Making Sense of the DEA's New Proposed Policy Statement on Pain Prescribing

There are definitely mixed feelings in the pain medicine community when it comes to the DEA's new proposed policy statement on prescribing pain medications. While everyone is pleased that the agency has loosened up its prescribing rules—allowing doctors to write three one-month pain med prescriptions at a time—there is some dispute over whether the DEA's latest policy statement represents anything other than the agency doing business as usual. For Dr. Frank Fisher the new policy statement represents little more than "window dressing," he told the Chronicle this week. The problem, Fisher said, was that physicians are still intimidated by the DEA and as a result, chronic pain patients are going untreated. Siobhan Reynolds of the patients' and physicians' advocacy group the Pain Relief Network used the exact same word, "window dressing," to describe the new policy statement. Reynolds, whose husband, a chronic pain patient, died just weeks ago as the family traveled across the country seeking relief for him, talked about a DEA "reign of terror that has cost people their lives, including my husband Sean." But some physicians working in the pain management and addiction medicine fields have a much brighter view. Dr. Howard Heit, a Fairfax, Virginia, physician called the new prescribing rules "a great step forward." The DEA is "responding to the health care community," he said. There is much more. Look for a Chronicle article tomorrow that delves deeper into this. As for those Louisiana heroin lifers, I guess they'll just have to wait another week. None of the people who asked me so urgently to write about their plight three weeks ago have managed to return my repeated calls seeking more information.
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You can stay in pain, SO WHAT!

I just detoxed from a Methadone clinic,after being on Methadone for 13 years. I would have done ok, except for the fact that I was in totally ,unmanagable pain. I turned to doctor after doctor to ask for help. They all rejected me. They said ,go to treatment. I said, Set it up. They called me back stating that the treatment clinic wouldn't take me. So Monday, I started back at the methadone clinic, which was a real disapointment to me, because I really wanted to get clean, but because of my 13 years prior with a methadone clinic, and those doctors turning thier backs on me, I'm right back where I started. $63,000 spent on Methadone, and I'm still in pain with NO HELP in site. I wish that the people making all these laws could feel just one day what I feel.

You can stay in pain, SO WHAT!

I just detoxed from a Methadone clinic,after being on Methadone for 13 years. I would have done ok, except for the fact that I was in totally ,unmanagable pain. I turned to doctor after doctor to ask for help. They all rejected me. They said ,go to treatment. I said, Set it up. They called me back stating that the treatment clinic wouldn't take me. So Monday, I started back at the methadone clinic, which was a real disapointment to me, because I really wanted to get clean, but because of my 13 years prior with a methadone clinic, and those doctors turning thier backs on me, I'm right back where I started. $63,000 spent on Methadone, and I'm still in pain with NO HELP in site. I wish that the people making all these laws could feel just one day what I feel.

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