According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, seventy-six million Americans suffer from chronic, daily pain, and at least nine million have daily pain that is severe enough to interfere significantly with their jobs and relationships.
An estimated 20% of American adults (61.5 million people) report that pain or physical discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more.
The annual cost of chronic pain in the United States, including healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be $100 billion.
More than half of all hospitalized patients experienced pain in the last days of their lives and although therapies are present to alleviate most pain for those dying of cancer, research shows that 50-75% of patients die in moderate to severe pain.
In a recent survey, 50% of chronic-pain patients had, at one time or another considered suicide to escape the unrelenting agony of their pain. There are no statistics on the number of suicides attributable to untreated pain, but various studies carried out over the past decade have found that fear of pain is what lies behind the majority of requests for doctor-assisted death.
- Untreated pain also raises blood pressure, and researchers have found that every 10mm increase in systolic blood pressure results, on the average, in a 40 percent increase in risk of stroke and a 30 percent increase in risk of heart attack.
Once arrested and stripped of all his assets, a doctor will be charged with tens, if not hundreds of individual crimes, so that they will be under tremendous pressure to plead guilty to lesser charges in order to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Many doctors who are totally innocent cave-in and accept a plea bargain because they know the odds are stacked against them.
In a criminal trial, a jury of ordinary people are asked to decide whether a doctor's care was appropriate, based on the testimony of competing experts on both sides. Prosecutors who want to portray a compassionate doctor as a common drug dealer will hold up bags of pills and argue that the doctor was operating "outside the bounds of legitimate practice." One way they do that is by trying to confuse the jury about what the legal definition of "Standard of Care" really means.
"Standard of Care" aka Reasonable Physician Standard of Care is legally defined as being based on what the science (as reflected in the medical texts and journals) indicates is appropriate care.
But prosecutors and their hired-gun experts attempt to use "Community Norms" to show that the doctor is operating way out on the fringes -- beyond what "most doctors" would do. Community Norm is defined as what most doctors would do, but most doctors are afraid to do the right thing because of the chilling effects of DEA intimidation tactics.
Doctors who aggressively treat the patients who need the most pain relief are actually doing the right thing, based on any reasonable interpretation of the science. That puts those doctors outside the norm, and in the DEA's crosshairs, because most doctors won't prescribe ANY narcotics for chronic pain. Only a small percentage are willing to prescribe narcotics for the treatment of chronic pain, and the overwhelming majority of those will only prescribe to their comfort level, rather than their patient's. The tiny percentage of doctors who are courageous enough to put their patients welfare first are under constant surveillance by the DEA and routinely subjected to DEA sting operations.
You can make a difference, and you should try, because you and everyone you care about is at risk for having their life destroyed by untreated pain. Do not accept without question what is being spoon-fed to you daily by those who profit from denying pain medications to people who need it the most.
Wikileaks Cables Portray Expanded Reach of Drug Agency
Report finds DEA Losing More Guns
The majority of stolen guns had been left in an official's car, despite a policy prohibiting leaving a weapon unattended in a vehicle. The report cited examples of guns stolen from cars parked outside restaurants, hotels, schools and gyms. Some agents had their guns taken from their cars while they were shopping or getting coffee. One firearm was stolen while the car was at the body shop.
Audit Faults DEA Mishandling of Cash Seizures
Office of the Inspector General
The Prescription Drug Rap From a DEA web site aimed at teens
Prescription drugs, they treat the pain,
If you use too much, they will give you no gain.
Con-cen-tra-tion - a thing they can do,
Some help you think and feel better too.
"Don't abuse them," that's the prescription.
"Don't abuse them," the right decision!
"I'm the only one in this room professional enough,
that I know of, to carry a Glock 40." BLAM!
The DEA, Diversion and the War on Drugs:
The DEA wants to classify hydrocodone the same way it does Oxycodone. If hydrocodone became less available, we could expect potentially 8,000 more deaths from stroke and heart attack every year. And, although there's no way to reasonably estimate the number of people who will suffer bouts of depression, thoughts of suicide and actually commit suicide after being denied adequate pain medication because of the DEA's increasingly draconian measures, it's safe to assume that number will be in the millions...
Marijuana is unique among illegal drugs in its political symbolism, its safety, and its wide use. California's law seems to have engendered a uniquely harsh federal response because California is a large, trend-setting state; because its new marijuana law is very broad as compared with others; and because the law was passed by popular referendum...
There is a Pain Crisis in America. Its primary manifestation is the routine and widespread under-treatment of pain, especially chronic, non-cancer pain. Other manifestations include a severe and growing shortage of physicians willing to prescribe morphine and related opioid analgesics, the widespread use of more toxic and less efficacious classes of medications in an effort to avoid opioids, and the profound distortion of medical education and of the doctor-patient relationship...
Doctors throughout the country are being targeted by the DEA for helping patients manage crippling pain with prescription drugs. There is no presumption of innocence. Collateral damage to patients and physicians' families is the norm. "Our office will try our best to root out (certain doctors) like the Taliban" boasted US Attorney Gene Rossi..
Preventing drug abuse remains an important societal goal—it should not hinder patient’s ability to receive the care they need and deserve or discourage physicians from prescribing pain medications when medically appropriate. The AMA is committed to the goal of protecting the legitimate use of prescription drugs for patients in pain...