Chronic Pain Patients in FL Struggling to Get Pain Meds

It's been almost three months since Florida's new prescription opioid law went into effect. It limits how many pills a doctor can prescribe to patients with acute pain. While the law was created to help the opioid addiction crisis, some patients feel it's making it harder for them to get the medicine they need.

"There's folks suffering right now who have legitimate needs for pain medication and they can't get them," said Kenneth Letson, a veteran who was injured during his time serving the country. "These are medications that you need just to even move around the house," said Krystle Doherty, a chronic pain patient.

The issues these patients say they're experiencing range from high co-pays to pharmacies running out of opioid pills. "We're not getting high. We're not seeking a high. We're just trying to live, to function," said Lisa Doherty, a chronic pain patient.

The group, called "Don't Punish Pain," gathered for a rally on Tuesday, then got together again Saturday to continue sharing their stories. They hope to see changes in the future so they're able to get the medicine they rely on every day. "We are individuals and our medical history needs to be treated as an individual," said Doherty.

According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control's 2016 guidelines on prescribing opioids for chronic pain, there have been few studies to assess the long-term benefits of opioids for chronic pain. However, it states that use of opioid pain medication creates serious risks, including overdose and opioid use disorder. Patients also can experience tolerance and loss of effectiveness over time.

  • 2 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • This is a problem in many places, not just Florida. Doctors are limited in the number of RXs they can write for opioids. This means that a lot of chronic pain patients who legitimately need strong pain meds aren't getting them. And that's a damn shame.
  • The whole problem was caused by the many shady doctors who would prescribe these medications to just about anyone, whether they needed them or not. I know someone who would drive the 17 hours just to get pain meds from doctors in Florida. Now people who have legitimate need are having to suffer. Alot of this was caused by greed and money! Starting with the drug companies all the way down to the doctors!
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