How the War on Drugs Waged War on Me

Thank you for providing a website that allowed me to see that I'm not bad or crazy. I have suffered for years from lower and middle back pain after a car accident at the age of 16. Later that year, I was badly beaten by an ex-boyfriend, which exacerbated my spinal pain (I don't always tell my doctors that though, until I trust them anyway). I also have been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease and arthritis in my wrists, fingers, ankles and spine. A few months ago I was told that I was suspected of having MS as well. I haven't been able to afford the expensive tests, but I seem to have many of the symptoms. One of the biggest problems (other than the pain) is that I will occasionally become dizzy and fall on my face for no apparent reason -usually after stepping over an object on the floor. The past two years have been incredible. After a pregnancy with multiples (and months of lying on one side because of premature labor) I couldn't take the constant pain anymore and visited a new doctor. She prescribed many things and we finally settled on Vicodin and then Norco along with flexeril and Naproxen. I submitted to urine testing, X-rays, MRIs and anything else I was asked. I even went through months of preparations and finally received a Lap-band so that I could lose weight and, hopefully, improve my pain management. I was clean and taking my pills as prescribed for those years and the doctor and nurse practitioner knew it. I did express concern once that I would have stomach cramps upon waking and wondered if it was addiction. My nurse practitioner went over things and we decided that the best route was to keep pain at bay while I was taking care of my five young children because the quality of life was just so much better. The other reason I didn't worry is that I wasn't getting "high" from the meds. Despite what friends kept saying (god, how do you take that and still walk?) I felt nothing but relief from my pain and it was WONDERFUL! Last month, we moved from Delaware to North Carolina for my husband's job. Wow, moving was a little rough on my back but I managed so well. My husband said he had never been prouder of me and I enjoyed spending all day with my children. Then disaster struck. I went to my new doctor and they weren't going to give me "narcotics." We didn't have our insurance coverage yet, so we spent almost $300 to find out that I had to see a pain specialist. After paying $260 to the new doctor, he said he couldn't prescribe for 10 days. My husband feared that I would have physical side effects (my former doctor told us never to go off the Norco without tapering) and that I wouldn't be able to manage my back pain and watch five young children while he worked 18 hour days. So, he called the first doctor. No, they wouldn't help. He called the pain management specialist and they needed my old records. We called our Nurse Practitioner in Delaware and she sent the records asap because she didn't want me to have a lapse in my pain management. Then we called the office again to see if the records were sent. Apparently, we were too anxious to get things started because the number of phone calls sent out a red flag. I am now unable to receive narcotics at all. The only thing I have now is Ultram at $92.46 for 15 pills (and that's even at Wallmart pharmacy). I don't blame the doctors though. Heck, my dad was a great doctor (General Pract/ Surgeon) and I grew up with an office in our home; I know the pain that doctors and their families can go through with malpractice suits. I do blame the government and the smear campaigns waged against the use of prescription drugs - the so called "War on Drugs." I can't believe that I would not only have to go off medication cold turkey (not pleasant), but that I would be denied that which has given me a normal life for the first time in 25 years. The saddest moment of my life, next to the death of my parents, was seeing my husband get out my old wheelchair. I went from the top of the world strait to hell in one month.
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How the War on Drugs waged war on me response

You are unfortunately one of the latest victims in this tragedy.
Just one thought. The doctors are partly to blame for not standing up to the politicians more and fighting for our rights.

Thank you for the support

Thank you for the support Dale,

I am a mother and homeschool teacher of five children under the age of seven. My husband works in contracting and is often away for 10 or more hours a day. I have no room in my life for mistakes in pain management. It isn't just for me, but for my children who are miserable with the unhappy and sedentary mommy that I've become. So, I'm not the only victim here at all; my family is suffering as well. I almost cried when I was looking up withdrawal symptoms and they mention addiction causing disruptions in your personal life. For me, the loss of the addictive (and I don't doubt that it was) substance has caused all the pain that addiction is blamed for and more. Even if you know that the drug will increase your quality of life, you have to play the game and pretend like you don't care about your pain management or they'll cut you off. To me, that just builds a chasm in the doctor/ patient relationship that can never be bridged.

You're welcome.

...and you are welcome here. You are not alone. (Twelve step program saying). My wife is also a pain management patient. The doctor put her on OxyContin a while back, and she went through withdrawal herself when she decided it had too many side effects. Guess what? He next prescribed Vicodin which is the same drug, but not a time released agent.
I just saw where the manufacturer settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit because of pushing it for off'-label use and soft pedaling the addictive properties of OxyContin. Fact: many doctors are part of a money machine, prescribing whatever because a drug salesman pushed it and probably gave them a cruise or something. Fact: politicians like Mark Souder have done all they can to persecute anyone that doesn't get their drugs from the system. Fact: we put more of our citizens in jail for drug use (by percentage) than any other country. Fact: the major league of baseball is banning a player for life because he tested positive for pot usage four times. Fact: the Drug War, or War on the American Citizen, is killing our country and our people.
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence–it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master."
– George Washington

ashamed

stories like this just make me ashamed to be human, that members of my own species could be this fearful, hateful (love is letting go of fear) and condescending as to justify such unnecessary suffering as this in the name of
"morality" ..

then again the Bible does say that the Antichrist will come dressed as a lamb and commit evil in the name of God..

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