How The Opioid Crisis Is Killing People Who Need More Opioids Than Allowed

Trini Yeager is one of about three million people in the U-S every year, who need doses of opioids that are no longer allowable by law.

It all started when she had a spinal injection, or epidural in February of 2013.

The procedure left her with what she describes as burning oil going down her spine. She has scar tissue strangling her pain generating nerves in her spinal column. It's a condition called Adhesive Arachnoiditis, which many doctors aren't even familiar with.

She was treated by a pain specialist, Dr. Forrest Tennant, who ended up closing his doors and retiring after being so restricted he can no longer prescribe what patients need.

PHD Red Lawhern is a pain advocate, who is in touch with hundreds of thousands of pain patients in on line forums every day, including on Facebook. He recently received a letter from a man who said his friend in Colorado is considering suicide on Christmas day with his loved ones around him, because he cannot stand the pain any longer.

Lawhern tells KOGO News one paper from the CDC three years ago has led to a crisis on several fronts, leaving pain patients without the amount of drugs they were once prescribed and pushing doctors out of the profession.

He says the American Medical Association and six other major medical groups, which represent over half of all practitioners agree a policy needs to be enforced, with the AMA voting on it in November of 2018.

The resolution said no doctor should be prosecuted, sanctioned or subjected to increased oversight solely because they prescribed opioids beyond the CDC standard. He says there is no one size fits all and says each body metabolizes drugs differently.

He says legislation is needed in every state to protect patients who need the drugs and doctors who can help them.

Trini met with members of state Senator Patricia Bates' office. Her chief of staff, Kevin Bassett, says the Senator is exploring ways for a global fix. He says she will continue to look at what avenues the state can take, but there is a federal component as well, since guidelines comes from the CDC.

This Newsweek article reveals the number of those who become addicted after being prescribed opioids.

Listen to the segment with Trini Yeager, doctors, and a member of Senator Patricia Bates staff below.

You can contact the State Medical Board, which is a consumer agency and can't require doctors to prescribe.

Photo Credit: Trini Yeager

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