Please welcome my guest Helen Borel today with her enlightening book.
I truly appreciate my host for allowing me to introduce my new book, American AGONY: The Opioid War Against Patients in Pain, published by Fresh Ink Group.
I wrote it in six tightly focused months because I felt compelled to follow up swiftly on the true-life horror stories increasingly reported on social media, on medical websites, and in personal communications from suffering and dying patients, victims of federal heavy-handed restrictions on prescription opioids.
Regarding the ethical treatment of patients in pain, America has arrived at an impasse. Increasingly, patients with chronic incurable pain from various injuries, surgeries, and genetic conditions are having their years, and even decades, of well-working prescription narcotics being tapered to ineffective lower-dose levels or being suddenly cold-turkeyed altogether. Results? Severe 24/7 suffering of millions, suicides of thousands. This national outrage is caused by ignorant, non-medical bureaucrats running the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Administration (VA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who’ve insinuated themselves into the most minute aspects of the doctor-patient relationship.
These entities began their onslaughts intensely in the last decade, especially the past three years. They have emboldened themselves to hound physicians so that amputee-Veterans can no longer get their prescription opioids from VA doctors. Other paincare facilities are shutting down, pain patients abandoned to zero treatment and zero referrals. They are spying on and raiding physicians’ practices. This is a medical emergency being overlooked by a heartless political system. Yet another epidemic—this time of patient suicides—is ignored by the CDC.
Who are the patient groups affected? It begins with the denial of well-working prescription opioids from those with lifelong pain conditions diagnosed as Intractable Pain Patients (IPPs). Now neither you nor I can receive a medically indicated narcotic when we go to the ER with severe injuries, with a kidney stone scraping its way down a bleeding ureter, or with suffering postsurgical pain—not even root-canal surgery at our dentists’. It affects child patients. It even affects pets treated by veterinarians, suffering animals whose owners are feared might take the meds.
I call those who interfere with pain treatment “OxyMORONS” because of their opiophobic stupidity. They have clamped down so hard on normal opioid prescribing for pain that now even end-of-life, hospice care, and cancer patients are being denied relief. Family of terminal patients have even been told, “We fear he’ll become addicted.”
One example: the critical blood disorder Sickle Cell Disease, which causes misshapen erythrocytes (red blood cells) to threaten oxygen transport throughout the circulatory system, can be excruciating during a crisis. It requires emergency intravenous morphine in addition to the lifelong opioid such patients are normally managing on. Shame on America for accusing so many of these patients as being “drug seekers.”As a published medical and pharmaceutical writer, and given my earlier career as a bedside hospital nurse with expertise in evaluating and medicating various kinds and levels of pain, I felt it my duty to expose these government injustices and cruelties, to research and write a book aimed at helping to restore normal, medically indicated opioid prescribing by physicians without interference by bureaucrats.
Thank you for giving me a platform to share this critical information that ultimately impacts everyone.
—Helen Borel, RN, MFA, PhD
About the Author:
Dr. Helen Borel wrote poetry and played piano as a child growing up in two orphanages. She became a registered nurse, then earned her master’s in creative writing. After 18 years as a medical, psychiatric, and pharmaceutical copywriter, she published books, literary criticism, satire, and fiction. She became a doctor in psychoanalytical studies with her own website, PsychDocNYC.com. Always outspoken for the underdog, her intense research is the basis for her passionate expose of government wrongs and the legal rights pain victims must assert. Find her at PsychDocNYC.com and on Twitter: @BorelMedWriter or @PsychDocConnect.
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