Could COVID-19 shelter in place have some “good” unintended consequences for the community ?

Since the CDC opiate dosing guidelines were published in early 2016… a lot of chronic pain pts – especially those with intractable pain – have been forced to “shelter in place” … which is really forcing  them to become house/chair/bed confined.

It is now being talked about in the media about this sheltering in place is seeing a increase in spousal abuse and child abuse , suicides and divorces.

Could the community and those in the community try to “ride this wave of enlightenment ” to bring awareness to the media that many of the 100 million in the community have already been suffering from the multi-year involuntary sheltering in place as well as having to do it in up to a torturous level of pain ?

3 Responses

  1. GREAT opportunity to use a presidential statement of how “bad” a lockdown is for the covid-19 “pandemic” in the US and around the world. MAYBE it could shed some light on how difficult it is living in a continuous, forever physical lockdown because of the 2016 “guideline”. for those of us with intractable, lifetime physical pain. Physical pain does affect the mindset in very bad, always on the mind way. Just…maybe, governments on take on covid-19 and the “fallout” can shed some light on living with continuous, un managed, lifetime pain issues that our medical “experts” fully realize is quite real!.

  2. I think it is possible to “ride this wave of enlightenment ”. If the media would discuss/recognized that the cpp community have, in effect, been forced for years now to “shelter in place” as their medications have been forced to zero by the government and they have lost their ability to function. This could make the public and lawmakers realized that the draconian opioid laws we now have are abusive and need to be changed to reflect the need for patient centered care.

    I also think that other things about the Covid-19 situation could be leveraged to the advantage of the cpp community.

    For example, many of the nations cpp community are sheltering in place and using Telemed to obtain their scripts. If this continues long enough, and if someone collects and examines the data that (hopefully) shows no increase in the abuse of opioids (or ODs) by those using Telemed, it could be argued that the cpp community be allowed to continue to use Telemed even after the Covid-19 crisis ends

    In my case, I have to drive 800 miles and stay 2 nights at a motel to go to my pain clinic for my scripts. But, even those who live next door to their clinic should not have to physical be there for their scripts as they are in chronic pain, and they should not have to be there physically every month to take a urine test that is known to have a high percentage of inaccurate results. This is especially true if the patient is a documented cpp that has been correctly taking their opioid medications for years (i.e., are they gonig to start “Breaking Bad” after years of proper medication use?). If this suggested treatment method could not be put into place 100%, then perhaps it could be partially done. E.g., Lawmakers could state/request that long term cpp could use Telemed for scrips and only have to show up physically at their clinics once a year, or once every 6 months?

    Another place this same principle could be incorporated is to continue to allow (and encourage) 90 day scripts for documented chronic pain patients opioid (and similar) medications. There is no reason to require nothing but 30 day scripts and medication for 30 days can cause problems if the cpp becomes too incapacitated to make the next appointment or is hospitalized. Again, this argument would be based on the data showing that 90 day scripts did not cause any increase in the diversion of prescription opioid medication for the period of time that the Covid-19 emergency procedures are/were in place.

    Last, but not least: While I think it is possible to “ride this wave of enlightenment ”, somehow, someway, the news media needs to know and talk about the fact that while today, the whole of the nations population (for the most part) is sheltering in place, there is a group of medically under-treated (or non-treated) people that number in the millions that have been sheltering in place for years; not out of an abundance of caution, or because of some conspiracy theory, but because they are in pain 24/7 and cannot function because their medication has been illegally taken away from them. The news media needs to point out the similarities and differences between the general population (somewhat voluntarily) sheltering in place, and the cpp community having no choice but to shelter in place due to being a prisoner of their un-treated/under-treated pain!

    On a side note: This non-treatment/under-treatment of the cpp community is a violation of their: human rights, civil rights, a violation of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and for those over 60 this is an illegal abuse of the elderly. Opioid medication reductions (and/or the non-treatment of pain) has been condemned in the United States by the International Human Rights Commission, the AMA, the FDA, and numerous medical chronic pain experts. In June of 2019, the CDC director published an article stating that the infamous CDC guidelines were not to be used as an excuse for reducing the medication of chronic pain patients, and especially long-term chronic pain patients. I would add that those guidelines were unauthorized to begin with as the FDA, not the CDC, is the only Federal Agency with the authority to set medication limits. They have not done so for opioids even though PROP (Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, a group of anti-opioid fanatics) requested this of them in 2013. The reason that this request was refused by the FDA is the side effects of opioids are very minimal. In fact, opioids are considered by the FDA to be a safe medication with no upper dosage limits.

    Thank for your time in reading my long comment. I hope you are having a low pain day.

  3. I sure wish it could, but the propaganda campaign against us has been so relentless & so successful I can’t imagine it…we’d just be dismissed with disgust as whining drug addicts &/or malingerers.

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