Dr Carlos Sullivan of Butte died recently and suddenly: more chronic pain pts abandoned !

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Dr Carlos Sullivan of Butte died recently and suddenly.
He was carrying some patients on pain meds for their long term chronic pain.

Some of these patients have come to me to see if I could help them. I just received a call from the ER in Butte, looking to help a patient who lost access, and no one in Butte will see these patients.
Our profession stands powerless to help these people?

It seems to me that if the good people of Butte were out of food or water,
We have organizations like the Red Cross to help.

If the town was burning, we have interagency agreements, and we would be down there helping.

If some type of infectious disease struck, the health department would respond.

Who responds for patients who suffer from sudden abandonment?
Patient who will withdraw?
Become suicidal?

What obligation does our profession have to respond to a clear public health crisis?

I would like to propose a “doctors without borders” response to this.

But I do not know who to even approach about it.

DPHHS?
Montana human rights groups?
Montana Medical association?
The hospital association?
The Governor?

Since this opiate issue appeared, there still has not been any overarching policy approach to address the unintended consequences of having people on pain medications for decades then dropping them suddenly.

I do not see how I can help, by myself, without sharing the risk and burden with the rest of the profession.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.

PS: while posting this I got another call from another patient in butte who lost access.
What are people supposed to do?

5 Responses

  1. Does anyone know were the medical records went

  2. Has anyone found a Dr who will help…been off my opiates for 6 months and to the point I’m tired…any help would be great…

  3. I would have to move to Mexico. Don’t speak the language, but refuse to start taking heroin. Been there on vacation, people there very nice. Not being funny or disrespectful, my husband had RSD which now has new name I can’t remember, he was in unrelenting pain after breaking a foot. BY the time he died this disease covered almost all his body. Yet, before that time, we were able to travel twice to Mexico. He spoke the language after living there when father had a job there. So traveling was easy. He took, over years, very high doses of pain meds. It’s the only thing that let him live and for awhile travel. I am almost glad that he died before all this CDC, DEA, horror happened. Given his pain, which no amount of drugs ever let him be pain free, he probably would have gone to street drugs or opted to suicide. He did not die from overdose of pain meds, but of lymphoma.
    I have fibromyalgia, don’t need lots of pain meds, at least compared to my late husband, but without those meds, life is miserable. Been taking them for over 20 years, have never misused them, have even been able to go down some, why make my life miserable along with thousands or more people just like me, good people who deserve this help. Basically kill us because some people misuse their drugs.
    Or…if they take my pain killers away, I will just join my husband a little bit earlier than I had planned.
    My heart goes out to all of you in pain. This will change, as every bad idea, and some good, too. Judy

  4. Do the best you can. Form letter writing rooms help people to get their stories out.
    See if you can tape some stories take them to news take them to the
    Polititicans . Try get lists of names to contact. Do anything you can to organize people in Montana.
    Keep track of the deaths sad but the data is needed to help others.
    Thank you for your information
    Sandra

  5. Sir,,,in the immediate future,,i know Pennsylvania had a similar situation of 10,000 patients,,,who’s Doctor was WRONGFULLY ATTACKED FROM THE DEA,,,I THINK THE department of health for the state of Pennsylvania stepped in w/army Doctors,,,,Mr.Areins has this info,,,,maybe the same will help your guys??????Sadly Sir,,,take a look at a ”petition to congress,do no harm,dea target doctors,” 34,000 letters sent fo far to our politicians ,our representatives,,,many of us have contact the aclu’s of our states,,,,some care,,,some don’t…tHE UNITED NATIONS DOES CONSCIDER WHAT IS HAPPENING TO US,,TORTURE,, however lack the legal authority to prosecute.meanwhile back at the ranch,,we die or get tortured,.. I hope u can find help,,gods speed,,,,,,and thee forwarding begins,,mary,

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