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This is already impacting the people with severe chronic pain. Even people under the care of pain management specialists are finding all kinds of barriers in the way of getting their medicine at pharmacies. They're holding up dispensing drugs so the person who is on a stable maintenence dose who misses a few days winds up in agony and has to take higher doses for a while just to get the pain under control. And of course, if you go to the ER you're accused of drug seeking behavior.
Do you know, according to NIH, there are virtually no studies longer than 16 weeks on long term use of opiates for chronic pain. There are people who are better treated with other drugs that are not opiates like amitriotyline for neurogenic pain, genuine muscle relaxants like tizanidine) and God knows if insurance paid for maintenance physical therapy instead of demanding improvent in each session that would be of great help in avoiding opiates. But for some people opiates are all there is at this time. And even for conditions like neurogenic pain better trated with other drugs, there is the phenominon of breakthrough pain, which may well require opiates.