‘No question my mom was addicted to opioids,’ McCaskill reflects during roundtable

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who is an attorney, “There’s no question my mom was addicted to opioids near the end of her life, ..“And frankly some of the times she was in the most pain was when she was going through withdrawals. She wanted the drugs because she was coming off of the drugs”

Marc Larsen, the chair of emergency medicine at St. Luke’s, told McCaskill the medical community “created this epidemic by saying we have to treat the pain.”

McCaskill, got her law degree in 1978, when the DEA was just gaining some some momentum and in 1999 Congress passed the Decade of Pain Law than when in came to be renewed in 2009-2010, the political majority of Congress had flipped since the law was signed into law and it was not renewed.

If Senator McCaskill, wanted to take her Mom off her pain management, at her in a life… no matter how much she suffered with untreated pain and withdrawal. All she seemed to care about is the possibility of her Mom being “addicted ” to a opioid when she died.

Those of you who live in Missouri and have written to or talked to Senator McCaskill about the fabricated opioid crisis. If she threw her elderly Mom into withdrawal and untreated pain… do you think that you can get thru to her?  To change her mind?

‘No question my mom was addicted to opioids,’ McCaskill reflects during roundtable


U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill thinks her mother was addicted to opioids before she died. McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, hosted a health care roundtable Friday afternoon at St. Luke’s Hospital. The roundtable with Kansas City physicians and other medical professionals covered topics including the cost of emergency room care, the impact of Missouri’s decision to not expand Medicaid and problems in the state’s mental health system. McCaskill also devoted several minutes to the highly personal topic of opioid addiction. “There’s no question my mom was addicted to opioids near the end of her life,” said McCaskill, whose mother, Betty Anne McCaskill, died in 2012 at age 84. She recalled how her mother often told her doctors that her pain was at a 10 on 1-to-10 scale to get the strongest dose of medication during her final years. “It was one of those gut-wrenching things because it felt like I knew it was not helping her. On the other hand, to try and get her off those drugs at that point in her life also seemed like a cruel and sometimes painful thing to get done,” McCaskill elaborated to reporters after the event. “And frankly some of the times she was in the most pain was when she was going through withdrawals. She wanted the drugs because she was coming off of the drugs … and all of them were prescribed with her doctors.” Marc Larsen, the chair of emergency medicine at St. Luke’s, told McCaskill the medical community “created this epidemic by saying we have to treat the pain.” McCaskill, who has led an investigation into opioid manufacturers, floated the idea of broadening her investigative efforts into the rest of the pharmaceutical industry. She repeatedly expressed her concern about the links between drug companies and research organizations that tout the benefits of medication. U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill offered an alternative to President Donald Trump’s proposed military parade. By Bryan Lowry and Leah Becerra Another area of focus during the discussion was the state of mental health care in Missouri. McCaskill was shocked to learn that the largest mental health care provider in the state is the Department of Corrections. She was also surprised to learn that Missouri incarcerates women at a higher rate than any other state. “Are women meaner in Missouri?” she quipped. After the meeting, she blamed both of these statistics on the state’s “failure to have wrap-around health services, mental health services, behavioral health services for many of the underinsured and uninsured in our state.”



10 Responses

  1. I don’t get how people who have never experienced 24/7 pain think they can decide that someone who does is addicted, and the pain they feel is from their pain reliever? How does a pain reliever cause more pain? I went thru a horrible 18 months due to forced tapering. My pain returned, which was why I was taking the opioid in the first place.

  2. The sooner we get Claire McCaskill (and other idiots just like her) out of public office, by any means necessary, the better off this country well be!

  3. I’m so tired of the focus being on “addiction,” which is essentially the result of what actually IS a choice, and that is the ABUSE of the drugs, which comes first and foremost, before so-called “addiction” ever enters the discussion. And as we find time and time again, people abuse the drugs because of psychological and life issues, in order to escape those things. Addiction doesn’t occur as an expectation of exposure; it never has and never will. If it’s against one’s choices, then why isn’t everyone an addict who is exposed? And why are we not all food addicts, alcoholics, sex addicts, gamblers, etc., because we’ve been exposed to these substances or participated in these activities? The fact is, whether there’s some sort of genetics involved, or even just brain chemistry and the way people respond to the dopamine releases and other chemicals our brains release, the fact is, people like the way they feel when using the drugs, then they begin to abuse them and will do anything for that feeling to continue. Choices. And that is why there are things like the three C’s of addiction, which require a Compulsive need, out of Control use, and use despite negative Consequences as criteria for drug addiction. One of our biggest problems is that people always assume addiction is something out of one’s control and that it occurs outside of one’s choices. If that was the case, that people have no control over their abuse of these substances and/or activities, then how are they ever able to stop? You can’t have it both ways. They’re either in control or they’re not. And if not, that would mean they have no ability to ever stop because they’re not in control, right? Of course, that drug abuse always begins as a choice. It always has and always will. All one would have to do when they realize they were getting out of control early one is go get help. If that’s not a choice, then we’re nothing but robots. And how would they be able to ever quit at some point far down the road? Again, you can’t have it both ways. Not to mention that when people begin to abuse, they’re usually very early on in the use of that substance, which would be long before any real true long lasting physiological processes have occurred, and if somebody can quit many years down the road after their brain has been so incredibly used to, or so-called addicted to, those drugs, how are they able to quit then, but apparently have no choice in the matter early on before they’ve had years of exposure? That’s because it begins with a choice, a choice to abuse and a choice to not seek help before it becomes a real issue, plain and simple. Addiction is not something that happens to you outside your choices, and isn’t something that you are not in control of. Again, we are not puppets being forced to make these choices and to commit the behaviors you must engage in in order to access more of these substances. There is good reason research shows that those who abuse substances have psychological issues and/or life issues they’re trying to run from. It’s usually because they lack the strength or wherewithal to do it on their own. This has always been the case, and it didn’t change because physicians began treating what is one of the most soul crushing things a human can endure: pain. There’s good reason people torture others by causing them pain. And if pain was just a psychological problem, then it would have to be explained why we see all mammals suffer when in pain.

    Sorry for the rambling, but my brain isn’t working very well these days. And the diatribe part is because I feel these incorrect beliefs regarding “addiction” are one of the biggest hindrances with accessing appropriate pain relief.

    • Thank you for reading my blog and posting a comment for the first time.. Also, thank you for sharing the opinion of the 1969 Congress when the Control Substance Act was passed and Pres “tricky dick” Nixon signed it into law. Congress – who is typically 40% attorneys – passed this law and turned its enforcement to the judicial system and the only “tool ” that they had to deal with addiction was jail/prison… because they believed that addiction was a CHOICE. Most ENLIGHTENED medical professionals in the 21st century understand that almost all addiction has an underlying mental health issue. A lot of things were banned in the 60’s…many states have made it legal… because of the tax revenue it created. The State of KY in this year’s session, approved MJ & off-track betting that they had been defeating for years… but the discussion point was the tax revenue they were loosing to KY citizens could go to Indiana or Ohio to spend their money and tax revenue for those states. They have also allocated 3%+/- of the tens of millions in revenue they expect to generate to treat gambling addiction.

  4. This kind of treatment, and lack thereof, has to STOP! Why is it inevitably left to those with bias, lack of knowledge and obviously no experience in the field of pain or pain management, has the say of treatment for the issues in discussion? It’s a symptom of the bodies response to something wrong, that needs to be ignored now? Why can’t legislature stay out of the Dr office and focus on the issues that plague the American people? Special interest groups has had far to much influence on the majority of the population, and it needs to stop! There is plenty of facts and studies that supports the use of opioids for the treatment of pain, but special interest groups only recite the “facts” that supports the end results they already had before the studies were even conducted! STOP killing our loved ones suffering, STOP incriminating our doctors that actually care, and STOP interfering with the treatments that you have absolutely no clue or even the slightest bit of respect for!

  5. And how exactly would Senator McCaskill know that her mother was reporting a 10 on the pain scale “just to get more drugs”? Did it never occur to the Senator that her mother might ACTUALLY be in that much pain? Does McCaskill somehow think she knows better than the doctors? Does she have an MD or experience treating pain, where she might be able to determine whether or not this was the case? It is absolutely cruel and painful to take pain relief away from elderly, ailing mother because she’s unfathomably more concerned about ADDICTION than if her mother is comfortable or not!! All because she FELT LIKE it was not helping her. Her assertion that withdrawal is what made her mother want the drugs is sickening. Spoken like a true proponent of human suffering due to the *GASP* possibility of addiction. I am utterly and thoroughly disgusted at her suppositions, which she simply HAD to speak about on record, when they’re all based on her FEELINGS and assumptions. Not a single fact to be found.

    Then we have Mr. Larsen here who appears to be signaling support for human suffering. It certainly sounds that way. It’s this level of overt bias that should see people stripped of their credentials. I would very much like Mr. Larsen to explain what he thinks SHOULD HAVE been done with people suffering with pain, instead of treating it. Even though I’m positive that he would recite the same old tired out drivel that’s been shoved down our throats for the last 7 years with zeal and vigor. When did people like this determine that pain has ceased to be of concern? It’s definitely a concern for the person experiencing it, even if it isn’t to the Mr. Larsen’s of the country. Especially when it is LIFE ALTERING.

    I never cease to be utterly amazed and disgusted by the common theme amongst folks like these, which is that they seem to dogmatically -and wrongly- believe that opioids singlehandedly created ADDICTION. Because that’s what the real and actual epidemic is. It’s an epidemic of addiction. Even if they had never set out to treat pain, addiction would invariably still be a problem. But that’s why no one wants to believe that the current narrative is based on and intertwined with fiction and falsehood. Because then they would have to admit that they have persecuted every link in the chain of the legitimate medical practice of treating pain, with none more feeling the impacts than both doctor and patient. The rate of addiction has only accelerated with the pedal to the floor since they began, and he still has the audacity to denigrate the treatment of pain? Oh, what it must be like to live inside such a fantasy bubble. The unspoken inference that the current illicit fentanyl crisis was caused by the treatment of pain, and not in and of addiction itself, is nothing more than that. Pure fantasy.

    • Senator McCaskill got her law degree in the mid-70s… and our Congress is typically made up of 40% attorneys and the Controlled Substance Act was signed into law by another ATTORNEY – who was a known racist & bigot.. and whose goal was to put all Hippies & Blacks in jail. Of course, back in the day… attorneys and others believed that addiction was a choice and Congress being Congress ..they turned the CSA over to our judicial system to enforce this law. Attorneys have little/no medical background, but they continue to create laws based on what will involved the most attorneys

  6. Claire McCaskill must be one totally heartless human being!!

  7. When will WE be listened to? It just seems like we will be left to suffer in the end. Shame on Claire McCaskill, and shame on any doctor that wants to leave any patient in intractable pain.

  8. How does she know what her Mother’s pain was from? She was guessing that her pain was from withdrawl or she’s mouthing the words the Doctor spoke to her. I can guarantee you her Mother’s pain was real at the end of her life! All she knew was that she didn’t want her Mother to die addicted to Opioids, so she let her suffer. How incredibly cruel and ignorant can you be?!

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