Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 2009
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Copyright: 2009 St. Petersburg Times
Author: Linda Paey


My husband is Richard Paey, the chronic pain patient who was thrown
into prison for 3 1/2 years before receiving a rare, miraculous pardon
by Gov. Charlie Crist and the clemency board. The sheriff's department
and the court system labeled him a drug abuser since he needed
high-dose pain medications for his spinal injury.

Most people involved in our medical system do not understand chronic
pain. Emergency rooms and pharmacy staff lack basic understanding, let
alone the law enforcement community. They spend more energy in trying
to find patients who are faking than treating patients who are
suffering right in front of them. They are all quick to call a patient
a drug abuser or a doctor a drug pusher, never caring to research if
the patients they encounter do indeed have unremitting pain like
Richard did.

Who will protect the many vulnerable pain patients and their doctors?
Safeguards are needed. Most physicians are afraid to write strong pain
medications, so people in pain are referred to physicians trained to
treat severe pain. These offices, therefore, generate a high number of
pain prescriptions. Truthfully, I do not trust the state to be able to
tell the difference between a professional pain office and a "pill
mill." I understand the need to find a solution to prescription drug
abuse, but as more and more pressures are placed on pain patients, it
starts to look to me like harassment.

Linda Paey, Hudson
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