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Meeting with Freshmen Members of Congress on Addiction

Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins

Meeting with Freshmen Working Group on Addiction
I enjoyed meeting with seven members of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a bipartisan group of newly elected members of the House of Representatives. They toured NIH on September 9, 2019 and sat down with me and other staff to discuss the HEAL Initiative and other efforts to defeat the opioid crisis. Among those visiting were Congresswoman Donna Shalala of Florida (left), former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services; and Congressman Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania (middle). Also visiting were Congressman David Trone of Michigan, Congressman David Joyce of Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Susie Lee of Nevada, Congressman T.J. Cox of California, and Congresswoman Katie Hill of California. Credit: NIH


  • Mark Headley says:

    And what’s being done during this “Pain Awareness Month” to implement the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 “national priority” “blueprint” to redress what it IDed as the egregious UNDERtreatment of agonizing chronic pain? The IOM concluded that most people “use their prescribed [opioids] properly . . . and should not be stigmatized or denied access because of [others’] misdeeds or carelessness.” So far as I know, the extensively sourced science on which the IOM soundly based its 2011 blueprint lies unrefuted. “Most patients who are administered opioids for chronic pain behave differently from patients who abuse opioids and do not ever demonstrate behaviors consistent with craving, loss of control or compulsive use.”

    Highly consistent with my experience: never experiencing nor craving any opioid high. Taking less than my fully prescribed doses — ever seeking to maximize my functioning even when this entails suffering even more intense agony.

    Reported opioid abuse has increased since the FDA imposed further restrictions on opioid prescribing it acknowledged would harm medical care — with no evidence the measures would help curb harms from opioid abuse. All too prescient.

    Meanwhile, many of us are reportedly losing brain matter coinciding cumulatively w/ duration of intense agony: reportedly “a reversible consequence [of the ongoing agony we suffer] . . . which normalizes when the pain is adequately treated.”

    When will NIH, NIH Director, finally alleviate agony of me and many others? The more potent analgesia many of us need — especially w/ excruciating nerve pain — to resume lives left ruined by agony?

    Or will we just see more political indulgence of anti-opioid agendas with no regard for us, for sound science, for available data? As the Institute of Medicine extensively marshaled, for example, in its well-sourced national priority blueprint. Data, science I haven’t seen refuted — just spurned to indulge political agendas. With the IOM’s national priority blueprint never even acknowledged, as though it doesn’t exist.

  • Mike Hasan says:

    Its really good to see this.

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