DEA has Rx for pain sufferers (and others who require scheduled meds)

By bewilderment · Sep 9, 2006 · ·
  1. bewilderment
    Patients with persistent pain and people on Attention Deficit Disorder medications will soon be able to get more of the powerful drugs they depend on every day, thanks to new Drug Enforcement Agency guidelines.

    That will mean a lot for Lisa Turner.

    Every step she takes shoots pain through her legs and back. Medication helps, but it leaves her groggy and unable to drive.

    Yet, Turner—who has degenerative disc disease—finds a ride to her doctor's office every month.

    "I live an hour and 15 minutes from here, east in McKinney," she said. "It's really hard for me to get down here, and I can't work, so the cost is a lot, too."

    New DEA guidelines will let Turner and others like her get three-month supplies of some of America's most addictive drugs, including Oxycontin, Ritalin and Methadone.

    Current rules limit refills to 30 days.

    For four years, Turner has visited her doctor monthly for what are essentially, checkups to get her next prescription. She had to pay for each office visit.

    With the change, Turner will save $450 every three months. Her insurance co-paments will drop, and so will her office charges.

    Pain Management specialist Dr. Lemond Lou said it's time to concentrate on helping the patients. "It's just like treating someone with hypertension and diabetes," he said. "If there is no hint of abuse; if they're legitimate patients; if they're appropriate medications; we want to treat them like regular people."

    Instead, Dr. Lou said the patients are stigmatized by the actions of a few.

    Federal statistics show five percent of patients become addicted to these Schedule II drugs.

    Out of more than one million doctors licensed to sell narcotics in the U.S., the DEA prosecuted just 67 last year for prescription abuse.

    "It is always a potential risk, but the practical practitioner is not going to see those that often if they're doing good, legitimate practices," Dr. Lou said.

    Lisa Turner said she has no reason to abuse her prescription. "If I did, I wouldn't have the medication when I need it," she said.

    "When I don't have the medication, it's unbearable."

    The 90-day rule will take effect after a two-month period for consumers to submit comments.


    I happen to think this is a great move in the right direction. My spouse has scripts for two scheduled medications and it is a great hassle to get a new prescription every month.

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  1. Riconoen {UGC}
    oh thank the fuckin lord. becuase when I had surgery i was prescibed vicidin for the pain and it wasnt nearly engh and swim had to suffer for days after it ran out and it was all becuase swim couldnt get a refill.
  2. Nicaine
    Does that mean a couple refills will be allowed on Schedule II medications, I.E. the initial 30-day fill plus two refills? The article doesn't explain it very well. It could certainly result in more diversion/abuses, although without a doubt it would be beneficial to pain patients.
  3. Forthesevenlakes
    I just like how the headline is "DEA has Rx for pain sufferers" as if this is some amazing innovation they came up with to help people. They were responsible for the draconian restrictions in the first place, thus forcing many lab rats swim knows to spend inordinate amounts of time to obtain medications they legitimately needed every month. Sounds almost like a certain spin was put on the article to make the DEA look like benevolent philanthropists. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    The DEA has got to top the list of gov't agencies whose harm to citizens far outweighs any benefits accrued. They've turned well meaning doctors into psuedo criminals, anti addiction zealots, and spineless jellyfish. I can't tell you how many friends I have with legitimate pain and health issues who have had thier meds changed, reduced, or just plain cut off because some addict got popped with unprescribed meds. The war on drugs has accomplished a few things; more drugs, cheaper drugs, and better quality drugs. Criminal enforcement of drug laws has become a HUGE money making business in this country. The DEA's concern is not in stopping drugs, but profitting from them. Here's three senarios for SWIY to ponder; 1. Use military force on countries who are responsible for production of dangerous drugs like cocaine or heroin. Granted, this is a radical approach, but given our current foreign policy, Not all that unbelievable. 2. Change our current currency in this way, have our current $$ only useable in this country and make new style bills for use in foreign countries. Doing this would effectively separate the narco dollars from legit dollars. Addicts would buy drugs with the currency that can only be used in the US. Those dollars would then return to other foreign countries where they'd be worthless, forcing the drug cartels to export the dollars back to the US where they could be easily traced back to the source countries because most drug lords don't have legitimate reasons to have thier billions in the US style $$ instead of the foreign "sister" US bills. 3. Or do a 2 year trial in this country where all drug laws are not changed but ignored by law enforcement. Then do independent studies to find out if drug use would skyrocket as a result. My opinion is that use would probably increase at first but then level off. If this is the case then begin revamping the laws so the gov't would control and tax the sale off drugs. Because that's all they're really after anyway, the tax $$$$ Drug control not drug wars is the key to better knowledge of addiction. $$$ can be spent on treatment and education rather than incarceration. Express your opinion today
  5. Nagognog2
    The only sane approach would be to let doctors prescribe as they see fit and not be interfered with by prosecutorial-bent bearucrats whose mission is not to provide aid - but to cause pain and suffering.
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