Hi from /r/ChronicPain!

I've been releasing music/poetry centered around chronic pain, mental illness, drugs, and suicide for a year now.

I advocate for the humane treatment of chronic pain patients. I advocate for the responsible use of opioids in those who need them. And finally, I advocate for controversial treatment avenues such as kratom, medical marijuana/CBD, ketamine infusions, and psychedelics.

In December I delivered a speech/slam poem about the spike in chronic pain patient suicides as a direct result of changing governmental regulations.

You can read the transcript here if you don't want to hear my whiney voice

I am a lot less proud of the rest of my SoundCloud in comparison, but I've put out roughly 3 hours of music about this type of thing over the last year.

In chronological order (this kinda feels like ambulance chasing but I guess I already put my name, face, and jewfro on this post so MIGHT AS WELL):

Recordings mostly from prior to my condition worsening, when I could still play bass: Messin' With The Dressin'.

After a year and a half of not being able to play anything and I started to really focus on making "cripple Folk" music about chronic pain, mental illness, and suicide: Suicide Music.

And the latest stuff: Dorm Room Demos

Andrew Kolodny (who has a background in addiction medicine) is heading an organization called PROP, or the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescription. This organization seeks to effectively funnel legitimate chronic pain patients into the addiction medicine umbrella. He stands to gain millions if his organization successfully treats all pain patients as addicts and forces them into addiction medicine clinics.

Andrew Kolodny and Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing - PROP (mostly addiction specialists with little experience treating pain with opioids) petitioned the FDA in 2012 to change opioid manufacturing guidelines for patients with non-cancer pain, asking FDA to limit dosing to 100 MED and limit treatment to 90 days. FDA denied this request in 2013 due to a lack of scientific evidence to support limiting usage or dosage and no evidence to suggest cancer pain is different from non-cancer pain.

FDA Refuses PROP’s Request To Limit Opioid Dosage and Usage.

CDC published the 2016 opioid death report which falsely claimed pain patients were addicted and dying in massive numbers even though historically pain patients are rarely addicted or involved in opioid-related deaths.

This is made more complex due to the rise of fentanyl analog drugs coming from china which have been pressed into fake Xanax, OxyContin, and similar street pills, as well as the all too well known heroin fentanyl epidemic which has been making headlines for years.

CDC contracted with members from the anti-drug lobbying group PROP to help draft CDC guidelines for opioid prescriptions written by primary care physicians, even though CDC and PROP knew that illicitly manufactured fentanyl and heroin was the cause of the crisis.

Sources (admittedly biased towards chronic pain patients):



CDC Guidelines were implemented by the states as rule rather than guidelines as originally intended, forcing pain patients off their medication or to a lower, non-therapeutic dosage. This was done in spite of CDC having no prescription regulatory power and FDA already telling PROP there is no scientific evidence to suggest these limitations are necessary or useful.

In 2018, CDC finally issued a correction for the 2016 opioid death report admitting that the majority of the deaths were from illicit fentanyl and heroin, not legal prescription pain pills. CDC and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) concede pain patients are almost never involved in opioid-related deaths. According to SAMHSA 2016 and similar studies the addiction rate for pain patients is less than 1%.

Source: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304265

Additional source (again, biased towards pain patients): https://www.clinicalpainadvisor.com/opioid-addiction/the-issues-with-the-cdc-guidelines-on-opioids-for-chronic-pain/article/524976/.

Dr. Thomas Kline released a report on medium.com detailing 37 chronic pain patients who detailed their struggles online and to loves ones and decided to end their lives after being cut off and forced to taper from their much needed medications

Thomas Kline has been extremely interactive on Twitter, taking polls and hearing our side of the story. This is a stark contrast to how @SupportPROP and Andrew Kolodny have operated their social media accounts. I could pull a ton of examples, but I think it's best for you all to draw your own conclusions.

I don't make any money on my music, but I want this issue to be more well known.

On Twitter people use the hashtags "SuicideDueToPain" and "OpioidHysteria".

The 3rd Don't Punish Pain Rallies are taking place on the 29th of this month. This might be a good way to grab some attention. The Rallies are national and the Facebook groups are gaining traction. Still, until people see this issue it's not going to change.

It probably won't change anyway.

Opioids, pain medications in general, and the politics surrounding pain are some of the most faceted issues I've ever researched. The factors leading up to the current climate surrounding pain and opioids specifically are so unbelievably complex I can't even fit it in a single Reddit post. I'm going to piss some people off, it's inevitable, especially when talking about an issue as complex as opioids in America. This is an issue deeply rooted in racism, politics, money, and large corporations such as Purdue Pharmaceuticals.

I'm sure many are going to draw a lot of your own conclusions. Some of you may call my mental health, medical history, and work ethic into question, or even outright accuse me of being a drug addict. This is pretty much par for the course since I've started speaking out about these issues. I personally don't care what you think of me as an individual, as long as you all are forced to see this issue for what it is. We are being punished for the actions of others. Addiction is a medical condition, but chronic pain patients should not be treated as addicts by default.

So Reddit, AMA!


Verification <- (mods please tell me I can remove that awful picture.)

Additional sources and timeline provided by Tamera Stewart aka /u/OklaInPain

Comments: 63 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

MewsliMews24 karma

What would you like to personally say to doctors and care providers about chronic pain- your personal pain and in general? Do you have any good ideas on what could help doctors treat patients with pain better?

lostinthesauceband24 karma

I really don't think it's the doctors that are the problem. I've had extremely compassionate, knowledgeable, and just overall fantastic doctors...and bad ones.

I think it's a larger issue, the governing bodies (CDC, FDA, even the pharma companies...Purdue) pushing things to doctors (like the 100 Morphine milligram equivalent fiasco), the social stigma surrounding pain, the bleed between addiction and dependence, and the rate of overdoses.

I personally saw kids (and I say kids because they were kids) posting handfuls of Gabapentin on drug subreddits, and within a few months my doctors told me to get off it as they were likely to schedule it. Multiple doctors told me that, that's not an individual doctor getting an idea. I'm not crying conspiracy about that, but when the societal stigma exists, when people post pictures of their Kratom and gabapentin, drugs which I think are objectively less recreational than say morphine, it changes the whole playing field.

"Good people don't smoke marijuana" - Jeff Sessions.

Whatever Trump said about heroin in Maine (something like "I don't get how heroin works with this scenery/landscape").

These things have an impact on the whole climate surrounding opioids.

This is an incredibly complex issue. The fentanyl analog's coming from China made it more complex. Now pressed pills are being included in prescription overdose rates, that skews how doctors are able to effectively do their jobs.

No doctor wants to write a script which will send their patient down the path of addiction or lead to an overdose. "Opiaphobia" is a real issue in this country.

On the other hand: There is no empirical measurement for pain, there is no way to tell if a patient is lying about their symptoms to get access to medication. This isn't a blanket statement kind of situation unfortunately.

MewsliMews8 karma

Wait, why are kids wanting Gabapentin? I’m on that :/

lostinthesauceband12 karma

Yeah, I and others been yelling at them in every freaking post for years, just search the subs. /r/drugs, /r/drugstashes, and /r/drugsarebeautiful

Apparently if you take the whole bottle basically (upwards of 2400mg...at once 😤) it's somewhat recreational.

So dumb, but when it comes down to it addicts will use anything in their reach to get high. No shame towards addicts, it's a medical condition and deserves to be destigmatized, but this whole situation is so freaking complex.

Lyrica and pregabalin are very similar, potency being the main difference, and lyrica is hugely stigmatized and less often prescribed because it has a higher (and this is not my words) potential for abuse. I've had specialist doctor's tell me there is absolutely no difference, but there's a study out there saying it's as addictive or more than opioids.

Scientific studies are a wholeeeeeeee other conversation I'll let the actual degree possessing professionals and not me speak about.

cinemakitty20 karma

What can partners or loved ones of people in chronic pain do to help?

lostinthesauceband15 karma

Well I want to say take them seriously, but that's a hard one because some people do lie about their conditions to get access to medications. My own mother was extremely manipulative about her chronic pain when in reality she was and is an addict regardless of whether she has pain (which she probably is).

It's fairly evident when addiction is present, however, especially if you live with that person.

Just like with any medical condition, psychological or physical, people feel like shit if they aren't taken seriously. By family, friends, lovers, classmates, teachers, professors, employers, coworkers, the list goes on.

When our politicians say things like "Good people don't smoke marijuana" and whatever Trump said about heroin in Maine, it affects people suffering. If you get cut off from a pain center in an extremely rude way which lacks compassion, you'll feel like shit.

When addicts are lumped in, it makes the whole situation worse. Just because they use the same medications for their own, very real and serious medical condition, it makes the whole situation a lot more complex.

Counseling, psychiatric care, compassion, all these things can make a huge difference to someone struggling with chronic pain.

I've had so many compassionate SOs, and so many shitty people over the years.

pjchamb18 karma

Thanks for your advocacy! I had to have surgery on my spine twice last year and the depression is/was almost worse than the pain. Then they make you jump through hoops for the medication.

Have you ever heard of antibiotics being used to treat pain? I was on some for a cyst a few months back and my back pain disappeared. There’s a study out there about it, but they didn’t use a very large group in their trial.

lostinthesauceband9 karma

I have not heard of that, i was put on a few courses of antibiotics for "prostatitis" (misdiagnosis) and I know they can cause a lot of issues, like tearing of tendons I believe. Never heard of them being used to treat pain. I've heard of HGH being used to treat slipped discs and even found a study backing that up

supposedlyitsme14 karma

Hey! Thanks for doing all this. You really rock!

I want to ask you about your thoughts on mental pain. As we all know physical pain can be sometimes impossible to see and then there is mental pain, basically impossible to see. But people go through it everyday. Sometimes it can lead to suicide as well.

Do you think we should add mental pain more into chronic pain discourse? How can we make it more visible in this community? Do you have any resources about mental pain I can read?

Sorry if anything is incoherent I'm currently in pain and medicated by cannabis.

lostinthesauceband8 karma

That's a good question. I've suffered severe depression before I was properly treated for bipolar 2 with antipsychotics. I still struggle with it even to this day. It's hard to quantify the two, but I do not think pain medications such as opioids, gabapentin, or benzos should be used.

Now we're getting into my opinions about psychedelics and even ketamime (in controlled settings), to treat conditions like that. Which I totally believe the answer is yes, if you've exhausted your other treatment options and have tried every class of psychiatric medication (like I had) you should absolutely have the option of using a psychedelic (like I did...)

I think the risk for harm is there with psychedelics, but the risk for harm is there for every other drug I took. I had awful reactions to Depakote and SSRIs.

I knew when I took psychedelics that it could have left me in a worse state, but it was life or death at that point.

I'm extremely glad I decided to take them anyway, they absolutely shattered my suicidal mindset. I've never personally used ketamime or had an infusion, but I hear great things for treatment resistant depression.

I have my own opinions on how psychedelics have affected my perception of pain, both physical and mental, and how they seemed to improve my overall psychological state.

I used cannabis for years, now just CBD.

THC in high doses, especially in edibles when converted to Delta-11-Hydroxy-THC, is slightly more psychedelic.

It's hard to say. It's almost worse to deal with psychological stuff because it's normal "real" like a physical condition.

There are a vocal few who believe Kratom should be used for psychological conditions. I do not agree, but in the grand scheme it's less bad than a lot of other options and it's not a purely opioid receptor affecting substance (IIRC dopamine and serotonin pathways as well). The issue is dependence, but that's so much less of an issue with Kratom as it's self limiting. I've been at roughly same dose for 2+ years. So if you've tried all else, maybe it could be helpful. Also all the other psychiatric drugs are way more dependence causing. Long term, I really don't think it'll be beneficial, just like benzos, but short term maybe.

Compared to psychiatric drugs (SSRIs, Antipsychotics, and IMO worst of all benzos), Kratom probably isn't that bad. The Meta analysis study on benzos over long periods shows an increase in anxiety over time with benzos.

But I really don't think psychiatrists should be writing oxy scripts for depression. You walk into a psychiatrists office and in less than an hour you walk out with a prescription, that's how the practice works. There are really good and bad things going on in psychiatry rn.

It's really a complex issue, I write a lot of songs about my depression and chronic pain absolutely shattering my will to live and how certain substances improved my condition overall. I still don't know if anything I have to say is worth saying.

These huge pharmaceutical companies can't make money on a plant you grow in your back yard, so it's a lot more of my conspiracy alarm bells going off.

I hope I gave you some insight on my complex opinions on this matter. It's definitely a conversation we need to be having. Depression is the leading cause for suicide, and suicide rates are just insane these days.

supposedlyitsme7 karma

Thank you for your comprehensive answer. I'm definitely going to look into what you said.

My doctor has just been in the mindset of "SSRIs might not make you happy but they at least stop you wanting to kill yourself. That's all we need at this point and that's all we can do".

It's awful! Like he knows the medicine is not working for me but as long as it stops me being suicidal its totally my treatment. I do not understand how they can't stop and think "is there really nothing else that would help?"

I'll just be miserable forever. But hey, who cares as long as I don't kill myself :( /s

lostinthesauceband12 karma

It really is awful. I've been hospitalized so many times for suicidal ideation, it's really hard. At that point after all that time, after nearly every psychiatric medication available on the market, I finally took psychedelics, and it all got better. I really feel like they're closer to antipsychotics than most people think, and while those drugs are mood stabilizers, they literally kill a trip, it's fascinating to me personally how they are quick to give Seroquel but not psychedelics.

I have never, and I stand by this statement, ever had such an intense drug experience as when I took Seroquel for the first time. The euphoria and overwhelming effects were just out of this world. Maybe I'm weird, but psychedelics weren't nearly as potent for me. So yeah, both are arguably recreational, but they should really be looked at in a similar light. Bad trips, for me, were still beneficial in helping me cope.

It is worth noting that you cannot expect to take a substance and feel better ever. Mindfulness, meditation, counseling, human interaction, group therapy, exercise, etc, all these should be done in conjunction with whatever medication you are given. But it's almost insulting to say that to people which severe depression. It's like saying "cheer up!"

Or "just be less depressed!"

Or "have you tried (lists homeopathic remedy they read about online)?".

Or...dare I even mention...


supposedlyitsme6 karma

Ahhahaahhaa essential oils did it for me. If the essence is cannabis that is lol.

Thank you for talking about all this. It's so freeing to see people face the same stuff everyday. Definitely makes me feel less alone.

I tried MDMA for therapy and that actually really did it for me. But that you can't take every week. I use that for every other monthly sessions with myself. I also go to therapy regularly which helps a lot. Weed helps mostly with my anxiety and worry issues. And helps the pain I get from endometriosis.

I tried LSD but I had such a bad bad first trip I haven't dared try again. It effected me really bad physically.

In still searching for better. Unlike what people want to think, we are not all lazy asses who sit all day. I search for a way to take all this pain away everyday. I'm going to look more into kratom and other things. Maybe LSD didn't work with me but other things can.

Maybe just for context I have Endo and borderline. Both so rarely diagnosed properly and both I've been suffering with for a very long time.

lostinthesauceband4 karma

"I just want my fans to feel less alone" is a common sentiment which creators throw out there, but I really do wish that for people who might connect with the things I have to say. It kinda feels like ambulance chasing tbh, writing music about suicidal and depressed people lmao.

What do you mean by endo or borderline? Like borderline personality disorder?

Just be careful, people are so quick to label "self medication" these days. I really did try to become a doctor, maybe someday I'll get there, but for now I'm not. I've personally avoided MDMA just because me and stimulants, even coffee, just don't seem to mix. Reddit is so funny about their "three month" rule, but I've known personally a girl across the country who absolutely went to shit because of daily MDMA abuse. She told me she never thought she would ever be happy again. A year later, she did get better, but just be aware it's unfortunately not a good option in that use case :/.

I used LSA almost exclusively. LSD was scary af tbh. LSA makes me sick and felt awful on my body, but it was therapeutic for some reason. Maybe something with shorter duration like fungus or an RC, smoked DMT is supposed to be intense af but I might give it a shot eventually since the duration is really not a thing I am a fan of for longer duration psychs. I probably won't ever trip again tbh, it really did its work after nearly a year of using psychs on a frequent basis with many good and bad experiences.

Yeah, I don't know, I had realllllllllly bad trips. They helped me cope, I can distinctly remember the realization that I was going to feel like this for 12 hours, and that after that experience I felt like I could handle anything. The physical pain, from the psychedelic, was just absurd. Nothing compares at all in the pain I experience, mental or psychological. There's more to those kinds of experiences, an afterglow, whatever ego and spirituality stuff people talk so much about in psychedelic circles.

I watched a documentary about a doctor in California who gives his patients LSD and sits with them through the whole experience. That's what I think should be the future. And I mean that in very specific cases, hell they give you an SSRI and send you home right? Many people have bad reactions. It's hard to make blanket statements, but my experience I tried to document as much as possible with these stupid songs I wrote and recorded really badly lol.

Best of luck, you are absolutely not alone, I hope you find something that works for you. ❤️

supposedlyitsme3 karma

Wow great song! Sounds a bit like when my mind is running a thousand miles an hour. I'm glad you have a way to express yourself and channel what you're feeling. I write. It helps. What helps most usually is talking to people. Just being able to express how I feel.

Endometriosis and borderline personality disorder are what I have. Or what the medical community identified me as. When I was a kid (12 years old) having my first period all I wanted was a device to connect me to another human being who could feel my pain and understand. So many times it feels like nobody understands. It's nice to hear people like you talk. We need more space for these voices.

lostinthesauceband5 karma

Thanks a lot! I never thought that song in particular was ever going to come across well because it's such a specific feeling I was trying to convey. I'm glad someone connects with it :).

And aw man, I've known a few people with endometriosis and it is just hell from what I understand. I have pelvic floor issues mainly, not at all the same thing, but my condition is so weird and uncommon, coupled with the sexual issues that come with it, I really felt so alone about it for so long.

It's good to know my oversharing on Reddit and whining on SoundCloud is helping someone ❤

euth_gone_wild13 karma

So what advice can you give a pain patient that's been cut off and now cannot work or function at home? I'm scared of directly asking, but have let my Dr know of the life limitations and they have been less than helpful. I would prefer to be on a medication that I would be dependent on and able to work than to live a very closed off and painful life. I'm falling into deep depression because of the pain itself, losing my ability to do the work I love and not being there for my family. I just feel like a burden. I have asked for antidepressant and a referral to psych to help with that aspect.

lostinthesauceband18 karma

I recommend Kratom and CBD for those who it is legal for. I take it, thankfully I don't need opioids, but some people don't get relief from those things. THC is great too, but I prefer the clear-headedness of the CBD, when I use isolate there is zero high.

For some reason get more relief from Kratom than I ever did from opioids, I recall a study about it being more effective for some with nerve pain.

Some people really do need opioids and other meds though, and that's a tough situation.

In terms of psychiatric, I found a great out of network psychiatrist who actually would interface with my pain center (when I was still going) by googling "pain psychiatrist". Apparently he didn't consider himself one, but he had treated many pain patients before. If you call around and ask directly if they have experience treating chronic pain patients, they may say yes.

It sucks though. You have a record of psychiatric care, doctors look at you differently. Inpatient hospitalizations for suicidal ideation? Fucking forget about it. I can still get opioids, but they all know I've had a history of mental health issues and it always always always comes up. Wind up in the ER? You can absolutely forget about getting any pain meds regardless, but you have a history of depression? Fucking never getting pain meds in the ER.

I don't know, I guess I sound smart, am a white dude, and look dorky? I was studying in college to be a pain doctor until my condition got really bad, so I am well read on my own issues, some doctors don't like that though. If you're "doing their job" they may think you know better than them and get offended.

I have generally had doctors take me seriously, but there's an issue with sexism (conversation disorder, which many argue is a modern day hysteria diagnosis), racism, classism, etc.

If you're unemployed they won't be as likely to give you a script. If you're not in college they won't be as likely to give you a script.

I am glad I was able to take most of the pain control into my own hands, I still need anticonvulsants and jump through hoops to get 2mg of Valium 3x daily, but I take Kratom and CBD (under the direction of all my doctors).

It's rough as fuck out there for pain patients, I wish I had a better answer.

rpghound13 karma

As a fellow musician/producer, I find often times that pain, anxiety, and my ADHD will pull me away from being creative. Kratom helps with this, but some days are just straight up harder than others. Do you have any tips for musically getting into the swing of things with these burdens?

lostinthesauceband8 karma

I mean, objectively my recordings are often just bad, full stop. I stopped writing down lyrics for a long time and actually went and deleted lyrics I wrote and some recordings at one point. That was the worst decision I ever made.

Especially online, people don't really care if you put out shit. Live performances are a little more tricky, especially if people paid to see you, but I have yet to play anything but open mics.

I have some live recordings where I am clearly the biggest hater in the room of what I'm playing, and there's actually a moment I picked up on a recorder once where someone said something in the audience while I was fucking up a song for the third time because my stupid muscles weren't working, and I misheard what they said and thought they were saying they didn't like my music. I said something like "yeah trust me, I don't either", and then the people in the bar actually said "it sounds like he doesn't like his own music". It's kinda surreal to hear that recording.

I don't really know if this helps, I'm clearly not gaining a massive following, but after a year of putting out this type of content I seem to have a nice small little niche, and I've gotten enough private messages and comments of people saying they like what I'm doing that I continue to do it.

I can't put any sort of time limits or constraints on myself recording/performance wise. I try to write some kind of lyrics/poetry down every single day, even if it's just a half sentence that sorta rhymes that I'll never go back to later or adding 2 words to a document I've been working on for 3 years that is probably never going to become a song.

I also put a random date on my SoundCloud and Reddit bio, September 2nd, 2020 at 5pm, when I first started putting stuff out. I really don't know what I'm doing on that date but it's public so probably something. I made it oikema deadline for an actual release, but I've put out shit for a while and I think the production quality is not terrible on the latest release.

...it kinda started to feel like a suicide date at one point but I doubt that will be the case.

ATrueLady9 karma

I noticed you mentioned you struggle to get your Valium prescription. I recently was told that I had to get off benzodiazepines. Was taking Xanax xr at probably too high a dose, but now my pdoc has told me I won’t get it at all anymore, even though my friend gets a small scrip from the same doc. They forced weaned me off with klonopin, which I would have been happy to just switch to if that’s what they wanted. My ability to concentrate isn’t as good as before, and my motivation is shot. I understand these drugs are addictive, but they do work for some people, and a low dose for me worked really well. Are you seeing more and more docs pulling away from benzos? If so, is it connected to the governments ridiculous response on opioids? I feel bad even taking up your time to ask because chronic pain patients are suffering so much more due to government BS but this has been bothering me for some time and I wanted to see your thoughts. It used to be so easy to get a script now it’s much harder. I can’t change doctors right now but I think I will in a few months.

lostinthesauceband9 karma

I have had to absolutely jump through hoops to get that low dose benzo for PHYSICAL reasons filled. I can only imagine what psychiatric reasons must be like.

Devil's avocado: There is a meta-analysis which shows long term (10-20 years) that anxiety overall increases. Everyone's different though. If it works for you, I believe you should have access to use it responsibly.

Plus acute benzo withdrawals cause seizures, which irresponsible docs don't know or don't care about, and it is absurd.

I know patients from psych wards who were on these benzos for decades who were abruptly cut off, it's insane.

The "bartards" and pressed xanax bars (WHICH OFTEN HAVE FENT) has really changed the benzo climate as well. A lot, if not most, benzo abuse is there, not from prescriptions. But that's an iffy subject, many do abuse prescriptions. And also this industry makes money by selling drugs, they want to sell you drugs...

This is the Crux of the issue, in my opinion: responsible patients being punished for the abuse of other people (addiction is an illness, they're still patients, just not the same illness).

I recommend CBD as it's less controversial, isolate and full spectrum tinctures. Hemp flower is fantastic these days, 10/10 would recommend, but it's not a benzo!

Which in a way is good, but when I was seriously suicidal that 0.5mg Xanax XR pill was a lifesaver.

And evidence shows it doesn't build tolerance like even THC does, so 5mg-15mg a day should work every day for the rest of your life. But again, it's not a benzo.

the_latest_greatest6 karma

CBD does not work for many people though. Neither does THC. It depends on the type of anxiety and/or pain.

Cannabis is legal in my state for recreational use. I've taken that along with once an entire bottle of CBD oil. Never saw any help.

lostinthesauceband4 karma

For sure, kratom doesn't do shit for many peoples pain, neither does cannabis in any form.

Like I said, if it works for you, I strongly believe you should have access to it. Regardless if someone else is abusing the same pills.

You have to take this in steps though. CBD is the least controversial thing I can advocate for. Most people at this point can get behind that.

LastWolf7218 karma

I had a friend stay in a hospital and she told me that at the two top hospitals in the country all the nurses and doctors talked about was getting high and that she called the whistle on it and they locked the med room and put one person in charge. What do you think about narciccism in medicine and the way doctors patronize the public and about the basic hipocrisy and double standard placed on addiction? What do you think is driving it? How can we reclaim humanity in healthcare when greed has been allowed to infiltrate and we think we can regulate our way out of it? What can we do to support your cause/raise awareness?

lostinthesauceband6 karma

That's a big question. There have been countless busts for pill milling doctors. Jesus, the Purdue lawsuit is enough, and the recent situation where Purdue was aware of a city (Evert, WA) diverting large quantities of Oxycontin in like what, 2017?

Source 1: https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-oxycontin-part2/

Source 2: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/lawsuit-greedy-drug-maker-purposefully-flooded-black-market-with-opioids/.

The Sackler family needs to be held accountable. The leaked emails show they were aware of the flooding of the black market with their products

The 600 million dollar lawsuit was just the cost of doing business for them.

This whole issue didn't start with large Pharmaceutical companies, opium has been around for thousands of years, but they ABSOLUTELY had a hand in the current climate we face today.

This was an OxyContin ad shown to doctors in the early 90s.

The poster children of OxyContin, then and now.

This is Russell Portenoy, a world renowned pain specialist, explaining the situation. Ironically, guess who uploaded that video? The same person trying to treat pain patients as addicts. Andrew Kolodny, an addiction medicine specialist, from the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescription.

More Russell Portenoy, a lecture to med students.

I don't dislike Russell Portenoy, but his backpedaling shows how complex this issue is. I don't know who's lying. If they're all getting rich from this who is actually on the sides?

Personally my "favorite" was the bust where the doctors at one pain center were selling scripts and one was exchanging nudes via Snapchat for scripts. Shit is wild man.

Edit: What can we do to support your cause/raise awareness?

Well I don't think people will take me seriously enough for this to be "my issue", but the more people who speak out the better. Patients need to start YouTube channels, tweet, and do things like the Don't Punish Pain Rallies have been doing.

Thomas Kline (on Twitter) is a doctor who has been treating chronic diseases for 42 years, is extremely interactive, does Twitter polls and is constantly keeping us up to date on developments. I wish he would come to this thread but you can follow him on Twitter. I linked his medium.com article on the 37 suicides due to pain

RubyRawds5 karma

As a inpatient nurse I always feel like I'm fighting an unwinnable battle with chronic pain. It is hard having people that you can't seem to help.

Before opioids, how was chronic pain controlled? You seem to have made yourself very knowledgeable about the topic. I'm curious.

lostinthesauceband6 karma

My chronic pain? Poorly. I self medicated with cannabis and it barely did a thing before I found kratom, stopped me from ripping my hair out that's for sure. Gabapentin was helpful but not really worth the memory issues at the dosages required for relief. Opioids oddly enough provided little to no relief and the side effects were KILLER. Kratom and CBD works for me so much better than opioids or opioids/THC. I have bowel movements every single day, I (almost) never throw up, and the clear-headedness is leaps and bounds above opioids for me.

I still advocate for those who need opioids, thankfully I'm not one of them.

RubyRawds5 karma

I guess I was asking more before the prevalence of opiods. What was the first line treatment? It get the feeling it was alcohol or marijuana that people used but I don't know.

I lived in Colorado and liked the forward thinking of the public towards using "alternate" methods but weren't used in the hospital.

lostinthesauceband2 karma

I actually thought that might be what you were asking lol. I can pull some sources up on this in an edit but I'm just going to freeball the first half of this since I love archaic opium facts

Cannabis was used in tinctures in America long before it was made illegal, but that's pretty widely known.

It's actually pretty interesting how much opium has been used for pain and how much they tried to avoid addiction and stigma. Opium has been around forever, I think it's use dates back thousands of years.

There used to be a device where a pellet of compressed opium was shoved under the skin using a device which made a hole before injections were a thing. This was...because they thought the "opium appetite" was an actual appetite thing, and by avoiding the stomach they could avoid what was very clearly addiction/dependence. Once people started coming back to those medical facilities with addiction symptoms, well they dispelled that theory. (Gimme a minute I know I've found a source on this before lol)

So that was a rough subcutaneous-like ROA.

Morphine was isolated (and I'm sourcing this now) in 1806. It was discovered in a series of expirements by Freidrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner (1783-1841), a 21-year-old pharmacist’s assistant.

Heroin was actually marketed by Bayer in 1895 as a morphine substitute...get this...without the side effect of addiction!

I'm totally fucking up the timeline here, the opium wars in China were definitely a thing, in the 1920s during prohibition opioid use skyrocketed, but this is such a long-standing issue I've read like 3 books that I probably still have on my Kindle about this since opioids are so fascinating to me.

The same shit happens over and over. Purdue said OxyContin wasn't as addictive as other opioids, quoting a "less than 1% chance pain patients will get addicted", and you see how well that went for them. ($600 million lawsuit, largest pharmaceutical lawsuit in history).

I'm going to edit this in a bit once I find my old stupid research paper from high school and again in college and all the sources I pulled for that. The opium pellet device is freaking hysterical that they thought they could get around opioid dependence and addiction by shoving pellets under the skin.

tehreal2 karma

Do you have any advice for getting off of kratom? I'm addicted to it.

lostinthesauceband4 karma

Benadryl. There's a study about it helping through the acute withdrawals phase (PAWS) in prison inmates addicted to opioids. 50mg every 4 hours was what I did when I cold tuekeyed off it for a period of about 5 months. Slowly tapered off the Benadryl after a period of 1-3 weeks, but you should really taper the Kratom as well.

Also just to be a pedantic dick, when you say addiction, do you mean inability to control use, inability to stop the escalation of doses, and inability to stop despite apparent to yourself/others? Because Kratom in my experience is far more self limiting. The more you take, the less it does. I've still experienced withdrawals from when I took a shit ton, upwards of 60g in a day during really bad flare-ups, but you can't just take more and get more effects.

But I'm just really strong on the whole dependence vs addiction thing. I think Kratom is harder to become addicted to because you can't escalate the doses and get higher. And that's conceding that Kratom gets you high in the first place relative to opioids, which is another argument.

dg4vdo1 karma

Favorite condiment? Thank you

lostinthesauceband1 karma

MCT oil has slowly worked it's way into every bit of my diet. Coconut oil is a little less great at carrying decarboxylated concentrates, especially in colder weather. 👌