2017 in review … what killed us

Today is 08/16/2018.. who will not be here tomorrow

2016 in review … what killed us

6775 Americans will die EVERY DAY – from various reasons


140 will be SUCCESSFUL – including 20 veterans

270 will die from hospital acquired antibiotic resistant “bug” because staff won’t properly wash hands and/or proper infection control.

350 will die from their use/abuse of the drug ALCOHOL

1200 will die from their use/abuse of the drug NICOTINE

1400 will contract C-DIF from Hospital or Nursing home because staff doesn’t properly wash their hands are adhere to infection control  

80 WILL DIE mostly elderly.

850 will die from OBESITY

700 will die from medical errors

150 will die from Flu/Pneumonia

80 will die from Homicide

80 will die in car accidents




Here is the list from the end of 2016 if interested in comparing
United States of America
from Jan 1, 2017 – Dec 31, 2017 (11:36:39 AM)

Abortion*: 1090465
Heart Disease: 613479
Cancer: 590862
Tobacco: 349505
Obesity: 306566
Medical Errors: 251098
Stroke: 132915
Lower Respiratory Disease: 142741
Accident (unintentional): 135861
Hospital Associated Infection: 98860
Alcohol: 99859
Diabetes: 76380
Alzheimer’s Disease: 93409
Influenza/Pneumonia: 55149
Kidney Failure: 42702
Blood Infection: 33417
Suicide: 42713
Drunk Driving: 33760
Unintentional Poisoning: 31713
All Drug Abuse: 24970
Homicide: 16775
Prescription Drug Overdose: 14979
Murder by gun: 11477
Texting while Driving: 5981
Pedestrian: 4993
Drowning: 3909
Fire Related: 3495
Malnutrition: 2768
Domestic Violence: 1458
Smoking in Bed: 779
Falling out of Bed: 598
Killed by Falling Tree: 149
Lawnmower: 68
Spontaneous Combustion: 0

Totals of all categories are based upon past trends documented below.



I am being completely weaned off my meds, & suspect I will kill myself with the amount of pain I am in, & will be by the time this is over (the wean that is). Already can’t function.

My husband committed suicide after being abandoned by his pain dr.

Please pray for me as I am on the brink of suicide! I don’t want to die but can’t handle the pain anymore! The doctor that I am currently seeing will not give me enough pills to last all month every month… I have to wait until Oct to get in with a pain management doctor whom I already know by others that I know sees this doctor that he will help me, need prayer to hold on until oct… I keep thinking of my family who needs me hear.

“We just lost another intractable member of our support group two nights ago. She committed suicide because her medications were taken away for interstitial cystitis (a horribly painful bladder condition) and pudendal neuralgia, both of which she had battled for years

D D., journalist and prescribed fentanyl patient for a dozen years joined me on air last weekend with her husband and spoke of her suicide plan should the only relief from constant agony be heavily reduced or taken away.

I was told last Friday that my Dr. will be tapering my meds again . When I told him I didn’t think my body could take another lowering he stated ” it wasn’t my
License on the line”, I stated ” no , but it’s my life on the line”!!!!! I can not continue to live this way . I can not continue to suffer in agony when my medications and dose where working just fine before and I was a productive member of society . I can no longer take this. I have a plan in place to end my life myself When I am forced to reduce my Medications again . I just can’t do it anymore .

On Friday at around 9 p.m. U.S. Navy veteran Kevin Keller parked his red pickup truck in the parking lot at the Wytheville Rite-Aid, walked across the grass and stood in front of the U.S. Veterans Community Based Outpatient Clinic next door.

Sick and tired of being in pain, he pulled out a gun, shot a hole in the office door, aimed the gun barrel at his head and ended his hurt once and for all.

As a longterm pain patient with a current unsupportive pain dr, I just thought I’d share the reality of the position I’m in right now…

I’m in very bad pain all the time for very legit and well documented reasons. My pain dr however never gives me enough meds to help me. He just keeps reducing them, which is causing me to be in even more pain and suffer so much more. My quality of life also continues to go downhill at the same time. I was just given a letter by him recently too about some study indicating an increase in deaths if you take opioids and benzos. It stated he’s no longer going to give pain meds to anyone who is taking a benzo. I take one, because I have to, for a seizure disorder, not because I want to. He told me to pick one or the other though, plus went ahead and reduced my pain meds some more. He doesn’t seem to care the least bit. I’ve looked hard and so far I can’t find another one to get in to see near me at this time, but I’m desperately still trying. Unfortunately, they’re few and far between here, in addition to the wait for an appointment being long. I’ve even called hospice for help. So far, they haven’t been of much help either, because I don’t have a dr who will say I have six months or less to live. I told them either choice my pain dr is giving me is very inhumane, so I’d rather just quit eating and drinking, to the point where I pass away from that, while I get some kind of comfort care from them. I don’t really want to though, although I do have a long list of some very bad health problems, including a high probability that I have cancer and it’s spread. Am I suicidal? No. Will I be if my pain and seizure meds are taken away. Highly likely. I never ever saw this coming either. I don’t have a clue what to do and the clock is ticking, but I’m still fighting for an answer. So far, I can’t find not even one dr to help me though. Not one. I know my life depends on it, but at what point will these drs let my suffering become so inhumane that I just can’t take it anymore. I just don’t know right now. It’s a very scary place to be in for sure. That I do know.

The patient was being denied the medicine that had been alleviating his pain and committed suicide because, “he couldn’t live with the pain anymore. He could not see a future. He had no hope. He had no life.”

I am a chronic pain patient who has been on fairly high doses of opiates for about nine years now. My dose has been forcibly reduced since the cdc guidelines. I moved to Oregon from Alaska and can’t find a doctor to prescribe my medication. I pray I have the strength not to take my own life!

Zach Williams of Minnesota  committed suicide at age 35. He was a veteran of Iraq and had experienced back pain and a brain injury from his time in service. He had treated his pain with narcotics until the VA began reducing prescriptions.

Ryan Trunzo committed suicide at the age of 26. He was an army veteran of Iraq. He had experienced fractures in his back for which he tried to get effective painkillers, but failed due to VA policy. His mother stated “I feel like the VA took my son’s life.”

Kevin Keller, a Navy veteran, committed suicide at age 52. He shot v after breaking into the house of his friend, Marty Austin, to take his gun. Austin found a letter left by Keller saying “Marty sorry I broke into your house and took your gun to end the pain!” Keller had experienced a stroke 11 years earlier, and he had worsening pain in the last two years of his life because VA doctors would not give him pain medicine. On the subject of pain medication, Austin said that Keller “was not addicted. He needed it.”

Bob Mason, aged 67, of Montana committed suicide after not having access to drugs to treat his chronic pain for just one week. One doctor who had treated Mason was Mark Ibsen, who shut down his office after the Montana Board of Medical Examiners investigated him for excessive prescription of opioids. According to Mason’s daughter, Mason “didn’t like the drugs, but there were no other options.”

Donald Alan Beyer, living in Idaho, had experienced back pain for years. He suffered from  degenerative disc disease, as well as a job-related injury resulting in a broken back. After his doctor retired, Beyer struggled without pain medicine for months. He shot himself on his 47th birthday. His son, Garrett, said “I guess he felt suicide was his only chance for relief.”

Denny Peck of Washington state was 58 when he ended his life. In 1990, he experienced a severe injury to his vertebrae during a fishing accident. His mother, Lorraine Peck, said “[h]e has been in severe pain ever since,” and his daughter, Amanda Peck, “said she didn’t remember a time when her dad didn’t hurt.” During the last few years of his life, Peck had received opiates for his pain from a Seattle Pain Center, until these clinics closed. After suffering and being unable to find doctors who would help with his pain, Peck called 911. Two days later, Peck was found dead in his home with bullet wounds in his head. A note found near Peck read: “Can’t sleep, can’t eat, can’t do anything. And all the whitecoats don’t care at all.”

Doug Hale of Vermont killed himself at the age of 53. He had experienced pain from interstitial cystitis, and decided to end his life six weeks after his doctor suddenly cut off his opiate painkillers. He left a note reading “Can’t take the chronic pain anymore” before he shot himself in the head. His doctor said he “was no longer willing to risk my license by writing you another script for opioids”  (see attachment A for details of the problem as relyed by his wife Tammi who is now 10 months without a husband as a direct result of the CDC guidelines to prevent deaths)Bruce Graham committed suicide after living with severe pain for two years. At age 62, Graham fell from a ladder, suffering several severe injuries. He had surgery and fell into a coma. After surgery, he suffered from painful adhesions which could not be removed. He relied on opioid painkillers to tolerate his pain, but doctors eventually stopped prescribing the medicine he needed. Two years after his fall, Graham shot himself in the heart to end the pain.

Travis Patterson, a young combat veteran, died two days after a suicide attempt at the age of 26. After the attempt to take his own life, Patterson was brought to the VA emergency room. Doctors offered therapy as a solution, but did not offer any relief for his pain. Patterson died two days after his attempted suicide.

54-year-old Bryan Spece of Montana  killed himself about two weeks after he experienced a major reduction in his pain medication. The CDC recommends a slow reduction in pain medicine, such as a 10% decrease per week. Based on information from Spece’s relative, Spece’s dose could have been reduced by around 70% in the weeks before he died.

In Oregon, Sonja Mae Jonsson ended her life when her doctor stopped giving her pain medicine as a result of the CDC guidelines.

United States veterans have been committing suicide after being unable to receive medicine for pain. These veterans include Peter Kaisen,Daniel Somers, Kevin Keller, Ryan Trunzo, Zach Williams, and Travis Patterson

A 40-year-old woman with fibromyalgia, lupus, and back issues appeared to have committed suicide after not being prescribed enough pain medicine. She had talked about her suicidal thoughts with her friends several times before, saying “there is no quality of life in pain.” She had no husband or children to care for, so she ended her life.

Sherri Little was 53 when she committed suicide. She suffered pain from occipital neuralgia, IBS, and fibromyalgia. A friend described Little as having a “shining soul of activism” as she spent time advocating for other chronic pain sufferers. However, Little had other struggles in her life, such as her feeling that her pain kept her from forming meaningful relationships. In her final days, Little was unable to keep down solid food, and she tried to get medical help from a hospital. When she was unable to receive relief, Little ended her life.

Former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle of North Carolina shot himself at age 71. He suffered from long-term pain under his left breast. Although he went through several medical tests to determine the cause of his pain, the results could not provide relief. After Trickle’s suicide, his brother stated that Dick “must have just decided the pain was too high, because he would have never done it for any other reason.”

39-year-old Julia Kelly committed suicide after suffering ongoing pain resulting from two car accidents. Kelly’s pain caused her to quit her job and move in with her parents, unable to start a family of her own. Her family is certain that the physical and emotional effects of her pain are what drove her to end her life. Kelly had founded a charity to help other chronic pain sufferers, an organization now run by her father in order to help others avoid Julia’s fate.

Sarah Kershaw ended her life at age 49. She was a New York Times Reporter who suffered from occipital neuralgia.

Lynn Gates Jackson, speaking for her friend E.C. who committed suicide after her long term opiates were suddenly reduced by 50% against her will, for no reason.  Lynn reports she felt like the doctors were not treating her like a human being (Ed:  a common complaint) and she made the conscious decision to end her life.

E.C. committed suicide quietly one day in Visalia California.  She was 40.  Her friend reported her death.  “She did not leave a note but I know what she did”.  The doctor would only write a prescription for 10 vicodin and she was in so much pain she could not get to the clinic every few days.   We had talked many times about quitting life. Then she left.  She just left.

Jessica, a patient with RSD/CRPS committed suicide when the pain from her disease became too much for her to bear. A friend asserted that Jessica’s death was not the result of an overdose, and that “living with RSD isn’t living.”



















Aliff, Charles

Beyer, Donald Alan

Brunner, Robert “Bruin”

Graham, Bruce

Hale, Doug

Hartsgrove, Daniel P

Ingram III, Charles Richard

Kaisen, Peter

Keller, Kevin

Kershaw, Sarah

Kimberly, Allison

Little, Sherri

Mason, Bob

Miles, Richard

Murphy, Thomas

Paddock, Karon

Patterson, Travis “Patt”

Peck, Denny

Peterson, Michael Jay

Reid, Marsha

Somers, Daniel

Son, Randall Lee

Spece, Brian

Tombs, John

Trickle, Richard “Dick”

Trunzo, Ryan

Williams, Zack

Karon Shettler Paddock  committed suicide on August 7, 2013  http://www.kpaddock.org/


Jessica Simpson took her life July 2017

Mercedes McGuire took her life on Friday, August 4th. She leaves behind her 4 yr old son. She could no longer endure the physical & emotional pain from Trigeminal Neuralgia.


Another Veteran Suicide In Front Of VA Emergency Department

 Depression and Pain makes me want to kill self. Too much physical and emotional pain to continue on. I seek the bliss fullness of Death. Peace. Live together die alone.

 Dr. Mansureh Irvani  suspected overdose victim  http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/08/18/suspended-oral-surgeon-dies-suspected-overdose.html

Katherine Goddard’s Suicide note: Due to the pain we are both in and can’t get help, this is the only way we can see getting out of it. Goodbye to everybody,”   https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-man-arrested-after-girlfriend-dies-during-alleged-suicide-pact/  

Steven Lichtenberg: the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself   http://www.dispatch.com/news/20160904/chronic-pains-emotional-toll-can-lead-to-suicide  

Fred Sinclair  he was hurting very much and was, in effect, saying goodbye to the family.  http://www.pharmaciststeve.com/?p=21743

Robert Markel, 56 – June 2016 – Denied Pain Meds/Heroin OD  http://www.pennlive.com/opioid-crisis/2017/08/heroin_overdose_deaths.html

 Lisa June 2016  https://youtu.be/rBlrSyi_-rQ

Jay Lawrence  March 2017  https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/stories/2017/9/4/how-chronic-pain-killed-my-husband

Celisa Henning: killed herself and her twin daughters...http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Mom-in-Apparent-Joliet-Murder-Suicide-said-Body-Felt-Like-It-was-On-Fire-Grandma-Says-442353713.html?fb_action_ids=10213560297382698&fb_action_types=og.comments

Karen Boje-58  CPP-Deming, NM

Katherine Goddard, 52 –  June 30, 2017 – Palm Coast, FL -Suicide/Denied Opioids  http://www.news-journalonline.com/news/20170816/palm-coast-man-charged-with-assisting-self-murder

https://medium.com/@ThomasKlineMD/suicides-associated-with-non-consented-opioid-pain-medication-reductions-356b4ef7e02aPartial List of Suicides, as of 9–10-17

Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions

Lacy Stewart 59, http://healthylivings247.com/daughter-says-untreated-pain-led-to-mothers-suicide/#

Ryan Trunzo of Massachusetts committed suicide at the age of 26  http://www.startribune.com/obituaries/detail/18881/?fullname=trunzo,-ryan-j  

Mercedes McGuire of Indiana ended her life August 4th, 2017 after struggling with agony originally suppressed with opioid pain medicine but reappearing after her pain medicine was cut back in a fashion after the CDC regulations. She was in such discomfort she went to the ER because she could not stand the intractable pain by “learning to live with it” as suggested by CDC consultants. The ER gave her a small prescription. She went to the pharmacy where they refused to fill it “because she had a pain contract”. She went home and killed herself. She was a young mother with a 4 year old son, Bentley. Bentley, will never get over the loss of his mom.

Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions

“Goodbye” Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017


Pamela Clute had been suffering from agonizing back problems and medical treatment had failed to relieve pain that shot down her legs While California’s assisted suicide law went into effect a couple months before Clute’s death, the law only applies to terminally ill patients who are prescribed life-ending drugs by a physician. Clute wasn’t terminally ill

Kellie Bernsen 12/10/2017 Colorado suicide

Scott Smith: Vet w/PTSD committed murder/suicide. Killed his wife then himself today 11/27/2017

  Michelle Bloem committed suicide due to uncontrolled pain

John Lester shot himself on Jan. 8, 2014.

 Anne Örtegren took her life on Jan. 5  

 Debra Bales, 52 – Civilian – January 10, 2018 – Petaluma, CA – Denied Pain Meds/Suicide

 Aliff, Charles – Could not locate info!
He may be able to help! Charles Aliff – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009343944744…

Brunner, Robert – Could not locate info!

Cagle, Melvin – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…


Harold Hamilton – http://www.dispatch.com/…/chronic-pains-emotional-toll…

Hartgrove, Daniel – http://www.legacy.com/…/name/daniel-hartsgrove-obituary…

Ingram III, Charles – http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/…/article_b7a4a712…

Jarvis, Michael http://www.chicagotribune.com/…/ct-indiana-doctor…


Kevin Keller, 52 – US Navy – July 30, 2014 – Wytheville, VA

Kershaw, Sarah – https://mobile.nytimes.com/…/sarah-kershaw-former-times…

Kimberly, Allison http://feldmanmortuary.com/…/Allison…/obituary.html…

Lane, Keith – Timothy Shields
August 8, 2017 · Colon, MI I would like you too include Kieth Lane . US Army , Vietnam in country , combat wounded . He died recovering from ulcers surgery of a stroke and heart attack in Battle Creek VA medical center in Michigan .

Lichtenberg, Steven – http://www.dispatch.com/…/chronic-pains-emotional-toll…

Markel, Robert – http://www.pennlive.com/…/08/heroin_overdose_deaths.html

Miles, Richard – Could not locate info!

Murphy, Thomas – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…

Paddock, Karon http://www.kpaddock.com/

Denny Peck, 58 – Civilian – September 17,2016 – Seattle, Wa https://l.facebook.com/l.php…


Peterson, Michael – https://l.facebook.com/l.php…

Reid, Marsha – https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/…/daughter-blames…

Simpson, Jessica – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1616190951785852&set=a.395920107146282.94047.100001848876646&type=3&hc_location=ufi

Daniel Somers, 30 – US Army – June 10, 2013 – Denied Pain Meds/Suicide http://gawker.com/i-am-sorry-that-it-has-come-to-this-a…

Son, Randall – http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/…/woman-says-marion-va…/…

Bryan Spece, 54 – USMC – May 3, 2017 – Great Falls, Montana – Denied Meds/Suicide https://www.painnewsnetwork.org/…/patient-suicide…

Tombs, John – http://www.objectivezero.org/…/The-Veteran-Spring-Why-a…

 Jennifer E. Adams age 41 of Helena  December 20, 1976April 25, 2018


Jay Lawrence  March 1, 2017  on the same bench in the Hendersonville, Tennessee, park where the Lawrences had recently renewed their wedding vows, the 58-year-old man gripped his wife’s hand and killed himself with a gun.

suicide due to pain video  https://youtu.be/CSkxF1DMQws

I reserve the right of editorial censorship

It looks like the political “mud slinging” has already started – IMO – worse than the national election two years ago… I am taking a stand – in particular – against “slanderous name calling”  directed toward specific politicians, particular political parties and/or specific people.  I don’t mind political debate – based on FACTS… when the debate drifts off the road based on FACTOIDS, FAKE NEWS, opinions stated as FACTS.. is where I am going to draw the “line in the sand” and delete comments that go down that path.

While personally, I am not a big fan our our political/bureaucratic system.. IMO.. it is too self serving… Admittedly, politically I tend to lean to the POLITICAL RIGHT but that is because the Libertarian party is seemingly always kept in their place by our dominating “two party system”.

I have belonged to a national pharmacy association for 35 yrs… that promotes the saying “get into politics … or get out of pharmacy ..” If you don’t attempt to influence politicians… someone else will…. and IMO this saying applies to those in the chronic pain community and/or pts who are dealing with subjective diseases.  Legislatures, bureaucrats are doing things that are adversely effecting the quality of life of those pts.  As long as those being affected continue to lack unity and/or a large segment chooses to stand on the sidelines, whoever is successfully “bending the ear” of these politicians … they will continue to do so because they have  little/no concern about the consequences and/or collateral damage that they cause to those suffering and dealing with subjective diseases.

I am sure that the vast majority of my readers will understand and cooperate…those who try to challenge this policy…  It is THREE STRIKES and you are out/banned… and WORDPRESS gives me your IP ADDRESS attached to your comment(s)… Once banned, just posting under a different name – WILL NOT WORK !  Everyone needs to “play nice “

Image result for Play Nice in the Sand Box


Thyroid medication recalled: Chinese manufacturer’s failed inspection leads to recall


A medication used to treat hypothyroidism has been voluntarily recalled due to quality concerns.

Westminster Pharmaceuticals, LLC has instructed wholesalers to stop distributing specific products labeled “Levothyroxine and Liothyronine (Thyroid Tablets, USP),” according to an August 9 release. Levothyroxine and Liothyronine are synthetic hormones contained in the thyroid tablets.

The voluntary national recall alert says there have been no “adverse events” associated with the recalled products. It says patients should continue taking the drugs.

“Because these products may be used in the treatment of serious medical conditions, patients taking the recalled medicines should continue taking their medicine until they have a replacement product,” the release says.

More than 4.5 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 suffers from an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, according to the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus.

The release instructs patients to speak with their physician before discontinuing use of the medicine.

The recall follows a June 22 warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration to a Chinese pharmaceutical company which manufactured active ingredients in the recalled drug. The letter cited a number of failures, including ones relating to “established standards of quality and purity.”

The recall alert says issues cited in that warning letter “could represent the possibility of risk being introduced into the manufacturing process.”

A full list of recalled products is available from the FDA.

Patients with questions or information about an issue relating to the recalled products can contact Westminster at: 888-354-9939.

Opinion: The Battle Against Opioids Could Mean Misery for Patients in Pain

Opinion: The Battle Against Opioids Could Mean Misery for Patients in Pain


While the United States is distracted by politics, a human rights battle to the virtual death is being played out in Oregon and no mainstream media outlet is covering it. The ramifications of ending Medicaid coverage of prescribed pain medication for chronic illness except for a very narrowly defined list in Oregon will affect every American whether they realize it or not within the next decade. The effects will be disastrous if it goes the way the bipartisan players desire.

Please consider the following:

You have been taking an antidepressant for over a decade with success. One day, you go to your physician for a refill and are informed that you are receiving one 30-day supply of the drug and no more, because people have been using it recreationally, so your physician is discontinuing writing prescriptions. You are dumbfounded. You didn’t do anything wrong. You always took your antidepressant as prescribed. You recall the horrible days before medication — agoraphobia, black thoughts, suicidal ideation  — and you feel sick with dread. You ask the doctor what his treatment plan is. He says you should exercise more, lose weight and get out in the sun at least 30 minutes a day.

If that doesn’t work, there is another drug you could try, but it’s used for epilepsy and has some nasty side effects, hasn’t really worked well for depression, however, several depressed people have had little choice but to try it. You leave the appointment feeling dazed and sick.

After your prescription runs out, withdrawals begin. You knew this was coming and had tried to taper off the medication you had left, but 30 days is not long enough to taper off an antidepressant. Anyone who takes a medication long term will go through withdrawal without a planned long taper. Dependence is a far different animal than addiction. People go through withdrawal when they start a ketogenic diet and stop eating sugar and carbs, commonly called “carb flu.”

Brain zaps, insomnia, muscle aches, diarrhea, weepiness and the depression comes roaring back. You try supplements recommended online, but they are little help. You knew they wouldn’t help. Your sense of helpless futility is mounting because you already tried everything before asking for an antidepressant because of the stigma of depression.

One dark, hopeless night, in desperation, you go to the ER. The physician rolls his eyes and can’t mask his disdain when you explain yourself. You hear him clearly telling the nurse in the hallway that you are a drug seeker trying to score depression meds. You leave empty-handed.

You are forced to quit working. You lose friends because of your decline, have to move into a very different neighborhood because of finances. A 12 week trial of the epilepsy drug proves disastrous — horrible side effects, no help with your depression and it triggers another incredible round of withdrawal. Your physician is indifferent to your deterioration. Other conditions emerge, hypothyroidism and high blood pressure.

Suicide begins to become a very real and appealing option. One year ago, you had a bustling, thriving life, full of vitality. Now you exist. You did nothing wrong except require medication that others have abused. Your medical needs were weighed and determined to be of less value than those of an imaginary group of potentials who could become recreational users of medication you require to be a participant in your own life and do not abuse.

Replace the word antidepressant with opioid and depression with painful disease, and this is the true story of more than one patient I have spoken to this year in the United States.

Now Oregon is preparing to make thousands of people face this exact scenario.

We must step away from this rhetoric and wonder how and why the word opioid became weaponized.

Opioids are simply a class of medications to treat moderate to severe pain. They bring life and function to hundreds of thousands of people who suffer incredibly painful chronic diseases. You pass by people every day who use opioid therapy. You have people in your workplace who use opioid therapy. They do not advertise it and they are not addicts.

Opioids used by a chronic painful disease patient do not cause a high or euphoria as they do recreational users who are not in pain. They do bring moderate to severe pain down to a manageable level so that patients can work. They can take care of their children. They can clean their homes. They can have something that approaches normalcy.

Why do politicians, the media, and certain incentive-driven physicians strive so very hard to stigmatize and downgrade a large population that requires a medication to manage their chronic conditions? We all fall for the rhetoric. “Opioid” as it stands has successfully been negatively engineered to mean addict, dirty, unclean, bad parent, prisoner, felon, lawbreaker, thief.

In reality, over 95 percent of people who use prescription opioids prescribed to them by their physicians are responsible adults who have productive lives, only because they have their opioid therapy. Those statistics deservedly give opioids a positive name for thousands.

Keep this in mind as one looks into the players and machinations moving behind this opioid crisis and how politicians, drug companies, and very evil people are using this manufactured crisis for social engineering, profiling, records search without a warrant, certainly in part as a test drive for the implementation of socialism. After all, one of the pillars of socialism is one gives up theirs for the “good” of all.

That is exactly what chronic pain patients are being told to do — give up their prescribed pain medication for the good of society. These patients did nothing wrong to deserve having their medication taken away. Yet they are expected to willingly give up their pain medications for the common good.

Practitioners shame them, telling patients they have no compassion for their neighbor when they protest the loss of their life-saving prescribed medication.

The common good has shown that the forced compliance of giving up pain medication to stave off prescriptions on the loose is clearly not helping stop the rise of overdoses.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.

Pt sues doc & Pharmacist over rare but serious drug interaction causing pt to rob stores

Robber blames doctor and pharmacist for crimes, sues them for $49,000


A 46-year-old woman who donned a ski mask and wielded a fake gun when she robbed a Southeast Portland bookstore has filed a $49,000 lawsuit against her doctor and pharmacist, claiming they gave her a dangerous mix of prescription drugs that caused her to spiral out of control.

The lawsuit filed by Hilary Leah Bishop is virtually unheard of in criminal justice and medical circles: Convicted felons rarely if ever sue their medical providers for the crimes they’ve committed.

Bishop is serving a three-year prison sentence at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville for robbing Wallace Books on Southeast Milwaukie Avenue in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood on Aug. 15, 2016. She also was convicted of robbing Clogs-N-More on Hawthorne Boulevard the previous day.

Police said Bishop also was a suspect in a robbery at Palio Dessert and Espresso House on Southeast Ladd Avenue a week earlier. She wasn’t convicted of that crime, but a plea deal forbade her from having any contact with that business.

At the time of the heists, Bishop was a divorced mother of a 14-year-old daughter who shared custody with her ex-husband. In the past she worked as a licensed practical nurse and a licensed massage therapist. She told authorities that she’d been diagnosed with depression.

Bishop’s lawsuit claims her naturopathic doctor, Vanessa Esteves, and an unidentified pharmacist for Safeway prescribed and dispensed to her the mind-altering combination of drugs a few days before police say she frightened employees at the shoe store and bookstore and made off with the cash.

A message seeking comment from Esteves and the Pearl District clinic where she works, Oregon Integrated Health, wasn’t returned. Jill McGinnis, a Safeway spokeswoman, declined comment.

Bishop also is suing Tiffany McClean, a psychiatric nurse practitioner who worked at the same clinic as Esteves. McClean couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to Bishop’s lawsuit, she was prescribed a long list of drugs, including duloxetine and tramadol. The pair can lead to a rare but serious drug interaction, causing hallucinations, confusion and other symptoms, according to the website drugs.com. Bishop claims she experienced a “euphoria” and a “dissociative state.”

An August 2016 piece by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin said that Bishop’s friends were shocked by her robberies. Bishop’s ex-husband, Dewey Mahood, described the book-loving Bishop as the “most peaceful, animal-loving vegetarian” and “very anti-gun.”

Mahood also said his ex used to live four blocks from Clogs-N-More and it was her favorite store.

A probable cause affidavit said Bishop was arrested after she bungled the Wallace Books hold-up by wearing all black and removing her ski mask as she exited the store in full view of a parole and probation officer who happened to be in the area. He immediately became suspicious and followed her to her Mitsubishi Mirage and jotted down the license plate.

Police who were on the lookout pulled her over half an hour later.

Court records show Bishop had been convicted once in a 2006 impaired driving incident. She was allowed to enter a treatment program and a judge dismissed the charge of driving while under the influence of intoxicants. But a misdemeanor reckless driving charge stuck. She had no other criminal history.

Lake Oswego attorney Jose Cienfuegos filed Bishop’s lawsuit Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. In addition to $49,000 for her pain and suffering stemming from her prison sentence, Bishop also is seeking a yet-to-be determined amount in lost wages.

Read the lawsuit here.

— Aimee Green


CDC opioid guideline is causing harm to people in chronic pain


On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The recommendations were designed for primary care clinicians who are prescribing opioids for chronic noncancer pain. Its purpose was to lower the supply of prescription drugs and decrease the number of opioid overdoses.

Pain advocacy groups were concerned that the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain could have unintended negative consequences when they were introduced. For example, the Cancer Action Network‘s president, Chris Hansen, published a statement called “Final CDC Opioid Prescribing Guideline Could Have Unintended Consequences for Cancer Survivors Living with Chronic Pain.” It read, in part, “We are disappointed that the CDC guideline released today did not address our previously stated concern about needed access to opioid analgesics for cancer survivors who experience severe pain that limits their quality of life.”

The CDC positioned the guideline as voluntary. But, five months after the guideline was published, the CDC was cautioned by a public relations firm they hired, “Some doctors are following these guidelines as strict law rather than recommendation, and these physicians have completely stopped prescribing opioids.” The CDC ignored the warning.

Even worse, last month, the Oregon Health Authority proposed denying access to opioids for most people with chronic non-cancer pain. The Oregon Health Authority has lost sight of the fact that the amount of opioids prescribed is only one factor — and may not be the primary factor — contributing to the opioid crisis. Lack of access to adequate mental health and addiction treatment has also contributed to the problem.

Oregon is not the only state that is limiting access to opioids. Michigan, Florida, and Tennessee are among other states that have also passed laws restricting physicians’ ability to prescribe opioids. Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare has implemented forced tapering to achieve their goals of lowering prescriptions by 40 percent in 2018. In other states, health-care plans and insurers, such as Cigna and Aetna, have similar goals.

The assumption that denying prescription opioids to those in severe pain regardless of the diagnosis will stop abuse is foolhardy and harmful. As states and insurance companies begin to implement similar restrictive prescribing policies for the treatment of chronic pain, we will see at least two negative effects:

First, people with a substance abuse disorder (SUD) who are using prescribed opioids for the wrong reasons are not going to suddenly stop using drugs because they aren’t readily available. Instead, they will seek other sources of drugs. They will turn to the streets for their opioid replacements. This may contribute to more deaths, because the streets are where the most dangerous drugs are found.


This is illustrated by what occurred when the abuse-deterrent OxyContin was introduced. Abusers began substituting heroin when OxyContin became more difficult to obtain and abuse. The National Bureau of Economic Research’s published 2017 report, “Supply-side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids,” explains how supply-side strategies alone are inadequate for dealing with drug abuse.

Second, people in pain who have been functioning on their medication without signs of abuse may be at an increased risk for suicide. Without adequate pain treatment, they may lose significant quality of life. In some instances, people will feel abandoned and hopeless.

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that some people in severe pain who are denied access to opioids will view suicide as the only way to escape their severe pain. Inadequately treated pain is a risk factor for overdoses and suicides. Recent research suggests as many as 30 percent of unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths may be suicides.

Certainly, opioid abuse is a significant problem and must be addressed. But policies to force opioid tapering as a way to mitigate the opioid crisis are ill-conceived. To set arbitrary dose limits without consideration of patients’ needs is malevolent.

The CDC needs to respond to the unintended harm the guideline has created. They should follow the lead of Canadian physicians. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC) revised the guidelines that they adopted from the CDC following consultation with physicians in the Province and patients who were being denied care, abandoned, or forced to decrease doses to 90 mg morphine milligram equivalents (MME) or less suggested by the CDC guideline.

By contrast with the CDC, the CPSBC recognized the harm that the guidelines were producing for some patients, and they had the courage and leadership to clarify their previous recommendations. They announced, “Physicians cannot exclude or dismiss patients from their practice because they have used or are currently using opioids. It’s really a violation of the human rights code and it’s certainly discrimination and that’s not acceptable or ethical practice.”

The nonprofit New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization that typically tracks and exposes war crimes apparently agrees with the CPSBC, because they recently expressed concern about the CDC guidelines’ potential consequences for pain patients. HRW is investigating whether people’s right to receive appropriate health care when they are in pain has been violated if they have been forced to reduce their medication. They expect to produce a report later this year.

It is important to find answers to the drug crisis, but the solutions must not create more harm than benefit to both people in pain and people with addictions. The current implementation of the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for chronic pain does not achieve this end and is not patient-centered. Hopefully, the CDC will assume the responsibility to clearly state their guideline is not being implemented as they intended.

The CDC should issue a public statement similar to the one published by the CPSBC clarifying that physicians should not dismiss patients or deny them access to pain care because they are on opioids, even if the dose they need is above 90 mg MME. This is not advocating for opioids but, rather, advocating for patients. It respects the human right to receive compassionate care.

Lynn R. Webster, MD is a vice president of scientific affairs for PRA Health Sciences and consults with Pharma. He is a former president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. Webster is the author of “The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us.” You can find him on Twitter: @LynnRWebsterMD. 

Make your voice heard! Last chance to comment on proposed opioid prescribing rules


Make your voice heard! Last chance to comment on proposed opioid prescribing rules

The WSMA is urging members to review and provide feedback on the Washington State Medical Commission’s final proposed rulemaking establishing opioid prescribing requirements for physicians and physician assistants in our state. Don’t delay; your comments are due by Aug. 16. This is your last opportunity to provide input before the rules are finalized by the Medical Commission later this year.

While the current proposal is drastically improved over previous iterations, the WSMA remains concerned about the volume of administrative burden and liability these rules would place on physicians and physician assistants during the limited context of a patient encounter and the resulting impact on access to appropriate care. Learn more about these concerns by reviewing our formal comments on the rulemaking, submitted on behalf of the WSMA and Washington State Hospital Association joint opioid safe practices task force.

In addition to your own thoughts, your feedback to the Medical Commission may be as simple as endorsing WSMA and WSHA’s comments. Send your feedback on the draft rules to the Medical Commission at medical.rules@doh.wa.gov before Aug. 16.

For those available to attend in person, the Medical Commission will be holding a public hearing on the proposed rule on Aug. 22, beginning at 2 p.m. at the Hotel RL Olympia located at 2300 Evergreen Park Drive SW in Olympia.

Americans Rationing Insulin As Prices Skyrocket | NBC Nightly News

26-year-old Alec Smith couldn’t afford the $1,300 a month insulin he needed to control his diabetes, so he tried rationing it — and died. His mother is now speaking out, telling NBC News she lost her son “because of pharmaceutical greed.”NBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations.


“One thing that stood out to me is just how little variation there is … across party lines. Dealing with opiate crisis has support from both parties


Vulnerable red-state Democrats are highlighting their work to address the opioid crisis in an effort to hold on to their congressional seats, even as it remains unclear whether the Senate will take key action before the midterm elections.

While the opioid epidemic is a priority for much of Congress, candidates in especially hard-hit states, such as West Virginia, have made it a core issue in their re-election bids.

An ad by the Democratic Senate Majority PAC touts Sen. Joe Manchin III’s efforts in passing legislation as part of the fiscal 2018 omnibus package that would allow doctors to more easily find out if a patient has a history of substance abuse. Manchin, who faces a tough race against Republican Patrick Morrisey, is one of 10 Senate Democrats running in states won by Donald Trump in 2016.

Morrisey, the West Virginia attorney general, has campaigned on his efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, such as suing pharmaceutical distributor McKesson.

Manchin is among the candidates most likely to benefit from making opioids a campaign issue, said Andrew Kessler, founder of Slingshot Solutions, which specializes in behavioral health policy consulting. Both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee also stand out as leaders in taking on opioids, Kessler said.

The Senate returns from a brief recess this week to a busy fall schedule that includes government funding legislation and a Supreme Court nomination, leaving little wiggle room to pass an opioids package before Nov. 6.

Voting on opioids prior to Election Day would benefit Democrats, said Andrea Harris, senior vice president of the Height Capital Markets health care team. The former Hill staffer and ex-Obama administration appointee noted Republicans may not want to give the opposing party a win before the elections. She added Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be skeptical about having anything related to health care on the Senate floor that either party could use as a vehicle for other health-related legislation.

Fighting on the airwaves

For Democrats, who are in a position to topple the GOP majority in the House, their campaign messaging is focused on criticizing Republicans for not doing enough to fund opioid-fighting efforts.

“Time and again, Republican lawmakers say they will help those impacted by this crisis, only to turn around and refuse to expand Medicaid or propose cuts to this vital source of treatment funding,” said Sabrina Singh, deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

Republicans, meanwhile, can point to more than 50 bills passed by the House aimed at improving awareness for at-risk patients and increasing access to treatment, said Jesse Hunt, national press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

During a campaign event last week, Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana stated he plans to continue bipartisan work on passing his bill that gives students pursuing fields related to substance use disorders some loan forgiveness if they commit to working in an area with elevated overdose rates for at least six years.

[Number of Pregnant Women Abusing Opioids Skyrockets]

In July, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri released an ad touting her work in taking on pharmaceutical companies, including those that may have played a role in the opioid crisis. McCaskill also released a report last month that examined opioid distributors and manufacturers in her home state, as well as the volume of opioids shipped into it.

McCaskill’s opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, is also campaigning on what he’s done to investigate opioid manufacturers. His office filed suit against Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions and Janssen Pharmaceuticals last year, arguing that the companies deliberately misrepresented the addictiveness of opioids.

Donnelly and McCaskill are locked in Senate races that are rated as toss-ups by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

In the Wisconsin Senate race, rated by Gonzales as leaning Democratic, incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin opened up about her mother’s drug problem in a May ad. The Democrat talks of a bipartisan approach to solve the problem.

[For Some in Congress, the Opioid Crisis Is Personal]

“I have worked with Republicans and Democrats to get the funding Wisconsin needs, so people have somewhere to turn for help,” she said in the ad. “It’s just a start.”

But Kevin Nicholson, a Republican businessman and veteran who is running against Baldwin, wants more.

“Solving the opioid epidemic will take a multi-pronged approach. Wisconsin needs a senator who’s willing to provide solutions that prevent drug dependency from the start,” Nicholson tweeted last month.

What’s next

Republicans may be less likely to lose ground at the polls by not sending opioid legislation to Trump’s desk this fall, strategists say. They can point to a House-passed bill that has been awaiting Senate action since June and could be sent to a conference committee.

“If you’re a House member and you voted for it, you can say you’ve voted for it,” said Christopher Nicholas, a GOP political consultant and president of Eagle Consulting Group. “If you’re a senator who is going to support it and it doesn’t come up, you can still say I support the bill, even though it hasn’t come to a floor vote yet.”

A senator could also put out a memo with other things he or she has done to address the issue even if a vote on opioids legislation doesn’t happen before the elections, Nicholas said.

“It would be hard for your opponent to take a swipe at you,” he said.

[Congress’ Focus on Opioids Misses Larger Crisis]

Former NRCC Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon has spearheaded much of the House effort as the leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has spotlighted many personal stories from members and constituents about the impact of opioids. The party has also launched opioidcrisis.gop to highlight Republican efforts.

The Senate returns Wednesday. A GOP leadership aide has said four committees are working to craft an opioids package that the Senate can vote on, resolve differences with the House and send to Trump. Timing could be key.

“If they wait until late October [for opioids] and then only have part of the lame-duck session to hammer out the conference, that’s not going to help anybody,” said Kessler with Slingshot Solutions.

Little variation by party

Advocacy groups such as the American Action Network demand action.

The center-right group spent more than $5 million earlier this year on ads encouraging the House to pay attention to opioid abuse. It targeted a bipartisan group of more than 25 districts, including those of vulnerable GOP Reps. Leonard Lance of New Jersey, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

Combating the opioid epidemic is a little like backing education or parks, said Jason Husser, who conducts an associate professor of political science and policy studies at Elon University and a pollster. Essentially, no one opposes it.

“One thing that stood out to me is just how little variation there is … across party lines. Dealing with this issue has support from both parties,” said Husser, who conducted an Elon Poll on attitudes toward the epidemic among likely voters in North Carolina last year.

Call to Action

Call to Action:


We Welcome ALL Chronic Pain Patients, Advocates, Medical & Legal Professionals, Group Members, and Team Leaders from ALL PAIN GROUPS & ADVOCACY WEBSITES to JOIN FORCES & WORK TOGETHER as a COLLABORATIVE TEAM EFFORT. We’re running out of TIME and must do everything possible to change the current RESTRICTIVE measures being taken against doctors and pain patients across the country. (ALL INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT PRIVATE)


Fellow Pain Warriors,


As you know,  our lawmakers are in the process of passing several new laws on the State and Federal level to further restrict the prescribing of ALL opioid pain medication which will severely harm legitimate pain patients across the country.


With the midterm election around the corner,  many legislators will surely  use the passage of these proposed bills as a political “football” to gain leverage with their constituents.  Meanwhile,  legitimate pain patients lives are hanging in the balance and if we don’t act fast,  we won’t be able to undo or mitigate the damage that’s already been done.


There’s no time to waste, so we must rally the troops to fight back against this “WAR” on pain patients and doctors by pulling together to collaborate and work TOGETHER as one giant FORCE to be reckoned with.  This “team effort” is not connected with any specific group or name in the interest of keeping everyone on neutral ground.


I’ve prepared a questionnaire (see below) to share with all interested parties in order to gather the information needed to form a collaborative team and assign specific tasks based on each members area of experience/expertise.


It would be appreciated if you could complete this form and pass it along to share far and wide with ALL pain groups.




War on Pain Page:  https://www.facebook.com/waronpainpatients/

War on Pain Group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/193354774642975/

Twitter:  https://mobile.twitter.com/NJMETALGIRL


stupid is as stupid does ?







Hi Steve,

You have been such a help to me. I have an issue of course. As I stated before, I have a perfect cures report etc..I did find a pharmacy to fill my meds but now they won’t fill until 31 days! I am literally running out of medicines. So for example, I am out for 2 days and I pick up on the 2, the HAVE to count that day because I have been out. They are not counting the 31 days in a month. Example, got my meds July 6 they refused to fill until Aug 6. I have a calendar that shows everything. I take 2 oxy a day for 30 days. You can see I ran out. I do not know what to do, if I complain they will just refuse service. If I was a guyI would say they have me by the nuts! Lol.

What the heck do I do. I am a teacher and start school tomorrow. My last fill was July 16and they refuse to fill until aug 16. Any advice? We really have no recourse anymore.

Thank you. I actually have the refill apps. They all say 31 days!These people are Armenian and their English is not really good. I have written everything down in plain English. I totally understand how some count from the day after pick up. day after. I was doing that, and that doesn’t even make sense, but I do it anyways which leads me to my point that now they are filling it late so I go 2 days without so how can they Not count the first day because I have been out of the medication so I have to take the dose the DAY I get the prescription. I am not good at math but I can even figure this out!It makes you want to give up on life. I have done eve7by the book. My dr. Says he is powerless now too. He has called and everything. Steve, I am a teacher and these meds allow me to do my job. I have never ever deviated, asked for early meds etc… please help. I cannot go on with the anxiety this is causing. I live in Burbank, does your friend know of any pharmacy. I go to Glendale. 

Thank you again

The above is from the pharmacy’s computer… the previous Rx was filled on July 16th and indicates that the next due date is Aug 14th… notice that the computer apparently has the ability to be specific of how many days early that the Rx can be filled and it is registering ZERO DAYS EARLY… and the Pharmacist told the pt that she was to wait TWO MORE DAYS… meaning that the pt is INTENTIONALLY going to be thrown into withdrawal. Apparently this Pharmacist’s calendar must have 30 days IN EVERY MONTH…  according to this pt this pharmacist’s ENGLISH is not that good and apparently his MATH is even worse.




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