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    The purpose of all pain treatment is to relieve suffering and promote function. Denial of effective treatment for chronic pain is a fundamental abuse of human rights and a violation of the principle “First Do No Harm”.

    The US has a real opioid crisis, but it wasn’t created by prescriptions managed by doctors — and it won’t be solved by restricting treatment of patients in agony.

    Educate patients on risk of kidney failure, stomach ulcer and bleeds, heart attack and stroke from NSAIDs and aspirin.

    Educate patients on risk of liver toxicity, liver failure, and death with acetaminophen or Tylenol.

    The real reason to send 98 percent of people who used codine responsibly to hell with their pain is eugenics. Too many people in the world. They want to cull us. 6000 people die every year from alcohol abuse. Where do they get it? The bottle shop. Send them to the doctor.

    Alcohol kills more people than all other drugs combined.

    Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has reported that alcohol causes 88,000 deaths each year. Alcohol has shortened the lifespan of those 88,000 human beings by 30 years. All other drugs combined only cause 30,000 deaths a year. Alcohol is not only harmful to the individual, but it’s also harmful to society as a whole. Its negative effects are wide-ranging and can result in injuries, car accidents, violence, and sexual assault. Even with knowing this, alcohol is still more common than other drugs, and alcohol distributors and bartenders are not looked at like drug dealers who sell heroin and cocaine. Alcohol is different than other illicit substances that we know can cause overdose deaths because alcohol can also kill people slowly by deteriorating the body. How about up-scheduling alcohol?

    Now we have 2 per cent of people overdosing on alcohol, opiates and codeine who have compromised 98 per cent of people who used this medication responsibly and when necessary to reduce the volume of their pain. What is really out of control? Alcohol. What did the politicians do about that? Nothing! A contradiction in terms.

    I’ve suffered from tension headache for years I’m not addicted to meds and only take them when necessary. If I cant manage pain at home I have to go to ER. They have to get rid of my pain otherwise I cant function. That can happen once a week sometimes twice. Now tell me is that what ER is for? This will clog up ER and waste my time and theirs. Last time I got 5 mg endone. As well as the over the counter back then mercindal. That meant I could self manage my pain. In fact I took a quarter of a tab of 5mg endone and one mercindal and my pain was gone. What was wrong with that.

    First, why not clarify that most of the abuse of prescription pain pills is not by those for whom they’re prescribed? Among those for whom they are prescribed, the onset of addiction (which is usually temporary) is about 10% for those with a previous drug-use history, and less than 1% for those with no such history. 

    It’s remarkably irresponsible to ignore these distinctions and then use “sum total” statistics to scare doctors, policymakers and review boards into severely limiting the prescription of pain pills.

    The science of opioid medicines

    Opioid medicines activate receptors in the nervous system that influence the perception of pain and can reduce its strength, providing relief.

    One way of imagining how opioid drugs and receptors work together to influence the sensation of pain is like a volume control: the level of perceived pain is turned down.

    Every person does experience and manage pain differently – opioid medicines are often used to reduce pain strength and other problems associated with pain, such as feelings of stress and irritability. Sudden increases in pain can be controlled with opioids as well.

    Using the right opioid medicine is critical to effective pain management. Doctors work with patients to select the most appropriate kind and dosage of opioid medicine, which depends on things like the intensity of pain, how often it occurs, and the risk of side effects and other issues.

    Constipation, nausea and drowsiness are common with the use of opioid medicines, but they can be reduced or managed while still taking opioids for pain relief.

    With less pain, and by working with health professionals to use opioid medicines effectively and manage any side effects, people are likely to have more energy, greater independence and be able to better enjoy the things they love to do.

    Criminalising pain relief

    Diederik Lohman, from Human Rights Watch, says not giving people access to these medicines essentially amounts to torture.

    Opioids have been pulled into the so-called “war on drugs” discourse, instead of being seen from a medical perspective, he says.

    “For many decades, the discussions at the international level… around drugs were completely focused on illegal drugs, to the point where the fact that these same substances also have important medical uses was just completely off the radar,” Mr Lohman says.

    Another major challenge is ensuring medical staff in all countries understand how medicines such as morphine should be used, so they feel confident about giving them to patients.

    Mr Lohman says students are often warned about patients becoming addicted to opioids, but are not always taught that opioids can also be an essential intervention to manage pain.

    This and the tough international rhetoric have led to “opiophobia… an irrational fear around the use of these medications”, he says.

    As a result, Mr Lohman says, many people who should be dispensing these medicines end up thinking of these powerful drugs as “kind of an evil”.

    “People are scared of going to jail… of the extra scrutiny that they think will come if you prescribe these medicines,” he says.

    That’s not an idle fear.

    Trump, who vowed during his campaign to combat the opioid crisis, has set a goal of cutting prescriptions by one-third over the next three years. He has also boasted of stepped-up prosecutions of doctors who prescribe inappropriately. 

    The up-scheduling of codeine has been vigorously supported by the Australian Medical Association, the RACGP and Rural Doctors, the Consumer Health Forum, Pain Australia, the National Prescribing Service Medicinewise, and hospital pharmacists.

    Please write to the health minister, shadow health minister and all of the above agencies and tell them what it is like for you.

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    Could not agree with you more. I have Crohns, and suffer from a student doctor overriding the consultant’s IV Antibiotics. He utterly shattered my arm due to box compartment syndrome surgery. A spike from a blood sugar test is all it takes for some grotty football field covered in dog muck and god knows what else, if that tiny tiny hole gets some nasty infection, your blood stream is screwed. In my case my arm hasn’t stop hurting. It’s not on .
    I am not a drug dealer, I’m not doctor shopping. I just want a way to relieve my pain. I might as well hit up someone in Richmond, that’s what all the addicts are doing right now. Well done, Melbourne has a good old heroin problem, more gangs, violence, theft ect. Oh and every day is utter misery for people who legitimately are sick.


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