Living With Facial Pain

Washington Rally Against Pain



26, 2016)

Against Pain – Washington DC

Time to Stop the War Against Pain Patients! -

Washington DC – Presidents’ Park (The Ellipse), 10AM to 5 PM Saturday October 22, 2016. Chronic pain patients, their families and doctors will Rally Against Pain, on the SW corner of the Ellipse just south of
the White House.

This is an afternoon to voice concerns to US government regulators whose thoughtless actions are causing the denial of appropriate medical
care to millions of pain patients. The Rally is supported by highly knowledgeable experts, some of whom will be speakers.

The US Institute of Medicine estimates that there are over 100 Million chronic pain patients in the US at this time. More than a quarter of our population is affected by pain lasting more than 90 days (often life-long). Literally no household in America is untouched by this issue in loved ones or friends.

Many patients are heavily impacted by life-destroying pain from multiple disorders or failed medical interventions. Some have trauma from workplace or vehicle accidents. Others face incurable non-cancer conditions such as migraines, failed back syndrome, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, lupus, or psoriatic arthritis. There are hundreds of other conditions just as severe.

For millions of people, prescription opioid medications have been, until recently, an important element in their medical management. For them, opioids make a difference between work or bedridden disability, life or death by suicide due to intolerable pain. For others, opioids allow a marginal semblance of life with friends, family and loved ones.

Now patients are being plunged into agony because of action by leaders of the US Centers for Disease Control, FDA, DEA and the Surgeon
General. In March 2016, the CDC released a highly restrictive guideline telling general practitioners how – and how much – to prescribe opioids to adults with long term non-cancer pain. The Surgeon General then advised every doctor in America to cut back on pain relieving medications prescribed to their patients. Both steps were based on bad science, doctored statistics and hype. In reality, the so-called “epidemic” of opioid deaths is due to street drugs, not prescriptions. Yet Congress has made the CDC guidelines a mandatory standard of medical care.

Pain management centers are closing across the US. Patients are being cut off cold-turkey and deserted in opioid withdrawal by doctors who fear malicious prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Some patients have already died from this abuse and more will follow. Our government knows this is happening and is choosing to do nothing about it.

It is time for patients, their families and their friends to come to Washington DC. We need to tell our government that they must stop their inaccurate, grossly negligent, wrongful war against chronic pain patients. Prescription medicine didn’t cause the heroin overdose crisis in the US. And
persecuting pain patients won’t solve that crisis.

to https://rallyagainstpain.com/blog

Facebook Contacts: Veterans and Others United for Equality in Health Care

Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D

Fort Mill SC


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Lana Kirby

Ellenton Florida


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1 Like

Whilst I agree no patient should go cold turkey on opioid med withdrawal , what is the answer to a quarter of the population suffering from chronic pain??

Limiting prescriptions might actually focus the issue on other solutions. Do you consider a quarter of the US population suffering chronic pain a normal situation? 20 years time 50%? The US has the highest prescription rate in the world yet one of the unhealthiest populations.

You state ’ denying appropriate medical care’, there is obviously some who, in power, disagree with this, what is your argument for opioids besides folk feel better. If nothing else what about the side effects? What about the alternatives?


Moth, clearly there are multiple distortions in both US and European health care systems. However, let’s not add distortions here, please. The likely number among the 100 Million US citizens who have chronic pain , who are being treated with opiates is on the order of 2.5 to 4 million. Many are already treated by multiple therapies, and in very few were opiates the first therapy offered.

There is widespread agreement in forums such as UN Human Rights Commission, that populations in non-western countries are significantly under-served in terms of pain relief as well as medical care in general. US life expectancy isn’t the highest in the world, of course. We are in fact 31st. But the numbers are confounded by violence levels in the US. Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and Australia are at the top of that particular ranking.

What I hear from multiple sources is that significant numbers of patients (probably thousands, possibly tens of thousands) are being discharged summarily by doctors afraid of being maliciously prosecuted by the DEA. Doctors are leaving pain management practice and major areas of several US States are becoming under-served for pain management.

We can ask others in the forums here to report their own experience of opioids. The 15,000 or so members of various Facebook groups that I support include several hundred who have been maintained at stable doses of opioids for years, as a last-resort management measure after everything else has failed. Many of those people are reporting that they are being summarily tapered down with NO other viable alternatives. A few deaths have already occurred, as noted above. More are coming.

Some addiction treatment specialists are actively lobbying for diversion of some US national funds now expended on chronic pain, into addiction treatment. Those specialists were represented on the CDC working groups that wrote the new practice standard. But not a single practicing pain management specialist who sees patients regularly. Although nearly a quarter of all US citizens deal with chronic pain of some sort, NIH devotes about 1% of its research funds to pain.

For more on this issue, I offer an article I co-wrote for the National Pain Report titled “People are Dying and The Government is Lying”. It’s easy to find with a google search.

Comments invited here from other members who have been prescribed opioids. This is really about you, not about Moth and me.


Not trying to be antagonistic. The link you gave, would it not be of service to all on the receiving end to at least investigate the alternatives and even promote it for middle ground or at least be able to ask for it? After all tapering of opioids is happening and the link you provide might be used for this purpose in addition. Over prescription is after all seen as a problem.

Can you provide any links, concerning deaths as a result of this program? My interest is genuine.



you haven’t supplied any links in connection to the problem you highlight regarding opioid restriction and death, so I thought I’d conduct a google search.

It would seem there are more adverse events due to over prescription.

I’ve heard from two sources quoting what you state but no evidence of opioid prescription denial and death, doesn’t mean it’s not out there but I haven’t found it. Any links?



Then there is the political donations for the presidential campaign, might have something to do with it.

Believe Clinton received circa $3.5 million in donations from pharma, wander which patents are no longer viable? I’m not an investigative journalist but could be of interest.


You’ve not replied Red, about deaths associated with upcoming policy.

I hear your to speak at said rally,

How do you compare your death rate, for prescription, lack of prescription due to death rate per description?I post this because you ignore my last.

You ignore my question with regards to deaths associated due to with discontinuation of opiod med

Prior to your speech at said rally, how do you square circa 18000 related deaths to pain relievers med, compared to deaths as a result of no prescription (figures you don’t provide, though we asked)

Your supporting the wrong side, I’ll say it again 18000, DEATHS

Compare it to war deaths, e.g. Vietnam, whatever, it may put it in perspective before you side.


It really saddens me to see the continual demonizing of drug users and using chronic pain users as collateral damage to justify the drug war. Portugal already solved drug overdose problems by legalizing all drugs and treating all drug use as a medical issue:

The statistics are available for all drug warring countries to learn from and are painfully obvious. The USA lives in an echo chamber of Drug War moralizing lunacy where patients who were prescribed opioids by doctors were taken off them cold turkey, and either had to turn to ‘street drugs’ which could not be quantified or qualified (leading to overdose) or face conditions untreated or face excruciating withdrawal.

A properly measured dose of a drug, no matter the moral panic surrounding it, never overdoses. Legal drugs can be measured very easily. Illegal drugs can’t be, so by making drugs illegal and difficult to access results in people being both dying from unintentional drug overdose and denied treatment options.

The statistics are already in: the more we try to make drugs illegal the more harmful they are. For every bit of DEA involvement, the more deaths ‘rise’ as people turn to street drugs. The drug war is a complete failure.

It is scientifically simple to measure non lethal doses of substances to either maintain or wean people off dependent treatments. That can’t be done with street drugs. Prohibition never has and never will work. The government actually poisoned alcohol during prohibition to kill people.

What we see today is propaganda for the war on drugs/DEA to justify its own existence. If members of the government were happy to kill during alcohol prohibition, they will be happy to kill people now. The more people who die, the more they can justify prohibition. Unjustified authority will do anything to justify itself.

When prohibition ends, such as in Portugal, addiction, overdose, petty crime, and organized crime, all go down. The jails become less crowded for non violent crimes. People aren’t drawn into prison culture where they are victimized and/or criminalized by rape, violence, and criminality. They don’t come out with felonies that prevent employment. If they have a health problem with any drug they can get the help they need, end of story. If they don’t, they can responsibly use their medication.

The powers that be, don’t want that. They have a very profitable position with profitable jobs demonizing drug users and creating faux moral crusades. For profit prisons exist and we have the most crowded prisons in the entire world. The drug war profits people. Death is used to justify prohibition. Every life saved is an obstacle.

Way more people die in car accidents statistically, even with drug war doing everything it can to kill drug users. And vehicles don’t just kill yourself, they kill completely innocent bystanders as well. Should we make vehicles illegal because they kill more people? Or should people be allowed to make informed choices about how to take that kind of risk? For the record, I don’t drive. It is more dangerous than responsible drug usage.

I know I’d rather have grown adults making important life decisions about their health, than the same government that murdered its own citizens during alcohol prohibition making decisions for them.

It’s tough for me to believe in this age of worldwide networking, people still believe their government’s propaganda. This isn’t 1920 anymore. The whole world is at our fingertips.

1 Like

Moth, Sorry for my delay in getting back to you. I didn’t see notifications from the site concerning your postings in this thread.

You are of course entitled to your opinion. It may not be constructive for the two of us to do battle in this forum concerning whether your opinion is based on solid medical evidence. I personally don’t believe it is.

There is a horrific amount hype and distortion circulating on the subject of deaths by street drugs versus prescription opioids. I think you may be falling victim to that hype. Deaths where opioids are one factor are certainly a public health issue in the US. But many factors confound the statistics being thrown around. Likewise, prescription medications are far less prevalent in these statistics than abuse of heroin and street drugs. The so-called “epidemic” pales by comparison with the 440,000 estimated yearly deaths from medical mistakes in hospitals.

For anyone who wants to explore this issue, there is a rich and wide-ranging literature of protest from both lay people and medical professionals alike. Many have come to see the CDC guidelines on prescription of opioids to adult non-cancer chronic pain patients as fatally flawed by poor science, professional bias and cooked statistics. One of the better articles is “Neat, Plausible, and Generally Wrong: A Response to the CDC Recommendations for Chronic Opioid Use” by Stephen A. Martin, MD, EdM;
Ruth A. Potee, MD, DABAM; and Andrew Lazris, MD. I will be using many points from this article and other sources in my address to the Rally Against Pain on October 22nd.

Regards, Red


Hi Red,

I’m not looking to do battle, I’m more than happy for an education.

I’m a little tired, but 18000 deaths due to correctly prescribed opiod meds per year sounds like a shed load. Might have the wrong end of the stick, but you would seem to suggest this is ok due to the fact: 440,000 estimated yearly deaths from medical mistakes in hospitals. This is astounding, please tell me 18000 is justifiable on the fact it is a small percentage of medical mistakes in hospitals on a annual basis. I’m somewhat speechless if this is part of your argument, “only 18000 when total is 440,000”, Have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Kupain, thanks for the reply, I’ll be sure to look at the links tomorrow.


Circa half a million deaths due to medical intervention, and those are those that go reported, and many aren’t “mistakes”. In the UK at that rate there won’t be enough folk around to pay for the NHS through taxes before long. If you don’t die from the condition, you die from the prescription. I’d bet the stats would say that was a successful intervention.

You haven’t provided stats for deaths due to this policy, which you state. Come 22nd of October, I’d call in sick- just don’t take anything for it!


Though the audience was small due to very windy and chilly weather and the difficulty which many chronic pain patients have in travelling, the Washington Rally Against Pain attracted the attention of a wide audience. The American Pain Foundation sent a videographer. Clips of the on-site speeches will soon be posted. A reporter for a major US publication on addiction and public policy has also followed up to explore doing a feature article for their readership.

For those who may be interested, my keynote speech is posted on my website, with the title “CDC Opioid Standards – Neat, Plausible, and Mostly Wrong”. The address is closely referenced to the published work of three physicians, one of whom is Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. The Abstract of their paper and many of their specific points are discussed in the Address.

“The American crisis of opioid addiction and overdose compels our strongest efforts toward successful prevention and treatment. Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for chronic opioid use, however, move away from evidence, describing widespread hazards that are not supported
by current literature. This description, and its accompanying public
commentary, are being used to create guidelines and state-wide policies.

"These recommendations are in conflict with other independent appraisals of the evidence — or lack thereof — and conflate [confuse] public health goals with individual medical care. The CDC frames the
recommendations as being for primary care clinicians and their
individual patients. Yet the threat of addiction largely comes from
diverted prescription opioids, not from long-term use with a skilled
prescriber in [an ongoing] clinical relationship. By not acknowledging
the role of diversion — and instead focusing on individuals who
report functional and pain benefit for their severe chronic
pain — the CDC misses the target.

For the entire speech, visit http://www.lawhern.org/CDC.htm

Regards all.


Whilst not in agreement, read your speech Red, and you put forward your argument well. Sounds possibly condescending, not my intent.