From Rooted in Rights: “Not only has the opioid epidemic and the media coverage of it made many people more suspicious of pain patients who need opioid medications, but some of the large-scale steps taken to ‘fight’ the epidemic—on the part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), various state governments, the pharmaceutical industry, and others—have resulted in unintended consequences for pain patients. Telling pain patients to just ‘accept their pain’ cannot be separated from a cultural context in which pain patients in general are viewed as unreliable, as not really disabled by pain, or as exaggerating their pain to get drugs; against the background of the media blare of ‘opioids are always bad,’ pain acceptance starts to sound like a brush-off to patients instead of anything that resembles a care plan. Pain patients are not trying to avoid pain or medicate it away—we are simply trying to get some relief from the daily grind of constant pain.”
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