US Gov't: Keep your hands off my medicine cabinet


  • Sep 28, 2015 3:31 PM GMT
    Pain medication and anxiety medications are now being denied to Veterans like myself with PTSD & TBI.

    I don't know if this has to do with the Affordable Care Act, or the DEA, or whatever branch of the government is involved, but I'm pissed. After serving my country and suffering irreparable disk damage as well as a traumatic brain injury, ALL of my prescription medication has been taken away from me. Suddenly there were new rules and doctors were scrambling to get me off any and all pain medications, muscle relaxants as well as anti-anxiety medication for PTSD - all of which I have taken as prescribed and never had any negative incidents with running out early. It was a shocking visit in June when I was told by my doctor that the DEA is now watching every doctor's prescriptions thanks to the new electronic health record, he can't write out any more painkiller prescriptions for anyone (so now we are ALL addicts whether we have documented injuries or not) and basically I was told 'see ya and have a nice life'. I spent the next few months trying to figure out how to end my life. If I had to live in chronic pain and no sleep, as well as nightmare and on top of that - going through withdrawl - I was done. I went through this alone because I was afraid to tell my parents about what had happened. I was afraid to tell anyone that I had no interest in life anymore and still don't - this never got any better. I'm always sick. I'm always in pain. I'm always without appetite. The only thing that works for me is exercise when I can. But I'm damn angry. Fkuc the VA, hospitals, doctors, clinics...their reasoning is to look out for your safety and health when the reality is they are looking our for themselves because a bunch of 17 year olds overdosed on percocet and died, so now they're afraid of getting sued and we all have to suffer. I went off to serve my country for this? So it's 'my body, my choice' if I were a woman who wanted to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, but it's definitely not my body or choice when it comes to my having an input as far as my course of medical treatment goes? I was told to 'start doing yoga and get a massage once a month' - I'm working 12 hour days - I do what I can when I can work out. I don't have money or time to spend on yoga or massage therapy. I just can't get over how insensitive the medical industry has become. We are now all addicts until proven otherwise.

    I've talked to a few guys who've had the same thing happen. Now they're looking for their prescriptions on the streets at the tune of $10 a pill, handing over money to someone who often never returns, so now they're out hundreds of dollars and they aren't getting any medicine. Some have even started using heroin. This is such a failure on this 'war on drugs' that has all of us suffering.

    I say this because of what I've seen regarding price gouging for a certain prescription used for complications related to HIV. Don't ever think that what happened to me won't happen to you. Yes, living with HIV is easier than before - but what happens when you end up going bankrupt in order to afford your meds? What happens when the meds stop working or when a new strain of this virus comes out with no ability to treat it? Your life and your reality can change so quickly and the aftershocks can be devastating and can even end your life. Many of us are going through this alone; afraid to talk to family, friends and especially afraid of talking to medical professionals for fear of being labelled a drug-seeker and ending up with a red flag on our electronic record.

    I no longer feel any allegiance to a country that has just d!cked me over big time with nothing other than 'good luck and you try out those yoga/massage options now, okay!'.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Sep 28, 2015 4:56 PM GMT
    I really don't know why you should be denied these meds but I do know there is a lot of concern about the high level of suicide among the troups and vets. And pain med addiction. My guess is there's a re-evaluation of the benefit of the regimen you're on. Nothing to do with ACA or DEA. It is the VA. I know that you are caught in the middle. And shouldn't be. Start by contacting a vet-based group dealing with HIV meds and problems. They might be able to get you a manufacturer discount or even free source of your prescribed cocktail. If there isn't something in upstate NY, call one in Manhattan and ask if they have contacts up near you.

    Second, reach out to some military comrades that you trust and tell them you need some help. You above all others know the value of trusting your comrades in a tough fight.

    Lastly, look up a local gay group and tell them you need to talk to someone. That you need some help. You fought for us. Let others help you. No weakness in that. Strength in numbers!

    Good luck, guy. Hang in there. Remember, sleep deprivation can make you think screwy thoughts. Don't back down from this fight. You can win it.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Sep 29, 2015 2:24 AM GMT
    This is very shocking and sickening to hear and I feel bad for the extreme difficulty that you are going through. I get all my medical needs at the VA and I suffer from mild, clinical depression along with anxiety. Will this eventually happen to me thanks to the fascistic DEAicon_question.gif Like you, I also served my country and I believed in this country. But the way things are going now economically, I am really getting disgusted. Do all the right things in life and still get fucked over because the rich bastards from Wall Street cannot get their god damned fill of money.
  • NursePractiti...

    Posts: 232

    Sep 29, 2015 8:28 AM GMT
    Here's a short blip of why this is happening. We have had whole discussions with lawyers, conferences, etc in the medical community regarding this very matter. It's not the Va. Pharmacists, and Md's are scared because of the rampant drug abuse in this country is being laid at their door step. In the Er where I work we get constant requests from patients who only want one kind of narcotic. But we have many who actually need it, get a script and cannot get it filled. The suppliers are also choking the supply because they don't want to get sued either. There needs to be a better balance, because it's not only vets who need certain meds for various reasons but patients who suffer from cancer and other maladies.






    http://www.wesh.com/health/tuesday-at-6-dea-responds-after-patients-denied-prescriptions/31297622
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    Sep 29, 2015 2:07 PM GMT
    My grandfather had the same issue with his cancer treatment pain meds and my grandma is going through them now. Just to get the medication my mom has to drive 2 hours to pick up the meds in person and there are a ton of signatures required just for her as the caregiver. This war on drugs is causing damage to more than just young black males. Way more people are being affected, painfully.
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    Sep 29, 2015 5:04 PM GMT
    Doctors are being sued and losing their licenses to practice and even going to jail when their patients OD. It's a major problem. Drug dependency and addiction are a real issue, but so there is also real patient suffering that needs to be adequately treated. And we aren't selfishly trying to screw patients over, if I lose my license I then I can't help anyone.
    Have you tried therapy for PTSD? Medications (especially benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium) aren't as effective as therapy for PTSD.
    If you're working do you have insurance other than your VA benefits?
    I would recommend going to a pain specialist, there will be a pain clinic at every major academic centre. If you love be near Niagara Falls try the University of Buffalo.
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    Sep 29, 2015 5:22 PM GMT
    Well that what happens when health because government run.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4435

    Sep 29, 2015 5:39 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidWell that what happens when health because government run.

    Bullshit. That's what happens when you don't have universal health care. single payor. If you want to live in your stupid fantasy world, choose a thread that doesn't involve someone who is truly hurting to mount your ignorant soapbox. In the meantime, turn off FOX and do some homework on health rates and costs among industrialized countries.
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    Sep 29, 2015 6:59 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidWell that what happens when health because government run.


    Actually, having worked in healthcare in the USA and Canada it is MUCH easier to prescribe narcotics here than there.
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    Sep 29, 2015 7:09 PM GMT
    If the VA is cutting off your pain pills/sleeping pills/etc, why not try to get them through your ordinary health insurance? If local docs are paranoid scaredycats that are are afraid to prescribe, try finding one in a bigger city.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14354

    Sep 29, 2015 8:27 PM GMT
    As a fellow veteran, I think this is disgusting. The OP served his country and suffered physical and emotional damage during his tour of duty and this is how the U.S. thanks people like him for putting their lives on the line and serving this country. That just plain stinks. All because these stupid tough on crime right wing conservatives want to continue their costly, failed war on drugs. This country is definitely going in the wrong direction especially when it fucks its veterans who have proudly served and defended this country. This just makes me sick to my stomachicon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Sep 29, 2015 9:17 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    Alpha13 saidWell that what happens when health because government run.

    Bullshit. That's what happens when you don't have universal health care. single payor. If you want to live in your stupid fantasy world, choose a thread that doesn't involve someone who is truly hurting to mount your ignorant soapbox. In the meantime, turn off FOX and do some homework on health rates and costs among industrialized countries.


    US_spends_much_more_on_health_than_what_

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    Sep 30, 2015 1:47 AM GMT
    tj85016 said
    Destinharbor said
    Alpha13 saidWell that what happens when health because government run.

    Bullshit. That's what happens when you don't have universal health care. single payor. If you want to live in your stupid fantasy world, choose a thread that doesn't involve someone who is truly hurting to mount your ignorant soapbox. In the meantime, turn off FOX and do some homework on health rates and costs among industrialized countries.


    US_spends_much_more_on_health_than_what_



    Spoken by someone who has his health care paid for by employer, Spouse etc.) I don't have any health care at all because $ 800 / per month Obamacare that (discrimates by age and sex) is way beyond my means .