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'Afflicted not addicted': Chronic pain sufferers rally for access to opioids Arizona News



PHOENIX (Cronkite) – Debra Hickey, who has lived with chronic pain for two decades, recently went to her medical specialist for her regular dose of 30 milligrams of oxycodone. The doctor told her she had to reduce the dosage because of the state regulations to reduce the number and dosage in patients' opioid prescriptions.

Hickey, 63, of Phoenix, was appalled. And scared

"You know that horrific pain that takes about a minute or so to go away?" Hickey said Tuesday at a Do not Punish Pain rally at the State Capitol. "Can you imagine if you were in this type of pain 24/7 with no opioids? That's the pain I'm in. "


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 opioid rally

About 40 people rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday to protest the regulations on opioids that they say unfairly affect chronic pain sufferers.



Hickey, lamenting the restriction of an opioid that has been one of the few pain relievers she's not allergic to, has joined about 40 people at the rally. Many cigarette smoked cigarettes, some pushed walkers or used wheelchairs, and some carried signs, such as #PatientsNotAddicts and Afflicted Not Addicted

They have been characterized as victims in the fight against opioid addiction

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in 47,600 deaths in 2017, and opioid overdose deaths were six times higher in 2017 than in 1999.

[RELATED: Gov. Ducey highlights success in opioid fight as deaths increase (Aug. 13, 2018)] [19659002] In 2016, the CDC changed its guidelines in response to the epidemic, telling doctors to start patients on small dosages and increase the amount of slow or prescribe high doses of ibuprofen instead of managing pain [RELATED: Nation’s first opioid helpline goes live in Arizona (Oct. 9, 2018)] ]

The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act includes a so-called five-day rule, limiting the initial prescription fill to five days, along with a maximum dosage limit of 90 morphine milligram equivalents for patients


Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment on the rally.
                       

 Death Hickey of Phoenix suffers from chronic pain and says new regulations are making it harder to get a prescription for the dose she needs to manage her pain [19659907] Hailey Mensik / Cronkite News </span><br />
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<p> Hickey , who said the drop in bed left for bedtime weeks, said the nationwide rallies planned in 50 states were to gain the attention of lawmakers and make prescription opioids more accessible to those who desperately need them </p><div><script async src=

Advocates did not outline a specific plan

Organizer JoAnn Nuara said the groups' needs are unfamiliar to lawmakers and neither Ducey nor legislators have responded to letters outlining their issues.

She said that before the epidemic of the opioid erupted, chronic pain sufferers were able to get the drugs They need to function and live somewhat normal lives. But the regulations for prescribers have thwarted some patients' ability to get medication, leading many to use alternative street drugs, she said.

[RELATED: Pill to the needle to the grave: Does gov’s new opioid plan do enough? (March 8, 2018)]

Nuara wears a brace around her torso to help her to manage her autoimmune disease. She also gets steroid injections and epidurals – treatments she never had to resort to before her doctor had his / her license revoked by the Arizona Medical Board 18 months ago Because of the allegations he had improperly prescribed Subsys, a cancer pain relief drug

The new Arizona restrictions have made picking up prescriptions and hassle, Nuara said. Pharmacies carry smaller supplies of opioids and she sometimes has to go to three or more pharmacies to find one that stocks opioids

She said more chronic pain sufferers are speaking out. Nearly four times as many people appeared at Tuesday's rally compared to another in September, Nuara said.

[RELATED: Opioid Crisis: Have politicians turned it into a war on doctors? March 27, 2018)]

                                
                                
                            


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