My response to the FDA, CDC, and DEA’s attempt to limit pain medicine

Pain is the problem not the pills. I’ve been in chronic pain for 30 years , since the age of 11. I’ve had over twenty surgeries, 100 small bowel obstructions, pancreatitis and most recently kidney stones. I’ve experienced horrific amounts of pain in my life and In addition I have terrible chronic pain everyday from the myriad of adhesions from all those surgeries that are constantly pulling and tearing away at my abdominal wall and internal organs. My life has been dominated by pain. Opioid based pain medicine Is the only tool I have found that makes life bearable. I know that when I do not have adequate pain relief I’m unable to socialize, unable to work, and unable to function as a human being.

Physical pain destroys a person. Opioid pain medicine is a god sent for tens of millions of people. I know I wouldn’t be alive today without it. I have zero quality of life if I’m unable to obtain pain medicine. Please don’t add more physical suffering on top of what I’m already enduring by making prescription opioids more difficult to obtain. We have enough laws on the books. In fact the draconian drug laws and the flawed DEA unscientific scheduling system are the biggest impediments to alleviating and ameliorating physical and emotional suffering as well as helping to end the overdose crisis.

If the concern is to help people who are addicted to opioids, specifically heroin, then modeling what Switzerland and Portugal are doing is the logical and compassionate approach. These two governments have had amazing success with decriminalization and helping people who are addicted to improve their lives instead of destoying them. In the US the current drug enforcement scheme destroys the lives of those addicted by throwing them in prison or forcing them to the black market which can end up killing them. The current opioid death toll is really a heroin laced with illegal fentanyl problem. Switzerland and Portugal do not have the opioid death toll we have in the US because they don’t follow the US model of drug enforcement.

Please review what these two countries have done in regards to so called illegal drugs. I’m dependent on opioids just like a diabetic is dependent on insulin. For those truly addicted to heroin the Swiss government has been providing free legal heroin in a supervised medical setting along with helping these people get housing and work opportunities. This has produced a significant drop in addiction rates and more importantly zero people have died from overdose in the legal supervised heroin program. If this program was instituted in America today we coulld immediately start saving lives. I think we can all agree that we want to stop people from dying from heroin overdose and this is the way to do it and not by passing more and more rules limiting how much pain medicine a person in pain can have.

Further limiting the amount of pain medicine on the market and making doctors scared to prescribe them is hurting millions of people who are already suffering in terrible physical pain. I myself am terrified that one day a doctor will decide I can’t have this life saving medication because of Rules that people in my government have made. What we need is more compassion not more rules. Those addicted and those in pain shouldn’t be afraid that their government will inflict more pain and misery on them. Medicine’s first task is to relieve suffering. Allow doctors to perform their sworn duty.

I also believe this is above all an issue of personal liberty. Adults have the innate right to ingest what they choose and to bear the consequences of those choices. The War on Drugs has unfortunately eliminated many powerful tools that individuals could use to help amelierate their physical and emotional suffering. Cannabis, MDMA, psylocibin and ibogaine are just a few of the banned substances that have shown tremendous efficacy in treating everything from PTSD to addiction. Free up these powerful pharmacological tools and allow adults the full range of choices to improve their health and wellbeing.

Pain is the problem not the substances that relieve pain. There iis so much suffering in this world. Don’t add to it by passing these rules. Seek to help not to harm by looking at the root cause of the problem which is really physical and emotional pain and how best indiciduals and society can ameliorate that suffering. Opioid pain medicineI has proven safe and effective for hundreds of millions of people and has been used for thousands of years. For that 1-3% who do get addicted the Swiss and Portugal model is the way to help them. Those addicted can be helped and saved from overdosing without the need to rescerict access to pain medicine for people who suffer chronic pain.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

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