Opioid Epidemic

Tactical Pain Episode 004 Dr Chris Lane

“Movement is Life.” – Dr. Chris Lane, Tea Chiropractic

This week Jeni sits down with Dr. Chris Lane from Tea Chiropractic to talk about treatment options for chronic pain.  Dr. Lane discusses how movement is important to health and how our modern lifestyle can interfere with that and also describes the difference in treating a pain patient vs a chronic pain patient.  

 

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Jeni Mc, Dr. Chris Lane, Tea Chiropractic, Light Tissue Work, Rehabilitation, Breathing Retraining, Weight Loss, Lifestyle, Chiropractic, Nutrition, Information Overload, Breathing, Sleeping, Hard Work, Mindfulness, Acupuncture, Opioid Epidemic, Allergy Panel, Food Sensitivity Testing

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Tactical Pain Episode 001 Jeni’s Story

Jennifer McNamara aka Jeni Mc has lived with a chronic pain condition for two decades. After struggling with diagnosis and working to find successful treatment, McNamara realized she needed to take a proactive approach to each day. Developing strategy, and a tactical outlook, McNamara looks to win the battle with her pain, and help others do the same.

 

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Virus, Bacteria, Fibromyalgia, Pregnancy, Chronic Pain, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Migraines, myalgic encephalomyelitis, Opioid Epidemic, Pain management, Jeni Mc, Robert Mehling

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Opioid Epidemic: A Flawed Narrative

There are few things our political tribes in Washington can ever agree. It seems that everything from dog picture twitter accounts to Netflix programming is political these days. In fact, one of the few things our corrupt politicians from both sides of the aisle will agree on is that drugs are bad, and prescription pain relievers are worse.

While the reasons for the plague of addiction occurring are blamed on something different, both sides are pushing the same issue. In what seems an impossible amalgamation I find that both National Review and Democracy Now! both agree that our nation has a severe opioid problem. When is the time these two digital camps agreed on anything?

And as much as I enjoy in partaking of my favorite conservative argument making website, I feel that National Review has missed a very obvious fact that everyone without severe Chronic Pain wants to ignore.

If you get rid of opioids, there will be nothing else left for pain relief. Opioids are currently the only pain relief options out there, Period!

I know, that can’t possibly be, right? Narcotics and opioids are old-timey inventions that have gotten way past their due. Besides, everyone on TV is saying we’ve got a real crisis on our hands.

Well let us break down a few of the arguments:

1. Opioids are Old Timey stuff:

What year did oxycodone, the medication I use for emergencies and immediate analgesic care come about in the U.S. The answer is 1996 (technically it was invented in 1939, but didn’t come to real use until 96)? Tramadol which is a medicine I take regularly didn’t come to mass market til 1977. Buprenorphine which is the primary pharmaceutical in a pain patch I wear didn’t exist before 1981.

Opioid medications are still being invented and being brought to market now. Vivitrol which is a current popular one came out five years ago. Not only are new drugs being developed now but also new ways to deliver them more safely and conveniently.

2. All opioids are obviously strong narcotics like Morphine and heroin!

What I think is probably the biggest reason the current media arguments are making such a dent. People hear opioid narcotic and think 1980s anti-drug cartoon. Yeah, it’s just like on that show House where the good doctor who takes some pills and hallucinates. Apparently, people are trying to get on these drugs for feels and the buzz.

Well, like almost all chemicals and drug compounds; the term opioids only refers to family and classification of drugs. This category does indeed hold the granddaddy of them all: Morphine, but it also contains tens of thousands of others. Tramadol which gives me 0 buzzes and 0 reductions in my ability to perform, drive, speak, and think is an opioid too. While Fentanyl (more on that later) is an opioid, so too is Buprenorphine which again doesn’t give off happy feelings other than pain relief.

3. Addicts are addicted because they either don’t have a problem or they’re using them for pleasure. This pairs well with the Myth: Doctors are easy to fool, and only give this medication to get patients out of their hair:

I used to believe both of these myths before I got Chronic Pancreatitis. The old adage is that there are all of these doctors just prescribing high-end narcotics to patients without much fuss. They, give em out like candied mints. And that if they don’t give them out, the patients are just going to find some other doctor who will.

I almost wish it was true.

The reality is that opioids are not easily given these days; a side effect of all the anti-opioid reporting I’m sure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to fellow CP sufferers who relate to me this story:

“I went to the ER because I was having an intense Chronic Pancreatitis pain attack. I told the doctor this several times as did my significant other. The doctor said my “levels” weren’t elevated enough so I must not be telling the truth. They softly accuse me of drug seeking behavior, and I’m discharged still hurting and overwhelmed.”

Doctors are just as aware of this issue of the opioid epidemic as you and me. They are hesitant to ever prescribe something to someone that might even give an inkling of a chance to cause them legal troubles. Let alone the fact, that most of them got into medicine to help people. While some doctors break this standard, particularly if you are getting some surgery, generally they don’t just hand them out.

This means that when someone like me needs medical care requiring pain medication, which unless the Doctor knows me already, there is little chance of me receiving the medical care I desperately need.

Which brings me back to my original point: there are no alternatives for pain relief. Yes, new drugs are being researched all the time, and medical devices that require no medication to treat pain are in the works. But they aren’t available for mass market use now nor are they going to be for at least another decade.

This means that when we demonize opioids and opioid users, we are saying: I don’t care that your life is a wreck because you are in such constant agony. These medications may be able to provide relief, some balance, and function into your life. But we just can’t take the risk that you might be an addict. Sorry, contact me again when you need another medical treatment demonized.

Opioids aren’t perfect, and many of them have strong side-effects. But no medicine is without side-effects. And being addicted to a medication doesn’t mean that you stop needing it to reduce pain. People like me always have to watch their dosages and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Pain management is a full-time gig.

And perhaps there is some argument about the overuse of end of life care pain treatments like Fetaynal. But again that medicine is for hospice care or in other words: this is the medicine we give to dying people, so they don’t scream in agony. That medication was never intended for those staying in the land of the living.

And let’s be frank: the only real reason we know people in Washington agree to do anything is that it benefits them first. Individuals who need these medications don’t have the strength or energy to speak up against it. We are too busy trying to hold our lives together to resemble something you consider normalcy. This makes chronic pain sufferers an easy target to blame so as to keep the negative attention off of themselves.

So the next time your favorite political website or writer tells you how terrible the opioid epidemic is, please do something for us. Tell them to shut their trap, and listen to what the people who are having to take these medications daily think of opioids. To most of us, opioids are truly miraculous life savers.

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With The Nation In The Grip Of An Opioid Epidemic Vince Grant Releases Poignant Video “Sweet Addiction”

As the country faces an ever-widening opioid epidemic, singer-songwriter Vince Grant has released a new video, Sweet Addiction, an affecting musical account of his personal struggle with addiction.  The song is the latest from his critically acclaimed EP entitled, My Depression Is Always Trying To Kill Me, which the Huffington Post featured stating, “To say that this EP is promising, good, or great would be a disservice.  It’s more than that.  It’s an ethereal voice that tells us we are not alone.”  The release has been featured on dozens of music industry websites, and received excellent reviews from such popular and diverse sites as Music Times, Nashville Music Guide, Popdose, Rebel Noise, antiMusic, Review Fix, Absolute Punk and Guardian Liberty Voice, among others.

As the title of the EP suggests, many of the lyrics deal with Grant’s ongoing battle with depression, but he also explores his past of alcohol and drug addiction.  The song Sweet Addiction addresses his journey to fight and overcome the cycle of alcohol and drug abuse to ease his internal pain.  “Drugs, alcohol, depression, they took me out.  I was heavily self-medicating,” says Vince.

The accompanying video was directed, shot and edited by up and coming director Sandu Negrea.  “This is the second video I’ve done with Sandu and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to work with him.  He’s an artist both behind the camera and in his editing.  His skills and artistry are evident for all to see.  For me, he completely captured the emotion and pain of the song, as well as the underlying message of hope,” states Grant.  “I think he has created a very powerful piece.  It’s actually hard for me to watch as it brings back a lot of memories.”

In addition to the critical response his EP has received, Grant has also been making new fans, many who have contacted him to say how much what he is doing and his music means to them.  “I get messages from people thanking me for my openness and honesty, how my music has helped them with their depression or that of a loved one.  How the songs have helped them with their own struggles with alcohol and addiction or better understand someone similarly afflicted.  Some have even expressed that the music helped them possibly understand how someone close to them would commit suicide.  I write songs to cope and it’s an incredibly powerful, and humbling, experience to connect so deeply with somebody through music.”

His website features songs, interviews, reviews, pictures and videos.  For more, visit: www.vincegrantmusic.com

 

About Vince Grant:

From his bio,  “I’ve suffered from depression my whole life. Really can’t recall a time I haven’t been depressed, even as a kid.  In more joyful moments, I was and still am aware of the specter of the disease lurking in the shadows, hovering around me and waiting to pounce at any moment.  It’s an unnerving way to live.  After years of painful confusion I was placed on psychiatric drugs and later diagnosed as being bipolar.   I took these medications for quite some time and during the last four years of treatment was on three different psych meds per day.  During this period I was also self medicating by drinking heavily and using various street drugs as well as abusing my prescription medications.”

LINKS:

Website: http://vincegrantmusic.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ Vince-Grant-295743500446097

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/ UC3Tl3hzYUi689ApmqryH1xw

Twitter:   @vincegrantmusic

Instagram:  vincegrantmusic

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