Clinical Professor University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Since this time last year, things have stayed the same, with chronic pain patients feeling like outcasts secondary to political and medical changes, particularly the lack of accessibility of a medical person to treat their pain. The politics have remained the same—“Stop the use of opioids!”¬—and physicians still want to stay out of trouble for taking care of chronic pain patients secondary to medical board statements. Many physicians have gone back to the 2016 CDC Guideline. Both medical student bias against chronic pain patients as well as physician bias against chronic pain patients has grown, and people have ignored the decade-long realities to accept biased, one-sided attempts to look at data in a skewed way. Suicides continue to occur secondary to the lack of appropriate pain care. Common statements—“More people die from prescription drug overdoses than motor vehicle accidents” and “long term use of opioids are not supported by data”—are not, in fact, supportable by evidence. States are still making medical decisions regarding how much opioid a patient may receive. Being a chronic pain patient is certainly not an enviable position. The COVID-19 pandemic has, in some ways, helped, but also brought about other issues we will discuss during this presentation.
Describe what has happened to chronic pain patient treatment since September 2019
Discuss the recommendations of groups other than the CDC, if at all possible
Summarize the changes in the medical world vs. the political/financial groups that are exacerbating the “opioids are bad” meme
Cite the ways you can help the chronic pain patient and remember how to practice good medicine