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
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Robinson
Broken Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Rockville
Scattered Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Casey
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 90°
Brazil
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 89°
Marshall
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 89°
Hot Holiday Weekend
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 144013

Reported Deaths: 6951
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook909114581
Lake9752418
DuPage9083472
Kane7733271
Will6744320
Winnebago304695
McHenry206197
St. Clair1906136
Kankakee128565
Kendall96320
Madison94769
Rock Island94729
Champaign88012
Boone59521
DeKalb55818
Peoria49928
Sangamon43132
Jackson33219
Randolph2877
Stephenson2745
McLean26113
Ogle2614
Clinton23717
Macon23122
LaSalle21917
Union19119
Whiteside19115
Coles17017
Grundy1674
Iroquois1575
Warren1380
Tazewell1378
Knox1320
Cass1302
Morgan1283
Monroe12713
Williamson1204
Jefferson10717
McDonough10115
Lee972
Adams931
Henry881
Pulaski760
Marion660
Vermilion662
Perry541
Douglas520
Macoupin523
Unassigned500
Jasper467
Livingston452
Jo Daviess441
Montgomery441
Christian434
Jersey351
Ford331
Woodford332
Bureau292
Menard250
Fayette233
Alexander220
Franklin220
Mason220
Wabash220
Carroll212
Johnson200
Mercer200
Piatt200
Washington200
Hancock191
Crawford180
Moultrie180
Shelby181
Fulton150
Logan150
Clark140
Wayne141
Bond131
Massac130
Schuyler130
Cumberland120
Effingham121
Brown100
Edgar100
Greene90
Saline90
Henderson80
Marshall80
Lawrence70
De Witt60
Hamilton50
White50
Richland40
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Pike20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Out of IL10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 46387

Reported Deaths: 2662
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11434680
Lake4985241
Elkhart313343
Allen2695117
St. Joseph185766
Cass16369
Hamilton1502100
Hendricks1371100
Johnson1244118
Porter69037
Tippecanoe6598
Madison64363
Clark62744
Bartholomew58044
Howard55057
LaPorte54125
Kosciusko5003
LaGrange4646
Jackson4583
Vanderburgh4576
Noble45128
Delaware42949
Boone42743
Hancock42535
Marshall4183
Shelby41825
Floyd37044
Morgan32331
Montgomery29020
Grant28726
Clinton2812
Monroe26328
Dubois2616
White25910
Decatur24732
Henry23615
Lawrence23624
Vigo2278
Harrison20822
Warrick20729
Dearborn20622
Greene18432
Miami1802
Jennings16911
Putnam1658
DeKalb1594
Scott1557
Daviess13916
Orange13323
Wayne1296
Franklin1248
Steuben1242
Perry1239
Ripley1148
Jasper1132
Carroll1092
Wabash1092
Fayette967
Newton9610
Whitley814
Randolph774
Starke773
Huntington702
Wells681
Jay670
Fulton661
Jefferson661
Washington651
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay594
Rush563
Benton480
Adams471
Gibson462
Owen451
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer331
Tipton301
Crawford290
Fountain292
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike80
Unassigned0193