VA OIG Opioids

Living Dangerously: Overprescription Of Opioids Still A Problem

Ah, the OIG. They always have such great news for us, don’t they? How do they do it?

Responding to an anonymous complaint about a primary care provider (PCP1) at a Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) 20 facility, the Office of the Inspector General found prescription of opioids against contract to at least one patient considered high-risk for overdose.

The facility was not following the patient’s Opioid Agreement. The OIG further substantiated that this patient had a history of benzodiazepine abuse, and that they were getting controlled substances from other pharmacies.

The PCP1 wasn’t this patient’s designated PCP and shouldn’t have been prescribing any substances in the first place, let alone a high-risk narcotic. The OIG could not substantiate that this physician was in the habit of prescribing “recklessly,” or that there had been prior warnings.

This Facility’s Board of oversight for prescription procedures was found to have poorly defined standards. It lacked formalized policies for referring patients to multiple specialists for managing complex pain – an important line of defense against overprescription.

Let’s face facts. We’ve never found any other type of painkiller that gets the results that opioids can. They’re a unique and powerful chemical family. But if we actually want to combat their rampant addictive properties, useful alternatives tend to involve a team of professionals from multiple fields.

The OIG made one recommendation to the VISN Director to review this individual’s care. More importantly, they made SEVEN recommendations to the Facility Director related to prescribing practices and peer review of red flags in patients’ behavior.

What does this mean for the rest of us? Well, if you suffer from chronic pain and would like to avoid the potential life-ruining power of opioid addiction, it’s a concerning find. This facility isn’t necessarily reflective of what your own doctor can oversee, but it merits your consideration.

Getting ahead of your chronic pain can be a job and a half to figure out. Can you find a viable and effective alternative to opioid use? If not, what dose can you stick with that will work, but be less dangerous? Do you need a physical therapist, chiropractor or other type of professional to work alongside your doctor?

Taking charge of your own health is complex, and it takes a lot of self-advocacy. Your healthcare provider should have resources available for collaborative treatment options. SHOULD. This recent finding, nonadherence to an Opioid Agreement by a once-respected professional, should get your hackles up.

What’s your advice to fellow vets living with chronic pain? Take to the comments section and let your kindred spirits know they’re not alone!

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  2. Hmmm!
    Looky what I found.
    After reading the second paragraph, I wonder how many of us have been subject to practioners ignoring the warning.
    There is more info at the links.

    “Analyzing Prescription Data and Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME)

    CDC’s Injury Center has compiled a listing of medications at the National Drug Code level to help with analyzing prescription data for the purpose of preventing prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose. In addition to prescription benzodiazepines, muscle relaxants, stimulants, and sedatives, the file contains opioids with their oral morphine milligram equivalent (MME) conversion factors. The following information is provided for all drugs: product name, generic name, form, DEA Schedule, strength, and unit of measure. Please see the Documentation within the data files for the MME per day formula.
    These files below may be useful for:
    ⦁ Researchers
    ⦁ Pharmacy benefit managers
    ⦁ Prescription monitoring programs
    ⦁ Others who analyze prescription data for the purpose of preventing prescription drug misuse, abuse, and overdose.

    Use of this file for clinical decision-making warrants caution. The MME conversion factor is intended only for analytic purposes where prescription data are used to calculate MME to inform analyses of risks associated with opioid prescribing for pain. The conversion factors for drugs prescribed or provided as part of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder should not be used to benchmark against dosage thresholds meant for opioids prescribed for pain. In addition, the conversion factors do not constitute clinical guidance or recommendations. For guidance on dosage of opioids for treatment of chronic pain, including conversion factors for commonly prescribed opioids, please see the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain “” . Note that when converting from one opioid to another, the new opioid is typically dosed substantially lower than the current calculated MME dose.

    For guidance regarding converting patients from one form of opioid pain medication to another, or for guidance on dosing of medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder, please consult the manufacturers’ full prescribing information.”

    1. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ says:

      In my best Artie Johnson voice: Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrdy in teresting!
      Thanks Rosie, lot of info in those links.

  3. Very great points thank you. Hang in there brother we will never stop fighting together whether your reneration or mine!

  4. Opiods have been given maybe to wrong people? But as a disabled Contaminated Veteran with a disease caused by TCE both on my job as an amorer, and in the water at my post, I suffer daily from pain my Sceroloderma and many other diseases TCE has caused me to have. I take Nsaids and Tramadol and have for years, but I have so many issue’s something is always wrong with one or two parts of my body. But this has been hidden by VA, so many have died or committed suicide from the way they have been left to die slowly and painfully, not even knowing themselves what was the catilyst that started their decline. I am hering more about the problem that involves millions of Veterans over many decades, even Vietnam Agent Orange Victims was also TCE victims, never had a chance, each generation until the 1990’s was eating and drinking the TCE,PCE,and DCE of the generation before them. And of course so many MOS used the chemicals stright up like I did on Weapons as an armorer. Wartime Veterans from Desert storm, Burn pits, and just plain off gas exposure to TCE daily caused your issue’s. But with all this coming to light slowly over last five years, and the NHA just confirming TCE as a cacinogen for second time since 1977, we all have serious pain, and many over the decades had no help! Just pain, so alcohol, and Pot, and whatever was the go to just to stop the physical pain from being poisened to death slowly by Government. If VA seen you had a problem with illegal drugs then they would just say the drugs did it to you and they was off the hook for the contamination.

  5. I told my PCP that I quit drinking and drugs 25 years ago. His first move was to give me a mood altering prescription. I spent 5 days clearing that crap from my system before I felt normal, and stopped taking it but for that 1 time. Then the clown sent me to another clown, a neurologist. That guy gave me another script, slept 2 days after taking 1 pill. Another mood altering substance that I told them not to give me.

    This last one, the pain management guy put me on lyrica. Its also a pain management drug, and addictive. Will they ever learn? I can deal with the pain, I have done so for 3 decades, 25 years drug and alcohol free, but they think they can improve my life with more drugs. Mind controls muscle, and pain is something that I have learned to neutralize on my own. People can control it unless its extreme. Ya, I double over, hit my knees and wanna cry when its really bad, but I would rather do that than to feed the addict inside me again.

  6. They recommend that instead of opioids we should use hydrotherapy, yoga, massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture. How can they say they recommend these when they don’t provide? Some have chiropractors, but not enough to make a difference and leaves only on thing because is cheap, yoga. They can stick that yoga up their ass!

    It is impossible to treat anyone because of injuries occurred 25-30yrs ago and now left with tissue damage like a torn rotator cuff, cartilage missing or gone, bone spurring, musculoskeletal problems, gait changes, degenerative change and ligaments, tendons, muscle atrophy.

    There is years of damage with surgeries put off to save money. They need to perform arthroscopic procedures to remove spurring, file down bones to get joints to work again before any talk of removing pain medication in anyone’s life. You can’t possibly treat someone without treating the cause. If living with bilateral hip impingements, bone on bone, torn labrums and bursitis? There is no therapy or alternative medicine until given a joint replacement. There’s nothing any hospital can do when a system requires movement and joints become inflamed.

    It’s a joke, they want of the drugs the public think horrible and replace with Methadone. Since Methadone is thought to treat addicts, it really doesn’t show up on the radar, but Methadone was produced as pain medication. Methadone sounds much better than Fentanyl and Oxycotin. They are playing games and still not addressing the cause of pain. Doctors are now educated on this new pain approach, but don’t understand that injuries and problems caused by injuries over time and it’s impossible to show up one day, call you an addict, reduce or take away medication and leave all the causes in place.

    It’s ignorance and a dream to cut budgets with money saved on procedures desperately needed, leaving that money left for raises and bonuses. The American Veterans are treated as garbage and if on opioids? Treated as a scum drug addict stealing baby formula for drugs. It’s the biggest joke out! The VA Hospitals and veterans prescribed pain medications are pieces of crap that are the cause of the opioid crisis. China making tons of Fentanyl dirt cheap and mailing the world but mostly Mexico, to add to their drugs because cheap and gives that bang! Don’t blame the guy mixing either, he’s doing the best he can with a 4th grade education.

    Tons! Tons! 2000lbs or more daily and it’s the American Veteran’s fault for creating this and must be punished. There’s nothing they can do for me except for continuously operating causing pain. I realize that pain from surgery is supposed to be short term but down the road, the pain should go down, but pain will never go away. I don’t want experience new pain, deal with assholes in rehab that give you a piece of paper with shitty pictures and say do these at home, see you in 3 weeks. Next appointment with little to no exercise from their piece of paper that threw into the recycling bin and was thrown back at me because everything on that paper is garbage.

    They are short doctors and especially surgeons, who in their right mind has 10 hospitals calling them to work and choose the VA? The answer is almost none. The VA has nothing to offer except a unhealthy environment and union workers who say no before the question is asked. With this positions open, nothing on the horizon that shows change, so the VA messes with scheduling, but the biggest problem is in the radiology department. That is where injuries are downplayed, stating no damage when there is, but since their shit plan says ok? No reason for follow up or any new appointments. They kicked out upper management, except the wrong way to correct. You need to start at the bottom and work your way up training in the process. Once you get through 2-3 hospitals, shit canning people who actually think the entire building can’t operate without them. Once gone will see change. Of course that’s after getting rid of doctors with suspended licenses, doctors with licenses from Aruba and the horrible doctors that can’t be insured anywhere because of malpractice cases against them and all the other pieces of shit that ruined lives hired since 2002 that drive into work in a Porsche driving past a veteran who had his legs amputated for no reason.

    I cry for what the did to me and what have planned. I also cry for the 24yo veterans thinking everything is going to be perfect once he follows up on some minor surgery and is there doing paperwork to be assigned a PCP with no idea it will take 10 months. After worn out from screaming 10 months, there’s only about a 20% chance will get someone good and better yet cares, ending up with a PA who thinks the world owes them.

    Long winded comment because so many problems, everything rolls off the tongue. How greed from employees at the VA demanding they deserve more and less and less goes to the veterans. Denver is so bad that doctors and specialist make the same as their peers in the private sector, except they get better benefits, pensions and work a 40hr week, sick day, vacation days, floating holidays and even Arbor Day! Still short doctors they hire contract doctors. They get all of the above plus daily food and lodging payments sucking the cash right out of veteran services.

    Horrible, life is so go for VA employees, they do what ever they choose, without reprimand or even spoken to for a better way to displace anger. Even the best of us get trapped when you can do no wrong because they are afraid to lose a doctor or surgeon and because of this they do as please. Fun walking the halls passing 200 average people with god like personalities. This alone makes the VA hospital one of the worst places on earth. God Bless everyone who has this in their lives and pray you can stand up and advocate for yourself. These are the people the hospitals want out quickly and can get referred out or treated correctly there to shut you up. Unfortunately good VA hospitals don’t exist.

    1. I cry with you. I feel your pain too. Keep fighting we all have to keep fighting we have no other choice. methadone is a pain narcotic and if you take to much you will die from it just like any other narcotic! hang in there!

  7. My advice: get approval for non VA care at a civilian PM hospital affiliated clinic. Have ONE Dr that prescribes, meaning when you have surgery that same Dr changes your dose for post surgery, you do not get a script from the surgeon. One prescriber, one pharmacy(I use the VA pharmacy with one Walgreens approved for if the VA is out of stock).
    I also find this hard to believe as the VA has cut so many truly ill veterans in pain completely off. And I mean they get nothing, NOTHING.
    Whether anyone wants to believe it or not these meds are needed and can be taken responsibly, and are taken responsibly. They do NOT cause automatic addiction or death. And to make truly ill veterans in severe pain suffer because of the actions of those that abuse(addicts) is inhumane and needs to stop.
    Pain can and does kill. MJ doesn’t work for everyone, nor is it legal everywhere. These meds have a purpose and should not be taken away from everyone. Just a knee jerk reaction by the VA and thousands of veterans will die in pain….or kill themselves due to lack of treatment.
    This needs to end. The opioid crisis is made up, and is killing sick people. The overdoses are heroine cut with illegal Fentanyl from Mexico and China, not RX filled at the pharmacy.

  8. the Disruptive Behavior Committee is out of control in VISN-20. This red flag bullshit has killed again and again and again. OIG has been filing report after report after report documenting how far out of control this thing is. The red flag system preventd me from EVER seeing the doctor in VISN 20 who prescribed me 180 mg per day morphine and 40 mg per day hydrocodone. They entered a “narcotics pain contract”into my record as if I was allowed on the property to see or sign it and began dispenseing life ending doses of opiate. Yet as a red flag patient I was banned from even entering clinic property! I was i structed all care was to take place fifty miles away and would be arrested for even setting foot on clinic grounds.

    Yet VISN-20 happily instructed the doctor at the clinic to prescribe. The pharmacist simply entered into my record about the pain contract, “patient was not here to sign.” Eventually she stopped prescribing and yet another doctor I could not see began prescribing hydrocodone. He entered into my record, “I have been asked to rx narcotic pain med to a patient I have never seen and it would be more appropriate for his past prescriber to do this. I will reluctantly comply.”

    Then I decided to stop altogether and sent a fax to the doctor asking him to cease sending hydrocodone. Then next month more came so I sent a second fax asking that he stop sending it. .the next month it came. I then filed a civil rights complaint asking him to stop and he finally did The DBC responded by again banning me from that clinic. It is insanity with that red flag crew in ViSN-20 and they bring death with them.

    1. I guess I’m a member of the Disruptive Vet Group,although when the psychiatrists called I had just laid out my Former PC who refusing to see me but had written 13narcotics in my name for drugs I didn’t know were being written,I simply
      Wanted get my name off of the narcotics list,I didn’t take any of those meds. I attempted the 1st time I received a narcotic script that I knew wasn’t mine,(the Dr after several hours agreed i would bring it to her clinic the next morning),Surprise,Surprise!! I show up to return the narcotics and security was waiting to arrest me,stating I had stolen the drugs from pharmacy. Considering the meds were still sealed,a label printed by pharmacy with all the info and there’s zero access to enter without an employee card,I told security if he was about to accuse me of such assinine behavior,I would fall on the floor and embarrass the hell out of him,and I demanded the chief of security,to come immedidately,I filed a formal complaint with chief,(he couldn’t believe that one of his own had acted so stupid). Bottoline,the Disruptive C had every reason to jump on me HOWEVER,this wasn’t the issue. My specialist was out for personal reason,I knew,because he told but I never text anything because secure message isn t secure,His partner,the other Dr in the clinic writes me a full detailed description of whats taking place with my Dr and he wrote everything in detail. Instead of the committee realizing I was receiving the message,not sending it,they began to basically make excuses. I really was unkind to the former pc but the way they were tripping over themselves to grill .me. i decided to force them to admit they screwed the pooch by not checking the facts. The doctor ran his mouth exposing my Drs personal information and here they attempt to write me up. They refused to tell me their names and I told if they decided to contact again with slanderous and liable statement I would simply call the media and embarrass the hell out of them,and they stated all 3were psychiatrist. I asked if the inmates were running the asylum NOW. They quickly apologized and hung up!
      Anytime a veteran stands up against the perversion of the VA,it’s as David against Goliath,what I know,when it’s done to one of us,it’s done to all of us. I’m tired of seeing older veterans frightened by sorry as s doctors who Esessentially VS Drs are nothing but professional bullies. It pains my soul when there’s an older vet who is too afraid of their Dr to stand up for themselves and they may be afraid but VA is a horrible experience and without accountability for those with power,they continue to inflict pain,fear and the thought that someone is hurting so much their silent cries go unheard and they did because no one stood in the gap . We are our brother’s keeper,and if the older vets are too fearful then we who can speak,must not be silent.

      1. I agree we must all speak for those of our brothers and sisters who can not. I will I do and i will never stop fighting the VA not until they kill me! I got your back Jack!!

  9. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ says:

    Every single disc herniated, two completely gone, fractured vertebra, level two spondy in lower back, sciatica, both knees need to be replaced, broken clavicle, neuropathy, COPD, CAD patient, TBI, burns to the backs of both eyes, both elbows worn out, shoulders the same thing, wrists do not have carpal tunnel but in just as much pain, along with hips, fingers constantly lock up, “trigger fingers” I am 5′ 9′ 170 lbs, so not overweight.

    I take two 35mg Morphine twice a day, and 10 mg Clonazepam once a day, so I do not abuse, nor use for recreation. I have been on as high as 145mg of Morphine, but asked to be weened down to a manageable level, or as a safety valve just in case they pulled that crap, and stop them altogether without warning, witch is criminal in my mind as that can cause seizures and death, or lead to street drugs.

    Morphine does not work, for most of my pain, but for some odd reason, it takes away the neuropathy and allows me to sleep, the Clonazepam is for anxiety, but more properly put, is being used in place of muscle relaxants that do not work, but the Clonazepam does, it calms my muscles, and in turn relieves the pain caused by pinched nerves up and down my entire spine. My entire body, just throbs with every heart beat.

    Pot, and other substances do not work on me either. Most people who see me/know me, can’t believe I could have that much damage and still do all the things I do.

    My point? one size doesn’t fit all, sometimes even dangerous combinations, are the only cocktail that works, and sometimes, nothing will ever work.

    I hope every single one of you find something that works for you, no matter what it is. Laws be damned, if it works? then do it.

    The VA? they don’t give a shit about you, and never will. Find an alternative to the VA, an alternative that works for you, and with you, an alternative that has YOUR best interest in mind, not THEIRS, like the VA.

    Fuck the VA
    Fuck the AFGE or, piss on them both whatever gives you the most satisfaction.

    Later gators -!ii!-

    1. I feel you on the body pain bro. I used to get shin splints in the Army something fierce. Feels like grenades going off in your legs every time your heart beats. It’s fucking excruciating I can’t imagine that body wide without wanting to curl up and die.

    2. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ says:

      Huge mistake, dose of Clonazepam is .05mg not 10mg, sorry, wasn’t thinking clearly.

      1. LOL I was going to correct you because 10mg would make you very very chill, to chill to even write, won’t kill you because that is a long acting benzo and a fairly safe one but you would be very mellow for 24 hours. Don’t take 10mg. benzos are a great use for muscle spasms as long as you respect the highly addictive nature of that class of drugs. There is a HUGE difference between addiction and dependency. Being dependant on a medication is okay as long as you do not stop cold turkey because that is criminal and you could die. Do not let the VA kill you, they love to cold file our dead SSN. Lastly I have neuropathy also and the drug that lets me sleep is pregabalin or known as Lyrica. It works but is still under patent so the VA doesn’t want to use it a lot well they do not want to pay for it but they will! They do with me but I do not take no for an answer with the VA ever!

      2. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ says:

        Ha! Also, it’s 45mg Morphine, not 35mg…….whatta wing ding I can be.

  10. Ben states: “Let’s face facts. We’ve never found any other type of painkiller that gets the results that opioids can. They’re a unique and powerful chemical family. But if we actually want to combat their rampant addictive properties, useful alternatives tend to involve a team of professionals from multiple fields.”

    sounds like ole ben is feeding a line of crap right here. cannabis is a BETTER pain killer than opiods. why doesn’t ben expose this fact? this is well known in some medical circles, especially from israel. cannabis is not addicting and does not have side effects. there are no known harmful effects at all.

    ben wants everyone involved in this system? why? useful alternatives involve multiple professional team? bullshit. you can grow enough cannabis in your bathtub for a year and then use it with absolutely no professional team involved. ben does not seem to be up to date with information.

    so here it is, ben, why don’t you expose this horrendous crime on the people?

    1. Hey sepp,

      I am a state registerd MMJ consumer and have been for the last 4 years. Yesterday I woke up after sleeping “wrong” with deep muscle pain in my shoulder. Over the course of the day I smoked about 6 bowls and did about 3 dabs of 91% thc concentrates. I went to bed last night still in pain.

      1. true MMJ does work at times many have to stop for a week to get better effect of it to work sadly that cant happen for everyone!

        MMJ does not work for some who have tried just about every strain, method of use smoke, vape, eat etc.

        another way to I have seen help is the MMJ ointments rub on the areas that hurt? true not everyone does this help but for may it does.

      2. I also use MMJ but only at night before bed because I find it works best for me at that time to get to sleep past the pain and I hit it hard but it is okay. I have found the ointments to be hit and miss but they are getting MUCH MUCH better. We have had legal rec MJ in this state for years and the laws are very lax. I love it because the product is improving leaps and bounds. I will use edibles when facing severe anxiety and they help a bunch. Much safer and better than anything prescribed. Toke on my friend!!!

    2. It is true as most here know that the US Govt has a patent on Wee/MJ etc: I have found Active Duty Colonel who claim they do not know this only a few months ago at Walter Reed NMMC, Bethesda, Md and even many medical providers at the VA too! “”

      United States Patent 6,630,507
      Hampson , et al. October 7, 2003
      **Please see images for: ( Certificate of Correction ) **
      Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants


      Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##
      Inventors: Hampson; Aidan J. (Irvine, CA), Axelrod; Julius (Rockville, MD), Grimaldi; Maurizio (Bethesda, MD)
      Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)
      Family ID: 26767641
      Appl. No.: 09/674,028
      Filed: February 2, 2001
      PCT Filed: April 21, 1999
      PCT No.: PCT/US99/08769
      PCT Pub. No.: WO99/53917
      PCT Pub. Date: October 28, 1999

  11. A vet has no say in his VA care type and is quickly written of as some sort of nut case. A women on the other hand can have a viable fetus aborted no question ask because it’s a matter of a woman health. I fall into the category of chronic pain for the past 40 years I have been seeking alternative forms of treatment. Only time I had no pain was during a heart issue and they gave me some sort of opioid for chest pain, that also took care of my chronic pain. Problem as I see it, way to many vets abuse the meds they get and the legit vets with chronic pain get nothing. I see it in the waiting areas at the VA, those fucks don’t recognize their own name cause they are so stoned.

    1. See you stated the problem yourself. You where given opiates for chest pain/other pain and they worked…You then go on to bash others for becoming addicted to these substances. I don’t know their backstory, neither do you. Any human I can think of, if presented the choice, would choose not to live in pain.

      1. Thank you. Many of those “stoned” vets are that way because the VA made them that way. Do not judge unless you have walked all the miles in that persons shoes. To judge others on what you see or hear but do not know is very dangerous and we can not do that to each other. It is not fair or just. Take a look in the mirror and judge that person I guarantee you are worthy of it. Who am I to judge you? Who are you to judge them or me? let’s take care of each other not knock each other down we can’t afford it!

  12. Sometimes in my life being diagnosed with the most obvious is the easiest or cheapest. The pressure on all physicians and organizations to cut back does hurt and kill. There are so many American people dieing because of the immigrant problem brought on by President #44. Sad he and his ilk can’t get a taste of their own medicine. Imagine if we had trained lab people to know of these foreign rare diseases. All we do is pass ignorant laws. All I can say is God Bless our President Donald J.Trump!

    1. The topic of discussion is Opiates and the VA. Keep your right wing cheap shots and convoluted logic firmly up your ass please.

      1. He’s not titled to his say? Are you the protector of this site? I guess some people are angry and nasty ,even against their brothers and sisters. How sad!

  13. I do take opioids for chronic arthritic pain in my hands and feet jumping out of planes can do that to a person but what fun. I have no problems with them and there is a huge difference between dependency and addiction. I can not take any type of NSAID because it causes severe GI problems so my options are limited. You brought up 2 huge points though that we and the VA must consider. Number ONE benzodiazepines are very very very dangerous drugs and the VA loves them because it makes us compliant and not bothersome. I am an RN and i will not take any benzo outside of the ER OR situation. All benzos should be schedule 2 and they will be once people learn about the power of their abuse and substantial addiction potential that often leads to opioid use. That said they have a very important place in medicine and i can tell you first hand that I have saved lives using morphine and lorazapam in the combat field of operation. Shock will kill you and those drugs prevent the patient from a huge maybe life ending crash. USE WITH EXTREME CAUTION. I am a trained professional, well trained, over trained!!! Army Nurses Corps are top notch people and we are lucky to have them. Number TWO you said we have to be our own advocate and that is so F—– true but what about our aging population of vets? How can they? I asked the VA for years for the use of biofeedback, it works!! The VA until just recently would not allow it even though it is a scientifically proven method for help with PTSD and chronic pain. Why VA did you take so long to recognize this? Frustrating but please check your meds, talk to your docs and the nurses most do want to help you. If we cut the head off the ugly VA snake maybe docs can be docs and nurses can be nurses but right now the red tape is overwhelming. Tie their hands and we get mad at them it is the ugly head that needs to be removed or just turn the VA over to DOD and let them take it because it would improve.

    1. Finely a person who tells the truth. My wife also has arthritis and given this pain medication.

      I was given these medications. I began using Marijuana, after I was treated for alcohol and completed the PTSD program.

      All I can say is. NO more cravings for booze or opiods. I understand each and every case is different and some people marijuana does not work for certain pain.

      If the VA can dish out opiods. Marijuana should also be issued by the VA.

      1. I agree with you 100% CBD THC have a place in all this and it is a good place that can help so many people if the government would just pull their heads out of the their fictitious puritan asses.

  14. I’m 65yrs seasoned,and I’m a chronic pain pts for over25+yrs. Due to the incompetence of VA physicians,I was misdiagnosed 3x. Initially ALL I needed was a place to establish my script for thyroid meds.but the arrogant resident stated I was simply a fat pig,and I was crazy,sent me to took over 35+yrs before I received correct diagnosis of Graves’disease(I already was taking the thyroid meds,at 95 my Dr retired).while I’m being assumed as crazy,I get sick while inpt,and rather than exam me,I’m given antibiotics,a chest X-Ray and ignored.3days later,I’m sent with urgency for a cardiac Cath ,diagnosing me with heart failure,True to form,when I confronted the N.P. she commented”What does it really matter,you’re only a psych ,so who care? ” I’ve been injured multiple times with ortho injuries without any thing but X-Ray,MRI EMG all verifiable proof. After 14yrs my pc 2other Drs put me on fentanyl patch and morphine breakthrough.I needed tkrs,no surgery,torn ACL,no treatment in January of 17,injured my shoulder,MRI showed 2torn ligament,torn biceps muscle. All verified untreated injuries ,the meds were what helped me stay independent without having to sell my home. New pain Dr continued pain regime(which was given as last resort) he stated I would be on it ,rest of my life because it was safe,however in January of 18 SUDDENLY without warning my meds are terminated,no reason for the termination except Dr decided that he didn’t think pt’s should have a say in their treatment and I am a firm believer every pt should know what is their problems because PCs turn over ,lasting usually less than a year. No matter,it was a war,everything I said was wrong,his attitude was totally wacked. My other Dr would tell me one thing,then this Dr stated not do anything said everything opposite. Do you realize how difficult when two doctors give opposing treatment plan and if I did one I failed the other even my thyroid Dr requested me be reinstated but the pain dr refused to listen& told my specialist he was incorrect.they are at odds and I’m caught in the middle with conflicting care and now decreased quality of life. After 25+yrs,I really Don t think anyone expected my meds to be TERMINATED wasn’t any issues,never an od,no emergency visits but doctor basically got pissed,I’ve been witness to his cussing other pts,only to have mistaken the name,wrong pt. I understand that everyone thinks there’s a crisis,but I see it no different than school shootings. When the stupid people hurt innocent people,it’s news then the gun people want to take away guns,celebrity deaths by overdose,or rave parties occur becomes news then suddenly we have a drug crisis. Neither the guns nor the drugs’s the person who chooses to abuse what to them seems acceptable no matter who has to suffer for their indiscretion. Vets naturally as we grow older have real pain. Blaming ,stigmatisng everyone considering that everyone even those who legitimately depend on their meds just to function? Why destroy a vet’s life when nothing they’ve done wrong.most pts get the opioid as a last resort,not a 1st choice. I believe as the doctor once said,if you want to abuse drugs,you’ll find a way,doesn’t matter how many laws,it’s the nature of the addiction but to profile legit people as addicts and stigmatized is morally wrong.

    1. Wow great points! Thank you and never ever never give up because we have to fight for the just and for each other. I got your back brother always will!!

    2. That’s VA’s MO. They tell the majority of PTs it’s in their head they just need a shrink. No one can keep opioids @ VA. If you need meds, you need a civ dr. Free is NOT worth your quality of life or sanity. Vets are flooding the civ system to get what they need. You know it’s a bad sign when VA PCP says I’m not trying to torture you BUT… the VA is trying to label everyone polycystic substance abuser(s) in other words if you have ADD/ADHD & need adderall & you have herniated disc(s) & need opioids VA is now labeling people as multiple substance abusers & labeling them high risk. They do it in retaliation for saying no thank you to the shrink the pain is NOT in my head the MRI or whatever test you did said so…. The VA is under pressure from DT who’s on Congress to cut vets off opioids who in turn gets on VA to cut vets off their opioids. Drs must reduce numbers or be fired. Welcome to DT’s VA.

      1. Went to outside doctor, his buddy at the VA called and said I was a drug seeker. Treated me like shit, no exam and referred me back to the VA. No one can send you to the VA! He then wrote up this stupid report for my exam and sent to the VA to put in my notes

  15. These idiots are ruining lives. When does the patient get to choose their path in life? These people are worried about how many people are on opioids and what they can do to reduce prescriptions and treat everyone under the same umbrella.

    A doctor without knowing me or know my history, tells me I’m addicted and need to stop. I explained that I’m dependent on medication because been taking so long, after 3-4 months, with some people less, were dependent then, never mind over 10 years taking.

    When is it my decision to say I don’t want to live in pain? So you make me stop, the little life I did have will be over, become angry, lose my wife and home? On top of it, I must live in horrible pain until I die. Because they need to cut back. Hanging by a thread that almost broke last week. I just what to hear someone who hasn’t got a clue about me, my morals and values, helping in the community, a high paying job, friends, fun and laughter, all gone. Now they want to take away everything, the only think keeping me alive is gone. What else would you expect.

    1. I know that I will never use the word “dependent”. If you use that word, it is the same as addicted to the VA. They will use it against you to take away the meds that are actually helping with your pain.

    2. There’s a HUGE difference between dependent for quality of life versus addicted. Get to a civ dr. There’s a mass exodus taking place inside VA. Vets who want to live pain free & have a good quality of life are going to the civ drs in droves. Free isn’t worth your quality of life or sanity.

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