When did it become acceptable to treat people with chronic illness and pain as if they did something to deserve what is happening to their lives?
When did it become acceptable for healthcare providers to mistrust patients and turn them away instead of treating them like humans?
When did it become acceptable for the government to override your healthcare provider and his/her preferred treatments, and insist that they know what treatments are best for the patient?
When did it become acceptable for a pharmacist to question the legitimate dosage on a legitimate prescription from a legitimate doctor and insist they know what is best?
When did it become acceptable for politicians to insist they know what is best for a legitimate group of people who live with chronic illness?
When did it become acceptable to treat legitimate patients with legitimate diseases as if they are addicts?
It is time to ask these questions of our federal government and demand answers.
It is time to ask these questions of our state governments and demand answers.
It is time to call out the politicians who are sitting in an office, so far away from the real world, and hold them accountable for stating incorrect and false information regarding chronic illness.
It is time to stop the stigma against 100 million Americans who live with chronic illness and speak with facts not fiction. It is time for the self-appointed experts to be called out on the false so-called facts they speak to the media. It is time for those who are listening and repeating what the self-appointed experts are saying…to be called out and make them prove their so-called facts.
It is time to call out the media for all of the incorrect statistics that they print over, and over, and over again, so that they can sell papers, magazines, etc.
It is time for the media to stop spreading fiction and get back to sharing facts about the use of legitimate opioid pain medications and all the other legitimate treatments.
It is time for the media to go back to great journalism and to tell all sides of the story instead of promoting falsehoods and attaching stigmas to those who are chronically ill.
Withholding treatments for legitimate diseases and conditions is not going to stop addiction, abuse or overdose deaths.
Demanding every person who lives with chronic illness be placed on the exact same medication and dosage is not going to stop addiction, abuse, and overdose. Chronic illness is not a “one size fits all.”
Demanding that pharmaceutical companies make less pain medication is not going to stop addiction, abuse, or overdose.
You can take away all of the legitimate pain medications and treatments and it will not stop addiction, abuse, or overdose. Why? Because it is the illicit, illegal street narcotics that are fueling addiction, abuse, and overdose. Why? Because those who seek to sell these illegal and illicit drugs to make money will come up with another one and another one and another one. It has been happening non-stop for years and decades and centuries. Take one drug away and two more takes its place.
It is time for chronic illness patients, healthcare providers, insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, and federal and local governments to come together and form an alliance that will ensure all treatments are made available for chronic illness as well as ensuring that those who are fighting against the demon of addiction will have every available treatment at their disposal.
Nothing will change until those who think they have all the answers sit down, stop talking, and start listening to those who live with chronic illness and those who treat it.
The answers are not just going to fall out of the sky or magically appear. It will take much work and collaboration from all those involved to come up with the right answers, the right procedures, the right guidelines and regulations.
Together we can fight to save lives, together we can find ways to slow down those who sell and profit from the lives of those fighting addiction.
It is time to stop what is not working and has not been working and come together to make a real difference.
Finally, it is always the right time to contact your elected officials and share your story, experience, knowledge and opinion.
For more about Policy Advocacy, visit https://paincommunity.org/advocacy/policy-advocacy/.