To Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Member, President’s Commission on Combating Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
As the only sitting member of the President’s Commission who is even remotely qualified in medicine, you will have your hands full. The published schedule for the Commission calls for review of a draft report to the President just ten days after your first working meeting. With no intention of discourtesy, I must seriously ask whether you wish to have your name associated with such a transparently political agenda. The “fix” is obviously in for another round of the “War on Drugs” — and hundreds of thousands of pain patients across the US know it. They are about to be disregarded and abused AGAIN by their own government, in the name of trying to solve an opioid crisis that isn’t their fault and that won’t be helped in the least by denying them effective pain management.
As noted in a recent research paper in National Pain Report, I write as a non-physician writer, research analyst, patient advocate and website moderator for chronic pain patients, families, and physicians. My wife and daughter are chronic pain patients. My 20 years of volunteer experience has produced articles and critical commentaries at the US Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, Ben’s Friends online communities for patients with rare disorders, US National Institutes for Neurologic Disorder and Stroke, Wikipedia, WebMD, Mad in America, Psychiatric News, Pain News Network, National Pain Report, the American Council on Science and Health, the Global Summit for Diagnostic Alternatives of the Society for Humanistic Psychology, Psychiatric News and Psychology Today.
I urge you — indeed, I IMPLORE you — to read the article in which this summary appeared. It is titled “Warning to the FDA – Beware of ‘Simple’ Solutions in Pain and Addiction.” It may deserve to become a part of your report to President Trump. It demonstrates that the balance between concerns of people in agony and those of families who have lost children to opioid addiction have become seriously skewed in utterly unproductive and dangerous directions. It also demonstrates that the March 2016 CDC guidelines on prescription of opioids to adult non-cancer pain patients are seriously dangerous due to weak evidence, scientific errors and outright omissions of vital medical science. The guidelines are already killing patients across the US. If enshrined as mandatory limits on opioid prescription, they will kill many thousands more.