Prescribing Task Force
The Medical Board of California
April 13, 2015
I’ve been apart of this Prescribing Task Force since it began. These are the highlights of the meeting as it pertains to current affairs.
Refer to UStream MBC 4-13-2015 (98:02) Monday at 9:52 a.m
Jason Smith- Generation Lost
Jason’s story begins at 13:00 of MBC 4-13-2015 (98:02) Monday at 9:52 a.m.
Mr. Smith begins his story by showing us photos of what a drug addict doesn’t look like, he immediately tells us that he abused the system 10 years ago. He say’s we have a preconceived notion of what a junkie looks like as he flips through slides of street bums and obvious users in dirty clothing in underground structures. He tells us that when he was 17 years old he became hooked after a car accident. He shares how he was put on Fentanyl, Norco and Soma. He believes his addiction started from Fentanyl. He said prior to the accident he was never interested in a drug “but when this hit my system, don’t get me wrong, I loved it”.
He was never honest with his doctor because he was worried his doctor would cut him off. He does say now, he has to take personal responsibility. He says his doctor didn’t know any better that he was just trying to keep him out of pain.
I appreciate Mr. Smith’s truthfulness to come forward and tell his story. It would be honest if more patients did the same. We know they are out there. I am glad he is alive to tell his story and help the drug abuse problem. However, I can’t hold back. It is because of patients like this who make patients like me look bad. It is doctors like his that were duped that will second guess me now. I say me because I represent many pain patients who are falsely accused and judged for someone else’s deceit.
Jason appears friendly, handsome, not what society perceives an abuser to be. He’s right about the photo’s he’s shared.
Abusers are every day people, in any community, wealthy, poor, religious, strong, weak, and of any race. It is said that certain populations are at higher risk than others. We hear that over and over again. Don’t be fooled! They are in every class of people. Most dress quite well, are physically beautiful and are not just the poor folk, they are corporate managers, they are of the populations we don’t care to consider. If you think their aches and pains are more relevent then some one elses who might be on medi-cal you are misguided by your own misconceptions.
There has to be patient provider communication. There needs to be patient assessment, risk stratification, and screenings for abuse. Labeling a pain patient a potential abuser without merit because of other people who have used and abused our doctors and themselves is unjust.
Overdose means a person didn’t take a medication as prescribed, mixed it with alcohol, or another substance. Generally addiction and abuse occurs when mis using, again not taking as prescribed. Where is the personal responsibility in all of this? It is because of patients who do these things that contribute to the negative stigma and impede in the access to care and analgesic management to responsible chronic intractable pain patients. Much more work needs to be done not just in curbing abuse, but by making sure access to proper pain care on a case by case basis in ensured.
I admire Jason for sharing his story. His honesty actually brings truth and enlightenment to what many of us have been saying all along. You’re looking in the wrong place.
Dr. Rupali Das, Executive Medical Director of the Division of Workers Compensation spoke on Workers Compensation Guidelines, prescription drug misuse and overuse, and the multidisciplinary approach that the guidelines recommend. Treating providers are required to use the Evidence Based Treatment Schedule (MTUS). Opioid Treatment Guidelines- Refer to 57:00 of MBC 4-13-2015 (98:02) Monday at 9:52 a.m. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/61075030
Dr. Das’ intentions are decent, yet early treatments such as acupuncture, physical and occupational therapy, yoga and other interventional treatments are more often than not, denied. This leads to the progression of disability and in some cases, irreversible disease. There is no wean down program when determining a modification of medication in many situations. Injured worker’s are abruptly halted leaving them in withdrawal. Even if a patient isn’t taking an opioid medication, withdrawal is dangerous. Injured worker’s continue to deal with denials and delays.
1. Call to Order
2. The Lost Generation – Jason Smith
3. Update from the Prescription Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Workgroup –
Julie Nagasako, California Department of Public Health
4. Update from Division of Workers Compensation – Rupali Das, M.D. Depart of Industrial Relations
5. Update on Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) –
6. Discussion on Statewide Best Practices
Executive Board Member/Advocacy Director
Power of Pain Foundation http://powerofpain.org
In attendence with
State Pain Policy Advocacy Network (SPPAN) Fellow Leader’s
Scott Clark of the California Medical Association (CMA) http://www.cmanet.org/
Maggie Buckley of the Pain Community http://paincommunity.org/