BREAKING NEWS ISU Alert: Shooting at Highland Quarters Full Story

Chronic pain patient reacts to emergency declaration to fight opioid addiction

A Wabash Valley woman and chronic pain patient says she's concerned about President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fight the opioid epidemic.

Posted: Oct 30, 2017 11:10 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2017 3:27 PM

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - A Wabash Valley woman and chronic pain patient says she's concerned about President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fight the opioid epidemic.

Uncertainty surrounds Mr. Trumps announcement and how funding will be used to curtail the crisis.

Meanwhile, members of the chronic pain community are concerned any new regulations could impede their ability to get the medication they need.

Ashli Pharr, of Clinton, uses a prescription opioid for chronic pain.

She suffers chronic pain caused by gastroparesis, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes, thyroid tumors and heart issues.

Her health troubles began in 2013 but worsened a year later. She is unable to eat and instead gets nourishment through a tube. She uses an opioid prescribed by her doctor to manage her pain.

“It helps me get out of bed. Without that I don’t think I would be able to get up.”

Ashli says she has a pain contract stating she will not go to any other doctor for pain management and she will not fill any prescriptions other than what is prescribed by her pain management doctor.

“I am also urine screened. Every time I go into office, my pills are counted. Every time I go into office. If you fail those you will lose your medication. You have to follow the rules.”

Ashli says she thinks the steps in place now are a good thing but worries further regulation will prevent pain patients from getting the care they need.

A member of a few support groups, Ashli says she has seen what can happen when patients cannot manage their pain.

“There’s been so many people who have been stripped of their medication and not even tapered down and they’re having withdrawal symptoms and a lot of times people have committed suicide. We’ve lost several people in our group because of it.”

Ashli blames officials for letting their opinions get in the way. She says there are many misconceptions about people who use opioids to treat their health problems.

“I depend on my pain medication to get up out of bed. I’m not addicted though. Addiction and dependence are two total different things.”

“A lot of people who do misuse opioids are the ones who get them by theft, fraud and forging prescriptions.”

Ashli wants to ensure patients are heard.

“They feel like they’re being brushed off and they feel like they’re being targeted as drug users and drug addicts when that’s not the case at all.”

She says those using the drugs legally should be considered in any future plans and more should be done to make help accessible.

“We need your help. As chronic pain patients, a lot of us don’t have the option to go to pain management and a lot of times there’s not even pain management around where somebody’s living.”

Ashli says she is lucky because she has a great group of doctors and a support system.

Her message to other patients like her is to advocate for yourself.

For more information about Ashli and her fight with chronic pancreatitis and pain visit Digesting Life with Chronic Pancreatitis on Facebook.

Terre Haute
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 46°
Robinson
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Rockville
Overcast
40° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 40°
Casey
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 40°
Brazil
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 46°
Marshall
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Clouds Move In
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 387687

Reported Deaths: 9838
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1788325439
DuPage23408608
Lake21010511
Will18807429
Kane17098348
Winnebago10463180
St. Clair8042221
Madison7264155
McHenry6545121
Champaign628529
Unassigned4784270
Peoria468073
McLean425536
Sangamon415163
Rock Island412892
Kankakee344480
Macon323453
Kendall274430
Tazewell273556
LaSalle247365
DeKalb243242
Coles197140
Adams193521
Boone190525
Williamson190561
Clinton181128
Vermilion178411
Jackson155026
Whiteside151428
Knox133119
Randolph129315
Ogle12367
Effingham12044
Marion105119
Stephenson10327
Franklin10059
Grundy9877
Morgan95624
Monroe93530
Bureau92516
Jefferson91149
Henry8627
Christian82929
Macoupin82411
Union79225
McDonough78020
Lee7542
Douglas7109
Shelby70212
Fayette68924
Livingston66210
Woodford66015
Crawford6536
Montgomery62516
Logan6074
Saline5739
Fulton5501
Jo Daviess5189
Warren5169
Bond5139
Iroquois50519
Wayne50213
Jersey47721
Cass46411
Perry45116
Moultrie4345
Carroll43012
Pike3677
Johnson3660
Lawrence3388
Richland33718
Washington3222
Clay31713
Mason3175
Hancock3144
Clark31217
Cumberland3026
Greene29515
Mercer2876
De Witt2726
White2704
Jasper26610
Piatt2570
Pulaski2451
Wabash2335
Ford20414
Menard1871
Marshall1613
Edgar15710
Massac1562
Alexander1321
Henderson1290
Hamilton1272
Brown1150
Edwards1110
Gallatin1082
Scott1070
Schuyler941
Putnam930
Stark883
Calhoun660
Hardin550
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236