May 1, 2019U.S. Pain Foundation

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reacted to the unintended harm to people living with chronic pain as a result of policy measures intended to ameliorate the opioid crisis.

On April 9, the FDA issued a Safety Announcement citing “serious harm,” including “withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, psychological distress and suicide” as a result of sudden discontinuation or rapid dose decreases in opioid pain medication. The FDA will now require changes to the prescribing information for health care professionals that will provide guidance on how to safely reduce or taper patients off opioid medications. The agency states that there is no standard opioid tapering schedule; rather, a schedule must be tailored to each patient’s unique situation considering a variety of factors, including the type of pain the patient has.

The FDA is also warning patients not to suddenly stop taking their opioid medication, as this can result in serious problems. Even when patients gradually reduce these medications, they may still experience withdrawal symptoms such as chills and muscle aches. If these are excessive, patients are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

Feeling the pressure from the FDA action, a letter from more than 300 health care practitioners, and increasing news coverage of harms to people with pain, three CDC Guideline authors, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, said the Guidelines have been misapplied and applied inflexibly in some instances. However, they also vigorously defended the Guideline, stating that the “medical and health policy communities have largely embraced its recommendations” it has sparked “accelerated decreases in prescribing” and it was rated “high quality by the ECRI Guidelines Trust Scorecard.”

“In contrast to the FDA’s direct warning about widespread and serious harms to chronic pain patients that have already occurred, the CDC authors seem to avoid direct discussion of what has sadly already transpired,” says U.S. Pain National Director of Policy and Advocacy Cindy Steinberg. “ The authors say ‘patients may find tapering challenging’, ‘could face risks related to withdrawal’, and ‘if dosages are abruptly tapered, may seek other sources of opioids or have adverse psychological and physical outcomes’. They go on to say that ‘some clinicians may find it easier to refer or dismiss patients from care’ and ‘Clinicians might universally stop prescribing opioids, even in situations in which the benefits outweigh the risks.’” [Emphasis added in italics]

“Opioid pain medication does not help everyone with chronic pain and for those who are helped, opioids do not completely take the pain away,” Steinberg continues. “However, the fact remains that for millions of pain sufferers, particularly those with severe pain, who take them responsibly and legitimately, they are a lifeline that allows them to have some quality of life and lessens their relentless pain. In the three years since the Guideline was released, thousands of stories have surfaced about forced tapering and patient abandonment. Yet, CDC has largely ignored the suffering of Americans living with pain.”

Authors of the New England Journal of Medicine article did not announce any changes to the Guideline in response to these harms, but said the CDC is evaluating the intended and unintended impact of the Guideline and is committed to updating recommendations when new evidence is available.

While this is a step in the right direction, Steinberg says, the CDC should have enough evidence of harm to revise the Guideline, particularly Guideline 5.

To learn more about U.S. Pain Foundation’s position on opioid prescribing, click here.READ U.S. PAIN’S POSITION STATEMENT



Melinda Sandor


U.S. Pain Foundation

Where’s WALDO? WP playing tricks with reblog button again?

I get tired of writing this post, you probably get tired of hearing me talk about reblogging. Reblogging is critical when you have a collaborative site, if people can’t reblog the site doesn’t get fresh content. I went back to several post I reblogged earlier in week and today the reblog button doesn’t appear.

I can’t be the only one, unless I’m in Twilight Zone! Are you having the same problem? Will someone try to reblog a post from http://www.survivorsbloghere@wordpress.com?

Thank you!!!!!!!


How Would Jesus View Prosperity Gospel Preachers?

Jesse Duplantis recently asked his followers for money to purchase a new $54 million private jet, explaining that God wanted him to have it. He later backtracked on those comments, saying that he just wants his followers to “believe” for the jet, not necessarily pay for it. However, given that he’s still accepting money from followers (and since free jets don’t tend to appear out of thin air), we’re not so sure “believe” isn’t a codeword for “donate.”

Jesse Duplantis Ministries already owns three private jets. This would be the fourth. Why does he need another one? To better spread the gospel, of course. Oh, and in his words, regular commercial planes are known for carrying “demons.” Yikes.

But Duplantis is far from the only prosperity gospel preacher. He’s not even the first to wish for an airplane from his followers!

Traveling in Luxury

Back in 2015, the televangelist Creflo Dollar requested $60 million from his followers to buy a fancy jet. And Kenneth Copeland, another televangelist, just recently acquired his own plane – a Gulfstream V – paid for by donations from his flock. When pressed on the issue, these superstar pastors justify their lavish mode of travel by insisting they need private jets to effectively spread the word of God.

According to Copeland, the famous televangelist Oral Roberts suffered greatly on commercial flights: his spirit was “agitated” by other people on the plane who requested prayers. Apparently, such minor requests are too much for mega-pastors to handle. Better to get away from the needy masses – that’s what Jesus did, right?

Jesus Leading by Example

Er, not exactly. Consider what the Bible says about how Jesus treated people. In the book of Mark, right before Jesus feeds 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, it says:

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”

By examining another comparison, one gets the idea that Jesus would not approve of preachers traveling on private luxury jets. When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday, he chose not to ride on a horse or a camel – symbols of wealth and status – but instead rode a lowly donkey, the animal of the masses.

Christian Compassion

There are many other instances in which Jesus talks about helping those who are less fortunate – the Parable of the Good Samaritan being perhaps the most well-known. In the discourse with a ruler recorded in Luke 18, Jesus tells him to “sell everything you have and give to the poor” to have eternal life.

Jesus did acknowledge that money was needed to support the Lord’s work, and also seemed to believe that it was right to pay taxes. In one parable, a man is praised for investing his resources to gain money. But in other scripture, believers are told to depend on God to meet essential family needs. We shouldn’t hoard our resources but invest in the lives of others.

Jesus may not ride a donkey today, but it’s debatable whether he would expect first-class travel accommodations to carry out his mission. The picture painted of Jesus in the Bible does not give the impression that he would expect to be lifted up and put ahead of others.

Prosperity for Whom?

So where does that leave so-called “prosperity gospel” preachers like Jesse Duplantis and Ken Copeland? Are they truly doing the Lord’s work by crowdfunding private jets and living in luxury? Or are they just putting on a “holy act” to squeeze money out of naïve followers?

If the prophecy of the Second Coming is fulfilled, one wonders what might happen to these prosperity preachers. When it’s their turn to be judged by God, will they ascend to heaven? Or will they be left behind with the other “heathens”?

At least they could still travel in style.
Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2018/06/how-would-jesus-view-prosperity-gospel-preachers/#7OJw8De7e9GbxBIh.99

Where’s Waldo? In the Reblog Button

Can anyone else reblog? I have not been able to since last night. I looks to me like a lack of communication between WordPress and WordPress where the programmers report into. When programming changes are made the Reblog button is the first to go, last time it was for a week.

If this happens on a regular basis you would think an easy fix would solve the problem. What this tells me is bloggers are not the priority, it doesn’t matter if it’s free and communication is not WordPress’ style of management.