Friday, May 11, 2007

The "News Media" plays a large role in the undertreatment of Chronic Pain

Whether it is bias or just chasing and over sensationalizing a story, the "news media" plays a very large role in the undertreatment and stigmatizing of chronic pain. Whether it is some celebrity, someone in sports, etc. that is all you see and hear. For example All we have heard for weeks is Anna Nichole Smith and Methadone, Britney Spears, or some other "quote" famous person going into rehab. for some type of drug abuse treatment. You can almost change channels on the big three news networks and never skip a word. If the DEA has a drug bust, you hear that over and over.

I have personally sent e-mails to John Gibson and Bill O'Rielly of Fox news and ask them to do a piece on the undertreatment of chronic pain in America. I didn't even get an answer to my e-mail. I guess it isn't sensational enough.

Again I am not advocating using powerful pain medication except when an individual has exausted surgery and ever other means and still is in unrelenting pain. Of course in my case, the failed surgeries are the reason for my battle for chronic pain.

I also realize that there is a drug problem in many of our high schools. I am a grand father of three children and I watch them like a hawk for any indications of drug use.

My own primary care Dr. told me a few months ago that I would not believe the people that came to his office argueing with the office personal about pain medication. He never did clarify if those people were in pain or were truly drug addicts. I said to him, what does that have to do with me? I am not the type of person that would ever do anything like that, nor would any true chronic pain sufferer. Basicly his practice is based on the fact that because of a few bad patients all pain patients should be treated the same way.

Again you never hear the media talk about both sides of the story. Its just the sensational stories, narcotics, addiction!! So with the exception of people like myself, who are continually researching chronic pain, the majority of the public believes the news media, because thats all they hear. What happens? Nothing. The "silent epidemic" goes on and it takes its toll on people. Many give in and take their lives. Some, like me, go on day after day fighting the establishment and all the time asking God why?

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