From One Extreme to the Other –
September 10, 2019 – “He’s moaning, he’s groaning, he’s yelling out in pain,” Carol says. “Why am I being singled out? I took it as prescribed. I didn’t abuse it,” Hank says. He is part of a sweeping change in chronic pain management — the tapering of millions of patients who have been relying, in many case for years, on high doses of opioids. With close to 70,000 people in the U.S. dying every year from drug overdoses, and prescription opioids blamed for helping ignite this national catastrophe, the medical community has grown wary about the use of these painkillers. Chronic pain patients form a vast constituency in America, and millions of them take opioids for relief. Changes in medical guidance covering opioids have left many of them frustrated, confused and sometimes howling mad. They feel demonized and yanked around.