Tag Archives: Opiods

Germany Allows Chronic Pain Sufferers to Grow Their Own Cannabis

This seems like a phenomenal idea. This allows the patient to put their care into their own hands. I wish America would follow suit on this. Cultivating your own medicine and regulating your dosage allows for a sense of control usually lost on patients who use medical marijuana for legitimate purposes.

Article courtesy of Fox News. Please click here for original article.

Published July 22, 2014

(REUTERS/Andres Stapff)

A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.

Five people suffering from chronic pain brought the complaint to a court in Cologne after Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) refused them permission to grow the plant at home.

The court said the BfArM had to reconsider three of the requests that it had rejected.

While the plaintiffs all had permits to buy and consume cannabis for therapeutic purposes, they wanted to cultivate their own because they could not afford to purchase the drug and their health insurance did not cover it.

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Taking Your Life Back From Chronic Pain

Taking Your Life Back From Chronic Pain

US News

Imagine gritting it out with sharp, throbbing pain from a migraine or back injury for just a few hours. Or doing your best to concentrate at work through the ache of an abscessed tooth.

Now, imagine coping with similar pain for years — and though it goes away at times, it’s never for long. Sadly, that’s the reality for millions of Americans. Chronic pain can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to. Still, there’s no magic pill. Learning to manage pain is a process you go through and a decision you make.

Pain’s Wide Reach

Pain is invisible — others can’t see it or touch it. There isn’t a blood test that measures pain, or an X-ray that confirms its existence. It can be hard for people to get their pain taken seriously. But pain is a big problem. About 100 million U.S. adults are affected by chronic pain, and it costs up to $635 billion yearly in medical care and lost productivity, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report.

Backaches and headaches (especially migraines) are the most common pain culprits, but there are many others. Arthritis, injuries, pain from cancer or heart disease, genetic conditions like sickle cell disease, and surgical complications like severed nerves — any of these can result in pain that becomes a continual presence.

[Read: How to Describe Medical Symptoms to Your Doctor.]

Here to Stay

For Penney Cowan, founder of the American Chronic Pain Association, the journey with pain began nearly 40 years ago. Fibromyalgia was the reason, but it took six years for doctors to properly diagnose it. Even today, the cause of fibromylagia is still unclear, but common symptoms include widespread muscle pain, fatigue and sleep problems. In Cowan’s case, pain affected nearly her entire body and worsened to the point that her quality of life was “down the tubes,” she says. “I couldn’t even hold a cup of coffee; it was too painful.” It became so bad, she says, that it consumed every waking thought and moment.

When does pain cross the line from temporary setback to lifelong condition? “If the pain’s been around for five years, the chances of having zero pain are probably pretty small,” says Robin Hamill-Ruth, an anesthesiologist, pain management specialist and president of the American Board of Pain Medicine. At that point, she says, pain management becomes the goal: “How do you get the pain to a level that it doesn’t control [patients’] lives — they control it?”

[Read: Yoga with Fibromyalgia: Carol Royal’s Story.]

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States and Painkiller Overdoses

States and Painkiller Overdoses

There are big differences among the states in the rates at which opioid painkillers are prescribed — differences that can’t be attributed to disparate rates of illness or injury. Unfortunately, in places where prescribing rates are high, so are death rates from overdoses.

Opioid painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin may well be overprescribed in virtually every state, but they are egregiously overprescribed in several Southern states, led by Alabama and Tennessee. Doctors in Alabama, the highest-prescribing state, wrote three times as many prescriptions per person for opioid painkillers in 2012 as doctors in Hawaii, the lowest-prescribing state, and federal officials think even Hawaii’s rate is too high.

There is a lot that states can do to stop careless — or drug-dealing — doctors from driving the opioid crisis. In a report this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited Florida with achieving the first substantial decline in prescription drug overdose deaths in the past decade. That death rate dropped by 23 percent from 2010 to 2012, and the death rate for oxycodone, one of the most widely abused drugs, dropped by more than half over the same period.

Nationally, Florida had been home to 98 of the 100 doctors dispensing the highest amounts of oxycodone directly from their offices. Now, none of Florida’s doctors are among the top 100. It accomplished this by cracking down on so-called pill mills, forcing 250 pain clinics to close, requiring pain clinics to register with the state, prohibiting doctors from dispensing opioids from their offices, and monitoring what narcotics were dispensed.

No other state is dealing with the same level of overprescribing that Florida has now managed to reduce. Each state is apt to face a different constellation of drug problems and questionable medical practices. But the lesson from Florida is that a multipronged approach and the will to crack down can save a lot of lives.


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New Hope for Chronic Pain Sufferers

New Hope for Chronic Pain Sufferers

New hope for chronic pain sufferers

A new study by a University of Reading researcher has found that painful areas on our body can be controlled through the power of positive thinking.

In a study led by Dr Tim Salomons, healthy participants were given five minute spells of  (CBT) prior to having eight, hour-long sessions of heat applied to their  to evoke pain. This created areas of secondary hyperalgesia – a measure of  in the area surrounding injuries such as burns.

By managing their negative thoughts the group managed to reduce the  of secondary hyperalgesia by nearly 40%. Secondary hyperalgesia is an example of central sensitisation, where pain sensitivity is enhanced by the central nervous system.

Although not a replacement for other forms of treatment the results are good news for those who suffer from  condition like lower back pain and fibromyalgia, as central sensitisation has been observed in chronic pain disorders.

CBT focuses on examining negative beliefs and changing thoughts that are distorted and unhelpful.  Used widely to treat mental health issues and ’emotional’ pain, this research showed that CBT can actually alter the body’s physical responses to pain after injury.

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Men, Opiods, and Low Testosterone Levels

As a man, with chronic pain, and taking long-acting pain meds, I found this article interesting and yet disturbing at the same time. What are we to do? We take pain meds to get through the day and then have to add a testosterone supplement later in life? I by no means think that life is fair, but can’t we catch a break? Just an itsy-bitsy one?

Men Taking Long-Acting Chronic Pain Meds Five Times More Likely to Have Low Testosterone Levels

Jan. 31, 2013 — Low testosterone levels occur five times more often among men who take long-acting instead of short-acting opioids for chronic pain, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in The Clinical Journal of Pain.

While it has been known that opioids cause low testosterone in men, this study is the first to show a significant difference in risk between short-acting (immediate release) and long-acting opioids.

The 81 men in the retrospective study were between 26 and 79 years old (median age 51) and were seen in the chronic-pain clinic at Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Rosa Medical Center (Calif.) between January 2009 and June 2010. All of the participants had been on a stable dose of an opioid for at least three months, and none had a previous diagnosis of low testosterone. A larger retrospective study of more than 1,500 male pain patients is currently under way.

“There’s a large gap in the evidence base with regard to opioids,” said Andrea Rubinstein, MD, of the Departments of Chronic Pain and Anesthesiology, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center. “More safety and efficacy studies are needed. We need to know how we can prescribe these very useful medications in a way that brings the greatest benefits to our patients, without introducing additional risks.”

Once prescribed primarily to cancer patients, the use of opioid-based medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) for treating chronic, non-cancer pain has increased dramatically in recent decades. An estimated 4.3 million Americans use opioids on a daily basis for pain.

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Wisconsin Doctors to Start Prescribing “Tough Love”?!

I HATE articles like this. I believe that true chronic pain sufferers have enough to deal with in their care to be worrying about things like this. Doctors realize that chronic pain is a real condition needing real therapy. However, until a good one is found, some of us are left to fend with pain meds instead. I bet that I can ask any others like me and they would say the same thing, “find me something that works and I’ll flush these pills in an instant.” People don’t seem to realize that we DON’T want to take pills. We want to feel better. We want to be able to do the things in life that “normal” people do. Like I said previously, it’s hard enough without drug abusers getting in the way.

I have a better idea! How about doctors prescribe a visit to a therapist WITH the prescription? That way, we can get the meds that we need while also getting the much needed counseling in order to deal with the feelings and emotions that come from a debilitating life condition? That way you leave labeling an addict to a psychological professional and not your opinion. I’m sure that a counselor can see between the lines to determine whether you legitimately need pain meds or not. I feel that we need chronic pain sufferers making these rules (or at least previewing them) instead of doctors or politicians that are slave to their personal views and not what’s always best for those that need help. </rant>

Area ER Doctors To Limit Who Gets Prescription Pain Meds

As prescription pain medication abuse continues to rise, area emergency rooms will likely go Oxy Free in the next few months, meaning patients might get a little more tough love.

By Denise Lockwood
July 27, 2012

Fed up with patients that don’t have legitimate reasons for taking prescription pain medications, emergency room physicians in southeastern Wisconsin will soon be giving large doses of tough love to patients who are doctor shopping.

Nationally, narcotic prescription medication abuse, including abuse of oxycodone and oxycontin, is on the rise. So within the next few months hospitals in Milwaukee County are going “Oxy-free” and a Racine-based emergency department is also looking into doing the same. The information-sharing group includes officials from Froedtert Hospital, Wheaton Franciscan, Columbia-St. Mary’s, and Aurora Health Care.

Dr. Gary Swart, medical director for the emergency departments at Wheaton Franciscan’s Elmbrook Memorial, St. Joseph and The Wisconsin Heart Hospital campuses, said he’s part of a network of emergency department administrators that will be implementing tighter restrictions on how prescription pain medications are used and they want their patients to know about their policies prior to registering.

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This Opens Some Questions for the 21st Century

So is was something that I experienced a few doctors visits ago. My doctor was slightly uncomfortable at the end of our session and then asked me if I would mind taking a urine test. He decided that he was going to start screening his patients that were on pain meds for illicit substances. I readily agreed of course because I didn’t have anything in my system to hide. The problem that comes from this is because I live in a state that has passed a medical marijuana law allowing it for conditions such as chronic pain. So here is my main question: what if I had legally bought and used medical marijuana? Does that mean that he would stop my entire pain regiment due to this? At what point does getting help from one source preclude you from another? I would love to hear your opinions on this in the comments!

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – TVC starts new medical marijuana procedure

FAIRBANKS — Tanana Valley Clinic has instituted a new policy requiring some patients taking certain pain-killing medications to be marijuana-free.

The clinic started handing out prepared statements to all chronic pain patients Monday, said Corinne Leistikow, assistant medical director for family practice at TVC.

The statement reads, in part, “We will no longer prescribe controlled substances, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, to patients who are using marijuana (THC). These drugs are psychoactive substances and it is not safe for you to take them together. Your urine will be tested for marijuana. If you test positive you will have two months to get it out of your system. You will be retested in two months. If you still have THC in your urine, we will no longer prescribe controlled substances for you.”

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