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Red on the Dr. Peter Breggin Hour – Sept 23, 2020

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Red’s KOGO radio interview––July 23, 2020





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The War on Pain Patients

Contrary to popular belief, doctors over-prescribing opioids did not cause our drug crisis, nor does it sustain its steady climb. According to CDC’s data, nearly half of all overdoses don’t involve prescribed opioids at all. Among the remaining drug-related deaths in 2017, half involved illicit fentanyl and heroin. Only about 18,000 deaths involved a prescription opioid, and most of those also involved multiple illegal drugs and alcohol. 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says most addicts begin to abuse drugs in their teens or early 20s. Contrast that with pain patients on opioid therapy, the majority of which are over age 55. Seniors are prescribed opioids three times more often than youth under age 18, yet somehow seniors have the lowest overdose rates of any age group, and youth overdose six times more often. Prescriptions aren’t the problem.

Restricting pain medication to pain patients won’t stem the tide of illicit fentanyl and heroin overdose deaths. Forcing pain patients off the only medications that work, providing no alternatives, and driving those same patients to street drugs and, increasingly, to suicide won’t help either. 

Lawmakers must direct their attention to the real problem–the rising tide of illicit street drugs–and stop persecuting pain patients, the most vulnerable among us.

Red’s Body of Work

Forewarned is forearmed.

Read up so you’re ready to counter any false claims with hard facts.

Meet Your Advocate

lawhernRichard 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 has been invited to join the Editorial Advisory Board at the journal “Practical Pain Management” as a founding member to advocate for people in pain. In this position, Red will help to establish the editorial focus of the journal. Red’s body of work includes three previous articles at Practical Pain Management.

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.

More about ATIP

Rev 04/20