Today is 12/31/2017

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


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 himself 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 

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

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,”  

Steven Lichtenberg: the 32-year-old Dublin man shot himself  

Fred Sinclair  he was hurting very much and was, in effect, saying goodbye to the family.

Robert Markel, 56 – June 2016 – Denied Pain Meds/Heroin OD

 Lisa June 2016

Jay Lawrence  March 2017

Celisa Henning: killed herself and her twin daughters...

Karen Boje-58  CPP-Deming, NM

Katherine Goddard, 52 –  June 30, 2017 – Palm Coast, FL -Suicide/Denied Opioids List of Suicides, as of 9–10-17

Suicides: Associated with non-consented Opioid Pain Medication Reductions

Lacy Stewart 59,

Ryan Trunzo of Massachusetts committed suicide at the age of 26,-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.

“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

20 Responses

  1. It’s disgusting that PROP and Andrew Kolodny have said that these people who died by suicide due to pain either don’t exist or died from addiction. What a bastard. I want to see these anti-opioid zealots in person say that to the faces of family members of these deceased loved ones. PROP, DEA and CDC need to be held accountable for these murders of Depravity. We need to find a lawyer with a spine willing to step up and fight for Chronic Pain Patients.

  2. Yes I understand, they took my pain medication away because of the people abusing it and the national opioid crisis, What they fail to understand by addressing one crisis they have created another. We live with pain most people can’t imagine. II struggle every day one day at a time one step forward at a time. The doctors at the VA simply quite on me. They aren’t even answering my messages for request to get simple pain meds to keep the neuropathy at bay. My back pain is totally ignored. After serving 20 years in Special Forces and we never quit anything even when injured. Why would anyone think the pain is all in my head? I’m very sorry for your loss. My wife fully understands your position as she deals with me in my suffering every day. There is no escape now and there is no way to take the edge off.

  3. Hey, Steve. I hate to be pedantic, but I think your figures are a little off. Approximately 2,750,000 people will die in the U.S.A. this year (a little more than that will be born, there is some light at the end of the tunnel!). But, having said that, 2,750,000/365 is 7,397 people per day dying, not 2,600. Correct me if I am wrong. . .

  4. Steve, thank you for another informative article. I really appreciate.

  5. This horror is unbelievable, every day I pray for someone to intervene for some brave person to say stop! People are in agony and no one seems to care. What happened to compassion? Understanding? Love for one another. People in pain need relief. A Veteran once said this is a genocide of of the American People. I feel so lost, bereft for our country.

  6. Steve, I like your website, but would you please stop saying successful suicide?

    This link explains why better than I could.

  7. Thank you for reading some names of people that committed suicide because our cdc thinks they are going to solve a heroin addiction by taking chronic pain patients medication away. I am in incredible pain and right now my doctor certainly can’t increase my pain medication. I wont even ask. He sent me to see a pain management doctor who keeps doing these lumbar sympathetic blocks for my right leg. They are doing absolutely nothing accept causing severe back pain, shoulder pain and I suddenly can’t lift that and hip pain. My original knee replacement was done a little over 4 years ago, by a doctor who somehow gave me an infection. It has taken 5 more surgeries to fix that infection and have also given me RSD. I have no life, I can’t walk. I fell because my replaced knee gives out and caused me to tear a patellar tendon and break a bone in my good knee. No ortho will touch my other leg because it involves hardware and screws, and needs to be replaced anyway. So I literally have that leg immobilized, am supposed to elevate it of course and I’m not supposed to walk on it, for fear of it tearing more. So I can’t put weight on that leg, my other leg doesn’t support me so I lay in bed from pain from that and fibromyalgia. I cannot sleep from pain. I am given 6 pain pills a day, so that’s 12 hours of some pain relief. I would not want to be here if it got cut. I would be on the list of names you posted. I am half way there as it is. 4 years of unbearable pain is something that I am having a hard time accepting. I am 42.

  8. SADLY,,,BUT THANK U STEVE,,,FOR HONORING OUR DEAD W/TRUTH,,,when no-one else will,,,, not the lies the government is putting out there,,that these HUMAN BEINGS died from drug o.d.s or suicides,,,,These human being deaths are pure,truthful and simple,,There deaths are from denial of effective medical care to lessen their physical pain from medical conditions..DEATH was there only means of stopping there physical pain,,,in 2017,,,thats just barbaric,and genocide,,

  9. This is outrageous. I would like to know how other countries deal with pain meds. This debacle reminds me of when alcohol was banned. Did not work. But you can drink alcohol without a prescription. Just because some people misuse pain meds is not a good reason to take away or drop down the amount of pain meds that pain patients are using that works for them. My late husband died 6 years ago, he had chronic pain, RSD from a broken foot. I have to now be relieved that he is gone, he would have taken his own life if his pain meds were limited, or titrateded down. I take pain meds for fibromyalgia. My pain meds have been cut back. At this time, I am able to do well at this dose, but I am afraid to tell my doctor that I am okay here, for fear that she will drop me down even more. Where is money involved? Just asking, Kimberly Hilton?

    My heart goes out to everyone who are in constant pain. I just don’t get how the CDC can justify this cruelty. This will undoubtedly change at some point, but how many people will be gone, families crushed?

    • Hi Judy, I believe the money is no in non opioid medications, rehab, etc. Most pain meds are generic now so the powers that be decided to switch it up. There’s a lot of money in brand name pharmaceuticals. If i had a pain management doctor, i would never tell him i was doing well on a reduction for fear he would reduce even more. I’m so sorry you’re in pain.

    • NEVER tell your doctor anything! They will use it against you. If you have left over meds, hoard them (in case they ever do take it away) and dispose of them through your police department. Knowing what I know now from my last visit, I will never tell my doctor anything anymore. If they want anything from me, I want a copy or a reason why they are doing anything against me. I will never put my medications down either. No matter what doctor I go to. Although, there isn’t much they can take away now. But I might as well stop the rest and die a slow painless death. My blood pressure before meds was 216/126. Take that away….I don’t care. My thyroids are non-existent. Within 3 days my brain starts shutting down without any medication and can’t speak in sentences that make much sense. Take that away. I don’t care anymore. But don’t tell your doctor that you’re doing fine. Don’t tell anyone what meds your on anymore. Because it doesn’t matter. Nobody cares.

  10. When nothing makes sense follow the money.

  11. Ditto Tracey,,,,,,y doesn’t anyone use their own brains anymore??I saw some say,,,its easier for the publicto believe a lie,,,then it is to search for the truth,””If it doesn’t effect them,,,they don’t care,,,,,,,,which is NOT,,, how it use to be,,,,,,we use to give a dam about our fellow mankind,,u know,,,,if they do it someone else,,,,they will do it to u type mentality,,,,,but this whole genocide,,,,was planned,,,m

  12. 100% agree, Mary. Big Brother does NOTHING unless it involves financial incentives. We’re being “nannied” to death – not because our government is so “caring” and “empathetic.” (Cue the violins). It’s because they can make a ton of $$ off these excessive restrictions. I literally can’t believe there are people who are dumb enough to believe our government is doing this “for our own good.” I think society in general has become so dumbed down, they no longer know how to think for themselves.

  13. Two legal substances with no medicinal purpose contributes to more than 580,000 deaths each year in this nation alone.

    Over the course of 15 years (yes, 15 years) those “evil” opioids contributed to LESS THAN 200,000 deaths (this is medication that helps relieve pain and suffering, only deadly – with the exception of a rare allergic reaction – when PURPOSELY MISUSED).

    Two legal substances that make quite a bit of revenue for our local, state and federal governments (due to the “sin taxes imposed on them) contributes to more than 1,550 deaths PER DAY …

    yet 70 (or 90 or whatever number Big Brother pulls out of the asses that day) deaths per day is considered an “epidemic.”

    Open your eyes, people … Big Brother has its priorities screwed up … though I’d say those “priorities” involve financial incentives .

    There’s lots of $$ to be made from the production of medications which “treat” opioid addiction, production of non-opioid “pain relievers” (usually in the form of psychiatric medications) and production of more detox inpatient/outpatient facilities.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

  14. it really does appear,,the chronic physical pain people are just employement for the dea,,and others,,,,,Since there are obviously other ,”issues,” that are killing more American,,,,,maryw

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