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How the 'Don't Punish Pain' Rally Is Giving Patients a Voice

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Today, while reading through the comments on my most recent article, I saw a comment from a reader mentioning the Don’t Punish Pain Rally 2018. I’d seen a mention of it a couple of days ago on the Patients Not Addicts Facebook page. I looked across it and saw that it is, in fact, a rally to be held nationally on April 7, 2018.

From what I gathered, the rally is to be a gathering of the chronically ill and chronic pain communities and is to be used as a national platform to address the “neglect the chronically ill community has experienced due to the new CDC guidelines,” according to the group page.

While there isn’t one near me yet (much to my extreme sadness and disappointment), there are so many around the country already!

This is fantastic news!

I’ve noticed locally and nationally that there has been an upheaval within the community. Thousands of people have had their medications cut short or cut off completely due to the new CDC guidelines on opioid prescribing. I believe this is one of the main reasons for the spike in suicides within the chronic pain community. Also, the increase in pain people are having due to their medications being limited or cut off is, from what I’ve seen, causing a desperate outcry within the millions of us with chronic pain. The fear is very real and the pain even more so.

I see this as an opportunity for those of us in chronic pain, facing chronic illness, having to utilize opioids to maintain a quality of life, having to undergo invasive procedures, enduring injections, not having access to alternative therapies like medical marijuana, not having affordable access to healthcare to procure our medications and so many more… to raise our voices loud as one and be heard.

I have only heard about this rally from one person and one page at this point. If you haven’t heard yet, please go take a look and, if you’re interested, help to organize or even just attend one. This is a chance to be heard and we, by the media and our government, have been marginalized, dismissed and seemingly forgotten. I believe that we should not let this continue.

Even if you can’t go, please help spread the word. This is huge and we desperately need it! It’s time for us to get our marching shoes (even if we aren’t marching)!

Originally published: April 4, 2018
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