
- Criminalizing the Opioid Epidemic is No Way to Help Chronic Pain Sufferers
- Figures Lie and Liars Figure – Why the Demographics of the So-Called “Prescription Opioid Crisis” Don’t Work
- Red’s Contributions to the Global Summit on Diagnostic Alternatives
- An Open Letter to the Baptist World News
- Stop The War On Chronic Pain Patients
- The CDC Opioid Guidelines Violate Standards Of Science Research
- It’s Not All In Your Head
- Somatic Symptom Disorder
- Tracking Down the “Research” Behind the CDC’s Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
- The CDC’s Fictitous Opioid Epidemic, Part 1
- The CDC’s Fictitious Opioid Epidemic, Part 2
- How Would Opioid Prescription Guidelines Read if Pain Patients Wrote Them?
- Demographics of Neurological Face Pain at a Social Networking Website
- Warning to the FDA: Beware of “Simple” Solutions in Chronic Pain and Addiction
- Letter To The Editor, Capital Times of Madison (WI)
- An Open Letter to the President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
- A Second Open Letter to the President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
- A Government In Disarray Over Opioid Therapeutic Use vs. Addiction
- Red’s Recommended Reading
- Interviews with Richard “Red” Lawhern, Ph.D.
- Dr. Lawhern speaking on Matt Connarton’s radio show Unleashed November 28, 2018 and March 13, 2019
- ATIP After-Action Report on 9/25 Meeting of the HHS Inter Agency Task Force on Best Practices in Pain Management
Meet Your Advocate
Richard A “Red” Lawhern is the spouse of a chronic facial pain patient. He has advocated for pain patients and their family members for twenty years with online research, physician referrals, authoring of websites and critical commentaries. From Red’s website:
“I retired as a systems engineer and operations research analyst… In my so-called spare time, I support an online community called “Living with TN” as a moderator and content author, providing literature and internet research to chronic face pain patients. I also mentor young people who are struggling with life in our times.”
Red is the Director of Research for the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain (ATIP.) If you want to join Red in the fight for pain patients’ rights, ATIP is the place to start.